The first Xiaomi bootloader you want to unlock will require you to take additional steps since you have to request permission and confirm your account/number. The process may seem complex compared to how other companies do it but it is rather simple we just need to be patient during the process.
If you’ve ever read into how to unlock a smartphone or tablet from different companies then you likely know how each one handles things in their own way. For example, to unlock a Samsung smartphone with the Exynos SoC we just need to go into the Developer Options page and tap the OEM Unlock option.
It really couldn’t be more simple than that but then there are other companies like LG who make you copy some text from the command prompt, send it to them and then wait for approval.
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Xiaomi falls a bit in between here as their initial bootloader unlock process is lengthy but subsequent unlocks are actually very painless. The tutorial I will be walking you through today is for those who have never gone through the official Xiaomi bootloader unlock process before. This requires you to create a Xiaomi Mi account, attach a phone number to it, and then confirm it by waiting for an SMS message with a special code. Once that confirmation process is done though, you can proceed to unlock the bootloader of your device.
Not only that, but any future Xiaomi devices that you connect to your account can have its bootloader unlocked without needing to go through all of this ahead of time.
Request Bootloader Unlock Permission from Xiaomi
- Create and confirm a Xiaomi Mi account
- Then visit Xiaomi’s bootloader unlock page
- Click the Unlock Now button and then log into your Mi account
- Wait for the bootloader unlock approval SMS message
There really isn’t much left to this guide. I have seen a lot of complaints about the method Xiaomi uses to unlock bootloaders and while it was buggy at first, things seem to be much smoother these days. Not only that, but they have also streamlined the process so that it doesn’t take as many steps as it once used to. Xiaomi just wants to know that you, as an individual, wants to unlock the bootloader of a smartphone you own. This is used to prevent resellers from unlocking the bootloader and installing malicious software on them.
Another complaint I see here is that it takes time. When the company first launched this system it oftentimes took over a week before people finally received their confirmation SMS message. Again, things have smoothed out since then and now we’re seeing this waiting period only take 3-4 days in some cases. It also helps that people who have requested permission to unlock the bootloader of their Xiaomi device no longer has to wait for this to go through. Once their account gets verified then you’re good to go.
So to start, you will need to create and setup a Xiaomi Mi account from the link in Step 1 of the guide above. This requires you to create a username, attach an email address and phone number to it, and then confirm it so they know it’s actually you who has created this account. With that done, we can then visit the bootloader unlock page that Xiaomi has setup for us. It has a big Unlock Now button on the page and clicking it will ask you to log into your account once more.
If this is your first time doing this then you will likely need to request permission to unlock your Xiaomi smartphone by including a reason. Personally, I just put in there that while I like MIUI, I wanted to try out some of the custom ROMs and kernels that are available from the dedicated Xiaomi Mi/XDA community. My request wasn’t declined and after a few days I was able to proceed with the bootloader unlock method. While all of this stuff is waiting though, you can go ahead and dive into the Settings of your device and connect your Mi Account to it as well.
I do want to point out that this process has changed a couple of times since its inception and that it could change again in the future. If the steps provided above aren’t exactly correct then let me know in the comments section below and I’ll be sure to keep it updated.