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How To Unlock Bootloaders on your Xperia Arc, Play, Neo and Pro

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Xperia Arc, Play, Neo and Pro

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UPDATE: Before you proceed, please visit this link to check if your phone’s boot loader can be unlocked or not?

NOTE: If the light above the USB port on your phone doesn’t turn blue when you connect your phone using the USB cable to your PC while holding the “MENU” button (on Xperia Arc. For Xperia Play – “SEARCH” button), then it means that you cannot connect to fastboot, and hence you cannot unlock the boot loader.

Here’s a Step by Step guide (w/ video) on how to unlock bootloaders on your Xperia Arc, Play, Neo & Pro.

[info]Although this guide is made using Xperia arc, I can assure that it would work perfectly with Xperia Play, Neo & Pro too.

NOTE: Xperia Play users should press the “Search” button instead of “Menu” button in Step 8th of this tutorial.[/info]

[warning]The methods and procedures discussed here are considered risky and you should not attempt if you don’t know completely what it is. If any damage occurs to you or your device, we won’t be held liable. You only will be responsible — you’ve been warned. Okay![/warning]

Video

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Instructions

For better understanding, I highly recommend you to watch the above video along with the instructions below:

  1. Download ‘Unlock Xperia Arc Bootloaders.zip’ file → here (link fixed)
  2. Extract the file you downloaded above on your PC. You’ll get the following three files:
    1. drivers.zip
    2. fastboot_with_Android_USB_file.zip
    3. unlockbootloader.sonyericsson.com
  3. Click/DoubleClick on the internet shortcut file you got in Step 2.3 “unlockbootloader.sonyericsson.com”.
    1. This will open a web page in your default browser. Scroll to the bottom of the Instructions on the page and you’ll see a link like “Continue”, click on it.
    2. In the pop-up window click “Yes, I’m sure” and then in the next window click on both the checkboxes, and then click “I accept”.
  4. Now insert the details as per the instructions:
    1. First 14 digits of your IMEI No. Do NOT enter the last digit (15th) in the box. To know your IMEI No. dial *#06# on your Xperia Arc.
    2. Your name.
    3. Your Email address.
    4. Then click on “Submit
  5. You’ll get a KEY to unlock boot loader. Write it down somewhere you can remember, it will be used later.
  6. Switch off your phone.
  7. Now extract the “fastboot_with_Android_USB_file.zip” file you got in Step 2.2.
  8. Pick up your phone (it must be switched off) and hold the “Menu” button (the key at the bottom right of your phone), now while holding the “Menu” button connect your phone to your PC with an USB cable.
  9. Once connected — the LED light near the phone’s USB plug will turn blue. If it doesn’t — repeat the Step 8.
  10. Now to install the drivers do the following:
    1. Extract the “drivers.zip” file you got in Step 2.1
    2. Open “Device Manager” on your PC and look for  “S1Boot Fastboot” under the head “Other devices
    3. Right-click on “S1Boot Fastboot” and select “Update Driver Software…
    4. Now select “Browse my computer for driver software” and select the folder where you’ve extracted all the three files you got in Step 2. Once done — click Ok.
    5. Now click Next (Make sure you’ve ticked the “Include subfolders” checkbox).
    6. If you see any Windows security warning box, don’t worry . Just select “Install this driver software anyway
    7. Wait for “Windows has successfully updated your driver software” message to appear on your screen. Now click Close.
  11. Open the “fastboot” folder from the file we extracted in Step 7.
  12. Now hold Shift and press mouse right click (Shift + Mouse Right Click) anywhere on the empty white space inside the “fastboot” folder. And then select “Open command window here” from the context menu.
  13. Now in the command prompt window type/paste the following:

    fastboot.exe -i 0x0fce getvar version

  14. It should return a value like “0.3”. This ensures that your device is correctly connected.
  15. Now type/paste the following line in the command prompt window:

    fastboot.exe -i 0x0fce oem unlock 0xKEY

    IMPORTANT! Replace the word “KEY” from the above line with the KEY that you received in Step 5. Then hit Enter.

  16. Now wait for the process to complete. Command prompt will show a “Finished” message when it will be completed.
  17. Once it’s done, disconnect the USB cable from your phone and switch it ON.
  18. Your phone’s boot loader should now be unlocked.

This guide was made using the quick tutorial posted by XDA developer lollylost100. Please consider donating him for his efforts using the button below:

Donate lollylost100

And to thank us for this guide you can leave us a comment :)

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  • Rhyan

    perfect! it works with my xperia play! =) thanks a lot!

    • http://www.theandroidsoul.com Shivam

      You’re welcome buddy :)

  • Jerwin Talusan

    Excellent. Works like a charm.

    • http://www.theandroidsoul.com Shivam

      Thanks :)

  • Shaun

    does not work on xperia play, is say portable device in device manager ??

  • http://twitter.com/Beppemi Giuseppe Miozza

    Thanks so much!!! It work so good for me.. a really clear guide!

  • Hershitaly

    in step 8 not going

  • Hershitaly

    fastboot.exe -i 0x0fce oem unlock 0x96e95722b3a0cd6a not going

  • Koro

    Worked great. Thanks!

  • Anonymous

    How can i find out if my bootloader is now unlocked?

  • Anonymous

    i feel like i just reset my phone without doing anything… what can i do now that its rooted?

  • Sneakers

    i cannot update driver “Adb android interface cannot find” what can i do whit this?

    • Phoney Pete

      I get the same problem with windows vista. Did you fix this?

  • Fihthedon

    awesomesauce, thank you :D

  • Gayannimasha

    brilliant…thank u vry much mate..

    • http://www.theandroidsoul.com Shivam

      thx ;)

  • גבריאל מיכאלי

    in step 8 the blue light dosent turn on for me.
    whay is this? what can i do?

  • Thi Anitelle

    Thank you very much!!!

    Bootloadersfastboot_with_Android_USB_filefastboot>fastboot.exe -i 0x0fce getvar versionversion: 0.3finished. total time: 0.001sC:UsersThiago_AnitelleDesktopUnlock Xperia Arc Bootloadersfastboot_with_Android_USB_filefastboot>fastboot.exe -i 0x0fce oem unlock 0xB1B5F1010724A38D…(bootloader) Unlock phone requested(bootloader) Erasing block 0x00000d00(bootloader) Erasing block 0x00000e00(bootloader) Erasing block 0x00000f00(bootloader) Erasing block 0×00001000(bootloader) Erasing block 0×00001100(bootloader) Erasing block 0×00001200(bootloader) Erasing block 0×00001300(bootloader) Erasing block 0×00001400(bootloader) Erasing block 0×00001500(bootloader) Erasing block 0×00001600(bootloader) Erasing block 0×00001700(bootloader) Erasing block 0x00001800OKAY [  4.208s]finished. total time: 4.208s

    A little detail:
    On the first atteptive, I had problems due to wrong KEY.
    And the key was wrong because I had entered a wrong IMEI in the SE website (unlockbootloader.sonyericsson.com). 

    The right IMEI is the first 14 characters, not the last.

    Therefore, thank you a lot, Kapil! =)

    • Ferdimafia

      i have don this but my xperia play wont start up

  • Patrick Stack

    thanks

  • Mikolajkozlowski

    i have an `oem unlock failed` response what to do= its xperia neo with the latest update pls pls help :)

    • Mudblood Pride

      My ‘oem unlock failed’ error was due to a mistype IMEI number.

      My suggestion is to double check that.

      • Mikolajkozlowski

        ty im gone check it asap :)

  • Arifin243

    not return 0.3 value..why??

    Xperia Neo
    2.3.3

  • Skolzkky

    It’s works. Good job! Thanks! (xperia play; 2.3.3)

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_IKKT4VKLCNRRBTU2W4US5Z4NBM Rolando

    Never mind This worked perfect for my r800x Xperia play Thank you so much!

    • Zabdiel Marin

      what did u do i have the same problem i see my phone as a drive e: and not as S1Boot Fastboot. thanks!

    • Deathsdezire

      How did you do this since we dont have a IMEI, but a MEID instead? and how did you get the drivers to install, windows says it cant find them, even after i point it right to the folder.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_IKKT4VKLCNRRBTU2W4US5Z4NBM Rolando

    Okay my problem is that i can’t find they“S1Boot Fastboot”  in my managers device.. my xpreia play is connected with a  blue light but i cant see this “S1Boot Fastboot”. I NEED HELP :D thank you for whoever does

    • Coz

      I’m a little bit late with this reply, but I had the same problem. An important thing, I think, was that I already updated the drivers, I was at the second attempt to root my phone. I realised that my phone was named instead of “S1Boot Fastboot” “Android ADB Interface” (at “Android device” category). That was a sign that my device was up to date.
      Sooo….. I jumped over this step :)
      Hope I helped someone here!

  • Leblo

    i did all the stuff but on the last step it says “FAILED!” what to do?

  • Leblo

    i have xperia play and i tried to get the blue light, i read 2 guides and i saw the video, its not turning blue, help please.

  • Tanzeel

    HI, Ive tried alot for step number 8, but the light isnt turning blue? what can be the problem? im in europe and the phone has t-mobile lock, can you please guide me? thanx

    • http://www.theandroidsoul.com Shivam

      Well you cannot connect to fastboot on a carrier locked device. Can’t help.

    • Neofactor Is3

      Sim-locked phones can’t be unlocked

  • Simonlim

    Hi, I got stuck at step 15. After keying my boot loader no, screen shows failed with .. anyone can help?

  • Mls210855

    Gerar, ¿cómo se pone en  modo inico rápido?

  • Gerar

    ese paquete de datos zip funciona en el xperia neo

  • Vmobilehouse

    please help….it out waiting for device ….why?     

    • http://www.theandroidsoul.com Shivam

      Well, I’m assuming that you have already unlocked boot loader on your Arc, since you’re trying to flash a system img, which requires you to have unlocked boot loader.

      Anyway your problem seems to be of fastboot driver, so refer to the 10th Step in the post above, it clearly explains how to install fastboot driver on your PC.

      Hope it helps :)

  • Vmobilehouse

    please help….it out waiting foe device ….why?

  • Harry 0000

    does this work on windows xp?
    because i can’t open comand windows bay presing shift + mouse right,when i pres shift it’s marking “AdbWinApi.dll” and there is no option for open comand window here,can i fix this or i need to use windows vista or 7????

    • http://www.theandroidsoul.com Shivam

      Okay if you can’t get that trick to work, than do this:

      1) Open command prompt.
      2) type CD COMMAND
      NOTE: Replace COMMAND with the address to the directory where you have extracted the “AdbWinApi.dll” file.

      Then continue from Step 13. Hope it helps.

  • Alvaro

    Help… My xperia play doesnt turn blue… This means that my phone cannot be unlocked at anyway??
    And other question: When I connect the phone (turned off) with usb cable and hold return key, the led turns green, what does this mean? 

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_IKKT4VKLCNRRBTU2W4US5Z4NBM Rolando

      You hace to hold the right key not just the menu key

  • shiki700

    emm i have a little probleme the LED doesnt turn blue so did i already have fastboot or i just cant have it? i want to root it but if we realy need to have fastboot and i cant that suck xD

    • http://www.theandroidsoul.com Shivam

      Which phone do you have? Xperia Arc or Xperia Play?

      • shiki700

        i have the Xperia Arc  LT15a with 2.3.3 Android vers.

        thanks alot

        • shiki700

           but im in Canada with Rogers i dont know if it mean anything tough

  • Geraldcwk

    And it isnt loading. I do not dare to pluck out the phone as i fear it might get bricked

  • Geraldcwk

    aFTER I TYPE THE KEY INTO THE COMMAND PROMPT IT JUST SAY WAITING FOR DEVICE!!!! soMEONE HELP!!!

  • virus002

    Hi
    I can not install the usb drivers…….. when i select the folder and press ok it give me a message “driver not found”. Anybody can help me?

    • http://www.theandroidsoul.com Shivam

      Have u seen the video attached in this post? If not, then please do. It
      might help.

  • Hudson Michael

    is my xperia play’s led supposed to turn blue? cuz i tried and it doesnt work when i hold the home button and plug in the usb it just turns on on its own and charges

    • virus002

      keep the left (back) button pressed and then connect usb you will get blue led . enjoy

  • Rufin

    Iv’e been repeating step 8 like 10 times now but no matter what I do the light wont go blue, it just ends up charging the phone… 

    • http://www.theandroidsoul.com Shivam

      That means your phone doesn’t have fastboot enabled.

      From where you bought your phone??

  • Tanzid

    BEST GUIDE I HAVE EVER SEEN!

  • GrahamB

    Hi, I got my Arc for use in Australia from Hong Kong and its got a english and chinese keyboard in the system which I need to kill so your pages were just what I need. I got everything done down to 16. then no finished message. It then wouldn’t root so I guess it isn’t unlocked. It “finished” on 15 though so I was connected.

    When I go to device manager it shows Android Phone now but I’m not sure what driver should be ther – it has  Android ADB Interface shown. I rechecked the unlock key too.

    Any thoughts?

    • GrahamB

      I found a solution – I don’t like being beaten by things. It was my mistake – in note 11 it says go into the fastboot folder that you extract earlier. This confused me as I opened the command window in the “fastboot_with_Android_USB_file” folder. You need to go into the subfolder “fastboot” and open the command window there. Obvious now but not as a newbie yesterday. Maybe you could just add those directions to clarify.

      But great news – bootloader unlocked, phone rooted and the annoying chinese keyboards wiped by using the global img file!

      Thanks your instructions, videos gave a newbie like me the courage to give it a go.

  • needls

    my phone’s model and software version is exactly the same as in video. only thing is different i can get to fastboot with escape key. and my phone don’t reply to fastboot.exe. can you tell where is the problem? after i installed usb drivers and connected my phone via usb it seems that it’s not in fastboot.

    • http://www.theandroidsoul.com Shivam

      The light above phone’s usb port turns blue when the phone is in fastboot
      mode, which color are you seeing?

  • Monty Rai

    Hey my Osd menu does not have any option of running cmd  i m using windows xp can this e the problem…..monty.rai@hotmail.com

    • http://www.theandroidsoul.com/ Kapil

      Hello Monty, check out this page to know how to run CMD on Windows XP –
      http://www.computerhope.com/issues/chdos.htm

      You need to change the
      directory in cmd to where you’ve installed files. For that, use cd command
      (ex: cd d:downloadsArc — this is just an example, ok!).

      We hope it works out right for you.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Spencer-LaCouvee/577315695 Spencer LaCouvee

    when i plug in no matter what i do, the blue light does not come on.

  • Brevo88heart

    s1boot fastboot can not recognized plaaes what to do

  • Joe

    When i try to update driver software im getting an error message. It says it cannot find specified file : Android ADB Interface
    Any suggestions very welcome
    BTW im trying this on a xperia play if this helps

  • caner

    when i enter the key i got message :

    Failed remote : oem unlock failed

  • caner

    when i enter the key i got message :

    Failed remote : oem unlock failed

  • Crsebas

    hi, works in xperia x10 from at&t?? thanks

    • http://www.theandroidsoul.com Shivam

      No.

  • Alex

    I can’t “Include subfolders”. How do i do that?

  • mixterz

    well it still hasnt happened with the blue led. still going to charge.
    believe me i tried it every way at this stage.
    still network locked to vodafone at the moment could that be the problem ?

    • Shivam Malani

      Well maybe boot loader on your phone can’t be unlocked.

      What is your phone’s “Model number” and “Build number” (check in Settings –> About phone)

    • virus002

      keep holding the left (back) button and then connect the usb, you will get the blue light. Enjoy

    • Glen Barnes

      That means fastboot is disabled. The only way to enable it is paid method

  • bewrong

    thanks for the tutorial but just wanted to know before i continue in unlocking my phone, i noticed that after unlocking it it seems that the phone was resetted. so all apps, messages and contacts will be removed once it’s unlocked?

  • mixterz

    no matter what i do while holding the menu button while connecting via usb the led turns green and sony ericsson name pops up on the screen , ‘other devices’ doesnt appear in device manager. any idea why ?

    • http://www.theandroidsoul.com Shivam

      Make sure you’re holding the Menu button until the LED lights up. If you leave the Menu button just after connecting the USB cable, then it’ll only put your phone on charge.
      Hope it helps :)

      • elloello

        i have the same problem. i keep holding menu button and it doesnt turn blue just charges and goes amber

        • javi

          tego el mismo problema por mas que aga no se pone azul como se soluciona gracias 

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