How to unlock the bootloader of Nothing Phone 1 and root it with Magisk
Upon the release of a new smartphone, a mission that many Android enthusiasts undertake is to unlock the bootloader and root the device. After this usually comes a flood of development in the form of custom ROMs, kernels and other mods and tweaks. It can be said that the life of a device here on XDA doesn’t really begin until the shackle (read “locked bootloader”) has been thoroughly broken. For the Nothing Phone 1 community, that journey can start right now!
You will be happy to know that unlocking the bootloader of Nothing Phone 1 literally takes seconds and rooting the device takes minutes. If you’ve ever unlocked the bootloader of and rooted a non-carrier variant of your Google Pixel or OnePlus device, you shouldn’t have any trouble unlocking your fancy Nothing Phone 1 and installing Magisk. For those of you who need a refresher, here’s a guide to guide you through the process.
How Bootloader Unlocks and Roots Nothing Phone 1
The core sources and device tree of the Nothing Phone 1 are already up for grabs, so we were bound to see aftermarket development work and custom mods start to take off for the device. Nevertheless, you need to unlock the bootloader first to boot third-party software. This is how you get started:
Step 1: Unlock Nothing Phone 1’s bootloader
- To open Settings app on Nothing Phone 1.
- Press About the phone.
- Find the section named Software information and press it.
- On the next screen, tap Building number 7 times until it says you are now a developer.
- Return to the main page Settings page, press Systemand near the bottom of the list, you should see Developer opportunities. Press it.
- You should see one OEM unlocking option. Activate it. For security purposes, it may ask you to enter your lock screen PIN/password if you have a set.
- Scroll down a bit until you see USB Debugging. Enable it too.
- Connect Nothing Phone 1 to PC/Mac/Chromebook. Make sure you have the latest version of ADB and Fastboot binaries installed.
- Now open a terminal window/command prompt instance and type the following command:
- If you see the device’s serial number and it says “authorized,” you’re good to go. If this is your first time setting up ADB for this device, you may see a message on your phone to enable USB debugging for your PC. Give it permission.
- If you’re having trouble getting your Windows PC to recognize your device, try installing the latest Android USB drivers.
- Now, reboot to the bootloader Menu. You can either do this by holding down the power and volume down buttons while booting, or by typing the following ADB command:
adb reboot bootloader
- Once you’re in the bootloader menu, you’ll now need to switch to using the fastboot command to communicate with your device. To unlock Nothing Phone 1’s bootloader, enter the following command:
fastboot flashing unlock
- You should now see text on the screen warning you about the potential risks of unlocking the bootloader. On the screen next to the power and volume buttons you should see some text. Press the Volume Up key until it says “unlock bootloader”. When it says this, press the power button.
- The phone will unlock the bootloader and reboot back to the bootloader menu. This time, the bootloader will display a red warning icon and “unlocked” text.
- Now reboot your phone to Android OS. You can do this by issuing the following fastboot command:
- Congratulations, your Nothing Phone 1 now has an unlocked bootloader! You will see a warning that your phone’s bootloader is unlocked on every boot, but don’t worry about it as it won’t affect your daily usage.
Step 2: Rooting Nothing Phone 1 with Magisk
With an unlocked bootloader, you can now boot to modified boot images. For Magisk to work, you need to patch the Nothing Phone 1 boot image.
- Since your device has been previously wiped, you need to go back and re-enable developer options and then re-enable USB debugging. Make sure Nothing Phone 1 is still recognized by the PC.
- Download the full OTA package corresponding to the installed software version on from our Nothing Phone 1 update tracker.
- Extract the stock boot image from the OTA package. For more information, take a look at “You have access to the recovery flashable ZIP file” our “How to install Magisk on your Android phone” section.
- In case you don’t want to download the full OTA file, you can download the boot image separately from our forums. But to avoid version errors and other unforeseen errors, it is always recommended to extract the boot image yourself.
- Now that we have the stock boot image to patch, push it to your device with this command:
adb push <path_to_file> /sdcard/Download
- Download and install Magisk app on Nothing Phone 1.
- Open the Magisk app and tap Install button.
- Select Select and patch a file. A file manager will appear.
- Select the boot image you pushed earlier and let Magisk patch it.
- Pull it off your phone with this command:
adb pull /sdcard/Download/magisk_patched_[random_strings].img
- Reboot phone 1 into the bootloader:
adb reboot bootloader
- Flash the patched boot image:
fastboot flash boot /path/to/magisk_patched_boot.img
- Restart your phone:
- Open the Magisk app and the Nothing Phone 1 should be rooted.
What will be next?
What are some of the things you can do with the Nothing Phone 1 after messing around with Magisk? Here is a short list:
Remember that unlocking the bootloader and rooting the Nothing Phone 1 will affect how you take updates. You need to learn how to manually sideload monthly security updates. No need to worry, but it’s actually quite easy to do.
Nothing Phone 1 XDA Forums
Finally, if you want even more control over your device, you’ll be able to flash custom ROMs and kernels on the Nothing Phone 1 once they’re made available for the two devices. Custom ROMs can offer many options that are not available on the stock software. Custom cores, on the other hand, allow you to tweak the performance of your device to squeeze more battery life or get even more frames in your favorite games. Since the Nothing Phone 1 has just been released, there are no custom ROMs or kernels available for the device yet. But keep an eye on the XDA subforum for this phone if you’re interested in the custom development scene.