How to check if the bootloader is unlocked

Let’s start from the very basic concept and understand what a bootloader is (This is extremely important as we move along and talk about methods to check if the bootloader is unlocked).

At its most basic level, a bootloader is a program which runs as a checkpoint to make sure that the software that you’re trying to run is genuine. Why is that a problem? Well, in today’s world, privacy is the most important factor and a custom ROM (or another version of Android) may steal these details. You see, when you buy an android phone, it is running on a manufacturer’s Android variant. And, if you decide to ditch it and install another variant, that’s when you need to unlock the bootloader to install it.

Not all devices can be unlocked easily. For example, devices from Google or OnePlus can be unlocked fairly easily with few commands. This is the reason we call them developer friendly devices.

There are two ways in which you can verify if the bootloader is unlocked. Let’s look at them –

Method 1 to check if the bootloader is unlocked

This is the easiest method available to let to verify if the bootloader is unlocked. It involves dialing few codes and numbers on the phone pad.

  • Open phone dialer app on your device.
  • Enter this code in the dialer – *#*#7378423*#*#

This should start a new window. If it doesn’t, you will need to do it the second way.

In that window, tap on System Info > Configuration and you will see one of the options –

  • Bootloader Unlock Allowed – Yes
  • Bootloader Unlocked – Yes
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The option number 1 means that the bootloader is locked and you can unlock it. The option number 2 means that the bootloader has been unlocked.

Method 2 using ADB and fastboot

For this method to work, you need to install ADB and fastboot on your computer.

Once you’ve installed ADB and fastboot, you need to first check if the adb is able to see your device. To do that, enter this command –

./adb devices

This will list your phone. Enter the next command to boot into bootloader.

./adb reboot bootloader

Once you’re in bootloader, verify that fastboot is able to recognize your device. To verify this, type this command –

./fastboot devices

If you can see your phone in the list, you can enter the next command –

./fastboot oem device-info

This command will finally show you the status of your bootloader. You can refer the screenshot below for the chain of commands that I’ve entered and how it shows the status at the end.

Check if bootloader is unlocked

This information is also available in the bootloader mode on your phone. My Pixel 2 does show this info as soon as I boot into bootloader mode. If it doesn’t, use that command.

Please let me know if it doesn’t work for you.

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