Xiaomi’s flagship Mi5 is one of the most incredible smartphones available on the market, offering hardware specs and performance comparable to the Samsung S7, at a fraction of Samsung’s cost. Unlocking the Xiaomi boot loader and rooting the device is a bit of an adventure, however. This guide will walk you step-by-step through the process.
How to Unlock the Xiaomi Mi5 Boot loader and Root – Official Request
While locked boot loaders are often a point of contention for Android enthusiasts, Xiaomi offers an official method to unlock your Xiaomi Mi5 boot loader. However, it takes a bit of prep work – namely, a Xiaomi forum account in good reputation. While anyone can create an account and submit an unlock request, it has surfaced that priority is given to Xiaomi forum accounts with a certain post threshold. “Diamond tier” forum accounts are instantly whitelisted and approved the fastest.
- Download the latest Xiaomi Mi5 official China Dev ROM available here. Only the China Dev ROM can request to be unlocked!
- Drag the downloaded .zip file to a folder called “downloaded_rom” inside the device’s root folder. If a “downloaded_rom” folder does not exist, just create one.
- Navigate to your Updater app, and press the […] icon in the top right corner.
- Select “Choose update package”, as seen in the screenshot below. Now choose the rom/zip file you placed in your root folder earlier.
- Go here to the official Unlock Request section of Xiaomi’s website. Sign into your account, and enter the information requested (name, country, phone #, and reason for unlock request).
- After several days (or up to a week), you will receive an unlock code via SMS. Proceed back to the Unlock website, and put in the code you received.
- Download the Mi Unlock Software via the website, or an alternative link here.
- Run the MIFlashUnlock.exe tool with Administrator privileges. Log into your account via the flash tool.
- Turn off your phone and then hold Volume Down + Power to boot into Fastboot Mode. Now connect the phone to your PC via USB. Finally, click “Unlock Now” in the flash tool.
Wait for 100% completion, and then reboot your phone. Navigate to Security App > Permissions, and choose “Allow Root Access”. Note: This is a limited version of “Root” access, see below for SuperSu rooting guide.
How to Unlock the Xiaomi Mi5 Boot loader Without Official Request
Note: This method only works on certain ROM versions, linked below.
Required: 7.1.20 China Weekly ROM or Global Stable V126.96.36.199 ROM
- Create a Mi account if you do not already have one.
- Enable developer options on your Mi5. Go to Settings > About > repeatedly tap on Miui version until you are notified that Developer options have been enabled.
- Go into Additional Settings > Developer Options and enable USB debugging.
- Enter your Mi account on your device, and enable “OEM Unlocking” in the developer options.
- Download Mi Unlock on your PC here, then open it and sign into your Mi account (the same one you used on your device!)
- Reboot your device to synchronize your Mi account, then turn off your device completely and enter fastboot mode (Volume Down + Power)
- Connect your Xiaomi Mi5 to your PC via USB, and press the “Unlock” button in the Mi Unlock tool.
How to Install Custom Recovery and Root Xiaomi Mi5
Note: This will require ADB configured on your PC, which is beyond the scope of this guide. Download links are provided here for convenience only.
- Download the Android SDK command-line tools onto your computer (here).
- Download the latest TWRP version compatible with Xiaomi Mi5 here.
- Open a command-line prompt in Windows after you have installed the Android SDK command-line tools. Connect your device to your computer via USB (with USB debugging enabled!)
- Type this into your command prompt: adb reboot bootloader
- Copy the TWRP image file into the folder that contains your ADB and fastboot binaries. Rename the TWRP file to twrp.img
- Type the following commands into the command prompt:
Fastboot flash recovery twrp.img
- TWRP should now be installed on your Xiaomi Mi5. Now we will proceed to root with SuperSu.
- Download the latest Recovery Flashable.zip of SuperSu here.
- Copy the SuperSu zip file to your device’s storage. Turn off your phone and reboot into recovery mode (Volume Up + Power).
- In TWRP, select “Install” and flash the SuperSu zip file. Reboot your device once flashing is done.
That’s it! Your Xiaomi Mi5 should now be successfully rooted.