Today we are going to cover how to unlock the bootloader on the 2013 Nexus 7. Although the Nexus 7 ships with a locked bootloader, it is very easy to unlock it. So why would you need to unlock the bootloader in the first place. This is a required step if you are going to root the tablet or do any modifications. Since unlocking the bootloader also performs a factory reset, I would suggest that this is the first thing that you do when you get you Nexus 7. Even if you not going to root it now, it will save you the headache later. So let’s get to it.
The process for unlocking the Nexus 7 bootloader is pretty easy and only required proper driver installation and working ADB & Fastboot. You can get ADB and fastboot by installing the Android SDK tools but that does require a large file download. Alternatively you can just install a minimal ADB and fastboot that is a small file and you can also use in the feature. Download the following files below.
Now enable USB debugging mode on Nexus 7 by going into setting under about tablet and tap the build number 7 times till you see a message that you are now a developer. Go back into setting aand into the developer options and check the USB debugging mode. Connect the Nexus 7 to the PC then go into device manager and find the Nexus 7 device with the yellow triangle. Right-click and choose update driver and point to the folder that contains the drivers previously downloaded.
Next, using command prompt (shift + right-click on folder) navigate to the ADB & Fastboot folder and type ‘adb reboot bootloader’. The Nexus 7 will now reboot into recovery. Then type ‘fastboot oem unlock’ and you should see a progress bar. Once complete just hit the power button to reboot and you are done. That’s it and now you have an unlocked bootloader. Be sure to check out the video instruction below as well and leave us a comment if you have any questions.