Xiaomi has been hit or miss with the community in regards to their bootloader unlock capabilities. They used to be very open to it but recently began to tighten things up. The process is still considered too long for most people but today I’ll be walking you through how to unlock the bootloader of the Xiaomi Redmi 7.
Xiaomi will come out and say they are putting the restrictions on unlocking their smartphones’ bootloaders in order to protect the user. That’s a bit much when you think about it though. Google has never required a waiting period to unlock the bootloader of Nexus and Pixel smartphones.
Samsung used to not have that but they recently added a 7-day waiting period from the moment you activate the smartphone. OnePlus doesn’t require this waiting period either, and the OEMs that made you register for an unlock code doesn’t make you wait this long. Xiaomi even limits their Poco phones to a 3-day waiting period.
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But for other Xiaomi devices (at least their Redmi series), the waiting period is usually going to be 15 days (360 hours). Sometimes you will get an instant unlock, sometimes you may be told to only wait 3 days. I believe the waiting period may be tied to the age of the account, but I can’t say for sure.
The thing that you should take away here, is that unlocking the bootloader of the Redmi 7 is a 2 phase process. You first need to go through phase 1 (which is 90% of the work) and then wait until your timer runs out. For me, the timer was set to 15 days and it looks to be that way for others in the community as well.
Warning – Completing the tutorial listed below will wipe all of the data from your smartphone. This includes SMS text messages, photos, videos, apps, games, contacts and anything else. Make sure you manually back up your data to your PC or in the cloud.
How to Unlock the Bootloader of the Xiaomi Redmi 7
- Request permission to unlock the bootloader of the Redmi 7
I have heard requesting permission is no longer needed. . .but you will still need a Xiaomi Mi account to proceed.
- Open the Settings app
- Scroll down to the Accounts section and tap on the Mi Account menu
- Then enter your Xiaomi Mi account details to attach your account to this smartphone
- Make sure both the Sync and Find My Device options/toggles are enabled
You’ll see these options right when you attach your Mi account to the Redmi 7.
- Enable Developer Mode on the Redmi 7
- Tap the Home button so that you can open the Settings application again
- Scroll down so you can tap on the Additional Settings option
- Then tap the Developer Options menu choice
- Enable the OEM Unlocking toggle by tapping on it
- Then tap on the Mi Unlock Status option
- Tap the Agree button at the bottom of the screen if prompted
- Disable WiFi and make sure Mobile Data is enabled
- Now tap the Add Account button at the bottom of the page
This may take some time/or take multiple attempts if you are having difficulty connecting to Xiaomi’s servers
- If things go smoothly, you should see a prompt telling you that the account is paired with the device.
You will also see a message telling you that you’ll have to go through this again if you perform a factory reset before completing the unlock process.
- With this done, go ahead and download/extract the Xiaomi Mi Unlock tool onto your PC
- Launch the Mi Unlock program
You should see this as a file named “miflash_unlock.exe” in the extracted folder.
- Read the information provided and then click the Agree button at the bottom of the program
- You will then be prompted to log into your Xiaomi Mi account
Make sure it’s the same Mi account that you added/paired the Redmi 7 to
- Then boot the Redmi 7 into Fastboot Mode
- Now connect the Redmi 7 to the PC with a USB cable
- Look toward the bottom of the Mi Unlock program and click the Unlock button that you see
- Wait for and click the 2 Unlock Anyway buttons that pop up in the Mi Unlock program
- After clicking the second Unlock Anyway button, the Mi Unlock program will attempt to unlock the bootloader
If this is your first attempt at unlocking the bootloader then you will likely see a failed message here with a message telling you to wait a certain amount of hours.
- If you are lucky and get an instant unlock then the process will be successful and you can skip to Step #27
If you are like me though, you will be given a message saying you have to wait a certain amount of hours before you can unlock the phone
- After waiting the amount of time you were told, repeat the steps in this tutorial starting at Step #17
- Once you have waited (or if you get an instant unlock) then you will be shown three green checkmarks and an Unlock Successful message via the Mi Unlock program
- You will also see a Reboot Phone button but the Xiaomi Redmi 7 should reboot on its own
This first boot cycle will take longer than normal but be patient and you’ll be taken back to the MIUI activation screen
- You can then either setup WiFi first and then log into your Mi account, or use mobile data to log into your Mi account
- Once you have put in the password and signed into our Mi account you will be instructed to set up and activate MIUI
- Optionally, you can enable developer mode and look at the Mi Unlock Status option to make sure the Redmi 7 bootloader has been unlocked
This process is the same for any modern Xiaomi smartphones. I have dove head first into the Xiaomi ecosystem and they do a lot of things differently compared to other OEMs. This isn’t saying much though as Samsung changes a ton of things as well. So, you may not be familiar with this process but the tutorial makes it easy to follow.
That’s one of the things I love about the Android operating system. It’s open source (at its core) and there is usually some way of doing what you want with your smartphone. You either need to be smart enough to make the change yourself, or you can rely on the work from the community.
This is where I see myself in this entire process. My goal is to take the cool things the developer community creates and present it in a way that is easy to do yourself.
The funny thing is, the community wouldn’t stand for this type of stuff (mainly the waiting period) if there was a better alternative. If there’s one thing Xiaomi does extremely well it is manufacturing devices that have a great build quality, the internal hardware to meet the demands of their audience, and then package it up in a price that destroys the competition.
This won’t be true for every smartphone they sell but it is true for many of them. The Redmi series is truly the king of the low-end and mid-range smartphone market.
These devices become an even more attractive buy when you consider they almost always get community developer support in some way or another.