In this tutorial, we will show you how to unlock the bootloader on any Xiaomi device using the Mi Unlock Tool. While it may have a few devices in the high-end segment, but Xiaomi has its priority mostly set in the budget domain. And as of now, it is working quite well for them. The Redmi series has a plethora of features set to offer at a price that wouldn’t burn a hole in your pockets. The underlying OS dubbed as MIUI also comes with a plentitude of customization offers.
Then you could any day try out many types of themes, icon packs, and fonts, but this is just the tip of the iceberg. Devices from the Chinese OEM have an ocean of other tweaks lined up that you could make full use of. For this, you will have to step into custom development. There you could gain administrative privileges by rooting your device or even install a custom recovery like TWRP. Likewise flashing custom binaries, Magisk Modules, and Substratum Themes also becomes a possibility.
But in order to carry out any of the aforementioned tweaks, there is just one major requirement that your device needs to qualify. And that is the need for an unlocked bootloader. Henceforth, in this guide, we are here to help you with just that. First off, we will discuss the Bootloader and the benefits and risks that come with unlocking it. After that, we list down the steps to unlock the bootloader on your Xiaomi Device using the Mi Unlock Tool. So without further ado, let’s get on with the guide.
Table of Contents
- 1 What is a Bootloader
- 2 Advantages and Risks of an Unlocked Bootloader
- 3 How to Unlock the Bootloader on any Xiaomi Device
- 4 What will and will not happen after unlocking the bootloader?
What is a Bootloader
Without taking the help of the technical jargon, you could call Bootloader a software program that decides what all programs need to be booted at the time of device startup. On top of that, it also helps the device to boot to recovery. However, every smartphone manufacturer ships their device with a locked bootloader. And Xiaomi is no different. The reason for that is they only want the user to try out the ecosystem that they have shipped.
But not everyone seems to be a fan of the MIUI. Some might argue that it has tons of pre-installed apps, for others the in-device ads are a big no. In this regard, you could flash a custom ROM or try out other tons of related tweaks. But to do so, you will have to unlock the bootloader on your Xiaomi device. This is where this tutorial will come in handy. But before we list out the steps for the same, let’s check out the advantages and disadvantages of an unlocked bootloader. This will help you in shaping your decision accordingly.
Advantages and Risks of an Unlocked Bootloader
There are quite a few perks associated with an unlocked bootloader. To begin with, you will be able to replace the device’s stock recovery with a custom one like TWRP. This in itself comes with many benefits like creating a Nandroid backup, flashing ZIP, and IMG files among others. Apart from that, an unlocked device also allows for the flashing of a custom ROM like LineageOS, Pixel Experience, HavocOS, etc. Similarly, you could also gain access to the system partition by rooting your device via Magisk. Likewise, you could also flash a custom kernel and overclock your device.
However, this doesn’t paint the complete picture. An unlocked device also comes with quite a few risks as well. For example, your device warranty might become null and void. Furthermore, you will also lose all the data. Some apps like Google Pay and Pokemon Go might refuse to work. Others like Netlfix might work with restricted capabilities. Since the device’s Widevine L1 certification will be degraded to L3, you won’t be able to stream contents in HD. Apart from that, the entire process might prove to be risky if not done correctly and might result in a bootloop or bricked device in some rare cases.
So with this, we have mentioned all the perks and risks that an unlocked bootloader brings in with itself. If you are ready to proceed ahead, then here are the required instructions to unlock the bootloader on any Xiaomi device.
How to Unlock the Bootloader on any Xiaomi Device
Before you get on with the steps, there are a few requirements that your device needs to satisfy. Please go through them once.
- Create a complete device backup. This is needed because the unlocking process will wipe off all the data from your device.
- Next up, also download and install the Android SDK Platform Tools on your PC.
- Finally, download and install the Mi Unlock Tool on your PC. We will use this tool to unlock the bootloader on your Xiaomi device.
That’s it. You may now begin with the steps. We have broken down the instructions into separate sections for ease of understanding.
STEP 1: Enable USB Debugging and OEM Unlocking
To begin with, you will have to enable USB Debugging as well as OEM Unlocking. The former will be used to make your device get recognized by your PC in the ADB Mode. The latter will allow us to unlock the device’s bootloader. Here are the required instructions to enable both of them:
- Head over to Settings on your Xiaomi device
- Then go to About Phone and tap on the MIUI version 7 times.
- Then go back to Settings and tap on Additional Settings System.
- Within that, head over to Developer Options and enable both the USB Debugging and OEM Unlock toggles.
STEP 2: Bind your Account to your Xiaomi Device
You will now have to bid your Mi Account to your device. For that, you need to have a Mi Account, if you don’t already one then register and create it right away. When that is done, follow the below steps:
- Go to the Settings page on your Xiaomi device
- Head over to Additional Settings followed by Developer options.
- There you should see the Mi Unlock Status option, tap on it.
- Tap on the Add account and device button situated at the bottom and follow the on-screen instructions. Make sure to enter the same phone number that is currently on your device.
- Once the account is successfully bound, you should get the message that “Added successfully. MI account is associated with this device now”.
After this, you may now proceed ahead and unlock the bootloader on your Xiaomi device.
STEP 3: Boot Xiaomi to Fastboot
- The unlocking process requires your device to be booted to the Fastboot Mode. Follow the below steps to do so:
- Connect your device to PC via USB cable. Make sure Debugging is enabled.
- Head over to the platform-tools folder on your PC. Type in CMD in its address bar and hit Enter. This will launch the Command Prompt.
- Now execute the below command to boot your device to Fastboot Mode:
adb reboot bootloader
- Once that is done, you should see the famous Mi Bunny logo with the Fastboot text. With this, you may now make use of the Mi Unlock Tool and unlock the bootloader on your Xiaomi device. Follow along.
STEP 4: Unlock Xiaomi Bootloader using Mi Flash Tool
- Launch the Mi Unlock Tool on your PC. Make sure your Xiaomi device booted to Fastboot Mode and connected to PC as well.
- Now sign in with your credentials. The server will then check whether this account is bound to your Xiaomi device or not. Since you have already done so, you should get the Phone Connected message on the tool.
- So go ahead and click on the Unlock button. A confirmation pop up will then appear. Click on the Unlock anyway button. At this point, your device will be wiped as well. So make sure you have taken a backup beforehand.
- The process will then start and should take a few minutes. Once that is done, you will see the Unlocked Success message. Click on the Reboot phone button to restart your device.
With this, we conclude the guide on how to unlock the bootloader on any Xiaomi device. The first boot might take up some time, which is completely normal. Furthermore, you will also have to set up your device from scratch since a reset has taken place. Apart from that, if you have any other doubts, let us know in the comments section below. Rounding off, here are some iPhone Tips and Tricks, PC tips and tricks, and Android Tips and Trick that you should check out as well.
What will and will not happen after unlocking the bootloader?
Even after you have unlocked the bootloader on your Xiaomi device, it won’t affect OTA updates that are sent to your phone normally. Some features might be or might not work on your phone. Also, there are chances of losing some data as a result of unlocking the bootloader. Use the same Mi Account to unlock and lock the bootloader since the change in the account can spark errors such as “Current account is different from the account info on the device”. Unlocking the bootloader on your phone isn’t tough since there are only a few steps that you need to do and it gives more capabilities and features.