The OnePlus 6T is the company's first device to be sold to a US affiliate, notably T-Mobile. Because of this, you may have a T-Mobile OnePlus 6T that you purchased through your wireless service provider and not directly from OnePlus or a third party.
What you may not know is that when you buy a T-Mobile OnePlus device, you do not have the same experience as those who buy from other sources. There are also some subtle hardware differences (such as the lack of a dual SIM card slot in the T-Mobile variant) as well as some software differences.
The differences in software may be a problem for some users, considering that those who buy Unlocked , get very fast Android updates and generally have no problems. T-Mobile software updates are slowing down and there are some preloaded apps that you just can not remove without rooting / modifying the device.
Fortunately, there is a way for you to convert the software on your T-Mobile OnePlus 6T to essentially the unlocked version. This means that your T-Mobile phone will receive the same updates for the Oxygen OS as the non-T-Mobile variants, and all T-Mobile bloatware will be removed!
Converting OnePlus 6T software from T-Mobile
Since the launch of OnePlus 6T in October 2018, the method of flashing the unlocked ROM over the T-Mobile ROM very well established now. Apart from that, it is still difficult.
Before we go into the instructions, there are some very important things that you must understand before you do this:
- This process will completely wipe your device's data . Make sure you make a full backup of all the items you need.
- You do not need an unlocked bootloader to use this feature. You also do not need the device to unlock the SIM card . However, this action will NOT unlock your bootloader and the SIM card will unlock your phone. This is not a way to fully pay the bill for your T-Mobile device before switching to a new wireless service provider.
- You can not receive OTA updates with this method . You can still upgrade to Oxygen OS as soon as a new update is available, but it must be done manually. Fortunately, this process is not difficult and OnePlus gives simple instructions here.
- You need a Windows computer for this (sorry for MacOS and Linux users).
- You also need the original USB cable that came with your OnePlus 6T. If you do not have that, a high-quality, short and thick cable is enough. Avoid cheap / thin cables as they may not work and cause problems.
One last thing: Android Authority can not guarantee that this method works for swapping your phone's software. If you follow the instructions exactly, you should not have any problems. However, we can not take responsibility for anything going wrong. Continue at your own risk!
First Step: Downloading Assets
You need to download three software packages: The non-T-Mobile Oxygen OS for your OnePlus 6T, the drivers for your computer to facilitate the Flash process, and a patch utility to use them Software can be installed.
This software comes from an independent community developer. These are not official in any way, so please download them carefully.
The first software you need is the modified version of Oxygen OS. You can download the latest version of this thread at XDA Developers . Under the heading "Downloads" you will find several links with names like "6T MsmDownloadTool v4.x.xx (OOS v9.x.xx)". Download the latest version of Oxygen OS.
Do not download Oxygen OS from any other source, including OnePlus.com. You must download the software from the links in this thread.
The second software you need can be found on on the same page. Under the same list of links you will see one labeled "Driver". Click to download the required Qualcomm drivers for this task (do not skip this step!).
The third software is a patch tool that is hosted in a public Google Drive folder. This small executable file updates your smartphone and then installs the modified version of Oxygen OS that you have already downloaded. Again, this is a software developed by the community. Make sure you download them from the correct location.
If you downloaded these three pieces of software to your Windows PC, continue to the next step.  Step 2: Prepare your PC for flashing
Now that you have all the software, you need to install both The PC and your T-Mobile OnePlus 6T are ready for the Flash process.
Let's start with your PC. First, install the Qualcomm drivers that you downloaded from the XDA thread. The driver package should be named "QUD.WIN.1.x …", with the full file name consisting of different numbers and letters. Open this file and install the EXE program located there.
You may be asked if you want to install Ethernet or WWAN drivers. In this case, for security reasons, you must install both: Run the installer once with the WWAN option selected, then rerun the Ethernet option.
If the drivers are installed, the next step is to extract the other two pieces of software in the same location so they can work together. Start with the larger file whose filename contains "OOS". At least five different files are displayed in this package (if you only see two, you are in the wrong package). Use your favorite program (WinRAR, 7Zip, etc.) to extract these five files to a specific location on your computer. It does not matter where you put them, as long as they are all extracted and brought together in one place.
Finally, extract the contents of the other downloaded package from the Google Drive public folder. There should be two EXE files in this package. Extract these two files after the same location where you extracted the previous files . Again, it does not matter where you put all these extracted files, as long as they are all stored in the same folder.
Now you should have new Qualcomm drivers installed on your PC and seven extracted files in one folder. Your PC is ready!
Step Three: Prepare the Phone for Flashing
Now you can get your T-Mobile OnePlus 6T ready. Go to Settings> System> Developer Options . If you do not see the developer options, go to Settings> About Phone and tap your software build number multiple times until you are registered as a developer. The developer options will now be where they should be.
. Look in the developer options for USB debugging and enable it. Then connect your phone to your computer with the original USB cable or a short and thick cable from a different location. Your phone should display a pop-up asking if you trust the computer you just connected it to.
Then unplug your OnePlus 6T and turn it off completely.
Press and hold the volume keys simultaneously. Reconnect the USB cable while holding down both buttons. You can release the buttons as soon as an image is displayed on the phone screen.
Now you can take the last step!
Step Four: Flashing Your Device
To summarize, you should now do the following things:
- Downloaded and Installed Qualcomm Drivers
- Two packages were downloaded, extracted, and organized so that all the files they contain reside in one folder Your PC.
- Enabled USB debugging on your T-Mobile OnePlus 6T.
- Connect your phone the right way to your PC that it's in the right mode
When it's all done, you can blink! Open the folder to which you extracted all your package files. This folder should display a file titled "MsmDownloadTool V4.x_factory_patched.exe", where "x" is a number. Double-click this EXE file.
A new program will open. Look at the box that says "COM". In this field something should be displayed, eg. Eg "COM2" or "COM4". It does not matter which number follows COM, as long as there is something similar in this field.
The word "Connected" should be displayed under the "Connection Status" field. If yes, you are ready! If not, stop here and read the instructions in the previous sections again as you must have missed something.
When you're done, click the Start button in the upper-left corner of the program window. If you clicked on it, sit back and let the program do its thing. It may take up to 10 minutes to complete . Do not close the program, disconnect the power plug, or shut down the computer until it is complete.
OnePlus 6T vs. Apple iPhone XR: Do not be fooled by the prices.
You will know that the process is complete when you see the green text "Download Complete" in the program and your OnePlus 6T restarts automatically. Once your phone is restarted, you can safely disconnect it from the computer and close the desktop program.
If everything went well, you now have the unlocked version of the OnePlus 6T ROM on your phone. In the future, you will be able to install the official OnePlus 6T updates directly from the company's Web site, so you will not have to wait for T-Mobile to release its own updates. You'll also find that there are no T-Mobile bloatware left on your phone.
If you choose to return to the T-Mobile version of Oxygen OS, it's easy. The process is the same except that you need to download new software. There is a XDA thread with instructions on what to do.
In short, your new software also supports the dual SIM card slot. However, your T-Mobile OnePlus 6T does not have this compartment. If you buy one online from a source like eBay, you can just download it and it works as usual. This is a clever benefit of this flashing procedure.
Do you own the T-Mobile OnePlus 7 Pro? Stay tuned, we'll be releasing an article with instructions on flashing this device to the unlocked version of Oxygen OS shortly.
NEXT: OnePlus 7 Pro versus OnePlus 6T vs. OnePlus 6: What's yours for 120 USD more?