Question To Unlock bootloader or not?

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96carboard

Senior Member
Jul 17, 2018
958
585
Everything will not work perfectly. Let's be honest here. Look it up, some banking apps work mine doesn't. Pay will work one day and not the next. And if your bank finds out your account was hacked and your phone is unlocked and/or bypasses bank security protocols who will pay for the missing funds when they find out?

A missing device can be booted into a custom recovery and adb commands will be available to take everything on your device bypassing any security you have. With a locked bootloader that is not possible. So if you know your phone can be compromised you feel more secure? That is ludicrous and really doesn't make sense. I mean talk about smoke and mirrors.

Now that being said there are a lot of folks in your camp that say you're living a pipe dream if you think the phone is more easily hacked or info stolen. I understand that argument entirely and it's possibly correct to a certain degree. But to summarily say immediately unlock your bootloader if you don't plan on rooting because.. well just in case, is really disingenuous to a great many individuals. At the very least look up some articles on why to keep your bootloader locked, especially for someone that hasn't done it in some time, if ever. The beauty of Android is the possibility if you so desire. Just be conscience of the advice you give. Many years ago Chainfire said in his blog that if you have an unlocked bootloader and have financial apps on your device you're asking for trouble and you might want to rethink that. (not in so many words) That weekend I locked my bootloader and never looked back. I haven't missed anything.. well other than flashing MVK kernel for my 6a. ;-) But then I'd need root and that brings a host of other issues.

You're thinking about hacked non-pixels. None of what you've said applies.
 

bobby janow

Senior Member
Jun 15, 2010
6,554
2,473
No details are needed, you can look it up yourself. Unlocked bootloader doesn't break anything.
None of what you said applies.

@Nateg900t Aren't you glad you asked? So this demonstrates what I said previously that there are 2 schools of thought. If you are security conscience then not only do you not unlock but you don't even flip the OEM switch. If you do and you switch it back it will ask you to reboot to reenable security. If you're not worried about losing your phone or having your information at risk then you can unlock.

I cannot, nor will I, take a stand on whether you should do it or not. That's entirely up to you. If you don't plan on rooting I see no reason for it either way. Updates don't trash your phone in my experience, although it is remotely possible. Back up your device is my suggestion. Sure you'll lose some stuff but not that much and what you do lose you probably didn't need. lol. Anyway, good luck and do some research on your own. There are obviously no clear answers here among the passionate feelings expressed.
 
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KenNashua

Senior Member
Nov 7, 2007
87
2
Merrimack
Thank you for asking this question. I too took advantage of the generous Pixel 3 trade-in and my 7 should be coming today so have been contemplating this question. My Pixel 3 is unrooted -- I at times miss being able to backup & restore with Titanium (though I guess Swift is the new thing). Even being able to fastboot with a rooted image for backups would be nice so the unlocked bootloader might be a good day-1 compromise. I have a pixel 2XL for games & such that is rooted/unlocked so I'll load up my banking apps to see if they work.
 

abhi0502

Senior Member
Dec 3, 2013
925
491
Mumbai
OnePlus 7 Pro
Well i have rooted every other phone and rooting, installing kernel or roms solve some problem where oem is lazy or will not solve. Previously i was using OnePlus 7 pro with unlocked bootloader initially with Android 9. During Android 10 i prefer to lock bootloader again as during that time i was damm busy and getting time for root and transfer data was not possible. During Android 11 Oneplus had really ****ed up, device was getting hot like frying pan in summer. I really had no choice but to unlock bootloader and installed a stable custom rom(CR Droid) . Everything was perfect. After 9-10 months i thought i willl go to stock again and lock bootloader. But to my surprise cts profile was not getting matched. My phone was constantly recognized as Google pixel 6 pro (no NFC payment and play store dont recognize netfix) . Only safety net fix with Magisk was able to fix it. What really surprise is when i again installed Oxygen OS 10 cts profile was showing match with locked bootloader and with Oxygen OS 11,12 will show CTS profile mismatch. I really don't know what i had done wrong and there is no solution for locked bootloader.
So my suggestion is if anybody really want to unlock bootloader and have magisk prefer with your secondary device.
 

SuperUser1010

Senior Member
Dec 12, 2018
52
5
What are the alternatives to adaway if you do not root? I cannot imagine the number of ads people who are unrooted see.
 

BasedKanye

New member
Oct 14, 2022
1
2
None of what you said applies.

@Nateg900t Aren't you glad you asked? So this demonstrates what I said previously that there are 2 schools of thought. If you are security conscience then not only do you not unlock but you don't even flip the OEM switch. If you do and you switch it back it will ask you to reboot to reenable security. If you're not worried about losing your phone or having your information at risk then you can unlock.

I cannot, nor will I, take a stand on whether you should do it or not. That's entirely up to you. If you don't plan on rooting I see no reason for it either way. Updates don't trash your phone in my experience, although it is remotely possible. Back up your device is my suggestion. Sure you'll lose some stuff but not that much and what you do lose you probably didn't need. lol. Anyway, good luck and do some research on your own. There are obviously no clear answers here among the passionate feelings expressed.
You boys play nice, you're both very smart. Entertaining and thorough arguments though. This is why I have two devices, one locked and one unlocked. If you are concerned enough to ask the question, you already know your answer
 

BrianRC

Member
May 22, 2014
47
29
Sacramento
On my Pixel 6 I unlocked the bootloader and rooted on day one, but was frustrated that TWRP was not available yet for Android 12. The problem with rooting is that the monthly security updates are no longer automated and must be done manually. This can be a tricky procedure and if you don’t do it right you can get stuck in a bootloop and have to do a factory reset and start over. Without a proper backup, this can take hours if not days, and this happened to me twice. With TWRP you can easily do full backups (images) of your phone, and do full restores in minutes. So having to factory reset is not a big deal.

Who knows when TWRP will be available for Android 13? So now I am also considering leaving the Pixel 7 locked. I'll be interested in hearing how the adb backup works.
 
I use a VPN with ad blocking. Proton VPN. Works great.
Got my Pixel 7 last night and transferred everything from my Pixel 3. I'm using adguard DNS instead of Adaway now, since I didn't end up unlocking/rooting. ( https://adguard-dns.io/en/public-dns.html )

So far, seems to be doing a pretty good job of blocking most ads, but not 100% of them, which is to be expected.

I also found out that the "OpenVPN for Android" app (instead of OpenVPN Connect) allows you to modify the client profiles with pull-filter DNS parameters to change override the pushed DNS from the server configuration, in case you have your own OpenVPN server and want to have the option of creating profiles which use adguard DNS and another which doesn't, since then you can just connect to the non-filtered profile if something wasn't loading correctly.

I still wish Android had a full encrypted backup/restore to local computer option, (at least the apps/data partitions, even if not the OS). I know that they want everyone to pay the Google One subscription fees, and Apple wants people to pay for iCloud in perpetuity, but at least Apple offers the local option in easy-to-use fashion (theoretically- don't ask me about the time I couldn't restore the wife's iPhone immediately, because her backup was made from the latest iOS, and her new phone shipped with an older version, and it required us to boot and setup her new phone enough to do the latest software update before then trying to restore- not sure why it couldn't just recognize that the backup was a later OS version and offer to install the latest OS before restoring from the computer, but it eventually worked).
 
What are the alternatives to adaway if you do not root? I cannot imagine the number of ads people who are unrooted see.
AdGuard creates local VPN that blocks ads in pretty much all ads across the device. There are other open source alternatives out there as well. I believe AdAway has a local VPN option in the latest apk but I've never used it so can't vouch
 
I rooted and installed a few Magisk modules. Be careful what you install since I bootlooped a few times installing modules that didn't support Pixel 7 / Android 13. Ironically enough the bootloop preventing modules kept bootlooping my phone after about a minute of being rebooted so had to go.
 

zyxwvut

Senior Member
Jun 4, 2008
294
110
Unlocking the bootloader immediately creates a CTS profile mismatch with SafetyNet and will cause issues with Gpay and most banking apps. The post in this thread saying that unlocking your bootloader doesn't break anything is completely false. If you unlock the BL then you should also just root so you can install the Universal SafetyNet Fix Mod 2.0 and fix the CTS issue and use Gpay and banking apps. I went from a rooted stock ROM, to Paranoid Android. I had no issues with Gpay on PA until I rooted it and then even after passing SafetyNet checks Gpay wouldn't work no matter what I did. I'm currently back to a factory image stock Rom and locked BL because Gpay and banking apps are very important for my use case. I also enjoy OTA updates and not patching
init_boot.img every time an update comes out. You have to decide for yourself what's important for your use case but at least be properly informed of the potential issues that may come with a modified setup.
 

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  • 3
    For years I unlocked and rooted every phone I owned. Of course this was when Android OS was extremely limited in features, TWRP was king, and security features like safety net weren't a thing yet. Those were the glory years.... ;)

    The Pixel 6 was the first phone I didn't unlock. Honestly I didn't miss anything except the hassle that comes with rooting now (manual updates, trying to pass safety net, no TWRP backups if something goes wrong, etc, etc). All the things I used to root for are either part of Android OS now, aren't being developed anymore, or are things that I used to care about that when I'm honest with myself, I haven't really missed.

    Now I have moved on to a Pixel 7 and I just cannot see a situation where I will feel the need to unlock and root my phone. I won't say "never" because who knows what the next big thing will be, but there simply isn't a compelling reason to root right now IMHO.
    3
    I'm keeping my phone vanilla. No rooting and unlocking bootloader for me.
    3
    As someone who released ROMs for years on this site.

    Not worth rooting this time around imo. You break more than you gain.
    3
    Unlocking the bootloader immediately creates a CTS profile mismatch with SafetyNet and will cause issues with Gpay and most banking apps. The post in this thread saying that unlocking your bootloader doesn't break anything is completely false. If you unlock the BL then you should also just root so you can install the Universal SafetyNet Fix Mod 2.0 and fix the CTS issue and use Gpay and banking apps. I went from a rooted stock ROM, to Paranoid Android. I had no issues with Gpay on PA until I rooted it and then even after passing SafetyNet checks Gpay wouldn't work no matter what I did. I'm currently back to a factory image stock Rom and locked BL because Gpay and banking apps are very important for my use case. I also enjoy OTA updates and not patching
    init_boot.img every time an update comes out. You have to decide for yourself what's important for your use case but at least be properly informed of the potential issues that may come with a modified setup.
    2
    What are your biggest reasons to root? I don't mind just using banking websites, and I suppose I could do check deposits with a different device like an iPad... Back in the day was also using Xprivacy but now there is more control over app permissions too. Just trying to decide if there's still a reason to go through the hassle for my use cases.
    Adaway root version
    YouTube & YouTube Music Vanced
    Substratum
    Repainter
    JamesDSP
    Pixel Launcher Mod
    Shortcutter app
    Swift Backup
    App Manager

    To name a few..