The Galaxy Note 10 bootloader checks the software you have installed to make sure it’s official. If the bootloader is locked and it detects the software has been modified (so it isn’t official anymore), then it will not boot into Android. We avoid this check by unlocking the bootloader and I can show you how to do that.
You can follow along with this tutorial by watching this video.
As a customer, we want our new smartphone to ship with a locked bootloader. This shows us that we can trust the software that was installed on it from the factory. If this wasn’t the case, then someone (maybe a wireless carrier employee, or a warehouse storage employee) could install some malicious code on the Galaxy Note 10 without us knowing.
If you ever buy a phone and it displays the unlocked bootloader warning during boot then you want to manually flash some official Android images to it.
You should be the one who unlocks the bootloader of the smartphone buy. It’s okay to see the warning screen after you have manually unlocked the bootloader but it shouldn’t be that way when you turn it on for the first time. This way, you know what modified software is going to be installed on it (Magisk for root access, for example).
So let me show you how to do this from start to finish.
Note – This is only going to work on the Exynos variant of the Galaxy Note 10. If you don’t know which model you have, follow this tutorial to see if you have the Snapdragon SoC from Qualcomm or the Exynos SoC from Samsung. Also, completing this guide will end up resetting your Galaxy Note 10 so back up as much of your data as you can beforehand.
How to Unlock the Galaxy Note 10 Bootloader
First, Enable Developer Mode
- Open the Settings application
- Go into the About Phone section (at the bottom)
- Tap the Software Information option
- Then tap the Build Number entry 7-10 times
- Look at the bottom toast message to make sure it says Developer Mode has been enabled
Next, Enable OEM Unlocking
- Open the Settings application again
- Scroll all the way to the bottom and tap the Developer Options menu
- Then tap the toggle for the OEM Unlocking feature
- You’ll be prompted to confirm this switch
Now We Boot into Download Mode
- Power down the Galaxy Note 10
- Next press and hold both the Volume Up and Volume Down buttons at the same time
- Keep those buttons held down and insert a USB cable into the smartphone
- Continue holding the Volume Up and Volume Down buttons until it boots into Download Mode
Complete the Galaxy Note 10 Bootloader Unlock Process
With all of this done, you should be presented with a splash screen for Samsung’s Download Mode. This is where you would normally proceed to Download Mode or tell the smartphone to reboot back into Android. However, now that we have enabled the OEM Unlock toggle and then booted into Download Mode, we get a third option.
Now you can press and hold the Volume Up button to actually tell the Galaxy Note 10 to unlock its bootloader.
Once it detects that long-press gesture it will begin the factory reset process and unlock the bootloader for you. All you have to do now is wait for the smartphone to complete its first boot cycle (which will be longer than normal) and then you can activate Android like you normally would. This completes the unlock process and you can even double-check this by looking in the hidden Developer Options menu again.
If you remember, there is an OEM Unlock toggle in there. Enabling this toggle was required in order to unlock the bootloader and now that it is unlocked the toggle is grayed out. You’ll also see some text there saying the Galaxy Note 10 bootloader is already unlocked.