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[Announcement] Mi Devices Bootloader Unlocking FAQ: Announcement, Troubleshoot, and Tips

2019-06-27 21:08:04
1499553 2

Here's some FAQ you need to know.  
* For those who have bricked their device, do visit the nearest service center to repair your phone. You can't add the Mi account in the settings the device is not bootable/ boot loop.

* For Android One users, please check out the unlocking tutorial in your device subforum. You don't have to go through the procedures mentioned here.

*Bind your Mi account and remember not to logout your Mi account from your device. Do manage your Mi account details (i.e: mobile number) here:

How to apply? (new*)

The process is simplified and permission is granted automatically. You don't have to fill in any application form or wait for the SMS anymore. Log in and head towards . Download the Mi Unlock Tool (picture above) from the site and proceed to unlock. A waiting period and instruction will then be displayed in Mi Unlock Tool. Use your phone actively during the waiting period.

Download Mi Unlock App (latest*)

The previous version of Mi Unlock Tool:

Unlocking Bootloader Procedure
1. You must ensure that your device functions normally(not in bricked, soft-bricked, bootloop state) as you need to add the Mi account in the settings.
2. Your PC has necessary drivers and you're on the latest official MIUI ROM before you start to unlock.
3. Please insert your SIM card before proceeding to unlock.

What to do after obtained approval to unlock?
1. Settings--- About phone--- MIUI Version (Keep tapping it to enable developer option).
2. Settings--- Additional settings--- Developer option and bind your approved Mi account under Mi Unlock Status.
3. Log into the Mi account which has acquired unlocking permission on your device.
4. When you logged into the Mi Unlock Tool, tap on the top-right gear icon to check the update for both USB driver and Mi Unlock Tool. Make sure you're running the latest version.
5. Turn off your device, press the Power button and Volume - button at the same time to enter bootloader mode.
6. Log into the unlocking tool on PC with the same Mi account. Connect the device to the PC using USB cable
7. Press 'Unlock' and follow the timer/ waiting period shown in Mi Unlock Tool to unlock successfully.

1. Follow the timer/ waiting period shown in Mi Unlock Tool to unlock successfully.
2. After you've successfully bound your Mi Account, do not factory reset/ log out the approved Mi account from your phone. Otherwise, the timer will be reset and you gotta spend more time waiting again.
3. Use another PC (64-bit) to unlock if MI Unlock Tool fails to detect your device/ unknown error.

- If you're facing "Couldn't verify, please wait a minute or two/ No Network/86012/20091 " related errors when adding Mi Account in Mi Unlock Status. File a bug report via Settings--- Feedback,  attach the screenshot of the errors and the bug log directly from your phone. Don't spam the forum with multiple threads across subforum.

- If you're facing "User Portrait Scores Too Low Or Black", please create or use a new Mi Account to unlock.

Steps to reproduce the error
i. Logout your current Mi account from your phone.
ii. After you removed the account, reboot your phone.
iii. Then, add and bind the account again at the developer settings--- Mi Unlock Tool so that the error is reproduced.

Why did Mi lock the bootloader for Mi devices?
Mi is an international brand now, but it's only in few countries currently, and is still in the stage of expanding its international market. So it's difficult for users from countries where Mi is not officially sold to buy Mi phones. Many users have taken the risk of buying from an unofficial reseller. But they sometimes get fake Mi phones, or Mi phones with unofficial ROM loaded with bloatware. You guys must have seen some users asking in the forum whether their Mi phones are genuine, or that they have weird ROM version installed on their new phones. This is really bad for user experience, and it might even cause property loss if some malware are installed. This situation also exists in China market.

Another problem Mi users have often encountered is that, after their Mi phones are lost or stolen, the person who got the device could easily flash a new ROM into it, and makes it almost impossible for our users to get their phones back. In the recent MIUI developer version update, we've added a feature that needs users to enter their Mi account info to use the phone after doing a full wipe. But if an ill-intentioned person knows how to use fastboot method to flash ROMs, this will not stop him/her from gaining control of the phone.

Based on the above two reasons, we've decided to lock the bootloader. We've also made changes to Mi Cloud's 'Find Device' function, and adjusted system update's verifying logic. By these combined methods, user data can be better protected, and user experience can also be improved.

What Mi devices are locked?
Mi 4c, Redmi Note 3, Mi Note Pro, Redmi 3, Mi 4S, Mi 5 and Mi devices launched in the year 2016 onwards

How to check whether the bootloader is locked/unlocked?
The status of bootloader can be checked in the following process.
-The unlocker tool will show the message of "Unlocked".
- An "Unlocked" word will be shown when booting.
- Advanced users can check the bootloader status via cmd

Flashing full ROM in unlocked bootloader will lock the bootloader again?
No, the bootloader will remain unlocked unless you choose clean all and lock option during fastboot.

What do you need to know about unlocking?
First and foremost you can only unlock your own device. This means the unlocking tool you downloaded must be logged in with the same Mi account on your device. One Mi account could only unlock one device within 30 days

Isn't locking bootloader against Mi's 'geek' spirit?
Locking bootloader is aimed to provide a better user experience, which we've been trying to do the whole time. In the meantime, we've provided an unlocking tool for senior users who know their ways around flashing and tweaking their devices.

The unlocking procedure will need Internet access to get the unlocking password. Also, the Mi Account logged in on the Mi phone and the unlocking tool needs to be the same. Otherwise, the unlocking request will be denied. This will ensure that ill-intentioned people will not get access to your personal data.

What will change after locking bootloader?
- Locking bootloader will not affect normal OTA updates
- ROOT will be disabled if the user has enabled it before. Enabling ROOT will need to unlock bootloader
- Recovery mode is changed. Updating via Recovery will need to use Mi PC Suite
- Devices with locked bootloader cannot update using Miflash. Users need to unlock bootloader if they want to flash Fastboot ROMs.

The risks stated above do not fully cover changes which may be brought about by Mi Unlock. We will keep improving Mi Unlock in order to prevent the cases when unauthorized vendors unlock Mi devices to install third-party apps that worsen MIUI user experience and cannot to be deleted. Locked devices also provide you with high-quality security features, such as Find device, and other added-value services. We're sorry for any inconvenience our policies may cause. Please think twice before unlocking if you are not familiar with ROM flashing.

Final note, if you don't know that much about Android, flashing, custom ROMs etc. It's not recommended for you to unlock the bootloader. It might cause serious damage to your device or personal data.


Number of participants 24 Experience +26 Pack Reason

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2019-06-27 21:08:04
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Super moderator

feds64 | from MI 9


Helpful to clarify those unlocking issues.
2019-06-27 23:37:14

Super moderator

AP1972 | from MI 9


Useful explanation for users.
2019-06-28 17:08:45
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Vincent Khoo

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