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Quick tutorial for unlocking & relocking the bootloader for most Xperia devices

this is the official way to unlock bootloader

This will work on:
  • Xperia 2011 devices - Arc, Play, Neo, etc
  • Xperia 2012 devices - S, Ion, T, V, etc
  • Xperia 2013 devices - Z1, Z Ultra, Z, Tablet Z, etc

Originally Posted by DooMLoRD

Special note for Xperia Z1



After unlocking bootloader the camera can not be used on stock ROM!

Relocking bootloader will NOT help!

Just restore TA, and the camera will work again!

if you want to backup the TA or keep ur DRM keys,first root the device and then check this out (this is for Xperia Z but MAY work on Z1)


This procedure will wipe the /data partition of your phone, so you will loose all ur stored data, settings. SDCARD will BE WIPED!!!


For Xperia™ devices released 2013 or later (for example Xperia™ Z and Xperia™ ZL), the SD card of your device will be formatted and you will lose all content (for example photos, music, videos) when you unlock the boot loader.

DRM keys WILL be lost forever

Originally Posted by schaggo

I'd add what losing DRM keys means, e.g. no more Music ID/Gracenote within the Walkman app plus probably most importantly, as asked all the time and all over the place in the T/mint forums: loss of Bravia Engine.

older Xperia devices sometimes got issues after unlock of bootloader (BRICK after FOTA update) - you have been warned

why to unlock bootloader?
  1. u can flash custom ROMs/Kernels
  2. u dont need to worry if the new firmware can be rooted or not as with unlocked bootloader u can always ROOT ur device
  3. Sony gives sneak-peaks/preview builds of latest OS which requires unlocked bootloaders, as they did with Xperia 2011/2012 line, so who knows may be Sony may give early builds of next android OS

Most of this is taken from lollylost100's his tutorial from ARC thread (all credits for that concise tutorial go to him, i have elaborated on a few things and added device specific changes)

btw i dont have this device, most of this testing was done remotely on a users phone... so thanks a lot to him for helping out!!!

[ before we begin unlocking bootloader ]
  • get the IMEI code for ur device: type *#06# in phone dialer to find it out, note only the digits (no dashes)
  • download the fastboot package with usb drivers (alternate drivers if the ones in package dont work OR this)
  • IMPORTANT: if you are using Windows 8 you will need to enable few things to allow driver installation
  • make sure u have a windows PC with USB cable to connect the phone
  • power down ur phone and keeping the Volume Up button pressed connect the USB cable to PC this will trigger FASTBOOT mode and windows will start driver installation, extract the above package and point the driver install to that location (usb_driver) folder
  • once drivers are installed just disconnect cable and power on device

[ how to unlock ] (official way)
  1. Go to: and read everything!
  2. At the bottom click 'Start Unlocking the Bootloader'

    First, you should confirm that it is possible to unlock the boot loader of your phone by checking the service menu. In your phone, open the dialler and enter *#*#7378423#*#* to access the service menu.

    In your phone, tap Service info > Configuration > Rooting Status. If Bootloader unlock allowed says Yes, then you can continue with the next step. If it says No, or if the status is missing, your device cannot be unlocked.

  3. after u have verified that u can unlock bootloader, scroll to the bottom of the page and click "Continue"
  4. you will get numerous prompts, read all info and if u agree click on "Accept"/"OK"/"Proceed"
  5. finally u will get a "Create Unlock request" page, enter your IMEI (sometimes the last digit needs to be removed for this to work), name and email address
  6. You should now receive your unique unlock key via EMAIL, SAVE THIS KEY SAFELY
  7. Extract fastboot_with_Android_USB_file.rar and open fastboot folder
  8. Hold SHIFT and right click on the background of the folder
  9. Select 'Open command window here'
  10. Connect your phone in fastboot mode (turn phone off, hold Volume UP button and plug in USB Cable) [make sure drivers are installed as explained above)
  11. In the cmd windows type in fastboot.exe -i 0x0fce getvar version
  12. If a value is returned (it will return 0.5), it means the phone is correctly connected
  13. Type in fastboot.exe -i 0x0fce oem unlock 0xKEY and replace KEY with the key which u received earlier.
  14. You're device should now be bootloader unlocked

If this tutorial is too much for you then itskapil wrote a step-by-step guide (and recorded a video also):
(the above videos and some steps are for Xperia 2011 devices, but most the steps are same for Xperia Z)

Relock procedure is posted here


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