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How to unlock the bootloader with one-click across different devices

How to unlock the bootloader with one-click across different devices

4 min read 4 min

If you don’t tinker around with your smartphone or tablet much, you may not exactly know what the bootloader does. This is the program that fires up as you turn on your device and is used to load the operating system. The majority of smartphone manufacturers lock the bootloader by default allowing only the loading of their own firmware or UI and preventing the installation of custom ROMs, such as CyanogenMod or Paranoid Android. As such, unlocking the bootloader is one of the key components to being able to install these custom ROMs on your device and we’ll show you how you can accomplish this across a few of the more popular smartphone manufacturers.

  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Preview Unlock Process
  • About Unlock and S-ON
  • ROM Flashing Guide
  • Building Kernels

HTC is committed to listening to users and delivering customer satisfaction. We have heard your voice and starting now, we will allow our bootloader to be unlocked for 2011 models going forward. Please keep an eye on this website for more details on which devices will be adding this feature. We are extremely pleased to see the energy and enthusiasm from our fans and loyal customers, and we are excited to see what you are capable of. HTC eagerly anticipates your innovations.

It is our responsibility to caution you that not all claims resulting or caused by or from the unlocking of the bootloader may be covered under warranty. Please note that unlocking your bootloader does not mean that you will be able to unlock the SIM lock. Unlocking your SIM lock is at the discretion of your operator/carrier and is not part of the bootloader unlocking scope.

Our devices have been designed with our hardware and software specifications in mind and unlocking the bootloader will change the software and may cause unexpected side effects. It is impossible for HTC to ensure the proper functioning of your device after this. In the worst case scenario, it is possible that your device may be physically damaged due to overheating or the behavior of your device might be altered including, but not limited to, hearing aid compatibility (HAC) and specific absorption rate (SAR) values.

Some content on your device may also be invalidated and cannot be accessed any more because of invalid DRM security keys. This includes content that you may have purchased through a 3rd party vendor and through HTC. Furthermore, although you will still be able to receive updates to your device via FOTA (“firmware over the air”), we do not guarantee that updating your device via FOTA will not render your device unusable. Please understand that you will not be able to return your device to the original state and going forward your device may not be held covered under the warranty for all claims resulting from the unlocking of the bootloader. HTC bears no responsibility if your device is no longer usable afterwards.

HTC is committed to assisting customers in unlocking bootloaders for HTC devices. However, due to some of our carrier customers concerns, certain models with specific restrictions may not be able to be unlocked. Please refer to our list of supported devices to see if your device is eligible for unlocking the bootloader.

We strongly suggest that you do not unlock the bootloader unless you are confident that you understand the risks involved. This is a technical procedure and the side effects could possibly necessitate repairs to your device not covered under warranty. If you are still interested in unlocking the bootloader, and you understand the consequences both to your device and to your warranty, then you may refer to the following pages where we have provided the unlocking instructions.

Step Zero: Back Up Anything You Want to Keep

Before we begin, it’s important to mention: this process will erase all of your data. So if you have any photos or other files on your phone that you want to keep, transfer them to your computer now. In addition, if you have any app settings you want to keep, use their backup function to create a backup settings file, and transfer those to your computer as well.

Here’s an extra tip: Since I know I’m eventually going to root my phone, I always unlock my bootloader as soon as I buy a new device. That way, I don’t waste time setting it up only to erase the phone in a few days and do it all over again. If you’re an obsessive Android tweaker who knows you’re going to root soon, consider unlocking before you go through the trouble of setting up your phone.

When you’ve backed up everything you want to keep, continue with the steps below.

Why does this matter?

An encrypted bootloader can often be bone of contention for those who love a manufacturer’s hardware and want to tinker with their devices. HTC and LG and Samsung and Motorola — just about everyone, really — regularly ship devices with locked and encrypted bootloaders. Quite often, it’s done because the carrier who had the phone built for them wants it locked up tight. This does enable an extra layer of security for the end user (and carriers love anything that cuts down on support calls), but it makes it tough to flash new firmware (think custom ROM here) to the phone.

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People either need to find a way around the encryption (often with something like an «engineering» bootloader or a flashing tool that was leaked from the manufacturer) or find a way to load custom software on top of the secure software. It’s very often a tough nut to crack. In recent years, we’ve seen most of the folks who make Android phones offer models that support unlocking — they will give you the unlock token for the bootloader, provided you agree to their terms. Since many times those terms are just a fancy way of saying you lose your warranty as soon as you unlock things, there are still a lot of folks who aren’t happy with it.

It’s one of those situations where nothing will make everyone happy. Buying a Nexus phone is easy to say — the warranty is not voided by unlocking the bootloader — but not everyone wants the hardware Google ships out every year. The same goes for other phones that can have the bootloader unlocked through a developer program. People want a certain model that works best for their carrier, and aren’t interested in a specific model that can be unlocked. Or the unlocked «developer» edition is not available as a subsidized phone from the carrier’s store and folks don’t want to shell out the full retail price for it. Meanwhile, the carriers and manufacturers want to provide a controlled experience where people aren’t calling in for support with a phone running software they didn’t approve, or people are getting their phone «hacked» by malicious software because bootloader security has been bypassed.

The good thing is that the bootloader unlocking tool from KingoApp, does it in an official way and is compatible with almost all phones from HTC and Sony. According to the official site, the HTC/Sony Bootloader Unlock tool has the following features:

  • It is safe and easy to use.
  • The tool can also re-lock the bootloader anytime.
  • Performs the unlocking procedure the official way.
  • Supports most HTC devices.
  • Automatically retrieves unlock code and all required things.

UNLOCKING BOOTLOADER

Xiaomi phones are one of those user-friendly phones that let the user unlock the bootloader. By unlocking the bootloader in any android phone, you will be able to install custom firmware. You can root your phone according to your personal choices from ROMs to tweaked system settings, modded apps, and everything else.

Everything in your phone gets erased in the process; your phone’s internal memory, applications, contacts, SMS, etc. The process is actually similar to doing a complete factory reset on your phone with its settings, data, third-party applications and everything else gets completely wiped away from the hardware store. However, it has its risks too since the phone warranty becomes completely void when the bootloader is unlocked.

If you own a Xiaomi phone and have either unlocked the bootloader or planning to do, you will surely have many questions about it. And the number one doubt you may have would be if unlocking the bootloader will cause irreparable damage to your phone. Well, we have some news for you. In a recent tweet, MI India Support made a statement about their opinion on user’s queries about unlocking bootloader. They clarified that while simply unlocking the bootloader won’t do any harm, the guarantee will be voided if your device crashes or bricks while installing any custom ROM.

You can use Android OS and Xiaomi’s MIUI together to expand your horizons, add more custom features to your phone, and have a better user experience. This article is a complete guide on how you can unlock the bootloader on your Xiaomi phone. But before that, let us get into what exactly a bootloader is and the need for unlocking it.

HTC Wildfire S Unlock Bootloader AIO Guide

First of all, Congratulations! on your latest Wildfire S. HTC’s flagship and pride. But if you want even more from your monster of a device, then you gotta unlock the bootloader of your HTC WILDFIRE S.

Bootloader is like a gate between you and the candy land, i.e. custom ROMs, custom recoveries, mods, and much more.

And fortunately, HTC is kind enough to provide you with a key to unlock this door.

So, enough teasing. Let’s unleash the beast!

  • WARNING!
  • CHECK DEVICE MODEL NO.
  • BEFORE YOU BEGIN..
  • EXAMPLE VIDEO
  • ALL VARIANTS HTC WILDFIRE S UNLOCK BOOTLOADER GUIDE
    • DOWNLOADS
    • STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE

WARNING!

Warranty may be void of your device if you follow the procedures given on this page!

You only are responsible for your device. We won’t be liable if any damage occurs to your device and/or its components.

CHECK DEVICE MODEL NO.

To make sure your device is eligible with this, you must first confirm its model no. in ‘About device’ option under Settings. Another way to confirm model no. is by looking for it on the packaging box of your device. It must be A510e!

Please know that this page is meant for all variants of HTC Wildfire S A510e. Later, your carrier OEMs may take away the capability of unlocking bootloader of your Wildfire S, like Verizon did with their own One X. But, as of now, all the variants of Wildfire S are unlock-able by this official procedure.

BEFORE YOU BEGIN..

You must do this pre-installation stuff before attempting to unlock bootloader of your Wildfire S in order to avoid any complications later, and have a smooth and successful process.

BACK UP YOUR DEVICE

Back up important data and stuff before you start playing around here as there are chances you might lose your apps and app-data (app settings, game progress, etc.), and in rare case, files on SD card, too.

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For help on Backup and Restore, check out our exclusive page on that linked right below.

INSTALL HTC SYNC MANAGER DRIVER

You must have proper and working driver installed on your windows computer to be able to successfully unlock bootloader of your HTC Wildfire S.

CHARGE YOUR DEVICES

If your android device, or PC, powers off due to lack of battery while the process is underway, it could damage the device.

So, make sure both of them are adequately charged and that no power interruption takes place when the process is undergoing — at least 50% battery of the device and laptop is what we would recommend.

OTHER THINGS TO TAKE CARE OF:

└ Use original USB cable to connect your phone to PC.

└ Do not use the procedures given below on Mac (using VMWare) as it works best on proper Windows PC only.

EXAMPLE VIDEO

If you haven’t ue before, we suggest you first watch a video of that, given right below, to get familiar with the process.

Btw, the video below shows unlocking bootloader of HTC One X. But as the process is exactly same, it doesn’t matter.

ALL VARIANTS HTC WILDFIRE S UNLOCK BOOTLOADER GUIDE

DOWNLOADS

Download the files given below and save them in a separate folder on your computer (just to keep things tidy, that is).

Fastboot and ADB files:

DOWNLOAD LINK | Mirror 1 | Mirror 2 | File name: Fastboot and ADB files.zip (805 KB)

STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE

Once you’ve finished downloading the files given in downloads section above, follow the instructions below to unlock bootloader of your HTC Wildfire S.

  1. Enable USB debugging first. Go to your Settings » Developer Options, and make sure the USB debugging option is checked, as shown in the image below.
  2. Boot your HTC Wildfire S into Bootloader mode. For this:
    1. First Power Off your phone. And then remove the battery, and re-insert it back in few seconds.
    2. Now, press and hold volume down button and the power button at the same time till you see something on screen.
    3. You will be greeted with Hboot screen commonly known as “3 Android Screen” accounting to the 3 Android logos dancing at the bottom. (Or are they really dancing?) This is the bootloader mode, btw.
      Tip: In bootloader mode, your phone’s touch won’t work. To navigate between options, use Volume buttons and to select an option, use Power button.
  3. Now, boot into Fastboot mode. For this:
    1. Go to Fastboot option using Volume buttons and then select it using the Power button. On next screen, you’ll see FASTBOOT written in blue. This is your FASTBOOT mode.
  4. Connect your phone to computer using the USB Cable. Now, if you had installed all the above mentioned driver correctly, you’ll now see the FASTBOOT on the phone’s screen change to FASTBOOT USB as shown in the image below.
    └ Tip: Don’t disconnect your phone from PC until we say so!

    If it doesn’t changes to FASTBOOT USB, then disconnect the phone, select Power Down to power off phone, and then install driver again as given in the driver section above. Reboot PC after that. Then repeat from step 2.
  5. Extract the file you downloaded above, Fastboot and ADB files.zip, to get one folder (api) and the fastboot.exe and adb.exe files. Don’t delete or change any files here.
  6. Now, open the folder where you just extracted the file in previous step. And then click on the white space inside that folder. Now, click using mouse’s right button while holding down Shift key on empty white space to get a pop-up of options like below.
  7. A command prompt (cmd) windows will open up.
  8. Your phone is still connected to your computer, right? Now, type this in CMD window and then press Enter key:

  9. You will see something like this. We have intentionally blurred out the token text, for um.. obvious reasons.
  10. Now we have to copy the code output. Right click on the cmd window and click on select Mark. Now, select the whole of the message/token by dragging the left mouse key. The text will be highlighted. Right click and select Copy.
  11. Go to the website http://www.htcdev.com and register there. You will get an email from HTC to authenticate your e-mail address. Do that.
  12. Go to htcdev.com if you are not already. And if you are not logged in, please log in first.
  13. Then, GO TO THIS PAGE, where you have to give the token code you got copied in step 10 above to HTC to receive the unlock code from them.
  14. Look for the’ My Device Identifier Token’ title, and now, paste the code you copied in step 10 here.
  15. Then click on Submit. You will now receive an email from HTC.
  16. Check your e-mail. Open the HTC’s email when you receive it, and download the attachment file, Unlock_code.bin, and the copy it, then paste it into folder from step 6, where you clicked right button of mouse to get cmd window. Do this step carefully. This file, Unlock_code.bin, should be in the folder where your fastboot and adb files are.
  17. With phone still connected to PC and CMD windows still open, type this in CMD windows and press enter key:
  18. Very well! Now look at your phone. You will see something like the image below, asking you ‘Unlock Bootloader’. What the heck, we did all this for that only, without any coincidence whatsoever, so just navigate to Yes using phone’s volume buttons and select Yes by pressing the power button. Phone will reboot once you do that.
  19. You phone will reboot after this and will be 100% Bootloader Unlocked– all set for all hackery stuff you wanna throw on it!

That’s it. Congratulations! Your HTC Wildfire S has an unlocked bootloader now. In other words, it’s now much capable of things which it wasn’t ever before.

That’s all. If you need help regarding with unlocking bootloader of your HTC Wildfire S A150e, feel free to ask us in comments below.
Feedback Us!

It was easy, right? Let us know what you plan to do now, with bootloader unlocked of your HTC Wildfire S.

Your suggestions and queries, if any, are most welcomed!

Part 2: How to Unlock HTC One Bootloader

HTC One is the flagship device of HTC by all means. With a world of features and offerings, HTC One truly is a beast. While the phone is very powerful without any modifications, the true potential is yet to be seen and that can only be done if the bootloader is unlocked. So, to have a complete control over the HTC One device, it is important to unlock the bootloader and the process has to be carried out diligently. One of the initial things that needs to be ensured is that the HTC One device is fully charged or atleast 80% mark. Make sure you have the fastboot drivers for the device configured on the windows machine and the Android SDK. Here are some of the steps which can be followed to unlock bootloader.

Step 1: It is always very important to keep the phone data backed up and more so when you are planning to unlock the bootloader.

As one of the initial measures, backup the device completely as bootloader unlocking process will wipe all the data off. So, backup all the data like photos, contacts, multimedia files, documents, etc.

Step 2: Go to htcdev.com/bootloader. Ensure that you are registered with HTC and once the sign up is done, log in to HTC dev.

Now, ensure that HTC Sync Manager is installed on the PC.

Step 3: From the bootloader page, select your device using the drop down option as shown in the picture below.

After selecting the device, click on “Begin Unlock Bootloader”, and then confirm all the dialogue boxes which come your way on screen.

Step 4: Now, you will be presented with four steps to put the device in bootloader mode. Disconnect the HTC One device from the PC and turn the device off completely. Press the volume down button along with the power button to switch the device on in bootloader mode.

Step 5: Use the volume keys of the device to select Fastboot option along with pressing power button to confirm, after the device is in bootloader mode. Now, connect the device to the computer using a USB cable.

Step 6: Go to Fastboot folder on the PC and holding down the shift key, click on any empty space followed by a click on “Open command window here”.

Step 7: In the command prompt window, type “fastboot devices” and press enter. HTC One will show up in the command prompt.

Note: The drivers have to be installed correctly to see the device in the command prompt. So, if the device does not show up, reinstall HTC Sync Manager and try again after restarting the computer.

Step 8: On HTC Dev’s website third page, click on “proceed to Step 9”. Follow the steps listed and then click on submit. The unlock token code for the device will be mailed by HTC. Download the token and name it “Unlock_code.bin” and place the token in the fastboot folder.

Step 9: Now, in the command prompt window, type the following:

fastboot flash unlocktoken Unlock_code.bin

Step 10: On the HTC One, one message will appear asking if you want to unlock the device bootloader.

Use volume keys to select and power button to confirm. Once this is done, the HTC One device will restart once and it’s done. The device is now bootloader unlocked.

Step 5: Unlock Your Bootloader

This next part will wipe your phone, so make sure you’ve backed up all important data like pictures and videos before continuing.

Download the BIN file emailed to you and transfer it to the platform-tools folder inside of your ADB installation directory. Then, flash the BIN file to your phone by entering the following line into the command prompt:

fastboot flash unlocktoken Unlock_code.bin

Your phone will ask you to confirm the bootloader unlock and will warn you that your data is going to be wiped. Use the volume rockers to highlight «Yes» and the power button to submit. Once you’ve done so, your phone’s bootloader will officially be unlocked.

Now that your bootloader is unlocked, you can make full use of Android by installing TWRP over the stock recovery, which can then be used to flash SuperSU to root your phone. There are hundreds of mods and ROMs available for the HTC 10, all of which aim to make the software and hardware experience superb since the HTC 10 is perhaps the last device featuring everything we loved by HTC (we all know how silly the HTC U Ultra and HTC U 11 turned out to be).

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Cover image and screenshots by Kevin M./Gadget Hacks

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