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 http://en.miui.com/unlock 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?

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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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22 thoughts on “Bootloader Unlocking Guide for Newbie”

  1. Hi Alichia
    Thank you for this great article, very clear.
    I’ve just purchased a Redmi note 7 pro and need to change the Chinese rom to global and want to unlock and install fastboot etc. However, I notice you recommend a windows pc, but I only have my MacBook pro. Can this process be completed on a Mac or can you direct me to the right information please?
    Cheers

    1. Hi Roy, I’ll answer that on behalf of Alichia.
      Yes it is possible – at least on my opinion. You can install Windows using Bootcamp on your Mac.
      XiaomiTool v2 may also work on Mac but your options will be limited. 😉

  2. I have a problem while trying to unlock boot loader
    I got k20 pro from china (not global rom).
    and I’m cant bypass
    “can’t unlock. your account isn’t associated with a phone number”
    but I really did it (I’m already turn on oem unlocked and I’m already add account and device from mi unlock status) everything seem fine but at fast boot I’m still got the same massage
    “can’t unlock. your account isn’t associated with a phone number”

    I’m not sure does it need to do something with vpn but I cant find worked china vpn
    have any suggestion???

    Thanks in advance

      1. Thanks a lot .It worked
        Can you kindly tell me why phone number worked but not username???
        I’m just curious 🙂

  3. I bought a new redmi note 7 global but got a china version, apparently and can’t access its configurations to do the OEM and USB debugging or even bind the mi account. What can I do?? I can’t even get my money back anymore.
    Thanks for your help…

      1. I sure will. Now that you have fixed the broken link, thanks for that. The problem now is that I can’t unlock the phone, as I can’t get past the OS configuration and bind the device to the Mi account.
        Any ideas on this?
        Thanks!

        1. As I can’t access configurations, I can’t bind the device to a Mi Account , nor enabling USB Debugging from the Developer Options.
          Do you have any ideas on what could I do about it?

  4. My Phone’s bootloader is locked, and now it’s hang on in mi logo! I can’t open or flash because can’t find any way to flash without unlocked bootloader..

    What should i do now!

  5. My phones firmware has been crashed somehow and i want to flash it but it is showing “can not flash in lock state”. I am trying to unlock bootloader from mi unlock but showing could not unlock-please add your account in miui’s settings.I am unable to start my phone so how can i add account in miui settings.please suggest what can i do.

  6. I already added my account using sim data in developer option after 168 hours when i tried to unlock it says please add your account !!! its been 3 weeks !!! every time it fails i sign in and add account and have to wait 168 hours again !!!
    man what is this bullshit ???im losing my temper
    i hope they make the unlocking precedure easier
    we shoulnt waste our time for just unlocking the bootloader !!!

  7. sigh, this wouldn’t work for me if my pone is in a loop and wont even stay on for more than 5 secs. this all happened because of the 12.5.2 update. i just dont know what to do again.

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