Self-flashing Xiaomi phones, smartphones and tablets

When you purchase a smartphone or tablet, it usually already has firmware (Firmware) with a certain OS version, but this is not always convenient. And it’s not even in the pre-installed functions. Many Xiaomi devices lack Russian language support, and even if it does, the translation may be inaccurate or incomplete. In addition, the Firmware often contains unnecessary options and applications that cannot be removed, or even worse, the gadget sometimes slows down, freezes, and does not open some programs. But these problems are easy to deal with – if you are not satisfied with the factory firmware of Xiaomi Mi5 or other devices from this manufacturer, then you can update or change it.

There are official and custom (Custom) Firmware. Custom builds are created by users, sometimes they are much better than factory OSes. Which software to choose is up to you.

Smartphone Xiaomi Mi5


Where to look for firmware?

There is a huge amount of Firmware on the website. There you can find firmware for any need, including global or Russian-language. Each OS has a description with screenshots and detailed instructions. You will immediately be able to understand what the system interface looks like and what functions it has.

There is a specialized service with official Firmware for Xiaomi – proxiaom. There are news, reviews, articles, applications. Choose only the OS that suits your phone or tablet. If you install Firmware that was developed for another model, then there will be problems with the gadget. You can also find the firmware on the official Miui website.

What does “Locked bootloader” mean?

Bootloader (or “Loader”) controls the process of starting the operating system. It is similar to a computer BIOS. If system files are damaged, the bootloader will allow you to activate recovery mode and reset the gadget to default settings.

In the latest models of Xiaomi Bootloader is blocked. This means that it will not work to reflash the device using standard methods. The manufacturer puts a similar restriction so that third-party software is not downloaded to devices, but they use a system that is specially designed for this gadget.

Online stores often install their own firmware. It may be filled with useless adware or be unstable. A locked bootloader prevents you from downloading an incompatible OS to your Xiaomi device.

But this defense mechanism also has its downsides. If you are not satisfied with the factory Firmware, then it will not be possible to change it, but you will have to look for workarounds.

You can try to remove the restriction by submitting an official request to Xiaomi. However, this doesn’t always work.

You can find out if your bootloader is locked like this:

  1. Turn off the device.
  2. Simultaneously press the volume up and power button. The combination may be different. It depends on the model. The instructions tell you which buttons to press.
  3. If custom Recovery is enabled, it means that flashing Xiaomi Mi5 and other models is possible. Recovery is a debug mode. You will recognize it by the buttons “Install”, “Wipe”, “Backup”, “Restore”.
    Xiaomi-Recovery mode

    If you see this screen, then the bootloader is not locked

  4. If the phone rebooted into Fastboot mode, it means that the bootloader is locked. In this case, you can also install a new OS, but you have to bypass the restriction, and if something goes wrong, it will be extremely difficult to restore the device.

Before firmware

Before flashing Xiaomi Mi5 or any other model, do the following:

  • Fully charge the gadget so that the battery does not run out during the reinstallation of the OS.
  • Back up information from your phone or tablet. Save contacts, messages, sms, notes, photos, videos and other important data on other media or in network storage.
  • Install device drivers on your computer. They must be included with the smartphone or tablet. You can also download them on the Internet, but in most cases they are installed automatically when you connect your phone to a computer.
  • Search online and download a utility called “adb”. This is a universal program that allows you to control Android devices from a PC. You may need it to flash Xiaomi. Place the folder with it in the root of the system drive. The path to the directory should not contain Russian letters or spaces (it will turn out C:adb).
  • Download the Firmware that suits your phone model in advance. The name of a multilingual OS with Cyrillic support must contain the word “Global” (meaning “global”).
  • Enable USB debugging on your mobile device. To do this, go to the settings and tap several times on the item with the OS version. After that, the “For Developers” mode will become available in the parameters. There you will find the option you need.
  • A USB cable must be available to connect Xiaomi to a computer.
Xiaomi USB connection

To update the firmware, connect the device to a computer

Firmware with MiFlash

To flash a gadget, you need to find and download the MiFlash program on the Internet, but installing it on a PC is not so easy. To do this, you should temporarily prohibit checking the digital signatures of drivers.

  1. Go to Start – Programs – Accessories.
  2. Right-click on “Command Prompt” and select “As Administrator” from the list that appears.
  3. Type in turn “bcdedit.exe /set loadoptions DISABLE_INTEGRITY_CHECKS” and “bcdedit.exe /set TESTSIGNING ON” without quotes. Press Enter after each command.
    Disabling verification of digital signatures of drivers
  4. Restart your computer. A notification should appear that the system is operating in test mode.
  5. Launch Flash. The OS will periodically warn you that the program does not have digital signatures. Confirm that you agree to the installation.
  6. Do not change the initialization settings. The path to the directory with the utility should not contain Russian characters or spaces. Use only Latin characters in directory names.
  7. To exit test mode, type “bcdedit.exe /set TESTSIGNING OFF” at the command prompt. Then restart your PC.
  8. To install adb, you also need to disable driver digital signature verification.

After that, you can download the firmware.

  1. Unzip it to the root of the system drive. The directory name must also contain only English letters.
  2. Turn off your phone.
  3. Connect it to PC via USB port.
  4. Hold down the volume up and power buttons on your device. Keep them until recovery or fastboot is activated. For Xiaomi Mi5 and models with a locked bootloader, this method is not suitable. They need to switch to EDL mode.
  5. Launch Flash. The program should automatically detect that the gadget is connected to the computer. To update the information, click on “Refresh”.
  6. Click Browse. Specify the path to the folder where the firmware is located.
  7. Click on the “Flash” button. Wait for the installation to finish.
    MiFlash - update firmware
  8. Disconnect your phone and turn it on. It may take a long time for the system to boot up at the first start.

Firmware via EDL

To install the Xiaomi Mi5 global firmware, you need to put the device into EDL mode. This is also true for devices with a locked bootloader.

  1. Turn off your gadget.
  2. Press the volume down and power buttons at the same time. Hold them until the display shows a rabbit in an earflap, which is repairing the Android robot. This is a kind of Fastboot logo.
    xiaomi-fastboot mode
  3. Connect your device to PC.
  4. Launch Flash. The program should display the connected phone.
  5. Go to the adb directory.
  6. Hold down the Shift key and right-click anywhere in the folder (where there are no files or directories).
  7. Select “Open command window” from the context menu.
  8. Write “fastboot devices” and click. The serial number of the gadget will be displayed. If it does not appear, then the Xiaomi drivers are not installed correctly.
  9. Type the command “fastboot oem edl” and press Enter. The smartphone screen will turn off. This means that it has entered EDL mode.
  10. The computer will notify you when a new device is detected and will automatically update the drivers for it. Wait until the end of the process.
  11. In MiFlash, click Refresh. The information of the connected device will change.
  12. Now you can install Firmware.

Xiaomi firmware with a locked bootloader if there is no EDL

Here is how to flash Xiaomi Mi5 to global firmware if EDL does not work on the device:

  1. Repeat steps 1-9 from the previous chapter. If the inscription “FAILED” appears when switching to EDL, this means that this mode is blocked.
  2. Find and download the Unlock_edl utility.
  3. Unzip it to your system drive. Names must contain only English characters.
  4. Connect your phone in fastboot mode.
  5. Hold Shift, right-click on the Unlock_edl folder and select “Open Command Window”.
  6. Enter the commands “fastboot devices”, “fastboot flash aboot emmc_appsboot.mbn”, “fastboot reboot-bootloader”, “fastboot oem edl” in sequence. Press Enter after each. edl mode should start.
  7. You can install firmware.

If there are any problems with the device, it is better to download the factory Firmware (Chinese) first. This will restore all system files and modes, and then you can use a multilingual OS.

To flash a device from Xiaomi, you need to bypass the restrictions. In modern devices of this company, the bootloader is blocked, so it will not work to install a new OS using standard methods, but it is still possible to change the Firmware.

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