FP3(+). Manage the bootloader

 

Fairphone 3/Fairphone 3+ (FP3/FP3+) gives you the freedom to unlock your bootloader. Opening the bootloader allows you to install an alternative custom operating system (ROM)

-- IMPORTANT --

Be aware that unlocking the bootloader also disables essential security features. Only open the bootloader if you know what you are doing!
An unlocked bootloader allows any expert users to take ownership of the device and perform operations that might compromise the security of your Fairphone and the data stored on it.

 

PART 1

On your Fairphone

To unlock the bootloader, you need a code. To get the code, you will have to provide the IMEI 1 and the serial number of your Fairphone.
After, you will also have to enable developer options on your device. Then you can use the unlock code to unlock your device. Follow the instructions below to guide you.

 

- Before starting -

Please follow the instructions of the article update FP3/FP3+ to the latest software. If you skip this step, the procedure will not work.

- IMPORTANT -


 

1. Get your unique unlock code

To get the code, follow these instructions:

  1. Find the IMEI 1 of your device:
    1. Via the software: go to SettingsAbout phone → scroll down to IMEI (SIM slot 1)
      IMEIFP3.png
    2. Printed inside the phone:
      1. Take off the battery cover
      2. Take out the battery module
      3. The white sticker with the IMEI 1 printed on it in black - accompanied by a barcode - is located on the side of the battery housing of the Core Module.
    3. Printed on the underside of the original box of delivery
    4. Printed on the delivery note
  2. Find your device's serial number via the software: go to SettingsAbout phoneModel & HardwareSerial number: Ie. 357801234567890
    serialFP3.png
  3. Go to the dedicated page for the bootloader code:
    1. Enter the IMEI 1 and serial number in the text fields of the form
    2. Click the blue button Get your unlock code
    3. You will then your unique unlock code with further details
    4. Register the code somewhere if you can not enter it in your phone immediately

If you encounter an error, try:

  • again at a later time
  • with another browser
  • on another device
  • to type the correct identifiers again, you could have entered a typo

- IMPORTANT -

The code changes each time. If you wish to unlock again your bootloader, you will have to repeat the procedure.
If it doesn't work, please contact our customer support
.


 

2. Enable OEM unlocking

First, you will need to enable the Developer Options on your Fairphone. To do so:

  1. Go to SettingsAbout phone
  2. Press Build number seven times until you see a small message telling you that Developer mode is enabled.
  3. Go to SettingsSystemAdvancedDeveloper options
    DevOpFP3.png
  4. Scroll down until you find OEM unlocking and set the toggle to On
    _a_FP3_developer-options_oem-unlocking.png
  5. The device then can ask you to re-enter your chosen PIN, password, or pattern for unlocking the lock screen of your Fairphone.
  6. Enter the unlock code (see step 1.3.3) you received from us and press Enable
      1. If it is not possible to enter the code into your device, please update your software to the latest version
        _a_FP3_developer-options_input-verify-code.png
      2. Now unlocking is enabled.
  7. Scroll down some more, until you find USB debugging and set the toggle to ON

You're now ready to follow the next part of the instructions.

 


 

PART 2

On your computer (Windows and macOS)

 

Prerequisite(s) for Microsoft Windows systems:

  1. Windows 10
  2. Your computer needs to have a working internet connection
  3. Your system drivers need to be up to date.
    To make sure of this, in your Windows 10

    1. Click the Start menu, type Device Manager, then type the Enter key on your keyboard. A new window will open.
    2. Scroll down the list and select Other Devices. Please follow the next steps if you see an item named simply Android, preceded by an escalation dot.
    3. Click the Start menu, type Check for updates, then type the Enter key on your keyboard. A new window will open.
    4. Click on the button Check for updates located in the top right part of this window and wait for a couple of minutes. Below the button, you will now see View optional updates.
    5. Click on View optional updates.
    6. Click on Driver and updates.
    7. Scroll down the list if needed and select all the drivers starting with Google, Inc -...
    8. Click on the button Download and install.
    9. Once done, reboot your computer.

  4. The connection should now work.

Please, check the animation below for additional help.

driver_installation_v3.gif


 

Unlock your bootloader 

  1. Install the command-line tool fastboot on your computer
  2. Connect your Fairphone to your computer using a USB data cable
  3. Put your Fairphone in fastboot mode. You can do so in one of the following ways:
    1. If you have installed the command-line tool ADB
      1. Start a Command Prompt (Windows) or a terminal (macOS)
      2. Use a USB data cable to connect your FP3/FP3+ to a computer
      3. Type ADB reboot bootloader and press the "Enter ↩" key
    2. Alternatively, you can turn off your Fairphone, then press the power button and volume down button at the same time until the device vibrates. After some seconds, you'll see the fastboot mode
  4. In a Command Prompt (Windows) or a terminal (macOS), type: fastboot oem unlock and press the "Enter ↩" key
    1. - IMPORTANT -
      If this doesn't work on your macOS, try typing: ./fastboot oem unlock and press the "Enter ↩" key.
  5. Follow the instructions on the Fairphone screen. This command will wipe all the personal data on your phone.

Now the bootloader is unlocked. You can install your preferred custom operating system when it is made available by the custom ROM manufacturer.


 

OPTIONAL - Lock your bootloader

 

- IMPORTANT -
Please, be aware that:

  • If you installed a 3rd-party OS, locking your bootloader might prevent your device from booting correctly.
  • To prevent unauthorized access to your data, locking the bootloader will delete all personal data on your phone.

 

To protect your data in case of theft or loss of your airphone, we advise you to keep the bootloader of your Fairphone locked.

To lock the bootloader of your Fairphone again, follow the instructions below:

  1. If not done yet, install the command-line tool fastboot on your computer
  2. Connect your Fairphone to your computer using a USB data cable
  3. Put your Fairphone in fastboot mode. You can do so in one of the following ways:
    1. If you have installed the command-line tool ADB
      1. Start a Command Prompt (Windows) or a terminal (macOS) 
      2. Use a USB data cable to connect your FP3/FP3+ to a computer
      3. Type ADB reboot bootloader and press the "Enter ↩" key
    2. Alternatively, you can turn off your Fairphone, then press the power button and volume down button at the same time until the device vibrates. After some seconds, you'll see the fastboot mode
  4. In a Command Prompt (Windows) or a terminal (macOS), type: fastboot oem lock and press the "Enter ↩" key
    1. - IMPORTANT -
      If this doesn't work on your macOS, try typing: ./fastboot oem lock and press the "Enter ↩" key.
  5. Follow the instructions on the Fairphone screen.

Now the bootloader is locked, and your Fairphone is safe again!


 

Known Issues

- IMPORTANT -

  • Fairphone does not support the use of the TWRP (Team Win Recovery Project), as it might cause malfunctioning.
    If you need our assistance after installing such software, you will have to restore your device to its original state. If not, we will consider it as out of warranty. For more information, you can check our Fairphone 3 Warranty (also applies to Fairphone 3+)