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ASUS is apparently killing the ability to root Zenfones (Update: Maybe not?)

ASUS tech support says you can't unlock the Zenfone 9 and Zenfone 10. A PR statement is reassuring, but gives no clarity.

Published onAugust 8, 2023

ASUS Zenfone 10 in pocket
Robert Triggs / Android Authority
  • ASUS has apparently withdrawn the ability to unlock the bootloader on its phones.
  • As per the company’s technical support team, Zenfone 10 and Zenfone 9 users won’t be able to root their phones.
  • A company statement to a different source is reassuring, but doesn’t explain anything.

Update, August 8,  2023 (12:39 PM ET): Before publishing the original article below, Android Authority asked ASUS about the situation. However, we didn’t receive a response (and still haven’t). Still, it looks like Mishaal Rahman, who contributes to Android Authority periodically, got word back from ASUS. According to Rahman, here’s what an ASUS spokesperson has to say about the situation:

The service team reply misunderstood the situation. Unlock tool is unavailable at this moment but we are allowing the possibility to unlock, please stay tuned.

While this is good news, it’s not a very strong response from the company on this matter. It gives no explanation as to why the unlock tool went missing. In fact, it’s still missing. There’s also been no public response to this situation, with Rahman the only apparent person to get word back from a PR rep. Why isn’t there a public announcement on this?

Regardless, ASUS Zenfone owners still can’t bootloader unlock their phones. Hopefully, that will change soon, and ASUS will adequately explain the situation.

Original article, August 7, 2023 (01:33 AM ET): ASUS is apparently taking away the ability to unlock the bootloader on its phones. The company’s technical support team reportedly informed a customer that unlocking the bootloader (also known as rooting) on Zenfones is no longer possible and won’t be possible in the future. The customer’s query was specifically about unlocking the Zenfone 9. ASUS’s support team made it clear in the email that unlocking won’t work on the Zenfone 9 and Zenfone 10.

When rooting Android phones, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. ASUS is one of those brands that provides its own unlocking tool for its phones. The company previously said it would update the tool to support the Zenfone 10 and that customers could use it again sometime in the third quarter of this year. However, the above-mentioned email from ASUS support suggests that might not happen.

While unlocking the bootloader on your phone can be risky, it opens up a whole world of customization for your Android device. It’s only natural that ASUS customers are unhappy they no longer have this ability on their phones. That said, there seems to be some discrepancy in what ASUS is telling Zenfone customers on its other platforms.

A Reddit user claims that the company’s developer liaison on its Telegram channel has no knowledge of any such development. “According to them, the unlock tool server is in maintenance and will resume in Q3,” the person writes.

We’ve written to ASUS to clarify the situation and will update this article when and if we hear more.

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