How to Enable OEM Unlocking on Android [OEM Unlock]

Enable OEM Unlocking on Android

Do you want to unlock your Android device’s bootloader? Then you must first enable the OEM Unlocking option. In this post, we will talk about what OEM Unlocking is and guide you further on how to enable it on your Android device.

Android is well-known for its open-source nature and the possibilities to push it beyond the limitations set by the OEM. Talking about the boundaries, the device manufacturers often tend to limit the OS’s functionality with a software switch, to disallow any outside customizations. That is encouraged to allow day-to-day users to preserve the integrity of their Android devices. But what if a user chooses to deliberately tinker with the preinstalled software? Well, as far as the “official” word is concerned, it is not supported in most cases. Which means unlocking an Android device’s bootloader will straightforward lead to destroying the warranty. Just not in the case of OnePlus or maybe Google itself.

Now, if you’re really interested in customizing your Android phone with third-party software, you will first need to unlock the bootloader. But in order to do that, you will be required to enable the ‘OEM unlocking’ option in the phone’s settings. We shall be covering it all below.

Table of Contents

What is OEM Unlocking?

Enable OEM Unlocking on Android

OEM Unlocking on Android is an option in the device’s Developer Options settings that needs to be enabled in order to unlock the bootloader. It was first introduced by Google in Android 5.0 Lollipop and is also sometimes referred to as “OEM Unlock”.

Enabling this option sets the “unlock_ability” flag to “1”, thus giving the user the ability to run the “fastboot flashing unlock” command to unlock the phone’s bootloader. Once enabled, this option stays persistent across reboots and factory data resets, until disabled manually.

The option itself is generally hidden to prevent any accidental access, just like “USB debugging”. It could also serve as a recovery process to revive your device if anything goes wrong with the software.

Why would you need to enable OEM Unlocking?

Before we even get to the instructions and enable OEM unlocking on Android, let us go through the complete understanding of the benefits and drawbacks of unlocking the bootloader. We will further be adding what actually “OEM unlocking” actually is and why is it necessary.

The standard process of installing a custom ROM, kernel, or some famous mods like ViPER4Android, etc would require your device to have root permissions. Rooting itself relies on a custom recovery like TWRP in most cases. Furthermore, installing a custom recovery would require you to have access to write the device’s partitions. A locked bootloader prevents just that. It wouldn’t allow you to overwrite or modify the existing partitions. Thus, the first step towards rooting an Android device is to unlock the bootloader.

The illustration below will help you further understand the process, in case everything in the above paragraph sounded confusing.

Enable OEM Unlocking on Android - Process of Rooting Android

So what is a bootloader? – It is a software program that runs from the minute your Android phone is turned ON. It is loaded with the instructions to boot the operating system kernel and OEM provides the required permission for the user to modify or access the bootloader. An unlocked bootloader will also allow flashing factory images in case of Google Nexus/Pixel, Razer and more.

An unlocked bootloader has its benefits, yes! But it also has a few disadvantages of its own. So before we head to the instructions to enable OEM unlocking on Android, take a look at a few common ones have been listed as follows:

  • The foremost disadvantage is that you’d lose your official warranty or support in the majority of cases. Except in case of some OEMs like OnePlus.
  • Second, your device will be wiped the instant you unlock the bootloader.
  • It may prevent you from using DRM-protected features or apps like Netflix on your Android device.

How to Enable OEM Unlocking on Android Devices

Over to the thing, we are actually here for today. We have split the instructions into three steps so that you can easily understand the complete procedure.

Step 1: Backup your Android Device

It is strongly advised to backup your device completely including the apps, messages, contacts, and internal storage. While enabling OEM unlocking itself wouldn’t erase the data stored on your device. It’s likely that you’ll proceed further to unlock the bootloader, which will result in a complete data wipe. You can follow our guide on how to backup Android devices.

Step 2: Enable Developer Options on Android

As we mentioned earlier, the option/switch itself is hidden by default under the “Developer options” menu. In order to enable OEM unlocking, you will first need to reveal/enable Developer Options in the phone’s settings.

  1. Go to the app drawer and open “Settings”.
  2. Scroll down and find the “System” section. If you’re using a device with Android Nougat or below, look directly for “About phone”.
  3. Tap on the “About phone” section. You shall then see the device information like Android version, security patch level, etc.
    Enable OEM Unlocking on Android - Developer Options - 1
  4. Find “Build number”.
  5. Tap 7 times on “Build number” rapidly. If you have a PIN/Password set, you will be prompted to enter it.
    Enable OEM Unlocking on Android - Developer Options - 2
  6. Post that, you shall see a toast notification towards the bottom of the screen, saying – “You’re now a developer!”.
    Enable OEM Unlocking on Android - Developer Options - 3
  7. Go back to the “System” section. On Android Nougat and below, simply go back to the main settings.
  8. You shall see a new section named “Developer options”.

You can now follow the instructions below to enable OEM unlocking on Android.

Step 3: Enable OEM Unlocking (OEM Unlock) on Android

  1. Go to “Settings” and tap on “System”.
  2. Select “Developer options”.
  3. Scroll down through the options and find the “OEM unlocking”.
    Enable OEM Unlocking on Android - 1
  4. Simply tap on the toggle next to it. Again, if you have a password/PIN set, you will be asked to enter it.
  5. You shall be prompted to confirm the process, so press “ENABLE”.
    Enable OEM Unlocking on Android - 2

So there you go, you now know what OEM Unlocking is and how to enable it on Android device. You may further go ahead and unlock the bootloader using the fastboot command. Once unlocked, you can easily install TWRP recovery and root your phone via Magisk.

That was easy now, wasn’t it? We hope the article was able to explain to you well about the whole concept. However, if you still have questions, then jump down to the comments below and ping us.

Comments

  1. I have a Samsung T235 (Tab 4 7.0″ LTE) after becoming a developer theres not OEM unlocking that i could enable. Any suggestions?

    1. Mark, I don’t think the OEM unlock switch exists on the Galaxy Tab 4 7.0. As far as I can tell, you can flash TWRP or Root binaries like SuperSU straightaway without having to worry about the bootloader unlocking part.

  2. I have a Galaxy S9+ and have enable developer options but OEM unlock is not in the list. I am trying to install Lineage OS and this is a requirement.

    1. Stephen, what’s the model number of your Galaxy S9+? You can find this info by going to ‘Settings’ > ‘About phone’.

  3. Hi I tap the build number 7 times but nothing happened and I also tap it several time but nothing happened again the “you are now developer” doesn’t pop out can you help me with my problem? also my phone is cloudfone brand

  4. I just bought huawei nova 7pro 5g..after I tap the build number Its says you are now a developer ..in developer options, I can find the USB debugging but the OEM options or unlocking is missing..anywhere else i can find that OEM..please..
    thanks a lot for the information and instructions

    1. You’re not seeing the “OEM unlocking toggle on your Huawei Nova 7 Pro because it doesn’t exist. Huawei officially stopped native bootloader unlocking back in 2018. More information on the same was covered by XDA-Developers.

      That being said, unofficial third-party methods do exist. But they are chargeable and moreover, you will need confirmation if it works or not. The one I know of is Funky Huawei. You could try searching that on Google.

  5. Hi
    I have a Samsung galaxy s6 active SM-G890A
    Even after enabling developer options , there is no OEM toggle
    Any clue how to activate the options
    thanks

    1. That’s why you’re not able to see the “OEM Unlocking” toggle. Samsung phones sold in the US, come with a non-unlockable bootloader. With old phones like the Galaxy S6 Active, this is enforced by the carrier (i.e. AT&T).

  6. Great tutorial! Can the snapdragon international version of the OnePlus Pro 7 be rooted? I know that the Note10 and Note20 require the exynos version to be rooted. I don’t know that the OnePlus Pro 7 even has the exynos version to begin with though.

    1. Yes, for sure it can be rooted. Those are pretty much Samsung shenanigans. Samsung phones in the US with a Snapdragon SoC cannot be rooted because bootloader unlocking isn’t allowed.

      With the OnePlus 7 Pro or any other OnePlus phone for that matter, things are extremely easy. We already have tutorials on unlocking the bootloader and rooting the OnePlus 7 Pro with Magisk.

    1. Hi Estew. As far as I know, there’s no way to root the SM-A102U, because it’s not possible to unlock the bootloader (according to what I researched upon seeing your comment).

  7. OEM unlocking automatically goes off as soon i turn on and go back and then again check it if is Off Why I am using redmi 5a android v.8.1

    1. Hi Ankur. I believe you’re trying to enable it for unlocking the bootloader, right?

      I know it is sort of a futile question, but please confirm it for me.

  8. ok so my lg g5 vs987 verizion even after factory reset and reboot and version update still does not show

    1. Hi Michael. I am afraid unlocking the bootloader on your specific model won’t be possible since Verizon has locked it from there end.

    2. I have a Google Pixel 2xl unlocked but the EOM Unlocking option is greyed out? Is there any option to complete the rooting process? Thanks!

    1. Hi Adit. I am afraid no. Yes, you can root your phone using another rooted phone, but that’s way more complex.

      You’d need the PC for bootloader unlocking (depends on your phone and the unlock method), as well as for flashing TWRP (or temporarily booting it on A/B devices).

  9. i have a galaxy s7 SM-G930FD, the OEM unlock option is available but once i click on it, the option is “turn on” instead of “enable”. once i pressed turn on, it automatically turn itself off. so i am stuck and not able to unlock OEM. Do you have any solution?

    1. So just to verify, as soon as you turn it ON, it automatically switches off by itself, right?

    2. Hi again. Thanks for answering. Have you tried performing a factory reset to see if it makes any difference?

    3. Okay. I believe you’re trying to enable it for flashing TWRP and further rooting the phone or installing a custom ROM on the phone, right?

    4. Hi again, Nilly. So, here’s what I want you to do:
      1) Download the latest TWRP TAR file for your phone from here: https://dl.twrp.me/herolte/twrp-3.3.1-0-herolte.img.tar.html
      2) Boot your Galaxy S7 into Download Mode and use Odin v3.13.1 or above (Download here) to flash TWRP to your phone. Make sure to uncheck “Auto Reboot” under the “Options” tab in Odin.
      3) Check if the process succeeds. Odin should show a “PASS!!” message.

      If it works, you have to boot your phone directly into TWRP. To do this, hold the Power + Volume Down buttons together for about 10 seconds. Now as soon as the screen turns off, quickly hold the Volume Up + Home + Power buttons together. Keep holding the buttons until you see the TWRP splash screen.

      Once the phone enters TWRP, let me know, I will guide you further.

      The most important part here is to check whether or not flashing TWRP via Odin succeeds without OEM unlocking.

    5. That’s great! I went back to the Galaxy S7 root/TWRP guide I wrote back and realized that OEM unlocking wasn’t there/required with the Galaxy S7/S7 Edge.

  10. Hey I have a Samsung Galaxy SM-A102U (Bulid #: A102UOYN6ATD6) with region: USA/US and carrier: BST. My firmware CSC, however, is XAA. Using adb I can fastboot bootloader, which leads to the Download(ing) recovery screen. However, it immediately disconnects from adb. It won’t let me use any commands as it therefore says I have no devices connected. I also have no option for toggling OEM Unlock under my Developer Options. Can you please guide me in the proper directions towards gaining root access for my phone? Please get back to me as soon as you can! Thank you!

    1. Hi Monica. The reason why you couldn’t see the OEM unlock toggle is because there’s no way to unlock the bootloader on the SM-A102U. It’s a Snapdragon variant with a non-unlockable bootloader.

      Without an unlocked bootloader, there’s no scope to root the phone. I have already deep researched about this over at XDA and couldn’t find anything on it. If there was a possibility, it would already be available/shared there.

      May I know why exactly do you want to root your phone?

    2. Umm I’m confused because I have the same phone and same issue except mine is through MetroPCS and states everywhere online these do infect have the Exynos 7 Octacore 7884 Chip. I’ve tried the Date trick to no avail and even few other tricks ive read online. If this is the case, why wont it work?

    3. Hi Heath, I think the device is locked on purpose, either by the carrier or by Samsung itself. There’s a long discussion on this topic over at XDA. Here’s the link. If there’s any progress, it could be found there.

      BTW, may I know why exactly are you trying to root your phone?

    4. Hi Alex. Rooting the S6 Active (SM-G890A) is only possible on Android 5.0 Lollipop. If your phone is running Marshmallow or Nougat, then I am afraid it’s not possible.

      For more details on why it’s not possible, please visit this and this XDA thread.

      I know there are several “so-called” guides and tutorials out there that claim to root the said model, but they are all wrong. The above two threads will help you understand that.

  11. Hey Dhananjay,
    I have gone through your helpful 2nd link and i clicked on a download link which took me xda developers official website there i clicked on the 3rd link which was under the sub-heading GitHub Source it took me to media fire’s portal where i can see a download of more than 900MB. so I want to ask you that I have to download the file shown there and flash the zip using my TWRP recovery ?
    and one more question, will i get the all the required apks (system apks) from first or I have to download them too ?
    Sorry Dhananjay I troubled you alot, but I don’t just do these all things from my mobile because I use all the latest phones only have a very old tab which I wanted to upgrade, none of the websites helped me, which you did alot !

    1. Hi Tony. Sorry, but would mind telling if you’ve already installed TWRP on your Tab 4 or are you just going to begin with it?

    2. Sorry but i don’t know what are magisk modules ! and i want to know how can i contact you with your phone number ? I’m very tired of asking 1 question in one day ! 😭

    3. Hi again, Tony. You can get in touch with me through our Facebook page. I would love and try to answer all your questions.

  12. i am using nokia 6.1 plus. nd there is option for OEM. but its hide nd m not be able to click it. how can i fiz it??

    1. Hi Shiva. That’s because the phone’s bootloader cannot be unlocked. Nokia doesn’t support it.

      May I know which software version is currently installed on your phone?

  13. My 1+7P OEM unlock is greyed out and none of the forums are discussing what to do WHEN the steps you take to open the Developer Options to get to OEM still won’t enable the OEM unlock.

    I’ve tried to ‘fastboot oem unlock’, but that won’t work until OEM Unlock on the phone has been done.

    I need help

    1. Hi Tanner. While the toggle is greyed out, is it turned ON or OFF?

      Have you connected your phone to the WiFi?

  14. Please please please Reply me,
    I want to install a custom rom on my old tab I have an samdung galaxy tab 4 (4.4.2) it is a old version so in developer options i cannot find OEM Unlocking option ! please tell me how can i solve my problem ?

    1. Hi Tony, I don’t think you’ll the OEM unlocking option for that tablet. It’s only applicable to new-gen Galaxy smartphones and tablets.

      May I know what’s the exact model number of the tablet?

    2. thanks, I’m just confirming= So you’re saying that my device has first only OEM unlocked ? and i don’t have to unlock it using my computer ?
      My model= SM-231

    3. Hi Tony. Please don’t use the official TWRP as it’s not compatible with your specific model. Instead, download and use the one from the XDA thread I linked in the previous comment.

    4. Please tell me a thing:
      When I downloaded the official TWRP apk from play store and selected my device and sucessfully downloaded the (twrp-3.0.0-0-matisse.img.tar) file for my device i tapped Flash to recovery it showed failed !
      what can I do now ?

    5. Okay thanks Alot for your co-operation and a great help. i will surely promote your page on my youtube channel Arrow gaming.

    6. Please can you do a last thing for me ?
      Can you please provide me a link where I can update my samsung galaxy tab 4 SM-T231 (4.4.2) to any higher version please help a last time. I cannot find any website providing me a custom rom for my exact model no.

    7. Hi again, Tony. All the ROMs for the Galaxy Tab 4 could be found on this page. However, most of them are for other models. The only one good ROM that I found for your model number was CyanogenMod 14.1 based on Android 7.1.2. Please check this thread for it.

  15. hi please i am using galaxy a8 and am not able to use the two sim, the extenal sdcard is also not working and the Bluetooth function is also not appearing in the connection section. please help me out

    1. Hi Donas. May I know how this happened in the first place? Did you try flashing firmware via Odin or something of that sort?

  16. Hola muy buenas como puedo activar el desbloqueo oem en un samsung s9 con android 10.
    El desbloqueo oem no lo encuentro en opción de desarrollador solo puedo activar depuración usb

    1. Hi Bryan. Could you please share the complete model number of your Samsung Galaxy S9?

    1. Hi Jockie. For the Note 3, you do not need to enable OEM unlocking. You can go straight ahead and flash unofficial binaries (TWRP, SuperSU, etc).

  17. Hi, I have an Alcatel Idol 3 5.5, I didnt enable oem unlocking and now my phone stocks at android title… Is there a way to enable OEM unlocking and flash the TWRP to it?
    I can’t get adb devices connected either due to that.
    Thanks!

    1. well…I downloaded aTWRP app on my phone… and reboot into recovery using it. It didnt work…
      But it’s ok now, I used Mobile Upgrade Q to restore it.
      Thanks!

    2. Hi Jack. The official app wouldn’t work since it requires root to install TWRP. Plus, only if your device is officially supported by TWRP.

      I tried a bit of searching and found an unofficial build of TWRP for the Idol 3. You can check this thread for more info. Of course, you will need to enable OEM unlocking first.

  18. I am trying to root my phone with king root and since I’m on 9.0 I can’t reach the OEM settings g because it’s not available. Is there another way I can get to OEM unblocking

    1. Hi Dauntae. Please mention your device name, model number, region, and carrier.

      Also, I wouldn’t advise using Kingroot. Such one-click root solutions could cause more harm than they do good. Plus, it hasn’t been updated yet to support devices running Android 7 Nougat or above.

    1. Hi Greg. It depends on the situation in which your Android device is in. This tutorial is for those whose device(s) are up and running without any problems (say bootloop, hard /soft brick, etc).

  19. I have Note 8 SM-950U on android 9.
    I don’t see the option of OEM Unlock in Developer setting?
    I want to change my CSC from SPR (sprint) to CCT (unknown, unbranded).
    Please help
    I shall be much thankful.

    1. Hi. Your phone is the Snapdragon variant of the Galaxy Note 8. The phone does not support bootloader unlocking, and that’s why the toggle is not available.

      If you wish to switch CSC, then you should download the files and follow the instructions here.

  20. hey i have a Kyocera model c6742 and after enabling developer options it doesn’t show me the option of oem unlocking. can you please help

    1. Hi Edwin. That’s because the phone is locked by the carrier itself. I believe you will need to get in touch with your carrier support team to do it.

  21. I have the same problem as this person
    My model number is SM-G955U and mine is at&t
    I’ve read that mine won’t have the OEM unlock option but I’m trying to figure out how to get it

  22. Hello, i have a problem. I have a Zenfone 3 (ZE520KL) and i doesn’t have the OEM option. What cai i do to change that?

    1. Hi Akash. Please state your phone, model, and share a screenshot of the error message if possible.

  23. Hi i’m using pexel 2 xl and trying to do OEM unlock. like the others the option is grey out. and i tried to type in command “fastboot getvar all” in powershell but it’s showing now for couple minutes already without anything else. what can i do?

    1. Hi Willy. The issue was reported a while back and could be fixed. All you have to do is, factory reset (Factory Reset: Settings -> System -> Reset Options -> Erase all data) the device. Once your phone boots after that, simply connect to the WiFi or carrier internet during the initial setup. After that, the OEM unlocking toggle should be visible under ‘Developer options’.

      This will wipe the phone, so make sure to take a backup first including the internal storage.

    2. After i turned on oem unlock it go to factory reset and every think return back to factory default(oem unlock) unthick

    3. Hi. Although odd, I did face the same issue on my cousin’s Honor 9 Lite, back when bootloader unlocking was allowed by Huawei. It was automatically fixed after a firmware update.

      I do think that doing a full phone reset might be helpful. Have you tried it yet? Note that factory resetting will wipe all the data on the device.

      Also, do let me know the device name, model number, and the Android version installed on it.

  24. I need help my Nokia 3 was system updated to Android 8.1, I unlocked developer options but the OEM unlocking is just greyed out and I can’t use it, plz if you can chat to me via email

    1. Hello. I am sorry, but I am afraid that Nokia doesn’t officially allow Nokia 3 users to unlock the bootloader yet. Maybe that is why the toggle isn’t available.

      Out of curiosity, can you please share a screenshot of it?

    1. Hi, please boot your 6T into Bootloader mode and tell me what the “Device State” is showing?

    2. Hi Dennis. Have you tried doing a factory reset? This might help. Long back (About a year ago, give or take) the Pixel devices faced the same issue and it was solved by doing a factory reset via stock recovery.

  25. On my Huawei Mate 9, even if I enable the Developer Options, the OEM unlock option is greyed out. I am unable to proceed with unlocking it. Could you please assist in the same?

    1. Hi Vanshu, can you please share a screenshot of the same? (Use Imgur or Google Photos)

      Also, boot your Mate 9 into Bootloader mode and share a photo of that as well.

    1. Please share the result (The output of the CMD/PowerShell window) after you enter the “fastboot getvar all” command while the phone is in fastboot mode.

    2. Then what did it show in output? Please copy that and past that in the comment. If you’re not able to get it, you can contact me via Facebook. I will try my best to help you there.

    3. I am not familiar with using facebook Is that you I see on the Dhananjay page?

  26. I have a moto g5 plus and when I go developer options my oem unlocking is grayed out what can I do about that?

    1. Please boot into fastboot mode and then execute the following command in PowerShell/CMD window: fastboot getvar all

      Then please share the output with me.

    2. I ran the command fastboot getvar all and the oem unlocking is still grayed out.

    3. The OEM unlock option is NOT what I am talking about.

      Please re-read the steps I stated in the last comment. The PowerShell/CMD window will show a list of data after entering that command. If you’re still confused, please drop me a message on the Facebook page.

    4. Sorry about the misunderstanding I ran the getvar command and it worked I am ready for the next step Thanks

    1. Hello Kevin, please state the Galaxy S8+ model number and region/carrier that it belongs too.

    2. I have the same problem as this person
      My model number is SM-G955U and mine is at&t
      I’ve read that mine won’t have the OEM unlock option but I’m trying to figure out how to get it

    3. Hi. The Snapdragon variants do not support bootloader unlocking and thus, you’re not seeing an OEM Unlocking toggle.

    1. Hi Umair, do you mean turning on the OEM unlock option?
      The process should be the same. You first need to enable ‘Developer Options’ and once that is enabled, you will find the OEM unlock option.

    2. I have a Galaxy S8+, and when I open developer options, there is NO OEM toggle. Why might this be?

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