Pixel bootloader unlocking

Unlocking the bootloader

You can flash a custom system only if the bootloader allows it, and the bootloader is locked by default. You can unlock the bootloader, but doing so deletes user data for privacy reasons. After unlocking, all data on the device is erased, that is, both application private data and shared data accessible over USB (including photos and movies). Before attempting to unlock the bootloader, back up any important files on the device.

You need to unlock the bootloader only once, and you can re-lock it if necessary.

Unlocking recent devices

All Nexus and Pixel devices released since 2014 (starting with Nexus 6 and Nexus 9) have factory-reset protection and require a multi-step process to unlock the bootloader.

  1. To enable OEM unlocking on the device:
  2. In Settings, tap About phone, then tap Build number seven (7) times.
  3. When you see the message You are a developer, tap the back button.
  4. Tap Developer options and enable OEM unlocking and USB debugging. (If OEM unlocking is disabled, connect to the internet so the device can check in at least once. If it remains disabled, your device may be SIM locked by your carrier and the bootloader can't be unlocked.)
  5. Reboot into the bootloader and use fastboot to unlock it.
  • For newer devices (2015 and later):
fastboot flashing unlock

  • For older devices (2014 and earlier):
fastboot oem unlock

  1. Confirm the unlock onscreen.

Note: On Nexus 10, after unlocking the bootloader, the internal storage remains unformatted. You can format the device using fastboot format cache followed by fastboot format userdata.

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