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What is Root & How To Root Your Android Phone12 min read

What is Root & How To Root Your Android Phone

What is Root & How To Root Your Android Phone

You’ve decided to Root your Android smartphone. So What is Root & How To Root Your Android Phone.  Rooting lets you access all the settings and sub-settings in your phone, which means you can install and uninstall anything you want. It’s like having administrative privileges over your PC or Mac. There are many rewards and some risks to consider, of course, and a few precautions you should take first.

What is rooting?

What is Root & How To Root Your Android Phone

What is Root ?  Rooting is the Android equivalent of jailbreaking, a means of unlocking the operating system so you can install unapproved apps, deleted unwanted bloatware, update the OS, replace the firmware, overclock (or underclock) the processor, customize anything and so on.

Having Root access isn’t the end all-be all of device modification–that title is usually reserved for fully unlocked bootloaders and S-Off. That said, root access is generally the first step on your journey to device modification. As such, root access is often used to install custom recoveries, which then can be used to flash custom ROMs, kernels, and other device modifications.

Android rooting opens up a whole new world of possibility, but it can also void your warranty, leave you with a broken smartphone, or worse. It isn’t for the faint of heart.

Rooting is best undertaken with caution. You must back up your phone’s software before you install — or “flash,” in rooting terms — a custom ROM (a modified version of Android).

Why would you root?

What is Root & How To Root Your Android Phone
  • Root your Android phone is so that you can strip away bloatware that’s impossible to uninstall.
  • On some devices, rooting will enable previously disabled settings, like wireless tethering.
  • Ability to install specialized tools and flash custom ROMs, each of which can add extra features and improve your phone or tablet’s performance.
  • Some apps will let you automatically back up all of your apps and data to the cloud.
  • Block web and in-app advertisements.
  • Create secure tunnels to the internet.
  • Overclock  or UnderClock your processor.
  • Full customization for just about every theme/graphic.
  • Download of any app, regardless of the app store they’re posted on.
  • Extended battery life and added performance.
  • Updates to the latest version of Android if your device is outdated and no longer updated by the manufacturer.

The risks of rooting your Android phone

There are essentially four potential cons to rooting your Android.

  • Voiding your warranty: Some manufacturers or carriers will void your warranty if you root your device, so it is worth keeping in mind that you can always unroot. If you need to send the device back for repair, simply flash the software backup you made and it’ll be good as new.
  • Bricking your phone: If something goes wrong during the rooting process, you run the risk of bricking — i.e., corrupting — your device. The easiest way to prevent that from happening is to follow the instructions carefully. Make sure the guide you are following is up to date and that the custom ROM you flash is specifically for it. If you do your research, you won’t have to worry about bricking your smartphone.
  • Security risks: Rooting introduces some security risks. Depending on what services or apps you use on your device, it could create a security vulnerability. And certain malware takes advantage of rooted status to steal data, install additional malware, or target other devices with harmful web traffic.
  • Disabled apps: Some security-conscious apps and services do not work on rooted devices — financial platforms like Google Pay and Barclays Mobile Banking do not support them. Apps that serve copyrighted TV shows and movies, like Sky Go and Virgin TV Anywhere, will not start on rooted devices, either.

How to Root Your Android Phone ?

First, Prepare Your Android Device for Rooting

What is Root & How To Root Your Android Phone

PLEASE NOTE: Rooting a device may void the warranty on the device. It may also make the device unstable or if not done properly, may completely brick the device. Some methods may install additional apps/software on your device. We do not take any responsibility for your device. Root at your own risk and only if you understand what you are doing!

Back-Up Your Phone

What is Root & How To Root Your Android Phone

Back up everything you cannot live without before you start. You should also always back up your phone’s current ROM before you flash a new one. When rooting your phone, this is particularly important in case something goes wrong, or if you change your mind. (You can reverse rooting.) You can back up your Android device using Google’s tools or third-party apps.

Enable USB debugging and OEM Unlocking

What is Root & How To Root Your Android Phone

You will need to turn on USB debugging, as well as OEM Unlocking. Do this by opening Settings on your device. If you do not see Developer Options toward the bottom of the Settings screen, follow these steps to activate it.

  1. Tap on About Phone and find the Build Number. The exact path depends on your phone, but it’ll usually be found with other software information.
  2. Tap on the Build Number seven times and the Developer Options will appear on the main page of the Settings. You may need to confirm your security passcode to enable this.
  3. Tap on the Back key to see your new developer options.
  4. Tap Developer Options.
  5. Check to enable USB Debugging.
  6. Check to enable OEM Unlocking.

Installing Device Drivers

To ensure your computer can properly communicate with your smartphone or tablet, you will need to install the appropriate USB driver.

Devices from some manufacturers come with the drivers included in the phone’s software, so all you need to do to install the appropriate USB driver is attach your phone to your PC by USB cable. OnePlus is an example of this, but it’s worth connecting your phone first to see whether USB drivers will automatically install.

Otherwise, Here is a list of drivers from the most popular manufacturers:

Installing the Android SDK Platform Tools

It used to be that rooting involved downloading Google’s entire Android development kit. Thankfully, that’s not the case anymore, and all you need is the Android SDK Platform Tools.

Download and install the Android SDK Platform Tools from Google’s developer site. There are choices for Windows, Mac, and Linux. These instructions are for Windows machines. Extract the zipped files. When asked what directory to install the software to, we recommend that you set it to C:android-sdk. If you choose a different location, make sure you remember it.

Unlock your bootloader

Before you get started, you need to unlock your device’s bootloader. The bootloader, simply put, is the program that loads the device’s operating system. It determines which applications run during your phone or tablet’s startup process.

Some manufacturers require you to obtain a key to unlock the bootloader. Motorola, HTC, LG, and Sony provide step-by-step instructions on how to do so, but a word of warning: They require you to register for a developer account.

For Huawei or Honor device, you’ll need to use a third-party service like DC-UnlockerOnce you have taken those steps, you can embark on the unlocking process.

Step 1. Put your device in fastboot mode. It’s different for every phone, but on most devices, rebooting the device and holding down the Power and Volume Down buttons for 10 seconds does the trick (HTC phones require that you hit the Volume Down key and press the Power button to select it.)

Step 2. Once you have booted into fastboot, head to the folder you previously unzipped your Android SDK files to.

Step 3. Then open your computer’s command prompt by holding down Shift+Right Click and choosing “Open a Command Prompt Here.” If your device requires a code, you will get a long string of characters. Paste it into the box on your device manufacturer’s website, submit the form, and await an email with a key, file, and further instructions.

Step 4. To unlock your device’s bootloader, connect it to your computer and place it in fastboot mode again. Pull up the command prompt by typing cmd into your Start menu.

For Google Nexus and Pixel devices, the commands are easy:

  • Nexus phones: Type “fastboot oem unlock” (without quotes) and hit enter
  • Pixel phones: Type “fastboot flashing unlock” (without quotes) and hit enter

Motorola’s command is a little different:

    • Type “oem unlock UNIQUE_KEY” (without quotes), replacing “UNIQUE KEY” with the code you received

So is HTC’s:

  • Type “unlocktoken Unlock_code.bin” (without quotes), replacing “Unlock_code.bin” with the file you received.

Confirm the unlock, and you’re one step closer to rooting your Android device.

Some manufacturers and carriers don’t sanction bootloader unlocking, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be done. Try searching the XDA Developers forum for workarounds and unofficial solutions.

How to Root your Android Phone Using KingoRoot

KingoRoot is root for people who just want to have root access to their devices, and not necessarily wanting to flash anything extra. It works on almost all devices from Android version 2.x to 5.0. Working of KingoRoot is based on system exploit.

The most suitable root strategy will be deployed from cloud to your device according to the ROM information on the device. The best part of using this root method is that it does not trip KNOX and have the ability to close Sony_RIC perfectly.

Kingo Root can be installed to a Windows-based computer or directly to the device you want to root. First, check to see if your device is compatible with Kingo by checking the official list. Then, grab the Kingo Android Root for Windows program, and install it. Alternatively, download the Kingo Android Root APK to your device, check the Unknown sources box (see above), and install it.

If you’ve opted to use the Windows client, make sure to enable USB debugging mode on your phone.

From there, usage is pretty simple:

  1. Launch Kingo Root on your computer and connect your device via USB.
  2. Kingo Root should detect your device automatically and prompt you to root it. Click Root, and then hang tight — Kingo will only take a few minutes to grant root privileges.

If you would rather root without a computer, follow these instructions:

  1. Install the Kingo Root APK.
  2. Open the Kingo Root app.
  3. If your device is compatible, you will see a One Click Root button. Tap it and be patient — it can take a while.
  4. If the root is successful, you will see a large checkmark.
What is Root & How To Root Your Android Phone

How to Root your Android Phone Using Other Apps

There are a lot of different ways to root your phone or tablet. Here are a few of our favorites.

Framaroot

Start rooting your Android mobile without Android knowledge with Framaroot APK. Also, read tutorials on Framaroot App, SuperSU, Root Check, etc. As the app isn’t available on Google Play Store, you have to install it via Framaroot 1.9.3 APK file.

Towelroot

Created by XDA Recognized Developer geohotTowelroot is another root exploit app that is compatible with a large range of devices. The root exploit itself is built around Linux kernel CVE-2014-3153 discovered by hacker Pinkie Pie, and it involves an issue in the Futex subsystem that in turn allows for privilege escalation. Although specifically designed for certain variants of the Galaxy S5, it is compatible with the majority of devices running unpatched kernels.

CF-Auto-Root

Created by XDA Senior Recognized Developer Chainfire, CF-Auto-Root is a root for “rooting beginners” and those who want to keep as close to stock as possible. CF-Root is meant to be used in combination with stock Samsung firmwares as well as Nexus devices, and be the quickest and easiest way for your first root. In essence, it does nothing but install and enable SuperSU on your system, so apps can gain root access.

Apps You Will Need After you Root, and How to Unroot

Arguably no other mobile operating system parallels the diversity of Android OS. For this reason, there is no universal way to root your device. If the above options fail, do not fret. There is likely a guide on how to root your specific device available somewhere online — a few reliable resources include XDA Developers’ forum and the Phandroid Forums.

Download Root Checker

You will need to download an app to make sure your device has been successfully rooted. There are several apps available on the Google Play store that, when downloaded, will tell you if you have super-user permission — a telltale sign you have succeeded. Root Checker is a popular one — simply installing and running it will tell you if your phone has super-user permissions.

How to unroot your Android device

For all the benefits you can gain from rooting, you may want to go back to the way things were. Whichever method you attempt, always make sure that you back up your data before making any large changes to your phone.

Unroot with SuperSU

What is Root & How To Root Your Android Phone

SuperSU allows you to unroot phones with one click. Open the SuperSU app, go to Settings, and scroll to the bottom until you see the Full unroot button. Tap it, hit continue, and the unrooting process will begin.

Unroot with Universal Unroot

What is Root & How To Root Your Android Phone

Another method is Universal Unroot. It removes root privileges in most Android devices, but it’s not perfect. For starters, most Samsung devices are not compatible, and LG devices will be unrooted, but still show as rooted after the app has worked its magic. It used to be a dollar, but it’s now free since the developers are no longer updating it. But if you’ve got an older device that’s supported, it’s a good way to be sure.

Unroot with file explorer

What is Root & How To Root Your Android Phone

If your phone is running Android Lollipop or older, you can also unroot by deleting the files that granted the root in the first place. We recommend using a file explorer app like ES File Explorer. Turn on Root explorer under Tools in the ES File Explorer menu and grant it root privileges, if asked.

  1. Find your device’s main drive under “/”.
  2. Go to system > bin, then tap and hold on busybox and su and delete them.
  3. Now go to system > xbin, then tap and hold on busybox and su and delete them.
  4. Finally, go to system > app and delete supeuser.apk.
  5. Restart the device and you should be unrooted.

I (Naveed) know that I am special and there's no one else out there that's like me... so enjoy! (smile). I planned in working in the field of Education as a Social Worker and Preach the Word of God. I like books, website designing, SEO strategies, android and windows apps, Technologies and Troubleshooting related to these.

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