The bootloader is always going to be a part of the Android operating system, and they always have been. Usually, a bootloader comes locked. Manufacturers and smartphone carrier networks want this because it stops people from swapping over the stock version of Android for a custom version. There are also some security issues with an unlocked bootloader in comparison to a locked one. Technically it is not out of the question to bypass a pin code with an unlocked bootloader whereas the locked version is next to impossible for a thief to unlock your pin code without pinning in the code. It is also possible to bypass encryption with a freezer if a device has the bootloader unlocked. Encryption keeps popping up in the news now and then–most recently with the Apple case–and people have a pretty good understanding of what it does. Encryption offers the best security we know, and that upside is gone with an unlocked bootloader.

So now that you know the main reason why manufacturers and smartphone carrier networks want the bootloader locked, why on earth would anyone want to unlock it? Even the Google Nexus range of devices come with locked bootloaders for the same security reasons, but they are easily unlocked because Nexus devices are intended to be owned by developers. A developer cannot do anything to a device with the bootloader locked, and they happily unlock it so they can get to work. It is important to note that a bootloader can always be locked again if you unlock it yourself so you can get the security benefits at a time when it suits you. If swapping the stock version of Android for a custom ROM is on the agenda, then that time is not right now.

Samsung Galaxy Note 4

While all of that security stuff might sound reason for concern, most of us who do not have a mass of amazing secrets kept on our smartphones are not in lots of trouble if our devices are stolen. Most people who take devices are doing it to wipe the device and use it or sell it again. Very few people are being targeted by skilled assassins due to their secrets and are being targeted due to them currently knowing that encryption is turned off, but anything is possible. It all comes down to assessing whether it is a risk you want to take given your circumstances, and anyone who wants to install a custom ROM doesn’t usually mind losing the security.

Files You Need

Note that ADB is also available for MacOS and Linux operating systems, but the setup file is different, and the commands people need to run from the command prompt are also different to that of the Windows commands. Those who have experience in those commands already can install ADB for Linux and MacOS and use those commands. Everyone else will need to follow our steps for Windows operating systems in the guide below.

Unlocking the bootloader on the Verizon Samsung Galaxy Note 4 smartphone

  1. Open the ADB folder and copy the contents from the Samsung unlock files into the same folder as the ADB. (You will need to extract the files from the downloads folder on the Windows operating system and then copy everything that you see in the ADB folder, so it is all available from the one directory).
  2. From within the ADB and Samsung unlock folder, hold down the Shift key and right-click where it shows the white background and then choose the option that says to open a new command window here from the menu.
  3. Unlock the Developer Options menu on the Verizon Samsung Galaxy Note 4 smartphone if it is not unlocked already.
  4. Enable the USB Debugging Mode on the Big Red Galaxy Note 4 from inside the Developer Options menu that you just unlocked so we can connect the smartphone to the computer and it will allow the Android operating system to be developed.
  5. Make sure you connect the Verizon Samsung Galaxy Note 4 to the computer with the USB cable.
  6. Type the command: “adb push samsung_unlock_n4-2 /data/local/tmp/” and the unlock files will transfer over to the smartphone to a temporary location.
  7. Type the next command in the command prompt: “adb shell” and the ADB shell window will open on the computer.
  8. Type the command “su” to make sure that you have root permissions.
  9. Type the command: “cd /data/local/tmp/”
  10. Type another command: “chmod 777 samsung_unlock_n4-2.”
  11. Type the last command in this sequence: “chown root.root samsung_unlock_n4-2.”
  12. Type another command “./samsung_unlock_n4-2” and it will execute the script.
  13. People who find the Samsung Devices Only error on the display at this stage need to run the samsung_unlock_n4-2 fix script and follow the same process defined as above.
  14. Wait for the Verizon Samsung Galaxy Note 4 smartphone to reboot and the CID will be modified when that happens.
  15. Connect the SD card to the Note 4 and then turn on the phone by pressing the Power button and reapply the steps 7 through to 11.
  16. The Verizon Galaxy Note 4 bootloader is now unlocked; take out the SD card and keep the files safe as these will help fix the devices if it gets bricked.

In conclusion, that is how to unlock the bootloader on the Verizon Samsung Galaxy Note 4 smartphone so you can think about doing things like installing a custom recovery image and a custom ROM or even a custom kernel. Understand that rooting the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 smartphone isn’t a requirement to install a custom ROM, but there are root applications available from the Google Play Store like the ROM Manager that can make your ROM flashing experience much better.