How to Unlock Bootloader of Nexus 7

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Nexus 7 was announced at the Google I/O 2012 last week and is currently one of the hottest gadget at the moment. Google gave away a Nexus 7 tablet to every I/O 2012 attendee and since all of them were developers, it wasn’t long before they had unlocked the bootloader.

For those of you who have got a Nexus 7 tablet but have no idea how to unlock the bootloader, you have come to the right place. Continue reading below for the tutorial. Remember, unlocking the bootloader will complete WIPE / FACTORY RESET your Nexus 7 tablet.

Disclaimer: All the tools, mods or ROMs mentioned below belong to their respective owners/developers. We (TeamAndroid.com) or the developers are not to be held responsible if you damage or brick your device. We don’t have you on gun point to try out this tutorial ;-)

For those interested:

Make sure you have installed all your USB drivers for the Nexus 7 tablet to connect it with the computer. Download Nexus 7 USB drivers! Apart from just the USB drivers, there are a few more things that you need to take care of.

1. You need to enable USB debugging mode. This helps to connect your Android phone with the PC. See here: How to Enable USB Debugging.

2. Your phone battery should be 80-85% charged. If your phone goes off suddenly because of battery, during flashing ROMs or installing mods and updates — your phone might go dead permanently. See here: How to Check Battery Percentage.

3. Backup all your important data that you might need as soon as your flash a new ROM, unlock bootloader or make a backup for just in case, you never know when anything might go wrong. See below on how to backup data:

4. Copy all the backup files from your SD card to your computer as internal memory will be wiped clean after unlocking the bootloader.

Now, let’s proceed with the tutorial below to unlock Nexus 7 bootloader.

How to Unlock Nexus 7 Bootloader

Step 1 - Download Android SDK from the Android Developers website and install with USB drivers.

Step 2 - Enable USB Debugging mode in your Nexus 7 tablet.

Step 3 - Download Fastboot and extract it in android-sdk-windows\platform-tools directory. Create directory if not already there.

Step 4 - Make sure you have backup your data as it will be removed. Then switch off your Nexus 7.

Step 5 - Now go into Fastboot Mode on Nexus 7. How? Press Volume Down + Power keys for a few seconds till you see some text on the screen. This is bootloader mode.

Step 6 - Navigate to android-sdk-windows\platform-tools directory and open Command Prompt (Shift + Right-click > Open Command Prompt).

Step 7 - Type in the following command and press Enter.

fastboot oem unlock

Step 8 - Now follow the on-screen instructions and proceed.

Step 9 - In the end, reboot your Nexus 7 tablet with the following command if not rebooted automatically.

fastboot reboot

That’s it. Your Nexus 7 bootloader is unlocked and you can now proceed to flash a custom recovery -> HOW TO: Root Nexus 7 on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and Flash ClockworkMod Recovery