Manage the bootloader of your FP3/FP3+

 

Fairphone 3/Fairphone 3+ (FP3/FP3+) gives you the freedom to unlock your bootloader. This allows you to install an alternative custom operating systems (ROMs)

- IMPORTANT -

Be aware that unlocking the bootloader also disable important security features. Only unlock the bootloader if you know what you are doing. We strongly advise you to lock it again once done.
An unlocked bootloader makes it possible for another user to perform operations that might compromise the security of your Fairphone. If you are the rightful owner and you want to proceed with this, read on

 

Manage your bootloader

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

 

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 the serial number of your device via the software: go to SettingsAbout phoneModel & HardwareSerial number: 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. Your unique unlock code with further details is shown on the page
    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

 

2. Enable Developer mode

To prevent other people to unlock the bootloader without your consent, you can only allow the bootloader to be unlocked via the Settings of your FP3/FP3+. Since this unlocking is an advanced action, it requires advanced settings - usually only reserved for developers. Again, only do this when you know what you are doing.

  1. c
  2. Return the device to its factory settings to prevent software errors

To Enable Developer Mode in your FP3/FP3+:

  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: set the main toggle to On at the top menu. Make sure you followed step 4.1 if Developer options are not visible
    DevOpFP3.png
  4. Enable OEM unlocking: set the toggle to On at OEM unlocking
    _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 FP3
  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 in your device, please update your software to the latest version
      _a_FP3_developer-options_input-verify-code.png

Now unlocking is enabled and you can unlock your device

 

3. Unlock your bootloader 

To unlock the bootloader of your FP3/FP3+, follow the instructions below
- IMPORTANT -
Be aware. This will erase all the data on the device!

  1. If you did not do this yet, back up all your personal data
  2. If not done yet, install the command-line tool fastboot on your computer
  3. Connect your FP3/FP3+ to your computer using a USB data cable
  4. Put your FP3/FP3+ in fastboot mode. You cand 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 just turn off your FP3/FP3+, 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
  5. 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, then try typing: ./fastboot oem unlock and press the "Enter ↩" key
  6. 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

 

4. Lock your bootloader

For the safety and protection of your data in case of theft or loss of your device, we advise you to keep the bootloader of your Fairphone locked, when not needed otherwise.

To lock again the bootloader of your FP3/FP3+, follow the instructions below:

  1. If not done yet, install the command-line tool fastboot on your computer
  2. Connect your FP3/FP3+ to your computer using a USB data cable
  3. Put your FP3/FP3+ in fastboot mode. You cand 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 just turn off your FP3/FP3+, 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, then try typing: ./fastboot oem unlock and press the "Enter ↩" key
  5. Follow the instructions on the Fairphone screen

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