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How to Unlock HTC U11 Life Bootloader

HTC U11 Life is the budget friendly version of HTC’s main flagship, the new U11. While running on a slower processor and packing up only mid-range specs, the U11 Life is still an appealing device, mostly thanks to its ‘fluid liquid’ design. Anyway, if are already using this handset and if you want to use it on full power without dealing with factory restrictions, you should follow the guidelines from below – there we will discuss about the method that must be applied for successfully unlocking the HTC U11 Life bootloader.

Why should you unlock the HTC U11 Life bootloader? Well, only if you want to tweak your smartphone as you cannot apply any customizations and optimizations if a locked Android system is running on your phone.

So, shortly, this tutorial must be followed and completed if you are ready to: install a custom recovery image on your U11, gain root access on your Android system, flash custom MODs, kernels and ROMs (like Lineage OS, AOKP or Paranoid Android), add root-only apps, install tools from other sources than Google Play, get features that cannot be found on the stock Android firmware, or overclock / undervolt CPU frequencies.

The bootloader is a small program, or script that runs on your HTC U11 Life, just like it does on any other Android based device. This program is there to enable the Android OS each time you reboot or boot your device – the bootloader will load the firmware, start-up programs and essential features from the ROM memory into the RAM partition. However, it also loads important factory restrictions which are there to limit your access. These particular restrictions are preventing you from tweaking everything else. And, that’s why you must choose to resume the lines from below.

However, if you choose to do that, keep in mind one thing: this is not going to be an official operation. HTC isn’t backing up this process, so if something bad happens you are by yourself – in that respect, don’t forget that when performing unofficial procedures, the warranty will get void (and the only way in which the warranty can be restored is by reinstalling the stock / official Android firmware, situation during which the bootloader will be relocked).

Backup your HTC U11 Life before starting to unlock the bootloader. This is a precaution measure that should be applied, especially if you have important files saved on your smartphone – in rare situations during the unlocking process your data might get corrupted or even wiped out (I’m talking about stuffs like contacts, call logs, texts, images, videos, audio files, market apps, internet settings, calendar info, saved passwords, EFS folder, IMEI / NVRAM data and so on). Anyway, the backup can be applied within minutes by choosing to sync files with Google Account, by using cloud storage solutions pre-loaded on your phone or by downloading compatible and already tested backup and restore apps from Google Play.

Other things must be ensured too – this is going to be a manual process, so certain pre-requisites should be considered before resuming the actual unlocking steps:

  • Of course, a computer will have to be at your disposal.
  • Your HTC U11 Life and its official USB cable must be near you too.
  • On your computer, your phone’s drivers must be installed.
  • And the Android SDK toolkit must be flashed first: if you don’t know how, learn how to install Android SDK on Windows or how to set up ADB on MAC OS X / Linux.
  • On your phone go to About Phone and from that field start tapping repeatedly, for 7 or 10 times, on Built Number – do that until you notice the ‘you are a developer’ prompt displayed.
  • Then, from Developer Options (it should be located under Menu – > Settings) you must check the OEM Unlocking and USB Debugging features.
  • It’s important to make sure that there is enough power left on your smartphone; otherwise its system can get switched off, and soft-bricked, during the operation that’s explained below.
  • Thus, plug in the charger on your U11 Life in case you notice that there is less than 50% power left.
  • Do note that the steps from this tutorial are compatible only with the already mentioned Android based device, so be careful and try not to mess things up.

How to Unlock HTC U11 Life Bootloader

  1. On your computer access the HTC Dev website. There, use your credentials and sign in.
  2. From that webpage click on the Unlock Bootloader button after reviewing the risks implied.
  3. Select ‘Get started’ when prompted.
  4. From the dropdown list select the model of your HTC U11 Life.
  5. Agree the legal terms and download Fastboot binary on your computer.
  6. Meanwhile, connect your smartphone with your computer via USB cable.
  7. On your computer, both ADB fastboot and fastboot binary should be located in the same place.
  8. From fastboot binary folder open a command prompt window: press and hold the Shift keyboard key and while doing so right-click on any blank space; then choose ‘open command prompt window here’.
  9. In this cmd window type ‘adb devices’ and press Enter.
  10. Then, execute ‘adb reboot bootloader’ for automatically entering bootloader mode on your device.
  11. Now, in the cmd window enter ‘fastboot oem get_identifier_token’.
  12. A string of data will be returned in your cmd window; write down this string as this will be used on the unlocking process.
  13. Paste this string on HTC Dev and click on Submit.
  14. An unlocked code will be now sent to you via email.
  15. Download the attached Unlock.bin file and save it inside the fastboot binary folder.
  16. Now, return to the cmd window and enter ‘fastboot flash unlocktoken Unlock_code.bin’.
  17. The bootloader should be now automatically unlocked on your HTC U11 Life.
  18. When done, reboot your phone, close the cmd window and also remove the USB cable.
  19. That’s it.

Good work; the HTC U11 Life bootloader is now unlocked which means that you can start further customizations and tweaks for your smartphone. Do let us know how everything worked for you and stay close for further tutorials and other relevant Android related tips and tricks. Enjoy.