The official way to unlock the Redmi 5 and the Redmi 5 Plus requires 15 days of waiting for approval so follow these steps to get the process started.
Xiaomi has gone through a number of methods to allow their customers to unlock the bootloader of their devices. When they first started it was as easy as the Google Nexus and now Google Pixel phone. However, they began having an issue with resellers who were installing malicious software onto the device so they implemented a verification process.
This only took about three days for forum regulars to get approved while others had to wait a week or two (due to the massive number of requests they were going through).
During this time though, if you had previously unlocked a Xiaomi device before on your account then there simply wasn’t a wait time. I mentioned this specifically when I wrote up my tutorial on how to unlock the bootloader of the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro. Whether that process was special for the Redmi Note 5 Pro or this new 360 hour wait period is going to be the way forward. So, most of the stuff we need to do to unlock the bootloader of the Redmi 5 and the Redmi 5 Plus will be covered here in Part 1.
If you’re wanting to unlock the bootloader of either phone, I suggest you go through these steps now so that when your time is up then you can follow the Part 2 tutorial that I publish in a little more than 2 weeks. Thankfully though, that second part will be much shorter and much easier to do since most of the work is covered here.
Unlocking the Bootloader of the Redmi 5 and Redmi 5 Plus
- Go ahead and create your Xiaomi Mi Account (if you haven’t already)
- It may take some time to verify this account
- Open up the Settings application on the Redmi 5
- Scroll down to the Accounts section
- Tap the Mi Account option
- Then sign into your Mi account (and verify it if needed)
- The Sync option will be on by default (keep it on)
- But the Find Device option is disabled by default (and we need to enable it)
- This Find Device option (and location services) is how Xiaomi detects the smartphone is online and activated to your account
- Enable Developer Mode (the Xiaomi version)
- Go back to the Settings application
- Scroll down and tap the Additional Settings option
- Then tap on the Developer Options menu
- Tap on the Mi Unlock Status option
- Login (if you haven’t already) or tap the Add Account and Device)
- Then tap the back arrow at the top left to go back to the previous screen
- Toggle the OEM Unlocking to on and then accept the popup that appears at the bottom
The steps above are all that we can do in Step 1 of this Xiaomi Redmi 5 and Redmi 5 Plus bootloader unlock guide. In the embedded video below I show what happens if you try to go through step 2 of the process but I only did that to show you that it will now work. In 2 weeks I have had the full tutorial up here on Android Explained that shows you how to actually unlock the bootloader. I really wish that Xiaomi would stop playing these games with people wanting to unlock the bootloader.
Their Xiaomi Mi community his very hardcore in the mods and custom ROMs that they come up with. And in a way, that is what has made them as popular as they were at the start. Now, I guess since their price point to quality product beats out the competition they really don’t have to do that. But come on, 360 hours to unlock the bootloader of a smartphone that I own the hardware of. That is a bit much. So, unless the community makes an uproar and/or stops buying their phones, I doubt this process will change anytime soon.
So again, you will need to have a Xiaomi Mi account and it needs to be verified. I did my verification over SMS and you may need to do that as well. With your Mi account authorized, you can then go into the Accounts section of the Redmi 5 or Redmi 5 Plus and sign into your account. As shown in the video, the Sync option is enabled by default (and you should keep it on) but the Find Device option isn’t (and you should enable it). I have had a bootloader unlock issues that were caused by Xiaomi not being able to unlock the device.
Once the bootloader is unlocked though, you’re free to sign out of that account, stop the Find Device service, and prevent all location data if you like. The next thing you’ll need to do is go back to the main Settings application page and enable Developer Mode. I have linked how to do this in Step 10 of the guide above, just look for the Xiaomi section because they do things differently than most other Android OEMs. With Developer Mode enabled, go back to the main Settings app page and scroll down to tap the Additional Settings option.
Here is where you will find the Developer Options menu toward the bottom of the list. Go in there and you’ll see a Mi Unlock Status option. Since you have already signed into your Mi Account, you should just see an Add Account and Device button. Tap it and it will verify you in a few seconds. Now you can go back a menu page and look for the OEM Unlocking option and tap the toggle on since it is disabled by default. If everything is done right then you’ll see a prompt pop up at the bottom asking if you are sure you want to enable OEM Unlocking.
And there we have it, this concludes Part 1 of the tutorial showing you how to unlock the bootloader of the Xiaomi Redmi 5 and the Xiaomi Redmi 5 Plus.