Find out if your bootloader can be unlocked [Guide]

by XB on 10th April 2011

in Android, Firmware, Tips & Tricks, Xperia arc, Xperia Neo, Xperia PLAY, Xperia Pro

PadlockSony Ericsson plans to open the bootloader across the new range of Xperia Android smartphones. Whilst we wait for Sony Ericsson to provide the official details on how to do this, we thought we’d provide a quick guide on how to find out if your handset has the capability to have its bootloader unlocked.

As a quick reminder, Sony Ericsson said that this will only be available on certain kits (i.e. unbranded models), any phone that is SIM locked won’t get access to the bootloader. Other handsets may also be blocked depending on geography. If you want to know for sure if your handset is compatible you’ll need to connect to the Fastboot tool as detailed in our step-by-step guide below.

Guide to find out if your bootloader is unlockable

[This guide assumes that you have already installed the necessary drivers on your PC, using either the Sony Ericsson Update Service (SEUS) or PC Companion].

1) Download this Fastboot file [7MB].

2) Unzip this file in a directory on your PC.

3) Turn off your handset.

4) Whilst holding down the Menu key on the Xperia arc (use the Search key on the Xperia PLAY), connect your handset to your PC via the USB cable.

5) The LED notification light should turn blue. At this point you may get a pop up notification asking you to install additional drivers (S1Boot Fastboot). If so, manually install the driver from the Fastboot folder from Step 2.

S1Boot Fastboot

If this doesn’t work, download PDANet, which also contains the necessary drivers. You will find the drivers in the following folder –> C:\Program Files\PdaNet for Android\usbwin

6) Once the drivers are installed, click Start –> Run on your PC and type cmd.exe

7) Type the following: cd [Location]
Hit Enter.
Note: Replace [Location] with the directory where the Fastboot\fastboot folder sits. For example: C:\Program Files\Android\Fastboot\fastboot

8 ) Now type: fastboot devices
Hit Enter

9) If your bootloader can be unlocked you should see an alphanumeric code followed by ‘fastboot’ as seen in the picture below.


10) If not, sadly your bootloader is locked.

  • Bobby

    my sony xperia play does not turn blue, and no pop up happens, tried all buttons now

  • Anonymous

    Are you sure the phone is off and you are holding down the Search button on the PLAY when plugging in the USB cable? The notification light should turn blue, at which point you can release the Search button.

  • Shourov

    u have to hold down the srearch button first then connect the usb……..{phone should be turned offf}

  • The Bootloader PDANeT and Fastboot doesnt work on X10 so no point of trying

  • cant believe it works for me :)

  • Swinkid

    Works for me. Yay.

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  • Kms108

    in my xperia ray, the configuration at the root status shows: bootloader unlock allowed: yes.

  • really? can we unlock xperia ray’s bootloader?

  • Rique

    Can you tell me how you accessed the configuration root status so I can check?

  • Kms108


  • XperiaPLAY user

    i have my device xperia play unlocked. so can i updated my device (xpreia play unlocked) to the lates firmware via pc companion or seus or via OTA?

  • jordan

    can the ray be unlocked from any network and the neo v

  • joe k

    Yes it can install the latest updates onto your phone ,so when you are installing them make sure your bootloader is locked ,,,otherwise they will not install

  • Budak KL

    Aq Budak KL yg berjaya membuka kunci kat x8. Kod 11w47+ so bila pula korank? http://www.4shared com/rar/YBCl1NW5ba/Xperia_X8_Unlock_Bootloader.html

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