The first step, the key stage, to the better Android phone is the bootloader unlocking. Without this, third-party developers won’t be able to build something awesome. Consequently, ordinary users won’t also enjoy cool stuff to enhance their experience in using their Android phone.
Unlocking the bootloader of most of Xiaomi phones is notoriously arduous. It’s not a difficult thing but it’s time-consuming.
Users need to register for a Mi Account and apply for the official bootloader unlocking permission. This is a must since the company has also managed to block EDL Mode access by making it exclusively available for certain members with authorized accounts.
We can still remember the beautiful old days when we could bypass the “bootloader unlocking” process through EDL.
Unfortunately, the recent versions of MIUI have more advanced protection put in place by Xiaomi Team behind the notorious skinned-version of Android ROM. Well, at least for some the MIUI is notorious. We, here at MIUI Blog, love MIUI of course.
Luckily, Xiaomi also rolls out the Android One phone variants. These phones are known as Mi A families with the members such as the legendary Mi A1, the recently popular Mi A2, and Mi A2 Lite, the newly released Mi A3, and the upcoming ones including Mi A4, Mi A5, and so forth.
Android One is a near-to-stock Android ROM. It is almost the purest form of Android OS. Google provides Android One ROM for certain devices and the company strives to maintain the OS directly.
Hence, despite Xiaomi produce smartphones, builds all the devices’ hardware, the company still has no total control over the Android system running on it.
This could be two things for the company. First, such a scenario frees the company from huge responsibility for maintaining the system. Second, it could also allow the company to keep a wide array of phone variants.
Since Google maintained Android One directly, users have no direct significance to Xiaomi in terms of the operating system running on their phones.
Hence, unlocking Android One bootloader requires no official permission from Xiaomi. It means that the regular bootloader unlocking process for MIUI is no longer applicable.
Now, how exactly can you unlock Android One bootloader of any Xiaomi Mi A phones?
That’s exactly what we are going to answer through this tutorial.
Since you’ve come down this far, we believe that you own one (or more) Xiaomi Android One device. Simply follow these steps outlined below.
Words of caution:
The bootloader unlocking process is basically easy and safe. However, it performs a factory reset during the process. Everything on your phone will be erased. Hence, create a local backup of your crucial data and files.
There are some good reasons why Xiaomi locked the bootloader.
We hold no responsibility for any damages that may happen to your phone. Please proceed carefully.
You’ll need the Xiaomi Mi device running Android One and a Windows-based computer. Additionally, the USB data cable is also important to connect both of them.
Steps to Unlock Mi A1/A2/A3/A4 Android One Bootloader
Step 1. Download Mi Unlock Tool here. We don’t need the actual tool but we need the Drivers coming within the tool.
Step 2. Extract the Mi Unlock Tool using either Winzip or Winrar. You’ll get a new folder with many files in it.
Step 3. Open the Mi Flash Unlock folder and double-click the “miflash_unlock” file to run it.
Step 4. Click the Settings icon in the top right-hand corner of the tool. A small popup window shall appear. Leave it for a while and grab your phone.
Step 5. Enable Developer Options on your phone. Grab your phone and proceed to the following path:
Settings >> System >> About phone >> Tap the Build Number several times >> congratulation you are a developer.
Step 6. Enable OEM Unlocking option. Follow this path:
Settings >> System >> Developer Options >> enable the "OEM Unlocking" option.
Step 7. Enable the USB Debugging option. Go to this direction:
Settings >> System >> Developer Options >> enable the "USB Debugging" option.
Step 8. Turn off your phone completely by pressing the Power button then choose “Power Off”.
Step 9. Reboot the phone into Fastboot Mode (a.k.a Bootloader Mode). Doing so is super easy. Press the Power button and the Volume Down button simultaneously until you see the Fastboot logo.
Step 10. Connect the phone to your computer using its USB cable.
Step 11. Click the “Check” button in the Mi Flash Unlock Tool right after the text saying “Click the button to install the drive“. Proceed accordingly.
Step 12. Download ADB-Fastboot Installer Tool v1.4.3. Extract the zip file as well.
Step 13. Right-click on the “ADB-Installer-v1.4.3.exe” file then choose “Run As Administrator” to launch the installer.
Step 14. Type Y then press Enter. Repeat this 3x and done.
Step 15. Download this Simple Android One bootloader unlocker tool. Extract the zip file. You’ll then get a new folder called “UNLOCK MI ANDROID ONE“.
Step 16. Run the UNLOCK1 batch file by double-clicking on it.
Step 17. Choose “UNLOCK THE BOOTLOADER” on your phone. Use Volume Up and Volume Down buttons to navigate, and use the Power button to select.
Step 18. Wait for the phone to reboot several times as it performs a factory reset and unlocks the bootloader.
Step 19. Once done, the phone will reboot back to the system. Initial booting time takes a few minutes.
Step 20. Double-check the USB Debugging and OEM Unlock options in phone’s Settings. Make sure both turned on.
Step 21. Turn off your phone again. Press the Power button then choose “Power off“.
Step 22. Reboot into the Fastboot mode by holding the Power and Volume Down buttons until you see the Fastboot logo (see Step 8 and 9). At this point, the phone should be still connected to the computer.
Step 23. Run the UNLOCK2 batch file by double-clicking on it.
Step 24. Proceed accordingly as your phone will reboot.
Step 25. Finally, you can set up your Google account again. Yup, it’s similar to having a brand new phone since all your data are wiped and the phone reset.
The bootloader of your Android One Xiaomi phone has been unlocked successfully. At this point, you can proceed even further to flashing TWRP, Magisk root, custom ROM, or even custom kernel.
An Alternative Method
Could not see the “Unlock Bootloader” option displayed on the phone screen? Try issuing the command manually.
Use these steps after Step 1 – Step 15:
Step 16. Hold the Shift key on the keyboard then right-click anywhere in the “UNLOCK MI ANDROID ONE” folder.
Step 17. Choose “Open Command Prompt Window Here” or “Open PowerShell Window Here“.
Step 18. Type this command and hit Enter to execute.
The computer will then try to establish a Fastboot connection and list all connected devices.
Step 19. Execute these two lines of command as well:
fastboot flashing unlock
Step 20. Choose “UNLOCK THE BOOTLOADER” on your phone. Use Volume Up and Volume Down buttons to navigate, and use the Power button to select.
Wait for the phone to reboot several times as it performs a factory reset and unlocks the bootloader. Once done, the phone will reboot back to the system. Initial booting time takes a few minutes.
Step 21. Double-check the USB Debugging and OEM Unlock options in phone’s Settings. Make sure both turned on.
Step 22. Turn off your phone again. Press the Power button then choose “Power off“.
Step 23. Execute this command:
fastboot flashing unlock_critical
Step 24. Proceed accordingly as your phone will reboot.
Step 25. Once done, you are safe to disconnect the phone from the computer. Set up your phone as you would as setting up a new phone since the unlocking process reset all settings.
Enjoy using an Android phone with no regret.
Should you have any question, please do not hesitate to write comments below.