- Xiaomi has confirmed that it is blocking bootloader unlocking by default on HyperOS phones.
- The company says you’ll need to apply for permission to unlock your HyperOS device via its forum.
- MIUI and HyperOS phones won’t get HyperOS updates if you unlock them, though.
Xiaomi recently launched the Xiaomi 14 series in China, and it’ll likely be a contender for one of the best phones of 2024 when it eventually hits global markets. The phones also ship with a so-called HyperOS UX skin in lieu of MIUI. However, online reports suggest that the company was completely barring users from unlocking the bootloaders of their HyperOS and MIUI phones for a while. The restriction was partially lifted for MIUI users citing server maintenance, but HyperOS users couldn’t bootloader unlock up until today.
Now, Xiaomi has confirmed to Android Authority that bootloader unlocking will indeed be disabled out-of-the-box on HyperOS smartphones. The company revealed the stance in an emailed response to Android Authority questions:
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.
Instead, Xiaomi tells us that you’ll need to apply for permission to unlock the device’s bootloader via its community forum.
Please stay tuned for the announcement of the application portal on the Xiaomi Community website.
Bootloader unlocking has always been disabled on MIUI out-of-the-box, too. Users have had to apply for permission to unlock the bootloader. You can only unlock the bootloader when a set amount of time has passed from your application, and there are other restrictions too around the process.
HyperOS bootloader unlocking becomes more restrictive in China
HyperOS will carry forward at least some of these restrictions, but it seems that Xiaomi has added some more of them to the process. The company has released new requirements for the bootloader unlocking process in China.
According to MIUI Polska writer Kacper Skrzypek, users in China will need to reach “level five” on the company forums to unlock the bootloader on HyperOS devices. The writer’s screenshots also point to bootloader unlock permissions being time-sensitive, as well as imposing a limit of three unlocked devices per year.
Xiaomi confirmed to us that the aforementioned restrictions were only applicable to the Chinese version of HyperOS. It reiterated that global users need to wait for an announcement on the company’s forum for more details.
This restrictive approach to bootloader unlocking nevertheless differs from several other smartphone brands. For example, Google Pixels and OnePlus phones allow you to unlock their bootloader by visiting the usually hidden developer options menu and running a few commands.
No HyperOS updates for you, either
Xiaomi also has bad news for MIUI users who wish to unlock their smartphones, saying they won’t get updated to HyperOS.
“Previous operating systems, such as MIUI 14, still retain the ability to unlock, but users will no longer receive any Xiaomi HyperOS updates if they leave their devices in an unlocked state,” the company told us.
The Chinese brand clarified in a follow-up email that HyperOS updates won’t be available if you’ve unlocked your phone’s bootloader, regardless of whether you’re on MIUI 14 or HyperOS. However, the company said you’ll receive HyperOS updates if you choose to lock your device again. This applies to all Xiaomi devices outside of China.
Have you ever unlocked your phone’s bootloader?
Bootloader unlocking does have security ramifications, resulting in some apps, like banking clients and payment services, not working. Nevertheless, it’s an essential step for those who wish to tinker with their smartphones, opening the door for custom ROMs, unofficial updates, system mods, and more.
We’ve asked Xiaomi whether the bootloader unlocking restrictions for HyperOS devices (e.g., disabled by default) apply to MIUI phones, too. We’ll update the article if/when the company responds.
The post Exclusive: Your Xiaomi phone won’t get HyperOS updates if you unlock the bootloader first appeared on www.androidauthority.com