How to fix ‘OEM Unlock greyed out’ or ‘ OEM Unlock disabled’ problem

oem unlock option disabled

Ever since users have figured out that their Android phones are capable of more than what the manufacturers offer, rooting has been gaining traction. Whether you’re trying to enable features such as VoLTE that your manufacturer has for some reason disabled, or attempting to fix a specific error when operating your phone, there are a bunch of hotfixes that rooting your Android can bring you.

The very first step of rooting your Android device requires you to “Enable OEM unlock”, which is a feature tucked away in the Developer options. However, some users have experienced that this feature has been greyed out from the Developer options, regardless of their device Android version or manufacturer. We’ve sieved through the forums to find out why this issue surfaces on certain devices and how you can fix the “Enable OEM Unlock” option yourself.

Reasons why OEM Unlock option could be greyed out

1. You recently unlocked/re-locked the bootloader

Considering that certain Android OEMs regard your warranty as void once you unlock the bootloader, it is safe to assume that they’re not completely supportive of you doing it. Either way, when you do unlock or relock the bootloader of your Android device, the Unlock OEM option from the Developer options could be greyed out. On certain devices, users have experienced that the system greys out the option for a period of 7 days, but this could vary based on the devices.

2. The bootloader is already unlocked

bootloader-unlocked

As much of a no-brainer as it may seem, one of the reasons you’re unable to toggle the OEM Unlock button in the Developer options could be because the bootloader of your Android device is already unlocked.

On devices that are running Android 7.x Nougat, the option is automatically greyed out once the bootloader of the device has been unlocked earlier. To confirm this theory, you can check to see if the bootloader of your device is unlocked or not.

  1. Open Developer options and enable USB debugging.
  2. Launch the Minimal ADB and Fastboot tool on the computer and connect your phone using a USB cable.
  3. Type in the following command to make sure your device is detected by the computer:
    adb devices
  4. Now enter the following command to put your device into bootloader mode:
    adb reboot bootloader
  5. On the device screen, you’ll be able to see the DEVICE STATE as “locked” or “unlocked”, confirming if the bootloader status.
    If it says unlocked, then it means that because the bootloader is already unlocked, the OEM unlock option has been greyed out by the system as it’s purpose has already been served.

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3. OEM Unlock may not be available for certain devices and regions

As undesirable as it may be to the end-user, but the brand you purchase your Android device from, and even the network carrier that your device is tied to can determine how you use your mobile phone. In the case of the OEM Unlock option, it directly depends on certain network carriers, and if the network carrier has set the status of the bootloader to “locked”, there’s no way around it. While certain Android OEMs offer the ability to unlock the bootloader with no questions asked, your region could also play a role in it.

Miscellaneous solutions for greyed out OEM Unlock option

A bunch of users has reported that the missing ability to enable OEM Unlock on their Android devices was restored after clearing out the device cache and even performing a factory reset.

Wipe cache partition

  • Turn off the Android device, and then press and hold the Volume Up and Power button simultaneously.
  • Release the Power button when the logo appears, but continue to hold the Volume Up button.
  • On the Android recovery screen, use the Volume Down button to navigate down to wipe cache partition and press the Power button to select it.
  • Use the Volume Down button to select Yes — delete all user data, and then press the Power button to confirm.
  • Wait for the reset to finish and press the Power button when prompted with the message to Reboot system now.

Perform a factory reset

  • Turn off the device, and then press and hold the Volume Up and Power button simultaneously.
  • Release the Power button when the Samsung logo appears, but continue to hold the Volume Up
  • On the Android recovery screen, use the Volume Down button to navigate down to wipe data/factory reset and press the Power button to select it.
  • Use the Volume Down button to select Yes — delete all user data, and then press the Power button to confirm.
  • Wait for the reset to finish and press the Power button when prompted with the message to Reboot system now.

 


Which of these solutions helped you get back the missing “Enable OEM Unlock” option on your Android device?

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Sharing a love-hate relationship with Biotechnology in college, Husain moved on to his true calling of being a tech geek through and through. While briefly being persuaded by the iPhone, he made it back to the Android camp with the OnePlus One and has been a loyal comrade since.

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