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Bootloader Unlock

Important information

Please note that you may void the warranty of your phone and/or any warranty from your operator if you unlock the boot loader. See your phone’s warranty statement for details. Additionally, due to the modified phone software, Sony’s repair network will likely have to replace key components before it can properly test, repair and verify your phone using our repair tools and software. Consequently, if Sony performs a warranty repair, Sony will likely charge you a significant service fee for the additional costs caused by your modification of the software.

Sony can no longer guarantee the full functionality of your phone, and will not be responsible for any unsigned custom software being flashed to the phone after the boot loader is unlocked. Certain functions in your phone might cease to work, and performance might not be ideal. You might also damage your phone permanently. In the worst case, unlocking the boot loader will cause physical injuries or material damage, for example, due to the phone overheating.

Certain content on your phone may also be inaccessible due to the removal of DRM security keys and the secure user data partition while unlocking the boot loader. We advise you to create backups, since user data, settings and accounts will be removed.

With all of the above in mind, you should only unlock the boot loader of your phone if you are an advanced user with good knowledge of the technology and risks involved. We recommend standard users not to unlock the boot loader, as it is not needed. We are proud to deliver great phone experiences through our rigorously tested and official software releases.

If you are fully aware of the risks involved, and have a deep knowledge about these technologies, continue to the unlock boot loader instructions page. You should be aware that unlocking the boot loader will not give you root access. The only way to get root access is to flash a custom ROM with root access.

For any questions, we will monitor this thread on Google groups. However, we cannot guarantee an answer for every question asked in this forum. If you want additional assistance, check out the FreeXperia developer thread on the XDA-forum. Please note that this is an external forum, not run by Sony.

Also note that there is no turning back once you have unlocked the boot loader. You will not be able to revert the phone to a locked or original state if you unlock it. In addition, if you brick the phone, it is your own responsibility.


Known issues

  • Some customers with unlocked boot loaders have experienced problems when they are accepting over the air upgrades (FOTA - Firmware upgrade Over The Air). For customers that have unlocked the boot loader, please do not accept any over the air upgrades. For additional information, check out the hints and tips from the community on the XDA forum.


  1. First, you should confirm that it is possible to unlock the boot loader of your phone by checking the service menu. In your phone, open the dialler and enter *#*#7378423#*#* to access the service menu.
  2. In your phone, tap Service info > Configuration > Rooting Status. If Bootloader unlock allowed says Yes, then you can continue with the next step. If it says No, or if the status is missing, your device cannot be unlocked.
  3. On your computer, click Continue at the bottom of this page to start the unlock boot loader process.
  4. Read through the information in the pop up window and click Yes, I’m sure, if you are still confident you want to unlock the boot loader.
  5. Read through and accept the legal terms. Click I Accept.
  6. Enter your name, a valid email adress and the first 14 digits of your phone’s IMEI or MEID number (remove the last digit if necessary). Click Submit. You can view the IMEI or MEID number by entering *#06# on your phone.
  7. The unlock boot boot loader key will be sent to your email. Save it for later use.
  8. Download and install the latest Android SDK from
  9. Download and unzip this file. This is the standard android_winusb.inf-file, with a few lines of code added to enable Fastboot to support Sony and Sony Ericsson devices. Make sure you are running Google USB Driver package revision 4 or higher in your Android SDK. You can see current Google USB Driver package revision in the SDK Manager.
  10. Place the unzipped file in the usb_driver folder, located in the Android SDK > extras > google folder on your computer. Accept to replace the old android_winusb.inf-file with the new file. If you can't find the usb_driver folder, please install the Google USB Driver Packager using the Android SDK manager.
  11. Turn off your phone.
  12. On your phone, push and hold the unlock button* at the same time as you connect the phone to the computer with a USB-cable. The unlock button may differ between different phone models. See the note in the bottom of this page for more information on what button use on your phone.
  13. On your computer, you will be asked for drivers. Point to the usb_driver folder where you placed the android_winusb.inf-file, and select the Android Boot loader Interface-file.
  14. Open a command window and go to the tools folder within the Android SDK folder.
  15. Enter fastboot.exe -i 0x0fce getvar version, and verify that you get a response back (for example "0.3"). This means your phone is connected properly.

  16. Warning! If you perform this step, you will unlock the boot loader. This may void your warranty and/or any warranty from your operator. If you still want to unlock the boot loader of your phone, enter fastboot.exe -i 0x0fce oem unlock 0xKEY, where KEY is the unlock boot loader key you got in the beginning of this instruction. The boot loader should now be successfully unlocked.


* Hold the following button while connecting your phone to a computer with a USB-cable:

  • Menu button (for smartphone like Xperia™ arc, Xperia™ arc S, Xperia™ neo, Xperia™ neo V, Xperia™ pro).
  • Search button (for Xperia™ PLAY).
  • Volume up button (for smartphones like Xperia™ mini, Xperia™ mini pro, Xperia™ ray, Xperia™ active, Live with Walkman™, Xperia™ S).