The bootloader is the first program that starts when you turn on your Android phone. The bootloader’s role is to launch an operating system, Android in this case.
On most Android phones, the bootloader is locked, preventing the modification of the system and installing alternative distributions (LineageOS, MIUI …).
All new Xiaomi phones have their bootloader locked, preventing you from rooting it (obtaining administrator rights and installing what you want on it) or installing custom ROMs (modified versions of MIUI for example).
The purpose of this article is to help you unlock the bootloader of your Xiaomi phone in order to become free! Let’s go !
Note: before continuing, save your personal files! Unlocking a Xiaomi phone is a potentially risky operation, so be careful.
- Step 1: create an Mi account
- Step 2: Request an unlocking authorization from Xiaomi
- Step 3: Link your Mi account to your Xiaomi phone
- Step 4: install the USB driver on Windows
- Step 5: unlock the bootloader with MiFlash Unlock Tool
Before you start unlocking the bootloader, you must:
Disable OEM lock on your Xiaomi phone
1: Create a Mi Account
Go to the Official Xiaomi MIUI Website and click on the Register link at the top right.
Click the Use and email address button to create a Mi account using your email address. You can obviously register using your phone number, but I have never received the confirmation SMS, which is why I recommend that you create your account using your email address.
Enter your email address then click on the Create Mi Account button.
Enter a password for your account, enter the verification code and click Submit.
Open your email inbox and click the link in the email you received from Xiaomi to verify your account.
If you signed up with the email address of a Google account, you only need to authorize Xiaomi to access your Google account to validate your Mi account.
Here, your Mi account has been created! You will be redirected to the account activation page.
To activate your Mi account, enter a username and click the Activate button.
Here, your Mi account is created and activated! Let’s go to the second step.
2: Request Unlocking Authorization From Xiaomi
In order to unlock the bootloader of your phone, you must request an unlocking authorization from Xiaomi. Once Xiaomi has authorized your Mi account to unlock bootloaders, you will be able to use your Mi account to unlock the bootloader of any Xiaomi smartphone.
To make this request:
- Go to the home page of the MIUI official website again and click on the Unlock Now button.
- You must now log into your Mi account, if you have not already done so. If you have a login window in Chinese, switch to the English interface by clicking on the English link at the bottom of the screen.
- Then log into your Mi account.
- Here we are in front of the unlocking authorization request form. Enter any name (your first name for example), your phone number (without the 0 and after selecting India (+91)) and enter this as the reason for unlocking: “To install french MIUI ROM. Thanks!”. Then check the confirmation box and click the Apply Now button.
- Xiaomi will send you a verification code by SMS which must be entered in the text field. If you have not received the code or have taken too long to enter it, press the Resend button to receive a new one. Finally, press the Next button.
The message “Submited. Please wait for the review” Indicates that your request has been taken into account. Within a few hours or days, you will receive a confirmation SMS informing you that your Mi account is now authorized to unlock the bootloaders of Xiaomi phones. In my case, I waited 24 hours, I don’t know how long it can take!
Please note: from now on, you cannot continue this tutorial unless you have received the confirmation SMS from Xiaomi! Without this confirmation, you will inevitably be blocked at the last step, as your Mi account does not yet have the necessary permissions to unlock the bootloaders. Ultimately, you can just follow steps 3 and 4 to save time!
3: Link your Mi account to your Xiaomi phone
You must connect to your Mi account on your Xiaomi phone for the unlocking software (which we will use later) to detect that your Mi account is authorized to unlock this Xiaomi phone:
- On your Xiaomi phone, open the Settings app> Mi Account.
- Log into your Mi account.
- Disable all options for Mi Cloud (we don’t need them at this time) and then tap Continue.
- That’s it, your Mi account is now connected to your Xiaomi phone.
4: install the USB driver on Windows Computer
We will now install the driver necessary to recognize the Xiaomi phone in Fastboot mode on Windows:
- Download MIUI ROM Flashing Tool. Download Here
- Launch the MIUI ROM Flashing Tool installer and click the Next button.
- Leave the default installation directory and click Next again.
- Once the installation is complete, click the Close button.
5: Unlock the bootloader with MiFlash Unlock Tool
To unlock the bootloader of your Xiaomi phone, you will need to use the MiFlash Unlock Tool program.
- Download the MiFlash Unlock Tool : Download Here – (Mirror)
- Unzip the archive then double-click on miflash_unlock.exe to launch MiFlash Unlock Tool.
- Accept the warning by clicking on the Agree button.
- Log in with your Mi account.
- Mi Unlock verifies that your Mi account has the necessary authorizations to unlock the bootloader of your Xiaomi phone.
- After verification, you will arrive on the unlock screen with the following status: Not connected to the phone.
- From there, turn off your Xiaomi phone (by pressing the Power key) then press the Volume down and Power buttons to enter fastboot / bootloader mode.
- Fastboot / bootloader mode on a Xiaomi Redmi 4 Pro
- Connect the phone to your PC using a USB cable.
- Open Device Manager and verify that the Android Bootloader Interface device is detected.
- The big moment has finally arrived! After verifying that Mi Unlock’s status is on Phone connected, click on the Unlock button to start unlocking your Xiaomi phone!
- After a few seconds of waiting, the program displays Unlocked successfully. Your Xiaomi phone is officially unlocked! Click the Reboot phone button to restart your phone.
Congratulations, you’ve just unlocked your Xiaomi – Redmi’s Bootloader!
To be sure, enter the following commands and verify that the values for “Device unlocked” and “Device critical unlock” are set to true.
adb reboot bootloader
fastboot oem device-info
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