What is OEM – How to enable OEM unlocking on Android?

What is OEM unlock?

OEM-Unlock is an option which was first introduced by Google in the developer options. It is used as a security feature for the device against the unauthorised unlock of the bootloader of the device. This option needs to be enabled in order to unlock the bootloader. It was first introduced in Android 5.0 Lollipop by Google and seldom referred to as “OEM Unlock.” OEM stands for Original Equipment Manufacturer. Android users cannot unlock the bootloader without the OEM unlocking. This is because, without this process, the android device will not accept the bootloader unlocking command. This can only be done once the option is available then only you can easily unlock the bootloader of any android device.

What is Bootloader? How are OEM and Bootloader related?

Now that we already know about the OEM, let’s now get to know about the bootloader. Both Bootloader and the OEM are integrated.  When your device boots up and turns on, the bootloader runs. It includes an indication to boot the operating system kernel. It is required to unlock your OEM. If your device manufacturer doesn’t provide the OEM unlock option then you need to unlock the bootloader in order to enable the OEM. Like every other thing, it also has an advantage and disadvantage too. Talking about the advantages, one of the main advantages is that you can download anything on your android device, install custom ROM, root it etc. The disadvantage is that its warranty is now void.

Is OEM Unlock Same as Root?

Even though these two are related, they are certainly not the same. If you enable OEM, it acts as a turn ON or OFF switch that allows you to unlock the bootloader providing you still have the option of removing the security flag and unlocking the bootloader. The unlocked bootloader allows the user to flash custom kernels, custom ROMs, custom recoveries, install root apps and modify the bootloader as preferred by the user. 

Rooting, on the other hand, means having full administrator access to the OS. It allows the user to modify System files and configurations, hardware accelerations like CPU overclocking, custom RAM optimization. It also offers the user a lot more freedom and in-depth access to the device.

How to Enable OEM Unlocking on Android?

To unlock the OEM, you need to first enable the developer’s options as the OEM unlock option is hidden in the Developer’s Option.

Enable OEM unlocking on Android

How to enable Developer’s Option

  1. Open Settings option on your device and then scroll down all the way to find the System tab.
  2. Open the System’s tab and select About phone tab.
  3. Scroll down to find the build number section and tap on it 7 times until you see the pop-up message saying, ‘Congratulations! You’re now a developer.’

After completing the above steps, you will become a developer and will be able to see the Developer Options menu in the Settings app of your Android device.

Steps to enable the OEM Unlocking

After creating a back-up and unlocking the developer’s option, the user can enable the OEM unlocking by following the steps given below.

  1. Go to ‘settings’ option on your device and tap on ‘System.’
  2. Select Developer’s Options.
  3. Locate OEM unlocking and select it.
  4. You may be required to enter your password/pin. Also, a message might pop up stating the consequences of turning on the OEM Unlock.
  5. Press Enable.

After following all the above-mentioned steps, your OEM unlocking will be done. You can easily enable or disable it on your android device. 

Rules to follow before enabling OEM `Unlock.

There are some rules which you need to follow as precautions in order to proceed with OEM unlockings like backing up the device, turning on developer options and USB Debugging. Enabling the OEM unlock won’t affect your android device but if you choose to unlock the bootloader then it will definitely format your device so you need to perform entire device back-up before unlocking the bootloader.

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