Tutorial: unlock bootloader and gain root on Verizon HTC 10

I picked up an HTC 10 a couple months ago but went with the Verizon contract version because the unlocked model was crazy expensive.  That meant I was stuck with Verizon's bloatware and stock recovery -- lame.

Fortunately, it's fairly easy to fix all that for $25.

WARNING: THE FOLLOWING GUIDE IS ONLY FOR U.S. VERIZON HTC 10 SMARTPHONES AND PC OWNERS.  I CANNOT BE HELD RESPONSIBLE FOR ANYTHING THAT GOES WRONG IN THE PROCESS OF FOLLOWING THIS TUTORIAL.  USING YOUR DEVICE IN THE WAYS DESCRIBED BELOW WILL LIKELY VOID YOUR WARRANTY.  PROCEED AT YOUR OWN RISK.

Okay, if you've made it this far you're pretty committed to doing this.  So, without further ado:

1. On your PC, get the necessary drivers by installing HTC Sync Manager (just choose the driver, not the GUI when prompted -- or uninstall the GUI after it installs)

2. On your phone, go to Settings > About > Software information > More and tap Build number about 7 times until it notifies you you've gain developer privileges

3. Go to Settings > Developer options and check USB debugging

4. Plug your phone into your computer using its USB cable and verify you can access the internal storage or SD card.

5.  Download the SuperSU recovery flashable zip file and copy it to your phone (SD card recommended)

6. On your phone, go to Settings > Security and check Unknown sources (and accept the resulting nag prompt)

7. Then open your smartphone browser and go to http://theroot.ninja/download.html and download SunShine for Motorola and HTC (version 3.4.2 or higher)

8. After it downloads, click on it to install it.  The app will walk you through the process.  It will first check to see if your device is compatible and will attempt to gain temporary root access.  During the root attempt, it will instruct you to turn off your screen for 15 seconds.  If the root attempt fails (like it did for me the first time), it will recommend you restart your phone and run the SunShine app again to try a second time.  It worked for me the second time.  Next it will ask if you want to unlock the bootloader with S-ON or S-OFF.  You can do your own online research to decide which to use, but most people go with the S-ON option (which is safer, doesn't require a reformat, and still allows you to install custom ROMs).  Once you've unlocked your bootloader, you can now go to Settings > Security and uncheck Unknown sources.

9. Now you're ready to gain root access.  On your PC, download and install Minimal ADB and Fastboot

10. Then download the img file for TWRP for HTC 10 to the adb install directory (C:\Program Files (x86)\Minimal ADB and Fastboot).

11. In the command prompt that opened after installing Minimal ADB and Fastboot, type: adb reboot bootloader


12. Your phone should reboot to an ugly Rainbow-Brite multi-colored text screen that says "Software status: Official" and "Unlocked".  At this point, in the command prompt type: fastboot flash recovery {name of img file from step 10 above}   (e.g. "fastboot flash recovery twrp-3.0.2-6-pme.img")

13. After a moment, it should say OKAY and finished.  Then, use the volume-down button on your phone to highlight BOOT TO RECOVERY MODE and press the power button to select it.  Your phone will reboot into the TWRP recovery screen

14. Activate write-mode by sliding the slider on the screen and then choose the Install button.  Locate the SuperSU zip file from step 5 above and press it to select it.  Note: you may need to press the Select Storage button to change to the SD card.  Slide the slider to confirm the flash install.

15. Once SuperSU is installed, reboot your phone.  Note: it may take a few minutes the first time booting after installing the app.

16. Open the Google Play Store on your phone and install Root Checker by CMDann.  Run it and click the Verify Root Access button at the top.  It may take a minute for SuperSU to finish installing and prompt you to allow Root Checker root access, but eventually you will be prompted and you should allow it root access.  Root Checker will then display a green checkmark indicating you have root access.

Congrats!  You have an unlocked bootloader with root access on a U.S. Verizon HTC 10 smartphone.



P.S. Xposed Framework also works:

A. Follow step 6 above and then install the Xposed apk

B. Download the latest Xposed arm64 SDK zip file to your SD card

C. Reboot to recovery and install the Xposed SDK zip file

D. Reboot and wait about 15 minutes for the install to complete (be patient, it really does take a long time and there's no initial sign of progress on the Verizon booting screen so it's easy to panic)

E. Open the Xposed app and verify it works (installing any desired modules), then uncheck the Unknown sources checkbox in Settings > Security

2 comments:

Scott Hendersson said...

Hey!

Recently stumbled upon your mrbluecoat blog and loved it. Writers in the tech space tend to have trouble balancing concision and detail but you look like you've found your groove there, kudos.
I'm in the mobile development and tech space and always like to get myself involved in relevant content, and that's why I'm reaching out right now:
I have a pitch for a post in the mobile app development space your readers might find interesting and am trying to find someone who might like to write about it.
Can I send you my idea when you have the time?

Best regards,
Scott Hendersson

Mr. Blue Coat said...

Hi Scott, my blog has a rather humble following so you might be better off with a larger venue but feel free to send along your idea: scott-idea@dispostable.com

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