How to Unlock Xiaomi Bootloader and Install Custom ROM?

If you have been using low-end or midrange Xiaomi device for a long time, you must have encountered MIUI bugs. Lags in daily use, low FPS in games. Your device is already EOL (no more updates) so you just watch new features, and your low Android version doesn’t support next generation apps.

Yes, if you unlock your device’s bootloader, you can install custom ROMs and have a phone with better performance with more longer SOT (screen-on-time). Higher Android version, in this way, more app support and new features that come with new versions. In short, your old phone can keep up with new phones.

So how to unlock bootloader on Xiaomi devices. Let’s get started then.

How to Unlock Xiaomi Device’s Bootloader

Firstly, if you don’t have Mi Account on your device, create Mi Account and sign in.

  • We need to enable “Developer Options”. Go settings and select “My Device”.

  • Go developer options. Enable “OEM Unlocking”. After, select “Mi Unlock status”. (If you don’t know developer options, go here.)

  • Select “Add account and device”. Now, your device and mi account will be paired.

Note: Just press once instead of adding an account! If your device is up-to-date and still receiving updates (not EOL), your 1-week unlock period has begun. If you click that button continuously, your duration will increase to 2 – 4 weeks.

  • Now, it’s bootloader unlock time. If you have an up-to-date device as I said above, your 1-week period has started. In next week you will do, what we do now.
  • Download Mi Unlock Tool here.

  • We need a computer with adb & fastboot libraries installed. You can check adb & fastboot setup here. Reboot into fastboot mode and connect to PC.
  • Open Mi Unlock Tool.

  • Start unlocking.

  • When finished, your device unlocked and rebooted.

Warning: Bootloader unlocking wipes your userdata. Take backup.

How to Install Custom ROM?

You have successfully unlocked your bootloader. Alright, how to install custom ROM?

First of all, we need to find the custom recovery (TWRP) suitable for your device. Before, find out your device codename. Xiaomi has given codename to all devices. (e.g. Redmi Note 4 is “mido”, Mi 10 Ultra is “cas” Mi Note 10/Mi CC9 Pro is “tucana” Redmi K30 Pro/POCO F2 Pro is “lmi” etc.)

This is important to avoid confusion between series. This part is important because you flash the wrong devices ROM / recovery and your device will be bricked.

You can find custom ROM and twrp with codenames. TWRP installing guide is here. List of best custom ROMs is here. Choose the best yourself.

  • Device unlocked, twrp installed and custom ROM selected. Great! Let’s go to installation steps.
  • Enter recovery mode.

  • Select “Install” and choose your downloaded rom.

  • Swipe for flashing. You can add Magisk to zip queue if you want root.
  • Don’t forget to clear Cache/Dalvik when you’re done. If you are going through another rom (encrypted userdata) you need to format data before first boot.

Well done. You have successfully unlocked the bootloader and installed a custom rom.



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