Saturday , March 10 2018

How to unlock your Nexus 5X bootloader

Nexus 5X flash

So you (like me) bought a Nexus 5X and over time have become disheartened with the software performance of the device; it’s quite likely that lag and/or the deplorable camera performance are featuring in your issues with the device. Take heart, there is a path to that new phone feeling again and the first steps are going to be to unlock the bootloader.

Unlocking the bootloader will wipe all data from your device – take backups before proceeding with this guide.

There are a couple of steps to take in the OS before you plug everything in to achieve the end goal. Open up settings in your device and the about phone tab and find the “build number” near the bottom. Tap that entry five times; this will unlock the developer mode for the device, you know it’s successful when you get the message that developer mode is enabled. Following this, back out of the about phone menu one step and enter the newly visible developer options menu on your device.

In here there are a couple of checks you will need to make:

  1. Ensure USB Debugging is turned on
  2. Ensure that OEM Unlocking is turned on

Developer Options for OEM Unlock

Once you’ve done this, you can connect your device to your ADB ready computer or laptop via cable. When you run an ADB command such as

adb devices

you will get a prompt on the device to allow USB debugging, clearly to make any changes over a USB cable you will need to allow this. If it is your PC or laptop, there should be no harm in ticking the “always allow from this computer” box either.

Now you’ll need to boot your device into fastboot mode by turning it off, then holding the power and volume down buttons. Once Fastboot is running on your phone (it’ll be quite obvious when it is), make sure it’s connected to your computer by USB, and check that fastboot is able to communicate with your phone:

fastboot devices

which will start the services on your computer if they’re not already running. Follow this with command to start the bootloader unlock process:

fastboot oem unlock

You will have to agree to the fact that this may void your warranty but that’s to be expected. Once you agree, your gateway to custom ROMs is open.


Phil Tann   Journalist

Phil is an Android enthusiast who spends most of his time reading up on U.S. Android news so he can get the low down on what could possibly hit Australian shores. Coming from a background in IT & T sales, he’s in the perfect position to give an educated view on hardware and software.

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