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[Development] How to unlock the Bootloader of an Android phone via Fastboot

(This post was last modified: 12-20-2017, 03:41 PM by hovatek. )

Unlike in some other devices, you don't necessarily need to unlock the bootloader to flash a custom ROM to your Mediatek (MTK), Spreadtrum (SPD) Android phone. You don't even need bootloader (fastboot) to flash a custom recovery since Mediatek has SP Flash tool and Spreadtrum has Research / Upgrade download tool amidst several Chinese boxes. There are however certain scenarios where fastboot is the only feasible way to get a custom recovery loaded to your device from which you can then root, backup or install a custom ROM. This guide will explain how to unlock the Bootloader on a Mediatek (MTK), Spreadtrum (SPD) or Qualcomm (QLM) Android phone, an important prerequisite for flashing a custom recovery via fastboot.


  • This guide isn't guaranteed to work on all Mediatek, Spreadtrum & Qualcomm Android phones
  • Ensure to backup your important stuff because unlocking your Bootloader wipes your phone's data (/userdata)


How to unlock a Mediatek, Spreadtrum or Qualcomm Android phone's Bootloader via fastboot

  1. Open the adb folder

    [Image: Hovatek-How-to-unlock-the-Bootloader-of-...hone-1.jpg]

  2. Hold Shift (on the keyboard) then right-click on a blank space in the folder > Select Open Command window here

    [Image: Hovatek-How-to-unlock-the-Bootloader-of-...hone-2.jpg]

  3. Command prompt screen (adb) should now be open

    [Image: Hovatek-How-to-unlock-the-Bootloader-of-...hone-3.jpg]

  4. Connect the phone to PC (via USB cord) while ON then run the command below (by "run", I mean type then press Enter

    adb devices
  5. [Image: Hovatek-How-to-unlock-the-Bootloader-of-...hone-4.jpg]

  6. If you've setup everything right, the device should get detected under List of devices attached

    [Image: Hovatek-How-to-unlock-the-Bootloader-of-...hone-5.jpg]

  7. Run the command below to get the phone into Bootloader (fastboot)

    adb reboot-bootloader
  8. [Image: Hovatek-How-to-unlock-the-Bootloader-of-...hone-6.jpg]

  9. The phone should now boot into fastboot

    [Image: how-to-remove-bypass-frp-google-account-...-3-min.jpg]

  10. In fastboot, test detection / connection to the device using

    fastboot devices
  11. [Image: Hovatek-How-to-unlock-the-Bootloader-of-...hone-7.jpg]

  12. If fastboot is set up right, you should see its ID printed out

    [Image: Hovatek-How-to-unlock-the-Bootloader-of-...hone-8.jpg]

  13. Now, check the phone's Bootloader status (if its locked or unlocked)

    fastboot getvar unlocked
  14. [Image: Hovatek-How-to-unlock-the-Bootloader-of-...hone-9.jpg]

  15. If the Bootloader is already unlocked then you should see "Unlocked"; you can stop following this guide from here.

    [Image: Hovatek-How-to-unlock-the-Bootloader-of-...one-10.jpg]

  16. If the Bootloader is still locked, you should see Unlocked: no

    [Image: Hovatek-How-to-unlock-the-Bootloader-of-...one-12.jpg]

  17. Run the command below to unlock Bootloader

    fastboot oem unlock
  18. If that doesn't work then try

    fastboot oem unlock-go
  19. [Image: Hovatek-How-to-unlock-the-Bootloader-of-...one-13.jpg]

  20. You should get a prompt (on the phone) asking you to press Volume up to  confirm or Volume down to cancel. Press Volume up on the phone (for some phones its actually the opposite; Volume down would confirm while up would cancel or do nothing)

  21. Once Bootloader is unlocked, reboot the phone using

    fastboot reboot
  22. The phone might take a while to boot up (since its a first boot) so be patient
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