[Tutorial] Xiaomi Smartphone: migrate from Chinese ROM to Global ROM

If you bought a Xioami Device recently, there are chances that it came with a moded Chinese ROM that has some apps in Chinese or does not have Play Store installed. If this is the case, then fear not, since your device can be saved. The procedure is not very risky, but it will void your warranty. This should work with most Xiaomi devices out there without any problems. I will be using the Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 as an example.

DISCLAIMER You are doing this on your own risk. We are not responsible for any possible damages to your smartphone. An incorrect procedure can result in a bricked device.

Link device with your MI account

The first thing you need to do is unlock your bootloader. Download the Xiaomi Unlocker software from Xiaomi’s website. Next, add your smartphone to your MIUI Account. To do this, you will first need to enable developer options. So go to ‘Setting > My Device > All Specs’. Tap on MIUI version 7 times. This will enable additional settings options.
Next, go to Settings > Developer Options > Unlock Status. Here, you can add your device by connecting to your MI Account.

Unlock Bootloader

Once this was done, you can run the Xiaomi Unlocker application that was downloaded earlier. Connect to your MI account by entering the username and password.
Next, power off your device and boot into fastboot. This is done by pressing the Volume Down + Power simultaneously. On the smartphone screen should be an image with Xiaomi’s mascot and the Android logo. It should also read FASTBOOT underneath. Once there, connect your smartphone to the PC using a USB cable.

On the Xiaomi unlocker application, press the “Unlock” button. Assuming that the device is properly connected, the unlock process should start. Keep in mind that this will erase everything on the device. It will restore it to factory settings and you will lose any apps, setting, and files. Make backups of your important files prior to doing this.
First time doing this, you will most probably get an error saying that you have to wait 72 hours. This is a security measure by Xiaomi in order to make sure that you indeed want to unlock your bootloader. If you get this message, come back in three days.

Welcome back. Try to unlock again and now everything should be OK. Congratulations! You Xiaomi smartphone has the bootloader unlocked and you can flash the Global ROM.

Flashing the MIUI Global ROM

There are multiple ways of doing this. For more advanced people, you can install a custom Recovery (TWRP). In this article, I will not touch the Recovery but will live it default.
Now, first you need to download the MIUI Global Fastboot ROM. This is NOT the one from the normal MIUI Download page. The ROM can be downloaded sources. There is the Offical MIUI Forum Page, or, the one I recommend, the MiFirm website. Download the one for your device and extract it somewhere on your PC. In the main folder should be multiple *.bat and *.sh files as well as a folder named “Images”.

Next, download the MiFlash Tool application. You can either install it or you can download the portable version from this page. After that, run the application.

Boot into fastboot on your smartphone and connect it to your PC. In the MiFlash Tool, hit refresh. Press the select button and browse to the extracted ROM (the folder with the *.bat files and the images folder). Select your device from the list.
IMPORTANT! Down, select “Clean all” option. DO NOT SELECT “CLEAN ALL AN LOCK”!

Hit Flash! Once done, the phone should reboot int he main OS. Congratulations! You now have the global ROM.

Steps (short version)

  1. Download and install the Xiaomi Unlocker from here
  2. Setting > My Device > All Specs
  3. Tap MIUI Version 7 times
  4. Settings > Developer Options > Unlock Status
  5. Add account and device
  6. Boot into fastboot
  7. Connect device to PC
  8. Press “Unlock” (wait 72 hours if error message and try again)
  9. Download MIUI Fastboot Global ROM from here and extract it
  10. Download MIFlash Tool from here
  11. Boot into Fastboot
  12. Connect device to PC
  13. Select the extracted ROM folder
  14. Select device
    15. SELECT “CLEAN ALL” (NOT “CLEAN ALL AND LOCK”)
  15. Press “Flash”
  16. Enjoy MIUI Global ROM

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