Share this Story

HTC Thunderbolt and Incredible 2 Receive the Bootloader Unlock Treatment From HTCDev.com

HTC, after announcing that all of their phones released after September of this year would have unlockable bootloaders, has updated their dev site to reflect that statement. Oh but wait, they went even deeper than that and even included the Thunderbolt and Incredible 2, two devices released long before September. Talk about making a statement to both the developer crowd and other manufacturers in the game.

We were led to believe that this was all up to the carriers, but HTC seems to have either found a way around that, doesn’t care what the carrier’s think, or produced a carrier accepted bootloader unlocking tool that everyone is willing to accept. No matter what, we are loving it.

I think all that’s left to be said now is, ”Doesn’t Motorola owe us an explanation?” A solution? Something?

And go get yourself unlocked if you haven’t already at HTCDev.com.

Cheers to everyone who sent this in!

  • I don’t think Motorola owes you anything, however. They did not promise to unlock the bootloaders of DROID-branded devices, nor they are obliged to. Sure, using excuses like “VZW doesn’t let us” is silly. It doesn’t mean, however, that they must unlock the bootloader just because other manufacturers do.

  • theWalkingDead

    I personally love this because for a while now Moto has been screaming it’s the carrier and now we know that Moto has been lying to us and I agree with most other comments that it’s time moto steps up to the plate and I’m sorry if I sound stuck up or bitter but after my OG droid and my Gnex with things like the DX and D3 in-between I have no desire to deal with it again and I’m not going to be buying anymore moto phones until they change their ways and I love moto’s phones, I dig the look they have and I’ve always liked the build quality it’s some of the best IMO and they have the best slider out there right now but until they change their ways my moneys going elsewhere. They can continue to churn out a new phone every month but I won’t be buying them

  • Help me please

    Ok so i just tried doing this and im stuck on step 8 (all I have to do is type in ” fastboot oem get_identifier_token ” in the command prompt) 
    When i hit enter the command prompt spits out 

    [ERR] Command error !!!

    Can anybody tell me whats going on? I’ve followed the instructions exactly as they are written but its just not working for me. 

    • Chris Shinn

      Same error here. Not sure what I’m doing wrong.

      • Cuzelectric

        Same issue here as well.  Did you ever get it to work?

        • Chris Shinn

          Nope, never got it to work.

  • Tony Williams

    Someone please explain the me why I want to unlock my bootloader. I’m excited about doing it although my Tbolt is finally set up perfectly. Losing that and starting over is a daunting thought. Is it worth it?

  • Interstellarmind

    Without a doubt, this is HTC’s way of staying relevant in light of the G-Nex and Samsung. Motorola isn’t even a contender in my eyes anymore.

  • Holy **** BananAs! Never thought we would see a Nexus on the network.. Now my other phone gets the unlock too?! Did someone drink too much eggnog?

  • Anonymous

    Question… is there anyone who owns a Thunderbolt and wants it unlocked that still doesn’t have it unlocked, though?

  • Anonymous

    I think it’s awesome that they’re doing this, but what if you start having problems and relock the bootloader and still have problems, then they won’t warranty it cuz they stated that it might not be covered anymore…a risk many still are not willing to take..

  • Guest

    I think Motorola will eventually do the same as HTC since it is now owned by Google!

  • Guest

    Thank You HTC for having the BALLS to give the consumers what THEY want and not be bullied by the carrier! Another reason to stay loyal to HTC!

  • kool134u

    htc sucks not good phone 

    • Guest

      Don’t hate…you’re just mad since your phone can’t be unlocked by the manufacture!

  • Google says they won’t mess with their wholly-owned phone manufacturing subsidiary, Motorola, but if they don’t make Moto unlock and decrypt the bootloaders on every one of their phones, they are violating the mission and vision of their own phone OS…

    They have to make it happen, right?

  • my best friend’s aunt makes $77 an hour on the
    internet. She has been fired from work for 10 months but last month her pay was
    $8442 just working on the internet for a few hours. Read more on this site…  LazyCash1

  • CaptainHowdy13

    Im now contemplating a Rezound of a G-Nex… Hmm

    • Guest

      I’m a fan of both but the G-Nex also has an unlock-able boot-loader.

  • I think everybody who wanted to unlock bootloader on these phones already done that with revolutionary.io. Anyway, nice move, HTC!

  • Mystro2b

    Ok- so I’m confused…I have a Droid X which I just rooted for the first time. But if Motorola has locked bootloaders, how was I able to root? Or just the new Motorolas have locked BLs? Clarification please?

    • Rooting and bootloaders are seperate entities.  You can root with a locked bootloader, you just can’t change or modified that bootloader until it’s unlocked.

      • Mystro2b

        ok- is an unlocked bootloader a better way to modify your phone? Do you still have to root your phone to modify a bootloader?

        • Yes to both (most of the time.)  You usually have to be rooted to modify the bootloader (pushing a bootloader from your computer via fastboot or odin something is another story so let’s just stick with yes you have to be rooted to make it easy) and yes once the bootloader is unlocked it’s a better way to modify they phone since the roms you can load won’t have to have any mock signatures or workarounds built in simply to get it to load up on the phone.

          • Mystro2b

            Matt- cool! Thanks for the clarification. I just was looking at the Bootloader Unlock instructions at HTCdeve website. Best to wait for some custom ROMs from the pros before I unlock my wife’s HTC Incredidble 2?

          • You can, but unlocking the bootloader itself won’t really “change” anything on your phone as far as the look and feel, so it would just be ready then for when a ROM did come along.  One thing you should check though (I haven’t looked at it yet to know) is if it wipes your phone when you do the unlock.  On both the Motorola Xoom and the Galaxy Nexus, unlocking the bootloader wipes the phone, but that’s using fastboot, so HTC’s tool might work differently.  Just a heads up.

          • Yes it does wipe the phone.  I did the bootloader unlock a few days go.  Even posted about it in a different article when htc unlocking bootloaders in general came to light.

        • Anonymous

          please throw away the notion of “better way to modify your phone”. Youve already shown ur new at this and you can screw things up real quick if you dont know what ur doing. 

          Rooting just allows you more permissions…..like having more “rights” program wise. Bootloaders have nothing to do with rooting. Unlocking a bootloader isnt needed to install ROM’s or most other things. The only things you cant do with a locked bootloader is install custom kernels and radios. Youre limited to the kernel and radio you have….which isnt always a bad thing. 

          I cut my teeth into Android with a Droid X(and screwed up and had to SBF more than a few times) so what exactly do you want to do?

          • Mystro2b

            Just want to have better battery life, new look and feel…and because I can. Kinda of the same reason I used to mess with my VW bug. Stock is fun; modified is funner.

          • Anonymous

            My DX would normally get 50+ hours of light to moderate use. Stock ROM with full Blur. In fact my X still runs 4.5.596 instead of the newer OTA update and runs just fine. In fact it feels faster and snappier than my unlocked Atrix(which has far better hardware)running CM7. 

            That being said their are plenty of ROM’s available for the DX. You can overclock and undervolt it….and pretty much customize everything about it. Locked bootloader and all. 

  • Davros

    I think motorola owes us a lot more than an explanation. Those of us who had the Droid and modded them are the same people who got many others on the Android train by showing them what the phone was capable of. moto treated us like something they stepped in. They lied to us, said we were insignificant, then told us if we didn’t like it buy someone else’s phone. Well, we’ve listened and so have other phone manufacturers. motorola owes us a minimum of an apology, acknowledgement    
    that they lied, and that even though they would have done just fine without us, we helped them sell phones through our recommendations. Unlock your phones and give us incentives to ever consider buying another moto phone. Hopefully Google will cure your anal cranal inversion. If not, oh well, we have Samsung and HTC now.

  • Bill

    Motorola needs to at least unlock the phones there no loger going to update any more. But that would mean no one would buy one of the new phones they release every month   

    • Anonymous

      I agree with that. Well I dont see why they cant unlock them all but still. The D2,D2G,D3,DX and DX2 are all out of production….so they dont lose money making them anymore. So why not Moto?

  • Anonymous

    The strategy, they have figured out, is to wait until the bootloader is unlocke by the dev comunity already to where them offering an unlock tool on htcdev.com is inconsequencial for the majority of folks who are actively seeking an unlock anyway.

  • Sporttster

    MOTOROLA!~~! TIME to step up to the plate here and unlock YOUR bootloaders like you said you were GOING to!!! It’s very obvious that Verizon ISN’T the one preventing your phones from being unlocked. If HTC can on the SAME PROVIDER….why aren’t your phones unlockable?? Caught in a bold faced lie is no place to be with irate customers!!

    • dude who says dumb stuff

      you locked bro?

  • jb

    TB owner here.  I read DL regularly but have never learned what an unlocked bootloader is, or why it’s special.  Any insight?  What do I do with it once it’s unlocked?
    And what’s the difference between this, rooting, and custom ROMs?
    Thanks for any insight – it’s much appreciated!

    • Kris Brandt

      Unlocked bootloader allows you to install another bootloader of your own (either SPRecovery or ClockworkMod).  Both allows you to back up your phone as .zip files, essentially a ROM of your phone’s setup at the time.  This allows you to flash back and forth between ROMs without worrying about bricking your phone with some of the other methods.

    • TC Infantino

      There are many here who will probably be able to give you more detailed explanations that I can, but I will give it a try. 
      Unlocking the bootloader- this allows you to to root the phone, load a custom recovery file, and load a different or modified kernel.
      Rooting- this is a process that gives you root access to your phones operating system, basically giving you superuser permission.  This permission allows you to install a different operating system on your phone.
      Custom ROM- this is the different operating system that you can load onto your phone once it is rooted. 

      I hope this helps, this is the extent of the knowledge I have about rooting.  I would love to learn about actually scripting in the programming language that is used for these phones, but right now I just have to wait for the awesome Developers to do their magic and produce the ROMs that I d/load and use.

    • Anonymous

      Rooting gives you full access to the phone but in and of itself it doesn’t change anything about the underlying system OS. A locked bootloader will only boot signed ROMs for which only the manufacturers have the keys for, so unless if there’s a work around you basically have to run stock OS.

      Roms and/or kernels can give you an older phone a breath of new life. My fascinate was laggy, unstable, had a terrible battery life, and a whole host of other problems. Now on MIUI (or CM7 depending on my mood) I can go a full 2 days on a single charge with moderate use, it’s blazing fast with no lag at all, and be completely utterly bloat free. It’s truly amazing how these talented developers can optimize the phones so that it feels nothing like the stock phones. 

      • Anonymous

        Pardon my ignorance, but I am running ICS on my Droid 3 with a locked bootloader. So I am curious how a unlocked bootloader would change my situation? While it is not perfect I can overlock my D3 as well.

        • You’re phone is basically being tricked.  You’re still running your locked bootloader, but well, I guess the easiest way to put it is you’re almost running a second bootloader on top of it.  Think of it like buying a mac then running windows in a virtual machine on it.  You’re still ultimately running it all of that original Mac OS.  That’s probably not the best explination, but the easiest to understand that I can think of.

          • Anonymous

            Well I guess as long as I have ICS, I dont care how it works 🙂

          • That definitely works! 🙂

          • I’m sure this is a far-fetched explanation.

            Virtual machines and init script replacements are very different. The only problem is that you can’t replace the kernel, but everything else is as if you’re running the “real” ICS.

      • Mike

        My Incredible 2 is rooted, S-Off and running the stock ROM. If I use the HTC Unlocker will I lose or gain anything? I would like to get official OTA updates (which I do not accept now) rather than flash them from developers. Will Wireless Tether be affected if I use the HTC unlocker? Will programs like Superuser and Busybox still work?


  • Going from Motorola (Droid 2) to HTC (Thunderbolt) and finally to Samsung (Stratosphere) to get a dev-friendly phone, I was starting to think I was stuck with Samsung from now on. Glad to see HTC growing a pair. I miss the dev support on the ‘bolt but I needed the slider, so I will definitely get the first 4G HTC slider that comes out now.

    Good going HTC!

    Your move Motorola.

  • BionicCommando4231

    So my wife’s Inc2 has an unlocked bootloader, but my Bionic doesn’t? Thanks dicks.

    • Bionic is Motorola, so of course it has a locked bootloader.

    • dude who says dumb stuff

      you confused bro?

      • BionicCommando4231

        Do you ever stop to think for a sec, “maybe its not what they are saying is stupid, but perhaps I’m being stupid? Maybe I’m missing the point, and should consider alternate explanations before I open my mouth and prove myself an ass?” That question is rhetorical by the way. That means you need not answer it. Rhetorical questions encourage the listener to think about what the (often obvious) answer to the question must be.

        Someone more clever would have thought, “hmmm, seems unlikely someone on a android tech blog talking about bootloaders would not know what brand their phone is. Perhaps they are trying to make some other (perhaps subtle or ironic) point here…”

        A-students would have realized the ironic contrast being made between an older mid-grade 3G only phone one would buy for one’s wife being more developer friendly than a once flagship, hypebeasted super-phone an enthusiast would buy for oneself. The really clever would also have a laugh at HTC going beyond fullfilling their promises of unlocking bootloaders, while Moto has yet to live up to thiers. bro.

        • Guest

          Dont believe the hype.

    • Yoderz

      Haha. Well said. 

  • Johan

    Now release a high end global slider HTC and I’ll happily ditch Motorola.

  • Hello Moto? Can you hear us now? HTC and Verizon both obviously did.

  • If HTC would send Big Red a 4G Global Slider, I might forget about waiting for the D4.

    • This!

      They need to release a new edition of the Merge with 4G, Dual-core, and 1GB of RAM. Then I’ll finally be happy. 🙂

    • GlobalDan

      Don’t forget the high end part. I don’t want HTC pulling a Motorola  or Samsung. I’m not attached to Motorola so come on HTC, my money is just sitting here waiting to be used.

  • Anonymous

    Anyone considering exchanging the Nexus?

    • Yoderz

      I returned mine and ordered the Rezound on Wednesday from Amazon…right before they raised the price back up. {Patiently waiting for UPS to arrive this morning…}

  • marty jones

    This. Changes. Everything.

  • BroRob

    It is apparent that my hate mail to HTC has worked! They
    obviously are trembling with fear that I will destroy my TBolt I paid for with
    my own hard earned cash as threatened and cannot stand the thought of losing me
    as a customer! Well done HTC for listening to the little guy!

    • Anonymous


    • Jason Purp

      They ain’t scared. You need a tank to destroy a tank.

      • NotAFanOfTanks

        IEDs, Planes, RPGs – they aren’t tanks but can be effective in the hands of the little guy. Hell, even time will work given enough of it.

  • Anonymous

    HTC’s starting to redeem themselves as we head into 2012.

  • TC Infantino

    I unlocked my Rezound the first day they posted here that it was possible.  One question though..Could someone tell me how to root my now unlocked Rezound?  Thanks in advance for any and all help.

    • Anonymous

      Well superuser uses an easily installable apk and also a binary that I believe has to be flashed. I’d look into old rooting methods and try one of those.

    • Anonymous

      For the guide:

      For everything else:


      Was waiting for HTC to unlock the rezound before picking it up. Lol, I was checking these forums everyday for news.

      • TC Infantino

        Awesome, thank you very much for the information and help.  Really appreciate it.  Now to see about getting rid of VZW bloatware on my Rezound. 

  • Anonymous

    I like to think that HTC just doesn’t give a rip about what the carriers say…that’s my kind of manufacturer baby =o!!!

    • Anonymous

      HTC was always the most dev friendly OEM around, even going back in the early 2000s when they made brandless phones for GSM carriers.

      (I rocked an HTC Wizard on Win Mobile back in the day, hacked and all). Great phone, great company.

      • Anonymous

        I’ve always felt they have tried to make their phones the easiest to unlock. Whenever anyone asks which phone they should get that is the easiest to unlock, I always say Nexus first, HTC second.

  • Anonymous

    WOW!  This is good news! 

    Or course we were able to unlock it anyway… but this will make it easier.

  • Skinja

    How have folks rooted the incredible 2 after unlocking the bootloader??

    Thank you!!!

  • Michael Forte

    Ball’s in your court Motorola

    • Anonymous

      I can agree with that.

      THIS is actually the biggest motivation for Motorola. Both of it’s rivals have unlockable bootloaders on Verizon…and let me inform you all Verizon is NOT happy about HTC’s decision and this will actually affect future releases on Big Red.

      Why does Verizon have a problem with it? What’s the VERY FIRST THING people even on here asked about after unlocking their “ZOMG TEH NFC!!!! JEEZUZ PHONE”?

      “How do I get free tethering?”

      • In my understanding you don’t need to unlock the bootloader to run a free tethering app, you just need a root access.

        • Anonymous

          It depends on the phone and carrier. What Im saying is(feel free to look right here on DL. Go back urself and look at the release post) THE NUMBER ONE most mentioned topic when discussing unlocking the “G-Nex” bootloader was things like

          “How do I install free tethering?”
          “Wahoo! Now how do we get tethering working?”
          “Anyone know how to get free tethering?”
          “How do I get wifi tether working?”
          “Help! Wifi tether wont work!”
          “Any ideas on how long it will be until we get free tethering working?”

          Nobody cared about ROM’s they just want tethering. Hello people VERIZON SEES THIS. 

        • Anonymous

          Sometimes, in the case of the Droid 2 (non-global anyhow), gaining root access only allows you to download and use the third party app, but without the custom ROM, the carrier can still block use of tethering, even after you turn on the third party app. The Droid 2 is the only phone I’ve ran into that does that (my wife has one), but it can happen.

  • MFG

    Haha Motorola lied to ALL of us!

    • Anonymous

      Yes they did

    • Anonymous

      As if anyone is surprised.

    • Give Motorola a chance to officially reply. It could be that Verizon just changed their policy in the past month or two. You do have a point, though. Motorola has nobody to hide behind or point their finger at anymore. I posted on the thread on their forums asking for an official response from Matt regarding the HTC news over the past few days.

      • Anonymous

        Verizon changed their policy to give more control to device manufacturers & end users? Yeah, that’s plausible….

        When it’s snowing in hell.

        • So you’re saying HTC did this without Verizon’s permission, risking losing them as a client/partner? I highly doubt that.

    • Anonymous

      How did they lie?

      • They said Verizon is requiring locked bootloader.

        • Anonymous


          ….you may want to do your homework before coming in here half cocked boy.Go back to the interwebs and read Motorola’s official statement on the bootloader issue. In the meantime my Atrix and Xoom are unlocked….and even the RAZR is ONLY locked on Verizon….the GSM version is unlockable as is most of their lineup. 

          • Anonymous

            I’m not really sure what point you are trying to make, but it sounds like you are arguing that they DID lie to us. First of all, the point is that Motorola blamed Verizon for locked phones. The Atrix is not a Verizon phone. And of course the Xoom is unlocked; it was designed to be a developer device, just like the original Droid was. And pointing out that the Razr is locked only helps the argument that you seem to be attempting to rebut…

            So, again, your point seems cloudy at best…

          • Anonymous

            I mentioned other Motorola products that arnt locked(throw the Photon in there for the sprint guys). I even mentioned a Motorola phone phone thats unlocked everywhere EXCEPT on Verizon…..do you need a calculator to see the math here? Perhaps pen and paper? 

            Here let me break it down for you. 

            Imagine you are the smallest supplier of 3 to a certain company. Now under contract that company says that ur product has to have a lock on a certain area. Now you supply to other companies around the world and dont have to have said lock….JUST on this one paticular company. Now, do you risk your market stake and relationship with the largest company of this product in the country…of which YOU or the smallest supplier to said company….by saying “Screw your locks and this contract!”?

            If you said yes before thinking, I hear RIM is hiring…..

  • Anonymous

    Oh thats noice

  • Marcismo

    Been running my Rezound rooted and couldn’t be happier.  

    • Anonymous

      Pardon my ignorance, but how do you obtain a permanent root by unlocking the bootloader? I”ve looked for this on the boards and XDA with no luck, any advice? 

      • I’m not 100% on this, but if the bootloader is unlocked, you can most likely just push the files from your PC to obtain root access.  There’s plenty of walkthroughs up from Koush and others around the web about doing that manually, you just need to have the SDK installed and use ADB which some people shy away from (for some reason)

        • Rick

          I,m currently rooted with s-off. Would I have to un-root before permenantly rooting?

          • s-off is unlocked. But people have actually spent days trying to “crack” that every time HTC releases a phone. They just gave up essentially. Eventually someone either leaks the “unlock code”(that is a very lay-mans term) and their phone get unlocked by devs. Or some brave souls; like in the case of the Milestone/DroidX/Droid2; do a brute force attack trying to find the keys. Meaning they continuously try un-fathomable amounts of combinations of codes or poking to find a possible exploit. This process could take months. In the Milestone, it took about a year.

          • You probably used revolutionary to “unlock” or s-off your device. From my understanding they are using a brute force type exploit to essentially trick the phone into turning s-on to s-off. This is an unlocked bootloader allowing you to access any part of the phone.

            rooting allows you to modify the OS already loaded. However SuperUser in Android lives in the kernel which without S-off you would be unable to have “permanent” root because modification of the kernel requires that you would have to “re-sign” the package so that the s-on bootloader would accept it and boot to it.

  • wow…… i never thought i’d see the day