How to unlock the bootloader on the Verizon Galaxy Nexus

Now that you have your Verizon Galaxy Nexus on hand, the first thing that you’re going to want to do is unlock the bootloader. Since this is a Nexus device, the bootloader can easily be unlocked. There’s no need for developers crack the bootloader or create hacks to bypass it.

Unlocking the bootloader only requires two simple commands to be run on your device, but requires you to have the proper drivers for the device and the Android SDK installed on your machine. Once you have both of those prerequisites taken care of, the process is a breeze.

You should unlock your bootloader before you customize things on your device because unlocking the bootloader wipes your machine clean. The good thing is that unlocking is a one-time thing. Once unlocked, you won’t have to do this again, ever.

How to unlock the bootloader on the Galaxy Nexus

**These instructions are for Windows only**

  1. Download these drivers from the Samsung website. This will allow your phone to be recognized by the Android SDK
  2. Download and install the Android SDK. Make sure that the Android SDK is properly installed on your machine. For instructions on how to properly set up the Android SDK, check out this guide by the CyanogenMod team. You can’t continue until the SDK is properly configured and that ADB properly recognizes your phone.
  3. Download and place the fastboot.exe file in your SDK/Platform-Tools folder (If you’re using an older version of the Android SDK, it’s probably the SDK/Tools folder.
  4. On your Galaxy Nexus, turn on USB debugging by going to Settings>Developer options>USB debugging


  5. Plug your phone into your computer and launch the ADB tool by navigating to your SDK/Platform-tools folder using explorer. Once there, hold the SHIFT key on your keyboard, right click, and choose “Open command window from here.”


  6. With the command prompt window open and your phone connected to the computer, type the following command to power down your phone and reboot it to the bootloader: abd reboot bootloader. Your phone will power down and reboot into the bootloader


  7. Once the phone has restarted into the bootloader, type the following command on your computer: fastboot oem unlock. Your phone will prompt your to unlock the bootloader. Simply use the volume keys to highlight “Yes” and then press the power button to confirm.


  8. Congratulations, the bootloader on your Verizon Galaxy Nexus should now be unlocked!


  9. Choose to start your phone. It will perform a factory reset and reboot. If your phone starts boot looping, DO NOT do battery pull. Doing so will cause a soft-brick which will require you to flash the factory image to get going again. Simply wait it out.
  10. You should now be rocking a Verizon Galaxy Nexus with an unlocked bootloader!

Unlocking your bootloader doesn’t void anything. You will still be able to receive OTA updates pushed by Google. Your phone will simply be better because of all the cool things you’re going to be able to do with it in the future.

Big thanks to Droid Life for the directions and pictures