Implement the following guide to easily unlock bootloader of Sony Xperia phones. Sony ships its Android-powered devices with a locked bootloader to ensure security and reliability however, users have the option to unlock the bootloader and proceed with installing third-party software. This third-party software includes any compatible custom ROMs, recoveries, kernels and even root packages.
Bootloader unlock does void your warranty but for aging phones or phones that have been left out of official support, this is the only method to keep them up to date one way or the other. To unlock your Sony bootloader just follow the steps given below. We recommend going through the guide at least once before you actually implement it as well as back up all of your crucial data from the target device.
Bootloader Unlock on Sony Xperia Phones
In case of Sony, if you want to run experimental builds which are official, you are required to unlock your bootloader. The process itself is a little bit lengthy but easy to execute. Here at Team Android, we cover multiple custom ROMs on a daily basis along with other guides that revolve around third-party software — all of which have an unlocked bootloader as the primary prerequisite.
Backup and Some Important Tips
Before you proceed to unlock bootloader of Sony phone, a backup is essential to preserve user data from one system version to the other. The following are some key tips to help you create a user data backup of your phone.
Usually the most important things to look for to backup are:
- Camera photos and videos
- Account information (logins and passwords)
- WhatsApp messages – Check out our full guide on how to backup WhatsApp messages and media.
Additionally, there is a dedicated tool by Sony that will help you in backing up data. Named as Xperia Companion for Sony phones, you can use the program on your computer to backup existing data. One thing to note, this tool doesn’t work with any Xperia phones released from 2019 and onwards.
A few more optional tips that you should remember:
- Having problems connecting your Android phone to the computer? You need to enable USB debugging mode. See here: How to Enable USB Debugging.
- Make sure your Android device is charged up to 80-85% battery level.
- 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.
Now, let’s proceed with the tutorial below and unlock bootloader of your Sony phone.
How to Unlock Bootloader of Sony Phones
We have put together a detailed step-by-step instructions guide on how to unlock bootloader of Sony phones. Please read every line carefully. We suggest, read the tutorial once before actually performing it on your phone.
IMPORTANT: Unlocking your device may void all or parts of your warranty by Sony.
Step 1 – Go to the official Unlock Bootloader of Sony phones page.
Step 2 – Scroll down and select the device you want to unlock — we will use the Xperia XZ3 as an example. Before you submit the IMEI, you need to make sure your device is unlockable. To find out how just follow the listed steps on the official website or as shown in the screenshot below. This part isn’t device specific and the code displayed is universal for Sony devices.
Step 3 – Enter the IMEI ID of your device and agree to the conditions — for tablets you can utilize the IDID or MEID.
Step 4 – At this point make sure you have USB drivers along with Fastboot installed and configured. If not, reference our easy guides for both:
Step 5 – Enter the About Device menu on your Xperia device. Click the build number multiple times until you get a notification indicating developer options have been enabled.
Step 6 – From the developer options, enable USB debugging and connect your phone to your computer.
Step 7 – Turn off your device.
Step 8 – Now while holding the volume up button of your Xperia device, connect it to the USB port on your PC.
Step 9 – If you have set up fastboot in your System32 folder than you can do this in any command window otherwise browse to the your Android SDK installation then Platform Tools. While holding Shift, right click on your mouse and select “Open Command window here”.
Step 10 – On the Sony website, you will be shown all the steps we have explained previously. Scroll down to the last procedure. Here you will see a command written which starts something like the following one
fastboot oem unlock 0x<insert your unlock code>
Step 11 – Copy the following command and paste in the command window you opened in Step 9. Keep in mind, when you press Enter after this, your warranty will be void and all data will be wiped off the phone.
That’s it. Your Sony device now has an unlocked bootloader. This means, you can install custom ROMs, flash a custom recovery and perform other system tweaks on your Sony phone now.