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Motorola X - Bootloader Unlock FAQ


If you need to know why unlocking your bootloader matters, please see LOCKED

This page is an FAQ list of items which pertain to unlocking your bootloader. This same lists applies to ALL those who unlock their bootloader, the only difference being the source of your bootloader unlock code for some users, even though it was originally written due to the 3rd party source for bootloader unlock codes becoming available.


For the Developer Editions Moto X, and some carrier editions (Like T-Mobile, Sprint and others), Motorola freely gives away the BootLoader Unlock codes when requested On Motorola's Web SIte. In the case of the Non-Developer Editions, it voids their warranty to request the code. 

I'm not going to go into the reasons why, but Moto does NOT give out the bootloader unlock code for the Retail and Moto Maker X for Verizon, ATT and a few other carriers. There was a thread on XDA Forums discussing on obtaining the bootloader unlock code from a 3rd party instead. See -> Verizon Moto Maker bootloader unlock now available via Chinese middle-man While there are mostly Verizon and ATT users posting there, there are posts from some Republic Wireless and even Verizon Droid users, so this process might work for you if Moto doesn't give out your code for free.

NOTE: as of April 1 this 3rd party option was longer available. Recently it has returned see the thread -> China Middleman Back??? there is always a chance it will go away again. If it does go away again, there would be no way to unlock your Moto X unless Motorola will give you the code!!

Yes, requesting the bootloader unlock code from Motorola voids your warranty if you do NOT have a Developer Edition phone. (i.e. even when requesting a code from Moto's web site for eligible phones, the warranty is voided for all but Developer Editions).  Requesting the unlock code from the 3rd party supplier probably voids your warranty too.

The bootloader/fastboot screen displays a status of Locked, Unlocked and Relocked. While we can set it to Unlocked or Relocked, we can't set it back to LOCKED, so this will be easily noticed. The same holds true for all Moto X's, no matter where you obtained your unlock code.

FAQ's and info...

After you've received the unlock code from Moto or via 3rd party option, consider your phone just like the Developer Edition, or other unlockable bootloader version X, like T-Mobile or Sprint version, except for the source of your bootloader unlock code... Moto's web site, or a 3rd party.

  1. It does NOT matter what ROM version is on your phone when you unlock.
  2. The unlock codes are unique to each phone. Once you have yours, keep it in a safe place so you don't need to request/purchase it again.
  3. You unlock the bootloader with the same process as the Developer Edition (except for the source of your bootloader unlock code). NOTE: see -> THESE INSTRUCTIONS  or basically start the phone in fastboot/bootloader mode then issue the command -> fastboot oem unlock <UNIQUE_KEY> THIS WILL FACTORY RESET YOUR DEVICE. DATA AND APPS WILL BE ERASED. NOTE: the unlock code is unique to your phone, contains no spaces, is case sensitive, and usually 20 digits long. It does NOT include your IMEI
  4. After you unlock your bootloader, the Root process is the same as the Developer Edition (THIS THREAD) - you no longer need to use SlapMyMoto, RockMyMoto or the like
  5. Unlocking the bootloader disables Write Protection. - so you no longer need for MotoWpNoMo
  6. If you previously used RockMyMoto/SlapMyMoto/MotoWpNoMo/Safestrap, etc. and want to remove any changes they might have done and ensure you are back to 100% stock, you can flash the SBF for your phone with RSDLite (see -> http://forum.xda-developers.com/moto...using-t2446515 )
  7. After unlocking your bootloader, you can now use ANY process for developer edition phone or other unlocked bootloader phone (like t-mobile or sprint)
  8. Taking future OTA's will not re-lock your bootloader, however you will need to have stock recovery on your phone, and revert any modified system files, i.e. get back to "stock" or nearly stock, in order to install OTA's, just like those with Developer Edition phones have to do. (this is due to the OTA updates containing a manifest file that lists files and their "check sums" it looks for on your phone before it starts. If they are not on your phone, or the ones on your phone don't match the expected check sum, the OTA install will fail.) - MORE ON OTA -
  9. Flashing with RSDLite will not re-lock your bootloader.
  10. Only manually re-locking via the relock process (moto has on the Dev Edition web site, it is fastboot oem lock ) will re-lock your bootloader.
  11. You can manually re-lock the bootloader with the same process as the Developer Edition, or other unlockable (Instructions on Moto's web site ) -> fastboot oem lock (or see This Post) THIS WILL FACTORY RESET YOUR DEVICE. DATA AND APPS WILL BE ERASED. NOTE: There is usually no need to relock your bootloader, unless you want to. Re-locking does not hide the fact that you have unlocked at some point. There is a status code on the fastboot/bootloader screen for locked, unlocked, relocked. We can't set that code back to "LOCKED."
  12. After unlocking your bootloader, if you take an OTA and lose root, or flash an SBF using RSDLite (which will lose root), you can just re-root using the same process linked in #4 above.
  13. The bootloader unlock code for your phone does not change. If you manually re-lock the bootloader for some reason, and want to unlock again, you would use the same unlock code.

I'm getting "unknown command" when I open a command prompt and try to do a mfastboot oem unlock <uniquecode>. Why? and How do I fix? ADB and/or the Android Platform Tools are not properly setup and in your PATH environment variable, or your Fastboot or mFastboot is not in the platform tools folder. Pease check your ADB/PlatformTools/Fastboot setup. See THIS PAGE.

Do I need mFastboot, or can I just use Fastboot? You should be able to use Fastboot, but mFastboot is always preferred when working with the Moto X. (for what is mFastboot, and links, see HERE which also includes links)

I got an unlock code via the 3rd party option, but it is not working. Why? I've seen posts where the 3rd party Chinese Web site or Middleman emails the unlock code in a format like... Your Unlock code is XXXXXX YYYYYYYYYY where XXX is your phone's IMEI and YYY is the actual 20 character unlock code (which is case sensitive!!). Verify the IMEI matches your phone. And when doing the mFastboot command, you don't use the IMEI part when unlocking. So if you do a mfastboot oem unlock YYYYYYYYY and it doesn't successfully unlock, then you want to contact the seller to ensure you received the correct code.

How do I get rid of the nasty "Bootloader Unlocked' warning when I restart my phone? If the bootloader status of your phone is either UNlocked or Relocked, you'll get the unlocked bootloader warning at boot up. To get rid of it, you can use the same process others with unlocked bootloaders use to replace the LOGO.BIN with a custom one... see -> Moto X Boot Logos as it contains the process and has a zip file with a few samples..

Can I downgrade the firmware on my phone after I unlock the bootloader?As for downgrading firmware, the same caveats and warnings still apply. Due to changes in the bootloader included with 4.4.2, under certain circumstances when trying to downgrade from 4.4.2 to 4.4 or lower, you could either brick your phone, or set it up to brick in the future when you take an upgrade. So it is suggested you just stick with what is on your phone once you get on 4.4.2. Besides, you wont need to downgrade to gain root anymore.

Can I use the same ROM, SBF or Factory Image as the developer edition phones? Yes. The Retail and Moto Maker Verizon XT1060 use the same ROM/SBF that the VZW Developer XT1060 use. The GSM Developer Edition XT1053 is the same as the T-Mobile or Carrier Unlocked/Unbranded XT1053 and may use the same ROMs. Cross flashing ROMs between models (i.e. flashing a T-Mobile XT1053 ROM on an ATT XT1058 phone) is OFF TOPIC For this thread.

How do I remove RockMyMoto, SlapMyMoto, MotoWpNoMo, Safestrap, etc. from my phone? Since doing the Unlock process will factory reset your phone and wipe your data, you may want to also take the time to use RSDLite and flash your phone with Stock SBF file. For how to, see Moto X - Return to 100% stock (using RSD Lite OR manual flash) Please do NOT attempt to downgrade the ROM on your phone once you have 4.4.2 on it!!

Must I update to 4.4.2 after unlocking? Only if you want to. If you like the OS on your phone, you can stick with that version. Just remember to read the above entry about "downgrading" if you do decide to try 4.4.2. To stop the OTA prompts, with a root capable file explorer on your phone, navigate to /system/priv-app and rename the 3C_OTA.APK to something like 3C_OTA.APK.OLD... and reboot your phone. OTA update check will no longer work. This will need to be undone should you ever want to take an OTA in the future. If the OTA update .ZIP file has already downloaded to your phone, also use the root file explorer on your phone, navigate to /cache and delete the OTA zip file.

Can I relock the bootloader to so I can get a warranty replacement? Short answer, No. As stated previously, The status of the bootloader is displayed on the Bootloader/Fastboot screen. It is either Locked, Unlocked or Relocked. We can switch it between Unlocked and Relocked, but can not set it back to Locked.

This is great an all, but I don't want to void my warranty or don't trust paying some stranger for the unlock code, can I still root my Moto X with locked bootloader? That depends on what ROM is on your phone. For more info see Unlocked or Locked Bootloader, why does it matter? or Rooting With A Locked Bootloader

And, as a quick example...Once you have your code, if you want 4.4.2 with root... 

  1. Backup your phone since unlocking the bootloader is destructive. It does a factory reset which erases your data and apps.
  2. To Unlock your bootloader, start the phone in fastboot or bootloader mode and on your PC type... mfastboot oem unlock UNIQUEKEY (where the uniquekey is the code you got... and it is case sensitive). OR See these INSTRUCTIONS
  3. Optionally Use RSDLite to flash the 4.4.2 SBF from -> http://sbf.droid-developers.org/phone.php?device=0
  4. Root by following -> http://forum.xda-developers.com/moto...ev-ed-t2649738
  5. Get rid of the Unlocked bootloader warning by replacing the LOGO.BIN with a custom one. See this thread for some custom ones and "how to" -> http://forum.xda-developers.com/moto...logos-t2417961 I have some zipped up here -> http://mark.cdmaforums.com/X-STUFF/X-LogoBins.zip to make your own see -> http://forum.xda-developers.com/show...&postcount=150