Question Downsides to unlocking bootloader?

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Teet1

Senior Member
Sep 17, 2013
464
335
ZTE Axon 7
Samsung Galaxy S9
Hi all, I just recently purchased a Google pixel 6 pro new for cheap coming from a Galaxy S9. I was wondering if there are any downsides to unlocking the bootloader? Like losing some kind of functionality or DRM or Widevine certification, etc. forever? Switching from a brand that has everything locked down I'm used to losing functionality lol
 

marathone

Senior Member
Hi all, I just recently purchased a Google pixel 6 pro new for cheap coming from a Galaxy S9. I was wondering if there are any downsides to unlocking the bootloader? Like losing some kind of functionality or DRM or Widevine certification, etc. forever? Switching from a brand that has everything locked down I'm used to losing functionality lol
As far as I know, only rooting will have disadvantages, <ie> Banking and Google Pay. My Bank won't allow rooted phones to use its app.
 

roirraW "edor" ehT

Forum Moderator
Staff member
Disadvantages to unlocking the bootloader (unlocking the bootloader can be done without rooting after):
  • It may be possible that some rare banking or other sensitive apps will notice that your bootloader is unlocked and refuse to fully function.
  • If you're not very careful, you could accidentally either temporarily or permanently brick your device by flashing the wrong thing.
  • Truthfully, most of the time, having the bootloader unlocked (or at least OEM unlocking enabled) gives you MORE recovery options if something bad happens (such as you flash Android 20 Beta 1 and it bricks your phone).
  • Having the bootloader unlocked is by its nature less secure, so if your device gets stolen, there may be a greater possibility a hacker can break into your phone and/or get valuable data out of your account or cause greater havoc. I've never had a phone stolen, although I did find someone's stolen Sprint HTC 4G (if I remember the model correctly) one time, which I arranged to return to the owner by calling Sprint. I assume the person who stole the phone gave up on being able to easily use the stolen phone, since Sprint erased and locked down the phone remotely.
Disadvantages to being rooted:
  • Have to manually update anytime you want the new month's update.
  • Have to jump through a few hoops to make sure almost all banking/sensitive apps don't realize that you're rooted. The method may change from time to time due to changes in Android, so there's always the possibility any time you flash an update to Android on your device that you'll have to wait for and flash an update to root-hiding methods.
Advantages of being rooted: Well, you know, there are tons. :)

Good luck!
 

Teet1

Senior Member
Sep 17, 2013
464
335
ZTE Axon 7
Samsung Galaxy S9
Disadvantages to unlocking the bootloader (unlocking the bootloader can be done without rooting after):
  • It may be possible that some rare banking or other sensitive apps will notice that your bootloader is unlocked and refuse to fully function.
  • If you're not very careful, you could accidentally either temporarily or permanently brick your device by flashing the wrong thing.
  • Truthfully, most of the time, having the bootloader unlocked (or at least OEM unlocking enabled) gives you MORE recovery options if something bad happens (such as you flash Android 20 Beta 1 and it bricks your phone).
  • Having the bootloader unlocked is by its nature less secure, so if your device gets stolen, there may be a greater possibility a hacker can break into your phone and/or get valuable data out of your account or cause greater havoc. I've never had a phone stolen, although I did find someone's stolen Sprint HTC 4G (if I remember the model correctly) one time, which I arranged to return to the owner by calling Sprint. I assume the person who stole the phone gave up on being able to easily use the stolen phone, since Sprint erased and locked down the phone remotely.
Disadvantages to being rooted:
  • Have to manually update anytime you want the new month's update.
  • Have to jump through a few hoops to make sure almost all banking/sensitive apps don't realize that you're rooted. The method may change from time to time due to changes in Android, so there's always the possibility any time you flash an update to Android on your device that you'll have to wait for and flash an update to root-hiding methods.
Advantages of being rooted: Well, you know, there are tons. :)

Good luck!
Thank you! i've been in the game for a while so I know the pros/cons of rooting and unlocking. I just didnt know if there were any device specific downsides on the pixel 6 pro, but it seems its just the usual stuff. Coming from a locked down brand, this is very liberating!
 

roirraW "edor" ehT

Forum Moderator
Staff member
Thank you! i've been in the game for a while so I know the pros/cons of rooting and unlocking. I just didnt know if there were any device specific downsides on the pixel 6 pro, but it seems its just the usual stuff. Coming from a locked down brand, this is very liberating!
Cool, you're welcome. Yep, I fooled with a Sony phone once. Was extremely disappointing that it gimped the camera on purpose if you unlocked the bootloader using their official means to do so. And for a while with the bootloader unlocked but not rooted, I still received OTA updates just fine, but then suddenly they stopped allowing OTAs to download and install actually over the air - had to use XperiFirm to download and then flash them manually.
 
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LLStarks

Senior Member
Jun 1, 2012
1,939
1,155
It's getting harder to pass various integrity checks for Play, banking apps, and GPay. And now device integrity. You have to consciously maintain all of these.
 
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  • 4
    Disadvantages to unlocking the bootloader (unlocking the bootloader can be done without rooting after):
    • It may be possible that some rare banking or other sensitive apps will notice that your bootloader is unlocked and refuse to fully function.
    • If you're not very careful, you could accidentally either temporarily or permanently brick your device by flashing the wrong thing.
    • Truthfully, most of the time, having the bootloader unlocked (or at least OEM unlocking enabled) gives you MORE recovery options if something bad happens (such as you flash Android 20 Beta 1 and it bricks your phone).
    • Having the bootloader unlocked is by its nature less secure, so if your device gets stolen, there may be a greater possibility a hacker can break into your phone and/or get valuable data out of your account or cause greater havoc. I've never had a phone stolen, although I did find someone's stolen Sprint HTC 4G (if I remember the model correctly) one time, which I arranged to return to the owner by calling Sprint. I assume the person who stole the phone gave up on being able to easily use the stolen phone, since Sprint erased and locked down the phone remotely.
    Disadvantages to being rooted:
    • Have to manually update anytime you want the new month's update.
    • Have to jump through a few hoops to make sure almost all banking/sensitive apps don't realize that you're rooted. The method may change from time to time due to changes in Android, so there's always the possibility any time you flash an update to Android on your device that you'll have to wait for and flash an update to root-hiding methods.
    Advantages of being rooted: Well, you know, there are tons. :)

    Good luck!
    2
    Hi all, I just recently purchased a Google pixel 6 pro new for cheap coming from a Galaxy S9. I was wondering if there are any downsides to unlocking the bootloader? Like losing some kind of functionality or DRM or Widevine certification, etc. forever? Switching from a brand that has everything locked down I'm used to losing functionality lol
    As far as I know, only rooting will have disadvantages, <ie> Banking and Google Pay. My Bank won't allow rooted phones to use its app.
    2
    Disadvantages to unlocking the bootloader (unlocking the bootloader can be done without rooting after):
    • It may be possible that some rare banking or other sensitive apps will notice that your bootloader is unlocked and refuse to fully function.
    • If you're not very careful, you could accidentally either temporarily or permanently brick your device by flashing the wrong thing.
    • Truthfully, most of the time, having the bootloader unlocked (or at least OEM unlocking enabled) gives you MORE recovery options if something bad happens (such as you flash Android 20 Beta 1 and it bricks your phone).
    • Having the bootloader unlocked is by its nature less secure, so if your device gets stolen, there may be a greater possibility a hacker can break into your phone and/or get valuable data out of your account or cause greater havoc. I've never had a phone stolen, although I did find someone's stolen Sprint HTC 4G (if I remember the model correctly) one time, which I arranged to return to the owner by calling Sprint. I assume the person who stole the phone gave up on being able to easily use the stolen phone, since Sprint erased and locked down the phone remotely.
    Disadvantages to being rooted:
    • Have to manually update anytime you want the new month's update.
    • Have to jump through a few hoops to make sure almost all banking/sensitive apps don't realize that you're rooted. The method may change from time to time due to changes in Android, so there's always the possibility any time you flash an update to Android on your device that you'll have to wait for and flash an update to root-hiding methods.
    Advantages of being rooted: Well, you know, there are tons. :)

    Good luck!
    Thank you! i've been in the game for a while so I know the pros/cons of rooting and unlocking. I just didnt know if there were any device specific downsides on the pixel 6 pro, but it seems its just the usual stuff. Coming from a locked down brand, this is very liberating!
    1
    Thank you! i've been in the game for a while so I know the pros/cons of rooting and unlocking. I just didnt know if there were any device specific downsides on the pixel 6 pro, but it seems its just the usual stuff. Coming from a locked down brand, this is very liberating!
    Cool, you're welcome. Yep, I fooled with a Sony phone once. Was extremely disappointing that it gimped the camera on purpose if you unlocked the bootloader using their official means to do so. And for a while with the bootloader unlocked but not rooted, I still received OTA updates just fine, but then suddenly they stopped allowing OTAs to download and install actually over the air - had to use XperiFirm to download and then flash them manually.
    1
    It's getting harder to pass various integrity checks for Play, banking apps, and GPay. And now device integrity. You have to consciously maintain all of these.