How to unlock bootloader
Here you will find all the necessary instructions for how to unlock your bootloader.
Unlock bootloader guide
1Check if the bootloader can be unlocked on your device
It is only possible to unlock the bootloader for certain releases. To check if it is possible to unlock the bootloader of your device, follow these steps:
- In your device, open the dialer and enter *#*#7378423#*#* to access the service menu.
- Tap Service info > Configuration > Rooting Status. If Bootloader unlock allowed says Yes, then you can continue with the next step. If it says No, or if the status is missing, your device cannot be unlocked.
2Install the device drivers and platform tools
- If necessary, download and install the USB drivers.
- If you are running Windows: Download and install the latest USB drivers. Follow the instructions on the site.
- If you’re running OSX or Linux: You can skip this step since no additional drivers are required.
- Download and extract the Platform tools zip file.
- Select and download the Platform tools for your operating system and extract the zip file. Tip: Take note of the installation path, you may need to access specific files later.
- On your device, turn on USB debugging by going to Settings > Developer options and click to enable USB debugging.
- If your device is Android Jelly Bean 4.2 or newer: Developer options are hidden by default. To enable, tap on Settings > About Phone > Build Version multiple times. Then, turn on USB debugging by going to Settings > Developer options.
3Connect to Fastboot
- Turn off your device.
- Connect a USB-cable to your computer.
- On your device, press the Fastboot key (Volume up for most devices, see Useful key combinations) at the same time as you connect the other end of the USB-cable.
- Windows users: Open the Devices and Printers directory, right-click on the fastboot driver and press Update. Browse and point towards the location of the new android_winbus.inf file.
- When your device is connected, open a command window on your computer and go to the platform-tools folder within the Android SDK folder.
- Enter the following command:
- Verify that you get an answer back without any errors.
4Enter unlock key
WARNING! The command below contains your unlock key. If you perform this step, you will unlock the bootloader. This may void your warranty and/or any warranty from your operator.
Note: In this step you will need the unlock code for your device.
- If you still want to unlock the bootloader of your device, enter the following command:
fastboot oem unlock 0x<insert your unlock code>
- Verify that you get an answer back without any errors.
Done! You have now unlocked the bootloader of your device.
Will I have root access after unlocking the bootloader?
No, unlocking the bootloader will only allow you to install a custom ROM. To gain root access you need to use a custom ROM that permits root access. You may be able to find such a custom ROM on either the XDA Forums, or the AOSP build instructions.
What Xperia device models are supported?
Please see the list of supported devices and note it will only be possible to unlock the bootloader for certain releases (depending on operator restrictions). You can check if it is possible to unlock the bootloader in Unlock bootloader.
Will unlocking the bootloader void my device and/or operator warranty?
Most likely. For more information about warranty issues, please read the full text on Unlock Bootloader.
What additional software is required to unlock the bootloader?
When unlocking the bootloader, you will need to have the offical Android SDK installed. This is because you will be using the Fastboot tool found in the Android SDK. If you run Windows, you will also need to install a custom USB driver in order to connect your device to your computer. Detailed information will be given in the final step of the unlocking process.
Are there any known issues when unlocking the bootloader?
Yes. When you select a device, any known issues for that device will be displayed. In addition, the following generic issues have been reported:
- Some users have experienced problems when they are accepting over the air upgrades. Therefore we do not recommend users to accept over the air upgrades, after having unlocked the bootloader. For additional information, check out the XDA Forums for hints and tips from the community.
Will I lose any data or settings when unlocking the bootloader?
Yes. Unlocking the bootloader will trigger a factory reset that erases all device settings, user data, third-party applications and associated data from the device’s hardware storage. Find out more in the Preparations section on the Unlock bootloader start page.
If I change my mind later on, is there any way to restore my device?
No. Once you have unlocked the bootloader, you will not be able to revert the device back to a locked or original state or restore the DRM security keys. You can however use the Flash tool for Xperia™ devices to flash a generic Sony ROM, although it will not receive automatic software upgrades.
How many devices can I unlock through this service?
There is no limit, however the amount of unlock codes you can request within a certain time frame is limited.
Is it possible to unlock a large batch of devices in one go?
If you belong to an organisation or a company that have purchased a large number of Sony devices, it may be possible receive multiple unlock codes at once. If you have such a request, please send an email to developer.world_at_sonymobile.com (replace _at_ with @). Describe your use case and provide us with contact details. We will then evaluate it and get back to you with more information.
I have a question not covered here. Where do I go?
We do not offer any official support when unlocking the bootloader. However, for general questions and discussions, visit this FreeXperia thread at the XDA Forums. Please note that these are external forums, not run by Sony.