If you want to install a custom recovery, a custom ROM, or root your Xiaomi device, then you must first unlock the bootloader. Xiaomi Mi Unlock tool is the official utility software provided by the manufacturer that allows users to unlock the bootloader on their Xiaomi phone (Including Redmi and Poco devices). Through this post, you can download the latest version of the Xiaomi Mi Unlock Tool and learn how to unlock the bootloader on any Xiaomi device using it. This
Xiaomi is very open when it comes to custom (third-party) development or modding. The manufacturer already provides the users with their official Mi Flash Tool which can be used to flash MIUI Fastboot ROM in case users want to restore the stock firmware or unbrick their devices.
But in order to use the flash tool or to perform any other sorts of modifications to your phone’s (or tablet’s) software, the bootloader must be unlocked first. And for this very same purpose, the OEM has provided the Xiaomi Mi Unlock Tool. It’s a very light-weight and portable software that supports any Windows 10, Windows 8.1/8, Windows 7, or a Windows XP PC.
In this guide, I will show you how to use the Xiaomi Mi Unlock Tool to unlock the bootloader on any Xiaomi devices. Now before you get to the download links and instructions, let us take a quick look at why you would want to unlock your phone’s bootloader in the first place, followed by some of its cons/disadvantages.
- 1 Why Would You Need to Unlock the Bootloader?
- 2 Some Disadvantages of Unlocking Bootloader
- 3 Download Xiaomi Mi Unlock Tool
- 4 Before You Proceed
- 5 How to Use Xiaomi Mi Unlock Tool to Unlock Bootloader
- 6 Common Error Messages in Mi Unlock Tool
Why Would You Need to Unlock the Bootloader?
There could several reasons why you would need or want to unlock your phone’s bootloader. For starters, if you want to move away from the pre-installed MIUI firmware/software, which could be done by installing a custom recovery like TWRP and then flashing a supported custom ROM via it. Or, if you want to root your phone to gain additional features within the current firmware or just to get rid of the pre-installed system apps (bloatware). With all these things, you will get to enjoy an experience that’s precisely tailored to your needs and liking.
Like any other Android OEM, Xiaomi also locks the bootloader on their phones to ensure their integrity and to prevent them from being vulnerable malware attacks. So, to do any of the things mentioned above, you will need to unlock the bootloader on your Xiaomi device first.
Some Disadvantages of Unlocking Bootloader
Unlocking the bootloader is exciting and can open gateways to a lot of things like I just mentioned. However, it comes with some disadvantages too. These are presented in the pointers below.
- The Android OS puts several security measures in place when the bootloader is locked like FRP, Device Encryption, Anti-rollback, etc. So, while an unlocked bootloader on your phone allows you to modify the software, but it could also make your device less secure and vulnerable to malware.
- Unlocking the bootloader on Xiaomi devices also disables the use of certain proprietary software like Find Device and value-added services. So while you may gain extra functionality and features, you may lose some others at the same time.
- The process of unlocking also erases all the data stored on your device. This includes messages, call logs, photos, videos, music, and everything inside the device’s internal storage.
Now, if you really want to unlock the bootloader on your phone, go ahead, download Xiaomi Mi Unlock Tool and follow the instructions on how to use it.
Download Xiaomi Mi Unlock Tool
The latest version available for download is Mi Unlock Tool v3.5.1128.45. It supports and can be used on any Xiaomi/Redmi device including recently released Redmi Note 8 and Poco X2 as well. Download links for all the previous versions of the tool have been provided below as well, should you need them.
Again, this tool is a portable extract-and-use software, which means there’s no need for installation. You can just download the tool from below, extract the ZIP package, run the executable and start using it.
|Mi Unlock Tool Version||Filename||Download Link|
|v3.5.1128.45 (Latest version)||miflash_unlock-en-3.5.1128.45.zip||Download link|
Before You Proceed
- You will require a Windows PC and a good quality USB cable compatible with your phone.
- Unlocking your phone’s bootloader will erase all the data stored on it. This includes the installed apps, messages, contacts, music, videos, documents, and everything that’s on the phone’s internal storage. So, make sure that you have taken a complete backup of all your important data before you go any further. If you need it, we also have a guide here for this purpose.
- In order for the unlock tool to recognize your phone over USB, you must have the proper drivers installed on the PC. You can download the latest Xiaomi mobile USB drivers from here.
How to Use Xiaomi Mi Unlock Tool to Unlock Bootloader
Below, you will find the step-by-step instructions on how to unlock the bootloader on any Xiaomi/Redmi device using the Mi Unlock Tool. We will follow a three-step approach towards the bootloader unlocking process so that it’s easier for you to understand how it works.
In brief: The first step is to enable the ‘OEM Unlocking’ option in your phone’s settings menu. The second step is to bind your Mi account to your Xiaomi device to verify that the particular device has the required permissions. The third and final step is to launch the Mi Unlock Tool on your PC and use it to unlock your phone’s bootloader.
Make sure that you follow the steps below in the mentioned order. It would also be a good idea to go through the instructions once before you start performing them.
Step 1: Enable ‘OEM Unlocking’ on your Xiaomi Device
‘OEM Unlocking’ is basically a switch that’s hidden within the settings menu of your phone. In order to unlock the bootloader, this switch must be enabled first. To enable it:
- Go to ‘Settings‘ > ‘About phone‘ on your phone.
- Scroll down and find the ‘MIUI Version‘ section.
- Continuously tap on the MIUI version for 5 (five) times to enable the hidden ‘Developer options’ on your Xiaomi phone.
- You should see the ‘You’re now a developer!‘ message on the screen.
- Go to ‘Settings‘ > ‘Additional settings‘ > ‘Developer options‘.
- Find the ‘OEM Unlocking‘ option and turn on the toggle right next to it.
- Tap on ‘Enable‘ when prompted to finally enable OEM Unlocking on your Xiaomi phone.
Step 2: Bind your Mi Account to your Xiaomi Device
Applying for bootloader unlocking permissions isn’t required anymore, but you still need to bind your Mi account to your Xiaomi phone in order to unlock the bootloader. This could be done via the ‘Mi Unlock Status’ menu within ‘Developer options’.
First, make sure that you have a Mi account. If you do not have one yet, you can sign up for it on the official page. Second, make sure that you have your SIM card inserted in the phone and it should be the same phone number that you used while registering your Mi account. And third, disconnect your Xiaomi phone from the WiFi and enable the carrier mobile data. All three of these things are mandatory for successfully binding your Mi account.
Once set, go to ‘Settings‘ > ‘Additional settings‘ > ‘Developer options‘ > ‘Mi Unlock Status‘ on your phone. Tap on ‘Add account and device‘ and log in with your Mi account by following the on-screen instructions. Once the account has been successfully added, you should see ‘Added successfully. Mi account is associated with this device now.‘ toast notification on your phone’s screen.
Step 3: Unlock the Bootloader using Mi Unlock Tool
Now that your Mi account is successfully associated with your Xiaomi phone, follow the instructions listed below to finally unlock the bootloader using the Mi Unlock Tool.
- Power off your phone completely.
- Boot your phone into Fastboot Mode by simultaneously holding the Volume Down and Power buttons together.
- You should see the Fastboot screen with Mi bunny mascot figure.
- Connect your phone to the PC via a USB cable.
- Download the Mi Unlock Tool zip file and extract it on your PC using 7Zip or any other archive utility.
- Launch the unlock tool on your PC by double-clicking the extracted ‘miflash_unlock.exe‘ executable file.
- Log into your Mi account in the tool’s GUI.
- The tool will verify whether your Mi account has been correctly bound to the connected phone.
- Once the verification is complete, you should see a new window showing the ‘Phone connected‘ message.
⇒ If you see any error messages at this stage, please refer to the common error messages listed towards the bottom of this page.
- Click on the ‘Unlock‘ button in the Mi Unlock Tool window.
- Select ‘Unlock anyway‘ when prompted to finally unlock the bootloader of your Xiaomi device.
The progress of the unlocking process will be shown in the tool’s GUI. During this process, all the data on your phone will also be erased. Once finished, you should see the ‘Unlocked successfully’ message.
Click on the ‘Reboot phone’ button to reboot your phone into the system (OS). You should also see the unlocked bootloader warning message on the screen during the initial phase of the booting process. Don’t worry, it is normal. Once your phone boots, follow the on-screen instructions to set up your device and log into your Google/Mi account.
Common Error Messages in Mi Unlock Tool
|Not connected to the phone||This message will show up if the Mi Unlock Tool fails to recognize your phone over fastboot mode. This is generally caused due to missing drivers. So make sure that you have the latest Xiaomi ADB/Fastboot USB Drivers installed on the PC and retry.|
|Current account is not bound to this device||The message will show up if your Mi account is not properly associated with your phone. To fix this, reboot your phone back into the OS and refollow the instructions from Step #2 above.|
After 720/360/168/72 hours of trying to unlock the device
|It's highly unlikely to get this message. But in case you do, make sure to wait for the mentioned time period and then try unlocking the bootloader again.|
Note: Do not log out/remove your Mi account or perform a factory reset on your Poco X2 during this waiting period. Doing so will reset the wait timer and you might have to wait for the unlocking permissions for even longer.
Voila! You have just unlocked the bootloader on your Xiaomi Device using the Mi Unlock Tool. You can now go ahead and install a custom recovery, custom ROMs, and even root your phone. You can look up for your device-specific guide by using the search tool of our website.
If you have any questions regarding bootloader unlocking or feel stuck anywhere during the process, please feel free to let us know. Please do mention your Xiaomi device’s name when seeking help.