Android Bootloader Explained: Is It Good To Unlock One?

Shivendra Nath


Introduction to Android Bootloader:

If you are an android smartphone user, you might have heard the term Bootloader from any of your friends or by any family member. But have you ever stopped and thought about the android bootloader. What is it and how it is crucial for your smartphone functionality? This blog post will almost cover every aspect of it, So keep reading.

So now let’s talk about the bootloader. In simple terms, a Bootloader is a tool that initializes the kernel and loads each and every important component of the Operating System (OS). Furthermore, it helps the smartphone to boot into Android OS when the device is powered on.

You can think of a bootloader as the BIOS of a computer. Just like the BIOS help the computer in its booting process likewise Bootloader helps in the booting process of the smartphone. When we talk about different android smartphone manufacturers, they usually provide locked bootloaders to their end-users.

However, you can unlock the bootloader of a smartphone by following certain steps. In addition to that, you should also know that every device manufacturer has different methods of unlocking the bootloader. So now the big question arises that should you unlock the bootloader of your Android Smartphone? Well, the answer varies according to the situation let’s discuss it in detail in the next section.

Whether you should unlock Android Bootloader or not?

As I have previously mentioned the answer to this question varies depending upon the situation. For example, if you are happy enough about the Android OS and features provided by the device manufacturer, then you should not unlock the bootloader. On the other hand, if you are a pro android user and want to change the OS of your smartphone. Or Want to add or remove certain features to or from it then you may unlock the bootloader.

But the main thing is if you know what you are doing then there is no problem with that. I am saying this because if you commit any mistake after unlocking the bootloader then your phone will become unusable. And can only work as a paperweight and nothing else which is a serious consequence. So now let’s have a look at the pros and cons of unlocking a bootloader.

Pros and cons of unlocking bootloader:


Custom ROMs:

Once you have unlocked the Bootloader you can install the custom ROM on your device. If the device manufacturer has given a bulky UI design to the smartphone, you can change it by using a custom ROM. Moreover, Flashing Custom ROM can give you the latest android version with an updated security patch.

System Apps:

After unlocking the bootloader you can also delete manufacturer-specific apps. When you attempt to delete those apps, they are not get deleted instead they get disabled. So after unlocking the bootloader, you can permanently erase those kinds of apps.

Custom Recovery:

Many devices come with a stock recovery option. And that is somewhat limited, after unlocking the bootloader you can get the option of custom recovery.

Run Linux on your Android:

Android is based on the Linux kernel. Moreover, there are several rooted apps that enable us to run Linux OS on our smartphones if we want to do so.

Latest Android:

When your device is no longer receiving the latest android version, then you can do it by yourself by unlocking the bootloader. With an unlocked bootloader, you can always have the latest android experience from time to time.

Custom Kernel:

With an unlocked bootloader, you can flash a custom kernel and change your device performance. For those who don’t know about the kernel, it is nothing but the bridge between the device hardware and the software.

So now the time has come to see the cons of unlocking the bootloader and they are mentioned below.

Cons of unlocking the Android Bootloader:

Device completely gets formatted:

After you unlock the bootloader on your android smartphone each and every local file on your device gets wiped out. Files can be images, videos, documents etc.

Less Secure:

After unlocking your device will become less secure and can be easily exploited by some other person.

Brick Your Device:

Any mistake in Flashing a new ROM on the device may make it useless. And as I have mentioned earlier in this blog post, it can be only used as a paperweight.

Void Warranty:

Every device manufacturer has different policies related to unlocking the Bootloader. Some device manufacturers void the warranty after unlocking the bootloader and some do not.

Why manufacturers distribute locked bootloader device in market?

The answer to the question is that the device manufacturer wants a more controlled end-user experience for those people who buy their devices. And this will ultimately cut the unnecessary support requirements from the end-users. That’s the reason why device manufacturers sell their devices with the locked bootloader.

Final Thoughts:

Just like everything has merits and demerits. And this goes well with unlocking the bootloader. Furthermore, for a pro-Android user, it can be a way to tweak his/ her smartphone experience as he/she wants. Moreover, if you want to unlock the bootloader of your device, then I will say that please read the instructions carefully. Because a single mistake can brick your phone which is not good after all. I also want to say that some manufacturers, make you agree to their terms when talking about unlocking the bootloader. So read those carefully. I hope that this article has given you insights into the Android Bootloader. That’s all for this post. Thanks for Reading and also Stay Safe.


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