How to unlock or relock the Nexus 10 bootloader

November 26, 2012
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The Google Nexus 10 is one of the top Android tablets that Google has released. It runs on Android 4.2, the upgraded version of Jelly Bean. One of the benefits of having a Nexus 10 is the ability to easily unlock its bootloader.  In fact, it’s one of the benefits of having any Nexus device.

It’s important to note that unlocking your Nexus 10’s bootloader does have some risks, including the risk of making your tablet unusable.  So, you should be aware of such risks before proceeding and you should follow instructions closely.  Despite the risks you take, an unlocked bootloader is the first step in being able to fully customize your Nexus 10.

This guide shows you how to unlock or relock the Nexus 10 bootloader.

Warning

  • The instructions in this guide are intended for use with the Google Nexus 10. Applying these instructions on another device or model may produce undesired outcomes.
  • The information in this guide is provided for instructional and educational purposes only. There is no guarantee that these instructions will work under your specific and unique circumstances.
  • Use these instructions at your own risk. We shall not hold any responsibility or liability for whatever happens to you or your device arising from your use of the info in this guide.
  • Read and understand the whole guide first before actually performing the instructions.

Requirements

  • Google Nexus 10
  • A Windows PC
  • Tablet USB drivers installed on the PC
  • Enable USB debugging on your Nexus 10
  • Disable antivirus, firewall, and other security software. Also disable Samsung Kies and other software that accesses your phone. Such software can interfere with the procedure in this guide.
  • Download Fastboot package (Fastboot.zip, 404.46 kB) to your computer.
  • Make sure your device’s battery still has at least 70% power. You don’t want the device to shut down in the middle of the procedure.
  • Backup all personal data on your tablet to make sure you have a copy of your personal data (e.g., contacts, SMS, MMS, Internet settings, Wi-Fi passwords, and the like) in case the procedure in this guide erases such data.

Instructions

Unlocking the Nexus 10 Bootloader

  1. Extract the Fastboot ZIP package to your computer. You will get a folder named Fastboot.
  2. Turn off your Nexus 10.
  3. Boot your Nexus 10 into Fastboot Mode. To do this, press and hold down the Volume Up, Volume Down, and the Power buttons until the the screen turns on.
  4. Connect your Nexus 10 to your PC via USB cable.
  5. Open a command prompt and and navigate it to the Fastboot folder.
  6. Type in the command fastboot devices. Your tablet’s serial number should appear on the screen. If it doesn’t appear, make sure you have properly installed the USB drivers.
  7. Type in the command fastboot oem unlock. A warning message should appear on the tablet’s screen. Confirm the process by choosing Yes.
  8. Once the tablet reboots, that means you’re done.

Relocking the Nexus 10 Bootloader

  1. Perform steps 1 to 6 above.
  2. Type in the command  fastboot oem lock. This will re-lock your Nexus 10’s bootloader.
    • Note: You will need to return your tablet completely to stock first in order for it to boot.
  3. Type the command fastboot reboot to reboot your tablet.

Congratulations! You have successfully unlocked or relocked your Google Nexus 10’s bootloader. With your Nexus 10’s bootloader unlocked, you can root your tablet, install custom ROMs, and flash custom recovery images.

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