Unlock Bootloader of Nexus 7

In this post, I will write out my own version of this immensely popular guide. I originally meant for it to be a video post, but I have horrible video taking skills, and horrible video taking equipment, so I won’t be sharing that with the world. As such the screenshots provided in this guide will be stills from the original video.

Step 1
Ask yourself do you even want to unlock the bootloader?

I mean, its cool and all, but it does void the warranty of your device, and gives you the ability to flash untested ROMs on your device, which may then continue to create hardware problems, and then, you may go cry about how bad the device is (in case you do happen to do that, don’t go bug your local geek. Instead, read this).

Also, if you happened to be following this guide, you’ll want to stop doing that. The guide is incomplete, and misses a few crucial steps.

The above mentioned guide ( Rooting Nexus 7 and Unlocking Bootloader | Vineet Kumar ) has been updated. Safe to follow any.

Step 2
Get your inventory in order

You want your device charged to atleast 70% when starting this process. This is just a precaution because if the device powers off in the middle of the unlocking process, then its gone for good.

You will also need to enable USB debugging on your device. If the “Developer Options” is not visible in the system settings of the device, you can enable that by going to “About Tablet” and tapping the “Build Number” 7 times. At this point, we deviate from the above mentioned guide. That guide states to disable MTP for adb to work. But in my case, it only worked when either MTP or PTP were enabled.

You will need adb (android debug bridge) and fastboot utilities installed on your PC. You can do so from here. You’ll also want your USB cable handy, to connect your device to your computer.

If you are running Ubuntu linux, you can type the following to install adb and fastboot

sudo apt-get install android-tools-adb android-tools-fastboot

Screenshot from 2014-03-19 22:46:03

If you are running Linux, you do not need any additional drivers for the Nexus 7. But in windows, you do need the google USB driver (available from the android SDK bundle).

Update :

To install andoird-tools-adb and anrdoid-tools-fastboot, you will need to add the PPA ppa:nilarimogard/webupd8 to your apt sources. To do that,

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:nilarimogard/webupd8

Step 3
Unlocking Bootloader

Connect your device to the computer. If this is the first time you are doing so with USB Debugging enabled, then you should get a similar screen :


Tap “Always allow from this computer”, and then tap “OK”.

Next, you want to start up your CLI shell. Terminal emulator in linux, command prompt in windows (and by an off chance, if you’re doing this in OSX, then its the terminal emulator for you too, and you can probably follow the same steps as for linux)

Navigate to the path where adb and fastboot are installed. (If you are using Ubuntu and have installed adb using apt, then you need not do this).

Run the following command :

Linux Generic :
./adb devices

Ubuntu :
adb devices

adb devices

You should get something similar

List of devices attached
015d8b3b4558260b device

If you don’t get that, it means that your device isn’t attached, and you haven’t followed the guide correctly. Go back, start over. If you still don’t get it, comment below.

When you finally get that output, type

Generic Linux:
./adb reboot bootloader

Windows :
adb reboot bootloader

Ubuntu :
adb reboot bootloader

This will reboot your device into the bootloader. In case you are wondering what a bootloader is, its the thing that is loaded into memory as soon as the device is powered on, and then this piece of software continues to load your OS into memory.


Next, type this

Linux Generic:
./adb fastboot oem unlock

adb fastboot oem unlock

adb fastboot oem unlock

You’ll get a nice little warning on your device about the cons of unlocking the bootloader. Use the volume buttons to scroll up and down, and the power button to continue.


This will do a factory reset of your device, and then unlock the bootloader. You will want to manually reboot your device after its done.


If you also want to root your device, install this app on your device. It will prompt you to root the device, and if you tap yes, it will do the process for you

3 thoughts on “Unlock Bootloader of Nexus 7

  1. Pingback: Rooting Nexus 7 and Unlocking Bootloader | Vineet Kumar

  2. Vyom

    I would like to know what “exactly” were the “steps” that I missed in my guide, Lol.
    You haven’t done anything other than installing SuperSU to root the device after unlocking bootloader. While I too stated the same thing, ie, to install SuperSU to actually use the root status.

    Words are different. But the end result, the same.

    1. Aaruni Post author

      Your guide doesn’t have instructions for *nix.

      Your guide says to disable MTP. This process doesn’t work for me till MTP / PTP is enabled.

      Your guide says to install SuperUser (my guide asks for SuperSU, as does TWRP)

      Your guide claims unlocking bootloader = rooting.

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