So you got yourself the new Nexus 9 and now want to unlock the bootloader? It’s really easy. If this is your very first time with unlocking bootloaders, it shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes or so. And for those who have previously done this, you already know what to do. So in order to root your brand new HTC Nexus 9, or install custom ROMs, or do anything naughty (software related), you will need to first unlock the bootloader and then proceed. The process is clean and simple, unlike some OEMs which make you go through long and extensive set of instructions to unlock bootloader.
As you continue reading below, we will guide you on how to unlock Nexus 9 bootloader for installing custom ROMs, a custom recovery or doing anything nasty with your phone — most of all, you will be able to root Nexus 9 on Android 5.0 and enjoy the various root apps. Just to be clear, unlocking bootloader will wipe ALL your data form the tablet. So make sure you backup everything or unlock bootloader on a new device with nothing to lose.
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 😉
There are tons of useful articles and how-to guides on Team Android for the HTC Nexus 9, but we think you might be interested in the following posts:
- Try Lollipop on Computer: How to Try and Install Android 5.0 Lollipop on Computer – Complete Guide.
- Custom ROMs: For a complete collection of custom ROMs on Team Android, visit our Custom ROM section!
HTC Nexus 9 USB Drivers
You will need to connect your Android tablet with the computer. For that, please make sure you have installed the USB drivers for HTC Nexus 9 properly. If not, you can download the latest official drivers from our Android USB Drivers section here:
Backup and Other Important Tips
Done with the USB drivers? Perfect. The tutorial is on the next page, but first, please take a look at the following tips and important points you need to take care of. These are important, as we don’t want anyone losing their personal data or apps:
Always backup your important data that you might need after you install a new custom ROM, an official software update or anything else. Make a backup for just in case, you never know when anything might go wrong. See below for some tips on how to backup data:
- Backup your Apps. How? –> How to Backup Android Apps.
- Backup your SMS messages. How? –> How to Backup/Restore SMS Messages.
- Backup Contacts, Gmail and Google Data. How? –> Sync with Google Sync.
- Backup Call History. How? –> How to Backup Call History.
- Backup WhatsApp Messages. How? –> How to Backup/Restore WhatsApp Messages.
- Backup APN Settings: GPRS, 3G, MMS Settings. How? Note down everything from: Settings > Wireless & Networks (More…) > Mobile networks > Access Point Names.
If you already have a custom recovery (ClockworkMod, TWRP etc.) installed on your phone, we strongly recommend a backup using that as it creates a complete image of your existing phone / tablet set up.
A few more optional tips that you should remember:
1. Having problems connecting your Android tablet to the computer? You need to enable USB debugging mode. See here: How to Enable USB Debugging — for Gingerbread, Ice Cream Sandwich, Jelly Bean, KitKat and Lollipop.
2. Make sure your Android device is charged up to 80-85% battery level. This might help you: How to Check Battery Percentage. Why? Because, if your phone goes off suddenly while installing a custom ROM, flashing an official firmware update or installing mods etc. — your phone might get bricked or go dead permanently. No one wants that, right?
4. Most of the tutorials and how-to guides on Team Android are for factory unlocked Android phones and tablets. We recommend not to try our guides if your phone is locked to a carrier, unless we have specified the carrier name or device model.
5. [IMPORTANT] Copy all the backup files from your SD card to your computer as internal memory will be wiped clean while unlocking the bootloader.
If you find the above tips useful and they were helpful to you, please consider giving us a +1 or LIKE to thank us!
If you are a developer and would want to unlock the bootloader, we recommend doing that before you set up the Google Play Store, install apps or anything because the security feature in Android clears out everything from your phone when unlocking bootloader of the tablet.
Now, let’s proceed with the tutorial below to unlock Nexus 9 bootloader.
How to Unlock Nexus 9 Bootloader
We have put together a detailed step-by-step instructions guide on how to unlock bootloader on Nexus 9. If you are used to unlocking bootloaders on any previous Nexus devices, then this should not be any different for you.
Please read every line carefully and make sure you read the tutorial once before actually performing it on your Android device.
- This unlocking bootloader tutorial is only for HTC Nexus 9. Please don’t try this on any other variants of the phone.
- This tutorial has been performed on Windows, but anyone familiar with Fastboot on Mac or Linux can perform this as well with the same commands.
- Make sure you backup all your data in your tablet before proceeding as it will erase all data.
- You will void your warranty by unlocking the bootloader.
- Nexus 9
- USB cable
- Android SDK with drivers (How to set up? Tutorial link given below)
NOTE: A new checkbox has been added in the Developer options in Settings that you have to enable before proceeding below with unlocking your bootloader. First, enable Developer options. Then check the box that says “Enable OEM unlock”. That’s it. Now you can proceed below to the Step 1.
Step 1 – Download Android SDK / Fastboot and install all the USB drivers. How to set up? Read detailed instructions here: How to Set Up ADB / Fastboot with Android SDK.
Step 2 – Enable USB Debugging mode on your Nexus 9.
Step 3 – If you already have Android SDK, then you can just 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 erased. Then switch OFF your Nexus 9 tablet.
Step 5 – Now enter into the Bootloader / Fastboot Mode on Nexus 9. How? Press Volume Up + Volume Down + Power keys for a few seconds till you see some text and the START on the screen. This is the Bootloader Mode which allows Fastboot to communicate with your tablet.
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 on your tablet to confirm the bootloader unlocking and erase all the data, then proceed.
Step 9 – In the end, your Nexus 9 will now reboot itself. Or you can always reboot your tablet with the following command if not rebooted automatically.
That’s it! Your Nexus 9 bootloader is now unlocked! You can now install a custom recovery, a custom ROM or any system tweak you like. Just be careful with what you do! 😉