Mi Devices Bootloader Unlocking FAQ

Here’re some FAQ you need to know.

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 apply?
Head towards http://en.miui.com/unlock for English site and apply for unlocking. You shall reach the page showing application form like this.

If the English site is not working on Chrome, do try on other browsers or clear cache data of your browser. You can also apply using your device with default Mi browser on your phone. It shall automatically detect your logged in Mi account once you’re on the unlocking site.

Please submit the real reason why you want to unlock your phone. Copied reasons from other tutorials/ blog might cause your unlock application to be rejected and even blacklisted. 
Do submit your reason in English only.Many users are stuck in input name section, do apply without number/spaces and symbol.

Examples of copied reason which will cause your application fail immediately

-to install localized firmware
-我明白解锁的设置 它给我的介绍是 重新设置我的原本语言 谢谢

How long does it take to receive the SMS from Xiaomi?
Check what is showing on the webpage http://en.miui.com/unlock/ occasionally. Once the download Mi Unlock Tool webpage is shown means you’ve been approved. Currently, we only support on Windows.

If your application is rejected then tap on the “reapply” option shown on the webpage or apply here:

Unlocking Bootloader Procedure
Make sure your PC has necessary drivers and you’re on official MIUI ROM before you start to unlock ( Mi PC SUITEDownload Mi Flash Here)

What to do after received the approval SMS?
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.

Most of the users are stuck in step 2
1. If you’re facing “10008 参数错误、 请参考API文档” error, kindly use a working VPN and select cities (Eg: Shanghai) in China to bind it. I’ve forwarded this issue to developers, hopefully a new fix will be released soon.2. If you’re facing couldn’t verify, please wait a minute or two/ No Network/ other 8XXXX related errors when adding Mi Account in Mi Unlock Status.
– Remove your current logged in Mi Account (Settings–> Mi Account) from your device.
– Then, head back Settings>Additional Settings>Developers Option>Mi Unlock Status. Tap on the add Mi Account and you’ll be asked to login Mi Account again, you shall be able to bind the account successfully.3. Log into the Mi account which has acquired unlocking permission on your device.
4. Once you logged into the Mi Unlock Tool, tap on the top right gear button 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’. The unlocking process will complete in about 10 seconds

1. Follow the timer/waiting period shown in the Mi Unlock Tool to unlock successfully, you’ll see this sentence “Couldn’t unlock the device after XXXX hours” which actually means “Please unlock after XXX hours.” There is some translation issue in Mi Unlock Tool.
2. After you’ve successfully bound your Mi Account, do not logout the approved Mi account from your phone. Otherwise, the timer will be reset and you gotta spend more time waiting again.


For those who have bricked device, do visit the nearest service center to repair your phone or check out unbricking tutorial in your device subforum.

Kedacom USB device problem
For those who received permission to unlock but still stuck, please check out this section. You might be facing problem due to kedacom USB problem especially for those who are using Windows 10 which causes your PC fails to detect the device in fastboot mode. Download Mi Flash Here.

First Method
1. Boot into fastboot mode (Hold Volume Down+Power), a Mi bunny image will be shown. Plug your device into the computer.
2. Open Device Manager and search for Kedacom USB Device, double-click on Android Bootloader Interface,  then click Uninstall, tick Delete Driver Software for this device then OK
3. Unplug and reconnect your phone (phone state is still in fastboot mode)

In this stage, you will see that driver is reinstalling and show Android Device as Android Bootloader Interface, once the driver finished updating it will revert back to Kedacom. The Kedacom driver won’t allow you to unlock or perform any kind of fastboot commands. To solve this,

4. Double click on Android Bootloader Interface again under Kedacom again
5. Under ‘Driver’ tab, click Roll Back Driver, press OK
Since the driver is all right now, head towards Mi Unlock Tool and you should be able to unlock.
Second Method
1. Open and login your account with Mi Unlock Tool and minimize it.
2. Once you’re logged in then disconnect your internet connection.
3. Boot into fastboot mode (Hold Volume Down+Power), a Mi bunny image will be shown. Plug your device into the computer.
4. Open Device Manager and search for Kedacom USB Device, double click on Android Bootloader Interface,  then click Uninstall, tick Delete Driver Software for this device then OK
5. Unplug and reconnect your phone (phone state is still in fastboot mode)
6. Device manager will start blinking and an Android Phone will appear, wait till driver installing window disappear after you plugged your device
7. After the driver installing windows is gone then reconnect your Internet.
8. Open the Mi Unlocking Tool wait till it detects your device.
9. Once it’s shown then tap on Unlock

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 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 which 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 inconveniences 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.

Download Mi Unlock App 

Download Mi PC Suite
MiSetup3.2.1.3111_2717.zip (38.9 MB, Downloads: 29866) 

Source from: http://en.miui.com/thread-246705-1-1.html

Author: Melody X

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