The OnePlus 6 runs on Android 8.1 Oreo which is the latest publicly available version of the Android firmware. OnePlus uses its own custom designed UI over the official Android firmware to keep it aesthetically minimalist. The company follows a simple approach when creating its own interface. The OnePlus 6 is no exception, it comes with OxgenOS ROM, which is a customized version of stock vanilla Android. For most tasks, OxygenOS is more than capable of handling anything you throw at it. However, some users are not content with the stock experience as it puts some restriction regarding the use of firmware. Therefore many try to install custom ROMs and other files to modify the UI and to install tools for customizing the device anyway they like.
In order to flash custom MODs, files, firmware, recoveries, ROMs, and more, the bootloader must be unlocked. All OnePlus smartphones come with locked bootloader, which prevents users from flashing and installing files. The bootloader is a critical part of every Android phone. It acts as a gateway to root access. With a locked bootloader, you cannot install a custom recovery or root your phone. So to perform any of these actions, you have to unlock the bootloader on your OnePlus 6.
Steps to Unlock Bootloader of OnePlus 6
Note: Before you start unlocking the bootloader of your phone, note that the process will wipe out everything on your phone. So create a full backup of all files and folders before you do anything.
Also make sure that you have the right USB and Fastboot drivers in order to connect your device to your computer. Once ready, follow these instructions.
First of all, download and install OnePlus 6 USB driver from this link. Skip this if already installed on your computer.
Now plug your phone to a computer using a USB cable.
Open command prompt on your computer by pressing Shift + Right-Click and select “Open Command Window here” from the context menu.
Now in the prompt, type “fastboot devices” and hit enter. If the drivers are properly installed, the computer will show your phone’s series number. Otherwise reinstall drivers and try again.
Next, type “fastboot oem unlock” and press enter key. This will wipe out all data on your phone and will unlock the bootloader.
When you press enter, a warning will show up. Select Yes and hit the power button to execute.
This will unlock the bootloader. Your phone will restart after which you will be able to root it, install custom ROMs, firmware, kernels, mods and much more.