Fairphone 3+. Unlock bootloader without accepting Google ToS

Booting the phone gives me Google Crap. I do not want google crap.
Unlocking the bootloader [0], apparently requires first accepting google ToS and updating the phone. Not an option.

Is there a way to escape this Kafkaesque hell? Otherwise I will send the phone back, obviously.

I’ve been a loyal fairphone customer for phone version 1 and version 2; this is not quite the experience I expect of a company that specializes in “fair”.

[0] FP3(+). Manage the bootloader – Support

I understand your reluctance to deal with most of the Google swamp but the phone is sold as is with Android 9/10. hHow long have you had the phone as you can return the phone within 14days of receipt without giving a reason, after that ~ disliking Google is not a fair excuse, business wise.

On that fair note ~ the fairness is directed towards the labourers that make the parts etc, not to us first worlders. Lets face it £400 for phone would feed a small family for half a year in some locations.


Welcome to the community forum.

As a compromise, how about skipping the Google stuff in the setup assistant, not updating the phone, and then trying this here in case the official way really needs updating the phone (I don’t know whether this here still works, though):


Why not? Realistically Google can’t do much when you only used the device for like an hour to download updates and then unlock it.

Not that I know of.

Well, within 14 days that is your right, but what else is your plan? At least Fairphone actively supports other OSses. Whatever other company you are thinking of buying from definitely cares less about your privacy than Fairphone does.

Fairphone’s fair is about workers not being exploited above all. But I feel they are quite fair to us as end-users too. Hell, I am not aware of a single other phone manufacturer that actively helps with privacy-friendly operating systems except Purism with their Librem 5 (is that usable yet? No clue) or PinePhone (which I believe is really intended for dev usage not end-users).

Not to be a jerk but honestly I feel you’re overreacting. Yes, it’s not optimal, but you’ll have Google’s crap removed in just an hour and Fairphone actually does their best to make it as easy as possible to get rid of it when other manufacturers lock you into the standard OS as much as they can.


Thanks all for the replies!

You might be right. I’ve set up a vpn and tunneled the google updates through that, and just applied the updates.

Yeah true. I only later found out that there is the partnership between /E/ and fairphone. Am gonna try that tomorrow.

The information and documentation on the fairphone site and this forum just kinda overwhelmed me I guess. I just blindly bought the fairphone 3+, expecting it to be as smooth as with fairphone 2. I guess the negativity I added here does not help any cause. Mea culpa!

Btw. About Fairphone’s fair. Yeah I know it’s about the mines, and the workers in china, and about a whole lot of other stuff. It’s also a very important issue to me, and hope it is to others as well!


I do wish Fairphone Open OS was a thing like it was for the FP2 but I suppose given there is /e/ and Lineage there is just much less need for it.

Despite the overwhelming amount of information, replacing the OS isn’t really harder on the FP3 than on the FP2 :slight_smile:

I’ve been using /e/ myself for several months now and I quite like it. The built in microG does make it easier to use the few (proprietary) apps I want to use like Banking apps because the compatibility is greatly improved with it without sending all your data to Google. Still use as many apps from F-Droid as possible, of course.

No worries about being stressed out, it happens. It always annoys me too if I have to accept a stupid agreement to be able to get rid of something but Fairphone really tries their best to make it as easy as possible while still playing by Google’s rules as they have to because the average user wants Google Play and so.


Warning: slightly out of topic
The average user wants indeed a “plug and play” solution.
As for googleFree, /e/ is a good plug and play replacement.
Although, my personal kafkaesque hell with /e/ is the lack of logic behind a googleFree phone based on a core OS developped by google (android). In this regard /e/ is for me a stairway to ubuntu-touch or postmarketOS. Which I will try out in a few month.
Might as well open a specific topic :thinking:

/e/ makes sense to me because 100% ungoogling requires some technical know-how. I tried it with my FP2 back in 2017-2018 and it was hell (stressful and had to rely on other people’s phones for some tasks like navigation).

So I see /e/ as a compromise between radically ungoogling and giving away all your data for free.

However, my experience was bad enough that I am not willing to switch to /e/ yet. :stuck_out_tongue:

well, to unlock the bootloader, you have to enable an internet connection so even if you do not login with a google account, you still have to activate it at least for 2 minutes. Not a real big issue for me unless you are like me and your phone is not recognized by the oem unlocker tool :slight_smile: my imei / serial is not recognized and even if i use a code generated by the “unofficial” tools, the unlock procedure will respond “no such phone”.

“you have to enable an internet connection”.
Do you mean that a SIM card must be present or is an existing WLAN connection sufficient?

I have tried both and always get a “no such phone” message.
("no such phone")

yes. I switched to the bootloader-unlocking-site-throws-invalid-imei-serial-number-error to avoid duplicates.
Many have the same issue and we should go to this thread for now for easy follow-up. :slight_smile:

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