How To – Unlock the Bootloader on the Google Nexus 7

April 26, 20130 Comments

unlock-580-90The Google Nexus 7 is the first Nexus branded tablet released by Google. It was manufactured in partnership with Asus and announced at the Google I/O event last year, as the lead device to showcase Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. Since its release, the Nexus 7 has gone on to become one of the best selling tablets across all display sizes, thanks to its top of the line hardware and build quality combined with an incredibly affordable price.

For those who came in late, the Nexus 7 comes with a 7 inch HD display (800 x 1280), a powerful 1.2GHz Quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3 processor coupled with 1GB of RAM, 8/16/32 GB of internal storage, and Android 4.1 Jelly bean out of the box. The device, by virtue of being a Nexus, currently runs the latest version of Jelly Bean – Android 4.2.2 along with other current Nexus devices and a few Asus Transformer Pads.

Nexus devices enjoy cult status within the Android enthusiast community for two primary reasons. The first one being the priority availability of the latest OS updates directly from Google, and secondly the relative ease with which one can unlock the bootloader and root the device, preparing it for a vast number of custom ROMs and kernels which are developed for the device. In fact. even older Nexus devices like the Google Nexus One and the Nexus S continue to see active development.

Unlocking the bootloader is the first step towards everything else, especially if you plan to install a custom recovery like CWM or TWRP and then venture into the exciting world of Custom ROMs. And as always, here’s a detailed step by step guide which will help you through the process. Keep in mind though, that bootloader unlocking wipes your device completely, so you are advised to take a full backup before proceeding with this guide.

Pre- Requisites

How to Unlock the Nexus 7 Bootloader

  1. Enable USB Debugging on your tablet from Settings > Developer Options
  2. Now switch off the device and reboot to Bootloader mode (Vol Up + Vol Down + Power)
  3. Plug in the device to your PC via USB cable
  4. On your PC, open the folder where you have installed ADB and open a command window at that location (Shift + Right Click > Open Command Window Here)
  5. Type in the following command into the DOS window

    fastboot oem unlock

  6. You should now see a disclaimer on your Nexus 7 screen asking you whether you want to go ahead an unlock the bootloader. Press the Volume Up button once to highlight Yes and then Press the Power button once to confirm the unlocking
  7. Profit!

Congratulations!! You have successfully unlocked the bootloader on your Nexus 7 tablet and can go ahead and install a custom recovery like CWM or TWRP now. TWRP installation guide coming up. Stay tuned! :)

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