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Video: How to Unlock the Bootloader on the Galaxy Nexus [Verizon]

galaxy nexus verizon unlocked bootloader

If your Galaxy Nexus future includes custom ROMs and kernels, you should stop what you are doing and unlock the bootloader of the device first. With an unlocked bootloader, your phone is opened up for you to essentially do as you please. Not only that, but you get that sweet little unlock icon on the boot screen.

To help you with this process, we tossed together this quick video. For the full written instructions, you will want to check out this post.  

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  • Champion1442

    why does it just restart my phone when i type in “adb reboot boatloader”?…

  • Mysterias

    Damn! He talks fast enough to be a customer service representative from Sri Lanka.

  • Quick question, does the verizon galaxy nexus come with a sim card?

    If so, will this phone be gsm compatible after the unlock?



  • Flyspook

    Warning! It worked great. Right up until the point it started to boot loop. ( I have the Galaxy Nexus Verizon version)  I unplgged it after 5 minutes of bootp looping the pretty colors, and now it only shows the Google and Unlock graphic and continues to boot loop until I pull the battery. and , and now the only other mode I can get it to is Odin Mode. I found some article on how to recover, but can’t seem to get into fastboot mode to help me recover…HELP!

    • LumberJackNerd

      I had the exact same issue. I am trying to remember this from memory so bare with me please. Do a battery pull. Put the battery back in. Hold the volumn up and volumn down while powering back on the device. Then when you see the  screen with a “Start” displayed. Volumn up or down (again I cant remember) until you see Recovery mode. Select that (then push power for “Okay”.Once it goes into the recovery mode I had to push the volumn up or down…maybe even power in there. until I found Clear Cache, I did that and then I restored to factory settings. Once my phone went through all of that (took some time). I found out my phone was still unlocked and my phone worked fine. So maybe just try to do the clear cache.

      Worked fine for me.

  • Flyspook

    Unlocking the Bootloader takes about 1 minute. Trying to figure out how to install and configure SDK correctly takes hours, and all directions I’ve found suck!  

  • Drapierrot

    Wow, I’m getting royally scr00wed.  Followed the instructions for unlocking  bootloader via adb (android sdk), and superboot with the recommended usb driver via Samsung and PDAnet… and I’m still getting the “waiting for device” prompt with no follow-up options.  

    What am I doing incorrectly?  Is my device and unlockable device (if that exists)?

  • Willba4

    hey i’m getting an error when installing the android SDK stuff “stopping ADB server failed (code -1).” anyidea what could be causing this?

  • Vtxtank

    I get to the reboot bootloader, then when I go to unlock the bootloader command it says it is waiting on device…..what to do and how to do it? Thanks

  • Steen Kendle

    I can’t get the command window to open in the sdk folder.  Can anyone help?

    • Anonymous

      im having the same problem. The window opens for a second then closes before doing anything. Anyone?

  • After doing this, mine got stuck in the cycle also, but after I unplugged, it didn’t reboot automatically.  I waited a few more mins, and just pulled the battery. Now when it boots up, I see the google screen with the unlock symbol, and it just sits there like that. Could I have screwed something up?

  • Bryantjopplin

    Has anyone seen an unlocked bootloader out the box.I watched this video and my phone was already like what his is. Is this common and should I try to root it still? I hope my phone is hackable. Lol

  • It came with the unlocked icon on the lock screen. Already unlocked?

    • Bryantjopplin

      Yes it was unlocked already out the box. I’ve seen some others too.

  • Dungvp

    You need a step by step video to install software for the bootloader.

  • George Straight

    I have tried the process on two computers both Windows 7 64 bit computers. On both computers, when the Nexus is plugged in the Nexus shows up in Device manager as “Other Devices Galaxy” with the yellow check mark. When I try to update the driver using the google driver, I got a box that pops up and says location contains an incompatible driver and one must be selected that works with windows 64 bit. Any help wold be appreciated.

    • Pretythug

      “To those confused about getting a waiting for device message:  Android 1.0 will appear in Device Manager AFTER you run adb reboot bootloader.  Once you see that, navigate through and manually add your SAMSUNG Android Phone device driver (“Let me pick”) – should be dated 11-25.  This is the driver you downloaded from Samsung.”

  • RW-1

    Kinda a double post, but I got mine tonight, and the unlock went as Kellex’s did, I had to pull it off the computer and just let it sit.

    I know that’s a had thing to say depending on your view, having just thrown down a lot of $$$ for it, but mine did exactly what his did, and I’m now setting up my apps, etc.

    I don’t yet know if I’ll root it (likely), but I believe ICs has a lot going for it to play with in itself before I’ll feel the need to put a ROM on it. But it’s unlocked, so I won’t have to factory reset at that time.

    Now to SBF my OG back to stock, re-root, etc. and put something on it and then let my daughter have ti as a music/gaming device  🙂

  • Jboerum1234

    use this link to setup SDK….its very simple with step by step instructions. 
    when you get to the point when you need to boot to recovery and type the command to fastboot oem unlock….it will say “waiting for device”.. after this open up your device manager and you should see a driver not installed properly. Right click on it and select update and update from my computer, then at the bottom click chose form list from my computer drivers. From here you  click “have disk” and from here it will show a list of drivers. I wasnt able to follow another tutorial that said to navigate to google drivers and install a .inf, kept saying error so i scrolled through the list of ones provided after clicking have disk and double clicked on the bottom and wal-ah it moved to the next screen and i unlocked my device. I hope following this helps you all out where your getting stuck!

  • why does anyone want to do this

  • JTAC

    The choppiness and lag that everyone speaks of with the display model phones; is due to the crap Verizon loads in their demo models.

    Was contemplating the Motorola Droid Razr or the Galaxy Nexus. Each has pros and cons…for me its the Galaxy Nexus.

  • Anonymous

    Looking for help please usb drivers won’t get recognized and it getting stuck after I put in the fastboot oem unlock phrase. I also made the mistake of updating the phone when I got out of store so I have 4.0.2

  • Anonymous

    love the new developer options built into ICS. Saweeeet

  • Anonymous

    Perhaps in the near future Kellex would have time to do a turtorial for how to unlock and then root the device (Birdman and Koush have each posted a how-to on rooting the phone) from the beginning – starting with downloading the proper files and drivers and getting ADB set up properly. Not for me, but for the many who will be trying to do this with little knowledge of using ADB and will without a doubt run into issues. When I first rooted my OG I used the video that was posted on this site (back in March or April of 2010) and it made the process a breeze. I think something similar for the Nexus would be great.

  • Julio Duverney

    For those of you who need help, this is a MUCH faster way to do this http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1392310

  • Reverepats09

    Hey guys, everything is working great, until i type the “fastboot oem unlock” and I get the “waiting for device” in the CMD, but it just hangs there, and i dont get the UNLOCK option on my device. If anyone could tell me why, id really appreciate it. Thanks….Jon

    • Anonymous

      I have the same problem

      • Anonymous

        your USB drivers may be the cause – do you know which one you’re using?

        • Anonymous

          Its not the driver persay. Its because the driver is not installed via the update process. Long story short, you have the driver but it just needs to be installed via the update process. Use the fix I mentioned about. It WILL work. I was in the same exact position.

    • Anonymous

      I had the same problem, scroll down to my instructions on how I fixed it. It involves using Nadeems instructions too. Its a simple fix. But you have to get the phone into bootloader mode first and update the drivers using Nadeems instructions before you enter “Fastboot oem unlock” into the command prompt window. First get into Bootloader, then go back to your device manager in windows and follow Nadeems instructions.

  • Finestgq1

    Hey guys, I’ve unlocked the bootloader.  How come I still don’t have the root access?

    • Anonymous

      First you have to unlock the bootloader. Now go to the next thread on how to root. Its a lot easier. 

  • why don’t i get the open command prompt option when i right click in my tools folder? i have windows 7 service pack 1 64 bit.

    • Anonymous

      You have to hold down “shift” on your keyboard, then drag your cursor to a blank part of the tools folder. Select “open command prompt here” You will get the command prompt window with the proper string to enter the commands.