The Samsung A10e is a great budget smartphone that can be customized and tweaked to fit your needs. The problem is, the bootloader cannot be unlocked unless you have root access first, which requires unlocking the bootloader in the first place! If you’re familiar with rooting, then this should be easy enough, but otherwise it can be confusing and difficult to know where to start. Fortunately, we’ve put together this guide on how to unlock the bootloader on the Samsung A10e so you can tweak your phone to your heart’s content.
What is a bootloader?
The bootloader is a type of software that runs when you start up your device. Its job is to turn on your screen, load any pre-installed apps, and then load Android so you can use your phone.
In most phones, it’s normally locked until you root or jailbreak it, but in newer devices like Google’s Pixel and many Xiaomi phones, they provide an unlock tool right on their website or with their custom ROM.
The benefit of having an unlocked bootloader is that you gain more control over what happens when your phone turns on and off. The process of unlocking bootloaders will vary from device to device (and even carrier), but below are some general steps that apply in almost all cases.
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Step 1: Enable OEM Unlocking
- Before unlocking your device’s bootloader, you’ll need to turn on OEM unlocking mode.
- This can be done by heading into Developer Options (which is accessible by tapping About Phone > Software Information on your device and then scrolling down until you see Build Number and tapping that seven times)
- Next, go back one screen in Settings, then enter Developer Options again and look for OEM Unlocking. Enable it by tapping its toggle switch. Finally, reboot your phone or tablet. Once it’s booted back up, go back into Developer Options and toggle on USB Debugging.
Step 2: Download the Minimal ADB and Fastboot
This website offers a simple package you can download and install on your computer. Find it here. Open up its folder, then hold down Shift + right-click in any blank space within that folder, and select the Open command window here from the menu that appears. After doing so, type adb devices into the command prompt and press Enter.
If you’re able to see your device’s serial number listed under Devices with USB debugging connected, then everything is ready! Type adb reboot bootloader into the command prompt and press Enter (adb reboot recovery if it isn’t). After a few seconds of loading, you’ll be met with an Android with an unlocked bootloader screen.
Press Volume Up once or twice until FASTBOOT APPLY UPDATE FROM ADB shows up at the bottom of this screen. Once there, type fastboot oem unlock and press Enter — this will prompt your phone to ask if you want to unlock your bootloader.
Step 3: Find an exploit
Once you’ve unlocked your bootloader, you have access to your phone’s low-level operating system—the place where Android’s security restrictions live. To gain root access, you need a software exploit (or a root exploit) that gives you superuser privileges.
When you find one, follow the instructions on how to use it with your specific device and version of Android. For example, if you want to get root access on an LGG4 running Android 7.0 Nougat, use Dirty Cow as an exploit and Safetynet checker as a Safetynet bypasser.
Once you install both apps, activate Dirty Cow using adb, then press yes when prompted. It will start downloading new data from Google Play Services. Now that the app has done its job, go back to Safetynet checker and press no when prompted. Your phone is now rooted!
Step 4: Load your phone in recovery mode
- Now switch off your phone and boot it into recovery mode.
- Turn off your phone first and then press the power button + volume up simultaneously.
- If you’re on a Windows PC, go to the folder where you have downloaded ADB & Fastboot files.
- Hold down Shift key on your keyboard, right-click anywhere in that folder while holding down Shift key on your keyboard and then select Open command window here option from drop-down menu.
- Now connect your phone to your PC using USB cable. It will automatically open the cmd window.
- In case if you’re using Mac or Linux, just open the terminal at the current location (where ADB & Fastboot files are downloaded) by typing Terminal in spotlight or by pressing shift+cmd+T altogether.
- Type the following command in terminal and hit enter: fastboot devices Now type this code and hit enter: fastboot oem unlock Press Volume Down button to highlight Yes for unlocking bootloader.
- Then press Power Button to confirm the unlocking process. Your device will reboot automatically after this process is complete, but don’t worry because it won’t delete any data of yours from the phone memory
Step 5: Flash a custom ROM
With your bootloader unlocked, you can now flash a custom ROM. You’ll need a custom recovery installed, which will overwrite stock Android with whatever your personal preference is (Hint: I like CyanogenMod). To unlock your bootloader and install TWRP, check out our guide here.
Then all you have to do is make sure that Advanced Reboot is enabled in developer options, plug in your phone via USB and follow these steps: Hold Volume Up +Home Button + Power Button for about 10 seconds until you see a warning screen.
(If it takes longer than 10 seconds, try doing it again.) Press Volume Up twice on that screen to get into Fastboot mode. Plug your phone back into your computer. Go to the root directory on your computer and open up the command prompt. Type fastboot devices followed by fastboot oem unlock.
A window should pop up asking if you want to unlock the bootloader. Select Yes using volume buttons and press the power button to confirm the decision. Your device will reboot once more and this time it should stay unlocked at the bottom of the lock screen.
Step 6: Set up your device
Now that you’ve installed TWRP and unlocked your bootloader, it’s time to gain root access. There are two ways to do so: you can flash Magisk (this is my favorite) or SuperSU. You can learn more about these rooting methods here. Once you’ve flashed one of these two apps, reboot your device, and install an app called Substratum from either F-Droid or Google Play.
This will give you full control over how Android looks on your device—from tweaking basic things like color schemes and icon shapes to complete overhauls of every aspect of a smartphone’s interface. If you want absolute freedom over how Android looks on your phone, then rooting is what you want!
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