Unlock your boot loader

Openness is important to Sony, and you can now unlock the boot loader for a wide range of Sony devices. Read the information below to get started.

What is this?

How to unlock

Learn all the steps in how to unlock your boot loader.

By unlocking the boot loader, it’s possible to put custom ROMs on your Xperia™ device. However, we recommend standard users not to unlock the boot loader, as it is not needed. We are proud to deliver great software experiences through our rigorously tested and official software releases. If you are not familiar with the risks involved, you should not proceed further.

Voiding the warranty

If you unlock the boot loader, you may void the warranty of your device and/or any warranty from your operator. See your device’s warranty statement for details. Additionally, due to the modified device software, Sony’s repair network will likely have to replace key components before it can properly test, repair and verify your device 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.

Risks

Please be aware that Sony cannot guarantee the full functionality, and will not be responsible, for any unsigned custom ROM being flashed to your device after the boot loader is unlocked. An unsigned custom ROM may not have gone through the thorough tests that we run for each device and software version that we release.

Also, a custom ROM might not work properly on your device, and certain functions and offerings may cease to work. The performance of the device might also be affected, and you may damage your device permanently. In worst case, unlocking the boot loader will cause physical injuries or material damage, for example, due to the device overheating. 

Certain pre-loaded content on your device may also be inaccessible due to the removal of DRM security keys. For high-end devices running recent software versions, for instance Xperia Z3, the removal of DRM security keys may affect advanced camera functionality. For example, noise reduction algorithms might be removed, and performance when taking photos in low-light conditions might be affected. The secure user data partition may also become inaccessible, and you will not be able to get any more official software upgrades if you unlock the boot loader.

If you have read and understood the above information, you may start unlocking your device below.

Unlock the boot loader

If your device is not in the list, it’s not possible to unlock the boot loader.

 

What Xperia™ device models are supported?

Please see the list of supported devices and note it will only be possible to unlock the boot loader for certain releases (depending on operator restrictions). You can check if it is possible to unlock the boot loader of your device in the service menu by following the steps below:

Will I have root access after unlocking the boot loader?

No, unlocking the bootloader will only allow you to install a custom ROM. To gain root access you need to use a custom ROM that permits root access. You may be able to find such a custom ROM on either the XDA Forums, or the FreeXperia Project website.

Will unlocking the boot loader void my device and/or operator warranty?

Most likely. For more information about warranty issues, please read the full text on the ‘Start tab’ of this page.

What additional software is required to unlock the boot loader?

When unlocking the boot loader, you will need to have the offical Android SDK installed. This is because you will be using the Fastboot tool found in the Android SDK. If you run Windows, you will also need to install a custom USB driver in order to connect your device to your computer. Detailed information will be given in the final step of the unlocking process.

Are there any known issues when unlocking the boot loader?

Yes. When you select a device, any known issues for that device will be displayed. In addition, the following generic issues have been reported:

  • Some users have experienced problems when they are accepting over the air upgrades. Therefore we do not recommend users to accept over the air upgrades, after having unlocked the boot loader. For additional information, check out the XDA Forums for hints and tips from the community.

If I change my mind later on, is there any way to restore my device?

No. Once you have unlocked the boot loader, you will not be able to revert the device back to a locked or original state or restore the DRM security keys. You can however use the Flash tool for Xperia™ devices to flash a generic Sony ROM, although it will not receive automatic software upgrades.

How many devices can I unlock thrugh this service?

There is no limit, however the amount of unlock codes you can request within a certain time frame is limited.

Is it possible to unlock a large batch of devices in one go?

If you belong to an organisation or a company that have purchased a large number of Sony devices,  it may be possible receive multiple unlock codes at once. If you have such a request, please send an email to developer.world_at_sonymobile.com (replace _at_ with @). Describe your use case and provide us with contact details. We will then evaluate it and get back to you with more information.

I have a question not covered here. Where do I go?

We do not offer any official support when unlocking the boot loader. However, for general questions and discussions, visit this FreeXperia thread at the XDA Forums. Please note that these are external forums, not run by Sony.

Currently, the following Sony devices are supported:

Model Fastboot button
Live with Walkman™ Menu
Xperia™ acro S Volume up
Xperia™ active Volume up
Xperia™ arc Menu
Xperia™ arc S Menu
Xperia™ C Volume up
Xperia™ E Volume up
Xperia™ E1 Volume up
Xperia™ E3 Volume up
Xperia™ E dual Volume up
Xperia™ go Volume up
Xperia™ ion HSPA Volume up
Xperia™ ion LTE Volume up
Xperia™ J Volume up
Xperia™ L Volume up
Xperia™ M Volume up
Xperia™ M2 Volume Up
Xperia™ M dual Volume up
Xperia™ mini Volume up
Xperia™ mini pro Volume up
Xperia™ miro Volume up
Xperia™ neo Menu
Xperia™ neo V Menu
Xperia™ P Volume up
Xperia™ PLAY Search
Xperia™ pro Menu
Xperia™ ray Volume up
Xperia™ S Volume up
Xperia™ SL Volume up
Xperia™ sola Volume up
Xperia™ SP Volume up
Xperia™ T Volume up
Xperia™ T2 Ultra Volume up
Xperia™ T2 Ultra Dual Volume up
Xperia™ T3 Volume up
Xperia™ Tablet Z Volume up
Xperia™ Tablet Z WiFi Volume up
Xperia™ tipo Volume up
Xperia™ tipo dual Volume up
Xperia™ TX Volume up
Xperia™ U Volume up
Xperia™ V Volume up
Xperia™ Z Volume up
Xperia™ Z1 Volume up
Xperia™ Z1 Compact Volume up
Xperia™ Z2 Volume up
Xperia™ Z2 Tablet Volume up
Xperia™ Z2 Tablet WiFi Volume up
Xperia™ Z3 Volume up
Xperia™ Z3 Compact Volume up
Xperia™ Z3 Tablet Compact Volume up
Xperia™ ZL Volume up
Xperia™ ZR Volume up
Xperia™ Z Ultra Volume up

Note! Even if your device is listed here, certain releases of the device model may not be supported due to operator restrictions. Please select your device on the Start tab to check if your particular device can be unlocked.

If you’ve unlocked the boot loader, and flashed a custom ROM, there’s actually a way to return to a generic Sony ROM by using the Flash tool for Xperia™ devices. This is a Windows application that you can download from the Developer World website. The Flash tool for Xperia™ devices can only be used by unlocked Sony devices.

Please note that your device stays unlocked even if you flash a generc Sony ROM, and that the warranty may still be voided. Only a limited number of devices and ROMs are supported by this tool.

Download and read more about the Flash tool for Xperia™ devices.