HyperOS Bootloader Unlock Status: Is it Possible? What are the new Requirements? All You Need to Know!

Bhanu Pratap
By Bhanu Pratap 13 Min Read

There exists a subgroup of users who, despite not being enthusiasts of Xiaomi’s foundational operating system skin, opt for it due to two compelling reasons: it offers remarkable value for money, and Xiaomi stands as a prominent player in the realm of custom development.

Speaking specifically about the latter aspect, users have traditionally enjoyed the freedom to flash custom ROMs such as Xiaomi EU ROMs, LineageOS, Pixel Experience, or various other AOSP ROMs.

However, a paradigm shift is on the horizon. Xiaomi, a brand synonymous with user-friendly customizability, is bidding farewell to MIUI in favour of its new operating system, HyperOS.

Despite no apparent major changes in the user interface or experience, a host of unfavorable developments awaits the tech enthusiast. With the introduction of HyperOS, the once-feasible task of unlocking the bootloader on Xiaomi, Poco, Redmi, and Mi devices may become a thing of the past.

Even for Chinese users, this process is expected to become an insurmountable challenge. As for global users, the outlook is equally disheartening. The following elucidates the reasons behind this shift.

Update 5: Stricter Bootloader Unlocking Rules for HyperOS China applies to the Global users as well

Xiaomi restricts bootloader unlocking permissions to the global HyperOS too, citing potential security risks. Regular users are advised to keep the bootloader locked for a secure and stable experience.

Enthusiasts and developers can apply for unlocking permission through the Xiaomi Community, undergoing a stringent evaluation process reminiscent of the MIUI and Chinese HyperOS bootloader procedures.

MIUI users on older operating systems retain the unlocking ability, but unlocked devices will no longer receive HyperOS updates. Users can still unlock the bootloader via fastboot, but the process is expected to become more challenging for custom ROM users.

Update 4: The new Updates app confirms that the Unlocked Bootloader Device won’t get HyperOS OTA Updates

Users who opt to return their bootloader to its original locked state gain the ability to receive updates for HyperOS or MIUI. The notable feature of the new bootloader lock system ensures that users can enjoy official updates, maintaining both the security and integrity of their devices. Kacskrz observed these changes in the latest Updater app.

Update 3: New Bootloader Unlock Requirements are not seeming to work for some users

In a surprising turn of events, a notable revelation has surfaced – a segment of users has managed to successfully unlock their device’s bootloader using the Mi Unlock Tool. This achievement stands out as an exception to the rigorous prerequisites imposed by Xiaomi for bootloader unlocking, particularly under the HyperOS.

These users, operating Xiaomi 13 devices equipped with the latest HyperOS, have defied the conventional barriers. Notably, they accomplished this feat without undergoing the customary steps of becoming internal testers, reaching community level 5, or disclosing sensitive information such as passport and credit card details – requirements that were initially perceived as essential.

Adding to the unexpected twist, these users report receiving official Over-The-Air (OTA) updates, contradicting Xiaomi’s earlier statements. Despite the manufacturer’s initial stance on restricting OTA updates for devices with unlocked bootloaders, this subset of users seems to have found a workaround.

Image Credits: XDA Member me_Alex

However, a note of caution is warranted. While this development suggests a degree of flexibility from the OEM’s side, it remains uncertain whether this leniency is a temporary measure or if Xiaomi will eventually tighten its grip on bootloader unlocking procedures. Users are advised to capitalize on this apparent honeymoon period, making the most of the current status quo, but with an awareness that the situation may evolve in the future. Stay tuned for further developments in this intriguing chapter of Xiaomi’s HyperOS saga.

Update 2: Exclusive Restrictions for Chinese Users, Global Community Awaits Clarification

In the latest development, Xiaomi has clarified to Android Authority that the mentioned restrictions are currently exclusive to the Chinese version of HyperOS. Global users are urged to remain patient and await an official announcement on the company’s forum for further details.

While this brings a sense of relief to the global user base, it also hints at upcoming changes that will affect users worldwide. The hope is that any modifications introduced will not involve unwarranted requests for personal information such as passports and credit card details. Stay tuned for more updates as the situation unfolds!

Update 1: Xiaomi’s Confirmation Comes with a Twist!

In a recent revelation, Xiaomi has officially confirmed to Android Authority that the default setting for bootloader unlocking will be disabled on HyperOS smartphones. Xiaomi underscores the importance of this security measure in safeguarding device integrity, preventing data leakage, and enhancing overall user experience. Saying,

“To protect the device’s security, avoid data leakage, and provide users with a more secure and stable user experience, bootloader unlocking will be disabled by default on Xiaomi HyperOS”. You’ll need to apply for permission to unlock your HyperOS device via its forum.

According to Xiaomi’s statement, users seeking to unlock the bootloader on HyperOS devices will now need to apply for permission through the official Xiaomi forum.

The statement raises questions about the specific implementation of this change. Xiaomi’s emphasis on applying for permission via its forum adds a layer of complexity, prompting speculation about whether Xiaomi intends to eliminate the Mi Unlock page from Developer Options or introduce an entirely new process, as discussed in previous sections. The exact nature of this adjustment awaits further clarification from Xiaomi as users navigate the evolving landscape of bootloader unlocking on HyperOS smartphones.

HyperOS Bootloader Unlocking is going to be Troublesome

The journey into the complexities of unlocking the bootloader on Xiaomi’s HyperOS begins with a frustrating ordeal. Our attempts to add our account under the Mi Unlock Status page on the Xiaomi 14 Pro, running the latest HyperOS, proved to be an exercise in futility.

The device consistently presented the disheartening error prompt, stating, “The system is being upgraded. Please try again later.” Initially, we attributed this to a potential server-side issue, patiently waiting for days before attempting again.

To our dismay, the outcome remained unchanged, sowing seeds of doubt about the previously straightforward process.

Seeking clarity, we turned to Google Translator and delved into numerous official Chinese Xiaomi forums, only to be met with a series of revelations. The requirements for unlocking the bootloader on a Xiaomi device running HyperOS unveiled a labyrinthine process:

  1. Internal Tester Application: Prospective unlockers must apply to become an internal tester.
  2. Community Level and Name Authentication: Successful application necessitates reaching community level 5 and undergoing name authentication, involving the submission of a passport.
  3. Chinese Bank Registration: A further hurdle demands registration with a Chinese bank. However, the stringent screening process to open a Chinese bank account renders this step nearly impossible for users residing outside China.
  4. Yearly Renewal: Even if one successfully navigates these requirements, the process must be renewed annually. Additionally, a user is limited to unlocking the bootloader on three devices per year.

Commendably using a passport and a bank account to unlock the bootloader, Xiaomi’s approach introduces an array of seemingly nonsensical rules.

Just when the community thought that enduring a 168-hour wait to unlock the bootloader was challenging enough, these additional requirements have created a labyrinth of obstacles that many may find impossible to navigate. However, Xiaomi’s changes don’t conclude here; there are further alterations that demand attention:

  • OTAs for Unlocked Bootloaders: Xiaomi drops another bombshell by stating that all devices with unlocked bootloaders currently running MIUI will not receive HyperOS updates via Over-The-Air (OTA) updates.
  • Post-Unlock OTA Restrictions: Furthermore, users on HyperOS who manage to unlock the bootloader may find themselves deprived of OTAs until they relock the bootloader.
  • End of an Era for OTA Updates on Rooted Devices: A nostalgic farewell is bid to the days when users could install OTA updates seamlessly even on rooted Xiaomi devices by installing the OTA to the inactive slot.

In essence, Xiaomi’s stringent requirements and consequential limitations paint a bleak picture for users accustomed to the freedom of customization. The once-accessible pathway to bootloader unlocking has now become an intricate process fraught with hurdles and restrictions.

Xiaomi’s departure from the user-friendly bootloader unlocking practices of the past signals a significant shift, leaving many in the tech community disillusioned and questioning the future landscape of device customization on Xiaomi devices.

What is Xiaomi’s stance on this matter?

Well, based on their official communication shared on the Chinese forum, they have reiterated the familiar narrative, emphasizing that maintaining a locked bootloader “ensures device security, prevents data leakage, and delivers a safer and more stable user experience” [translated]. Opting for a cautious approach, they have refrained from explicitly mentioning the complexities associated with unlocking bootloaders on that page.

Rather than providing direct insights into the challenges of bootloader unlocking, Xiaomi has stated, “The specific application rules are based on the application page of the internal testing center of the Xiaomi community.” Notably, there is no link provided to access this page at the time of writing. Interestingly, they have included a link to guide users on relocking the bootloader, offering a detailed step-by-step guide.

Our Thoughts!

While some of you may align with Xiaomi’s perspective, asserting that a locked bootloader provides enhanced safety, security, and privacy compared to an unlocked counterpart, it’s essential to acknowledge that these claims hold truth.

However, the crucial point here is that we, the tech enthusiasts, are well-informed about the actions we undertake. We understand both the advantages and, more importantly, the drawbacks associated with the bootloader unlocking process.

It’s highly unlikely for someone to inadvertently add their account to the Mi Unlock Status, install the Mi Unlock Tool, wait for the mandatory 7-day period, and then proceed to unlock the bootloader without a clear understanding of the risks involved. Instead of delving into this realm, Xiaomi could redirect its focus towards refining MIUI/HyperOS.

This could involve minimizing bloatware, allowing users to fully savor the advantages offered by the open-source operating system.

Regrettably, this is no longer the reality. Unless you opt to part ways with Xiaomi, the situation remains unchanged. There’s a growing concern that Xiaomi might find itself on a parallel path to OnePlus, reminiscent of the latter’s challenges in the tech community following the Oppo MSM Tool debacle.

On this somewhat regrettable note, we conclude this post. Rest assured, we are actively monitoring this unfolding narrative and will provide updates as further developments arise. Stay tuned!

Share This Article
Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *