Bootloader Unlocking Guide for Newbie

Bootloader Unlocking Guide for Newbie 1

We have squeezed and summarized all basic information necessary for newbies to unlock their Xiaomi device bootloader. This article contains guidelines and frequently asked questions (FAQ) regarding MIUI bootloader unlocking. Instead of a lengthy article, we have shortened all tutorial into a single and easy-to-grasp article for your own consumption.

Follow the list of steps below to unlock MIUI device bootloader successfully:

  1. First, you have to apply for bootloader unlocking permission. Visit and click the “Unlock Now” button.
  2. Log in with your Mi Account. You may have to signup if you do not have one yet. Perhaps you need to wait for several days for your application to be granted. However, sometimes it can be also instant. It just depends on the Xiaomi decision. The permission was announced via SMS but recently Xiaomi has simplified the procedure. Hence, some may get their permissions granted automatically.
  3. Download and install Mi Flash Unlock tool on your computer. It is recommended to use a PC or Laptop running Windows 8/10 64-bit system.
  4. Once granted, enable the Developer Options on your phone. Go to Settings > About phone > tap the MIUI version several times until the developer options being enabled.
  5. Next, enable OEM Unlocking through Settings > Additional Settings > Developer Options > OEM Unlocking > toggle it on.
  6. Also, enable USB Debugging through Settings > Additional Settings > Developer Options > USB Debugging > toggle it on.
  7. Now bind your Mi Account that has been approved and granted with bootloader unlock permission. Go to Settings > Additional Settings > Developer Options > Mi Unlock Status > Add account and device.
  8. Launch Mi Flash Unlock tool that you have installed on your computer earlier.
  9. Click “Agree” and sign in with your Mi Account.
  10. Turn off your phone completely. Press the Power and Volume Down (-) buttons simultaneously until the Fastboot logo is displayed.
  11. Connect your phone to your computer using a compatible USB cable.
  12. Finally, click the “Unlock” button. You have to follow the displayed timer or waiting period displayed in the Mi Unlock tool to unlock successfully.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: Why is the bootloader unlocked?

The main purpose of this security measure is to protect users from counterfeit Xiaomi devices. The limited availability of Xiaomi devices in certain countries leads to the unofficial distribution of Mi devices running fake MIUI ROM. Moreover, such security mechanism prevents stolen and lost devices from being easily flashed with new ROM.

Q: What Xiaomi devices have its bootloader locked?

All Xiaomi phones and tablet released in the year 2016 onwards.

Q: What if I flashed MIUI Fastboot ROM, does it lock the bootloader?

No. Flashing the full MIUI ROM through fastboot using Mi Flash will not relock the bootloader. Unless you choose “Clean All and Lock” option during flashing.

Q: How to check my device bootloader status?

The status whether your device bootloader is locked or unlocked will be displayed when you reboot your phone. Alternatively, you can also go to Settings > Additional settings > Developer options > Mi Unlock Status.

Q: Can I unlock several times?

Each Mi Account can only unlock one device within 30 days. Hence, even if you have multiple devices with one Mi Account, you are bound with this policy. Also, keep in mind that the unlocking tool you must be logged in with the same Mi account on your device.

Q: Can unlocking bootloader be done offline?

No. Your computer and your device need Internet connection since you need to bind your device and log in using your Mi Account. Moreover, the tool will also check the status of your account whether it has permission granted or not.

Q: Can I still receive Over The Air (OTA) MIUI update?

Yes, unlocking bootloader will not affect normal OTA update.

Q: What if I found a problem during the process?

Please try the following workarounds:

  • You have to follow the waiting period displayed on the Mi Unlock Tool. In the previous version of the tool, you might see this error message “Couldn’t unlock the device after XXXX hours”. However, due to some translation issue, this actually means “Please unlock the device after XXX hours”.
  • Once you have successfully bound your Mi Account, do not log out the approved Mi account from your phone. Otherwise, the timer will reset and you have to spend more time waiting again.
  • Try using another computer (64-bit) if the Mi Unlock Tool fails to detect your device / unknown error.
  • You may also try using a different USB cable to avoid the same unknown error.
  • In most cases, installing Mi Flash tool prior to Mi Unlock installation helps.
  • If you are facing network error or cannot log in the older version of Mi Unlock Tool, please download and use the latest one.

Now, what about you? Have you unlocked your phone bootloader successfully? Share your experience in the comment section below.


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