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How To Unlock Bootloader On Motorola Phones: Complete Guide


Jun 14, 2024 • Filed to: Remove Screen Lock • Proven solutions

When talking about unlocking Motorola phones or any other Android phones for that matter, there is one term you will come across frequently. That term is - bootloader. Often there is talk of unlocking bootloader while unlocking Motorola phone, and you might not know what it is all about. That is why this guide here will tell you all about bootloader and how to unlock Motorola bootloader.

motorola unlock bootloader

Part I: What Is Bootloader?

locked motorola bootloader

It begins with one question: what is a bootloader? Think of bootloader as an interface between your hardware and software that tells your Android operating system how to boot up. If you are conversant with computer terminology, think of an Android bootloader akin to BIOS in a computer. The bootloader initiates the kernel and loads the system software and components required to boot into the Android OS you know and love. Bootloader today is also responsible for other things, such as the security of the environment. The bootloader is responsible for a trusted boot sequence. This means that bootloader is designed to ensure that device firmware is not tinkered with. In other words, a locked bootloader means you cannot unlock your device as that would mean changing parameters that the bootloader will not allow you to, unless the bootloader is unlocked. So, if you want to install a new Android version that did not come from Motorola itself on your Motorola phone, you will need to unlock Motorola bootloader to be able to install that ROM on the phone.

Part II: Should I Unlock Motorola Bootloader?

Under normal circumstances, an everyday user wouldn't even know or care about bootloader, let alone unlocking it. However, those users who want to install custom ROMs on their Motorola phones need to know how to unlock Motorola bootloader. The next obvious question on your mind would be if it is safe to do so.

Normally, Motorola boot loader unlocking is not recommended for security reasons. An unlocked bootloader means that your system software is at risk, and any app can inject malicious code that would pose a great risk to your data security and privacy. Our smartphones carry our lives today! However, if you know what you are doing, unlocking a bootloader is a safe thing to do. That's because it is also needed for certain tasks, such as installing custom ROMs. Why would you do that? That is because we all want the latest updates, and manufacturers just want to sell us new phones. So, an old Motorola may not be receiving Android updates anymore officially from Motorola. Still, developer communities around the world are passionate and develop ROM files for old and popular phones for people to use, often far beyond the Android versions they officially supported.

Part III: Backup Motorola Phone Before Unlocking Bootloader

This is an important part in the process. Unlocking the bootloader erases all data from the phone. Any number of things can go wrong in the process. So, having a latest backup ready to restore to a new device (or the existing one) is important. To that end, one of the easiest ways to take and restore backups is Wondershare Dr.Fone Phone Backup. This tool allows you to take full and selective backups and take and restore backups in just a few clicks intuitively and easily.

wondershare drfone phone backup

Read more about it here: https://drfone.wondershare.com.

Part IV: How To Unlock Bootloader On Motorola Phones

And now, we come to the actual unlocking part. How to unlock Motorola boot loader? There are a few ways you can do that, including online directly from Motorola! Let's get started first with the official Motorola way online.

IV.I: Official Motorola Bootloader Unlock Online

Motorola helpfully offers a way to unlock boot loaders on its devices directly via its website. There is a catch, though. Only some devices are supported. Here is a list of the devices supported for unlocking Motorola boot loader online:

  • Photon Q 4G LTE
  • DROID RAZR HD (Developer Edition)
  • DROID RAZR M (Developer Edition)

Follow this link: https://motorola-global-portal.custhelp.com/app/standalone/bootloader/unlock-your-device-a/ to know more about how to unlock Motorola bootloader to use custom ROM on your beloved Motorola phone. While Motorola says these are the devices it supports, there is no harm trying your own Motorola with it.

IV.II: Unlock Motorola Bootloader Using ADB

It is not common for companies to help their users with online tools to unlock boot loaders on their mobile phones. Motorola is being amazing to offer such an easy way to unlock boot loaders on their devices officially! As this is not the norm, and there are not a lot of Motorola devices being supported this way, there are other ways you can use to unlock Motorola bootloader on devices not supported via the online method.

The other method, more commonly used by people around the world, is unlocking Motorola bootloader using ADB. ADB is short for Android Debug Bridge. We have divided the part in two sections for better understanding. Section I will help you enable USB Debugging and OEM Unlock and section II will help you do the actual Motorola bootloader unlock.

Section I: Enabling OEM Unlock and USB Debugging

For this part, you will need to know the serial number of your phone for reference later on. Kindly launch Settings > About Phone and locate your serial number.

Step 1: Go to Settings > About Phone and tap the build number until a message pops on the screen stating 'You Are Now A Developer!" like this:

android developer mode activation

Step 2: Go to Settings or Settings > Advanced or Settings > Additional Settings (depends on your Android version) and locate Developer Options. It might be a good idea to search for 'developer' under Settings. In Developer Options, enable USB Debugging and OEM Unlock:

enable usb debugging and oem unlock

Section II: Unlocking Motorola Bootloader

Step 1: Download ADB Fastboot to your computer and extract the files. Download is free and widely available.

Step 2: Connect the phone to the computer and wait for all driver installation to finish.

Step 3: Open the extracted folder and press the SHIFT key and click the left mouse button. From the context menu, select 'Open PowerShell window here' to launch a command window in the folder.

Step 4: Type 'add devices' in the command prompt, without the apostrophes. In case your Motorola phone shows a popup to allow USB debugging, allow it.

Step 5: Type 'adb reboot bootloader' without apostrophe, again.

Step 6: When the phone boots into the bootloader, type 'fastboot devices' to list all connected devices. If your device serial number exists in this list, everything is going as expected.

Step 7: Use the volume keys to scroll and power key to select. Scroll down using the volume down key and select Boot To Download Mode.

Step 8: Next, type 'fastboot oem get_unlock_data' in the command prompt window. Note that performing this step will erase everything on your device. You will get strings of characters like this:

get motorola unlock key

Step 9: Copy the strings from the command prompt into a text editor and remove all spaces to make it a single string. No need to copy the parenthesis and data therein. Example, no need to copy (Bootloader). Just copy the strings.

Step 10: Now, you need a bootloader key. To get that key, you need to visit the Motorola online bootloader unlock website. Sign in using your Motorola account or Google account.

Step 11: Paste the long string into the website and click 'Can my device be unlocked?' Button.

get motorola bootloader unlock key

You will receive a mail with the unlock key.

Step 12: Type 'fastboot oem unlock' in the command prompt, followed by a space and the key from the email like this: fastboot oem unlock key-from-email.

Step 13: You have now successfully unlocked your Motorola device! Phew! On to new adventures!

Part V: Remove Motorola Screen Lock In 5 Minutes

But, of course, we all forget our phone passcodes from time to time. Especially soon after we changed it. Busy lives, minds pulled in so many directions, not to mention face unlock and fingerprint security make it so easy to forget the passcodes. What to do if your Motorola screen is locked due to forgotten password? Use Dr.Fone! Wondershare Dr.Fone Screen Unlock lets you unlock your Motorola phone screen lock quickly and easily in under 5 minutes!

unlock motorola screen lock with drfone

Get the software here: https://drfone.wondershare.com.


It does not take too long to unlock Motorola bootloader if you know what you are doing. If you do not, this guide is here to help! From Motorola unlock bootloader guide to Motorola screen unlock guide, this is your companion every step of the way!

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James Davis

staff Editor

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