Samsung is an interesting company as they seem to be on both sides of the same fence. We have the part of the company that tries to force people to use Bixby as their virtual assistant. Today, we’ll be talking about a different part as I show you how to unlock the bootloader of the Galaxy S10 series.
If you’ve owned a Samsung flagship in the last few years then you likely already know how stubborn they can be. This is especially true when it comes to their dedicated hardware button. Even when they finally let us remap its functionality the Bixby assistant is still forced upon us with either a single or a double press.
This is a clear sign that Samsung wants you to use the software they have given you. However, the company makes it incredibly easy to unlock the bootloader so that we can install unsigned software. This can be anything from a custom ROM to a custom kernel, a GSI custom ROM and more.
The only downside here is that this method can only be used on devices with the Exynos chipset.
However, the only non-Exynos versions of their flagship devices are sold in North America and China. For those two regions, they use the Snapdragon SoC from Qualcomm. But everywhere else we see them using the Exynos chipset and this results in a very easy way to unlock the bootloader.
So, if you have a Galaxy S10 with the model number SM-G97XF then you can unlock the bootloader by following the simple tutorial below.
Time needed: 5 minutes.
How to Unlock the Bootloader of the Galaxy S10, Galaxy S10+ and Galaxy S10e
- First, you will need to enable Developer Mode
- Then open up the Settings application
- Scroll all the way down and tap on the Developer Options menu
- And tap the toggle next to the OEM Unlocking feature
- Be aware of the warning and tap the Turn On button
You should know that enabling this feature means that you can install unsigned software (which is what we want so that we can install things like a custom recovery, kernel, etc.
- Now the bootloader has been unlocked
As you can see from the guide above, most of the work is done by simply enabling Developer Mode. Once that is done, we simply need to dive into the Developer Options menu and tap a single toggle. Naturally, we are given a warning when we try to unlock the bootloader but you should already know about the reprocusions.
The thing is, even though we are given a warning about certain device protections, we aren’t actually breaking anything by doing this. Features such as Samsung Pay, Secure Folder, and everything else that relies on Samsung Knox will continue to work if the only thing we do is unlock the bootloader.
Samsung Knox is only tripped when we install one of those unsigned pieces of software. Not when we unlock the bootloader. We unlock the bootloader to specifically install those pieces of software, but I just wanted to make things clear. If you only unlock the bootloader then you have not tripped Knox.
Why is it so Easy?
I am curious as to why Samsung has made it so easy to unlock the bootloader though. When we look at other OEMs they have safeguards in place specifically around unlocking the bootloader. For instance, if you unlock the bootloader of a Google device then it performs a factory reset.
The same happens if you unlock the bootloader of a Xiaomi device as well. That is a safeguard that has been put into place to make it more difficult for smartphone thieves from stealing your phone, unlocking the bootloader, and gaining access to your data. This factory reset also happens when you relock the bootloader of those devices as well.
But as you can watch from the video above, there isn’t a factory reset done when we unlock the bootloader of the Galaxy S10, Galaxy S10+, or the Galaxy S10e. Sure, one could say that if they can already unlock your device (to enable OEM Unlock), then they have access to your data anyway.
It’s just strange that Samsung does things so differently in this specific case.
Either way, I am glad that they make it so easy to unlock the bootloader of the Exynos devices and wish the wireless providers in the United States would allow this on the Snapdragon variants as well. I don’t see this happening anytime soon but one can hope.
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