Do you want to do more with your Android?
If you’ve used Android for a while now, then you must have heard about rooting one way or another. Many people consider rooting risky, but it’s undeniable that it can have many benefits if you know how to root Android phone.
Besides, rooting is only risky if you don’t do things correctly. With this article, you’re sure to find out everything you need to know about successfully rooting your phone.
- 1 What Is Android Rooting?
- 2 How To Root Android: Step-By-Step Instructions
- 3 FAQs
- 4 How To Root Android Phone: In Conclusion
What Is Android Rooting?
On the most basic level, rooting your phone simply gives you complete access to do whatever you want with it.
Although you might be in full ownership of your device and data, you probably have limits on what you can do with it.
For example, if you’ve purchased a new Android device, there are just some apps you can’t get rid of, as well as some parts of your phone software’s appearance that you can’t change.
With root access, you have the power to do anything that you want with your phone. Of course, this gives you unparalleled freedom – as well as a huge responsibility.
On a deeper, more technical aspect, rooting involves reactivating a Linux function that was removed as the phone left the factory. This is the SU file, placed somewhere in the Linux-based system of Android.
The SU file stands for Switch User, and it’s this file that enables what we call “root access.”
So, why exactly was it removed? Two reasons. One, regular users don’t really need it, and it can be dangerous if left enabled.
How dangerous? When enabled, users can accidentally delete a critical file and brick their phones. This renders the phone practically useless.
Therefore, rooting your phone is a pretty significant process with significant consequences. In the next few sections, I’ll discuss the pros and cons of rooting.
Pros & Cons Of Android Rooting
Before you learn exactly how to root your phone, you first should know the pros and cons so you can weigh them for yourself.
Granting yourself root access is undeniably risky, but the advantages that you get from it are also not to be underestimated.
Here are some of the clear advantages that rooting your phone will give you.
- Unparalleled control. As you know, normal users have limits on what they can do with their devices. This much isn’t really that big of a deal for most of us.
However, there are people who want to control every aspect of their Android experience, and rooting is the only way to do this, short of being a software engineer.
- Extra storage space. With root access, uninstalling bloatware that comes with your phone is very easy. Depending on what model you have, these manufacturer apps can take up quite a bit of space, so deleting them can give you significant extra storage.
If you’re really strapped for space, root access can even let you store app information on your SD card, as opposed to only your external storage.
- Wider choice of apps. An unrooted Android smartphone won’t let you download apps from just anywhere. Apps have to come from an approved channel, such as the Play Store.
While this keeps dangerous apps away, it also means that Google can censor apps they don’t approve of. Plus, rooted phones can run more apps simply because there are many that only run on rooted phones.
- Allow usage of root features. Some apps that can function without root will simply work better on a rooted device. For example, if you want to spy on someone’s messages or track their WhatsApp, you need applications such as mSpy, FlexiSPY, or KidsGuard Pro.
These apps can work without root, but their functionality is much more limited than if they had root access.
- Changeable operating systems. Rooted phones can let you change operating systems as quickly as you can change your wallpaper. While manufacturers tie you down to one operating system per phone, rooting helps you circumvent these restrictions.
- Comprehensive backups. Since rooting will give you complete access to your device, this means that you can make an exact backup of your entire Android operating system at the time of creation.
This is in contrast to unrooted Android phones, which will only create copies of a select few information from your phone.
With all of the potential benefits that you can get from rooting, it almost sounds too good to be true.
However, granting yourself root access over your device carries an equal degree of risk. If you’re thinking of rooting your device, I suggest holding off until you’ve read and understood the risks below.
- More ways to destroy your phone. This is one of the main disadvantages of rooting. The rooting process is intricate and complicated if you don’t know what you’re doing. Without adequate knowledge, you might go wrong somewhere along the way and end up destroying your phone for good.
Even if you do manage to root your phone, you will still need to be careful. Accidentally touching system files can make your phone malfunction.
- Terminated device warranty. Rooting isn’t illegal, but if your mobile device is still protected by a warranty, your manufacturer will declare the warranty void the moment you root your phone.
This is because manufacturers generally don’t want you to root, as they don’t want to be held liable for the potential problems that rooting your phone can bring.
- Increased security risks. Rooting your device means that you’re in charge of every aspect of the phone, including security. Granting root access to your device might make it more vulnerable to hacking and malware.
More than that, because you’re not going to rely on the Play Store to download your apps anymore, you might accidentally download malicious apps that can be used to harm your device or steal your personal information.
In fact, some malware can pose as rooting software without you knowing anything. Since you have to disable security when rooting your phone, this makes it even riskier.
- Disabled high-security apps. Some apps that carry your sensitive information, such as banking and payment apps, will not work on rooted devices.
For your own security, these apps will not function if it thinks your system is compromised, and this can hold you back in your desire to have more freedom with your device.
How To Root Android: Step-By-Step Instructions
Now you know the various advantages and disadvantages of rooting.
If you feel that it’s still the solution for you after knowing all the risks, what you need to do now is to learn the proper steps, so you don’t unnecessarily destroy your phone.
This section will discuss the right steps to root your Android phone.
Phase 1: Preparation
There are several steps to rooting, but you can’t root your phone without adequate preparation.
The first phase includes several things you need to do before you can root your device, especially if you’re doing it on a PC.
Securing a backup, turning on USB debugging, installing the SDK platform and device drivers are all necessary steps of how to root your Android phone with a PC.
Backing Up Your Android Device
As you should know by now, rooting is a complex process that is accompanied by many risks. One simple mistake can make you lose all your files, so it’s best to back everything up before beginning the rooting process.
There are many ways to backup your phone’s data, but the most straightforward and reliable is through its native backup feature. Follow the steps below.
- Go to your phone’s Settings.
- The next few steps vary for every phone, but the outcome is the same. Navigate to the Backup and Reset option, which can be found under Additional Settings on my sample device.
- Open the Backup and Reset option.
- Here, you will find a list of all the backups on your device. Tap the Create New Backup button to make a new one.
- Then, select the data to be backed up and tap Start Backup.
- Choose where the backup will be saved. Since we will be modifying the device’s system, save your backup to any external storage you have or on the Cloud on your Google Account, if you have the option.
- Wait for the backup to finish. Once it’s done, you will have a backup of all your phone’s data.
Keep in mind, though, that only your phone’s internal storage will be backed up. Unless you have third-party backup software, you will have to manually backup your SD card’s data yourself.
Enable USB Debugging
There are certain options in your phone which have to be enabled before you can modify it for rooting. For this process, you need to turn on the USB debug and OEM unlocking options. Follow the steps below.
- Go to your phone’s Settings and find the About Phone setting.
- Scroll down to the bottom of the page, where you will find your phone’s Build Number. Depending on your device model, it could also be called “Version.”
Tap the Version precisely seven (7) times to activate Developer Options for the device. This will reveal other options that allow you to modify your phone enough for rooting purposes.
- Once you’ve enabled Developer Options, you’ll see it under Additional Settings.
- If required, turn on Developer Options to reveal the hidden options.
- From the menu, look for USB Debugging and OEM Unlocking. Enable these two options by tapping the slider button.
Install Android SDK Platform Tools
Not all rooting methods will need you to connect your Android to your PC.
However, some of the most common Android rooting methods require that you plug in your phone to your PC and run specific commands via your PC.
If your phone needs this particular rooting method, you need Google’s Android Software Development Kit to modify anything in your phone. The SDK is a set of tools that you install on your computer to help you perform some core functions of the process of rooting.
This SDK will be needed later if you use the more technical rooting methods. To successfully download the SDK, follow the instructions below.
- Visit Google’s developer website.
- On the page, you will see several choices. Click the Download SDK Platform-Tools. Click the link of the relevant operating system for which you’re using to download the SDK installer.
- Agree to the terms and conditions.
- Download the SDK tools zip file.
- Extract the zip files to an easily accessible file.
Installing Device Drivers
Your phone needs to communicate with your PC, and to do that, you must have the proper drivers installed. Your device’s USB drivers will allow it to communicate with your PC, allowing you to input commands from your PC.
Phone drivers will automatically install when you plug your phone into your PC with the right USB cable.
If your phone doesn’t automatically install its drivers, there might be something wrong with it. Nevertheless, you can still manually install your own device’s USB drivers from the manufacturer’s website. Simply search for it on Google.
Phase 2: Installing The Needed Android Tools
In this stage, you’re finally going to download the necessary components for rooting your Android phone.
Setting Up ADB & Fastboot Tool
ADB stands for Android Debug Bridge, and it’s sort of the command line you use to communicate with your USB Debug-enabled Android device. The concept can sound incredibly technical, but thankfully, the execution is simple enough.
All you need is the previously-downloaded Android SDK Platform Tools. Once you have that saved on your PC, you need to set up the ADB files and make sure it’s compatible with your phone.
Before you begin, make sure that your phone already has developer options, USB Debugging, and OEM unlocking enabled. Lastly, keep in mind that this tutorial is for Windows devices.
- Go to the folder where you extracted the SDK files.
- Once you’re in that directory, hold Shift and right-click. You should see the following options.
- Click the Open Command Prompt option in the pop-up window. It can also appear as “Open PowerShell In This Window,” just like in the previous example.
You should see what looks like a command window on your PC screen, like this:
- Connect your phone to your computer with its USB cable.
- Enter the following code to the command prompt on your PC: “\/adb devices” then hit Enter.
- Sometimes, you will see a prompt asking you if you would like to allow USB debugging. Allow this prompt. The final response should display your device’s serial number like this:
Flashing TWRP Recovery
TWRP Recovery is a third-party recovery image. Simply put, your phone has a recovery mode that allows you to access the phone’s inner workings easily, much like recovery mode on a PC.
However, this won’t let you root your phone. You need a customized recovery mode that will let you do so, which is what TWRP is for.
In this section, you’re going to install, also known as “flash,” TWRP custom image recovery to your device. Flashing means that you’re going to install the file directly, using commands from your PC.
With this in mind, keep your phone plugged into your computer and follow the steps below.
- The first thing you have to do is download the suitable TWRP image of your model from this list.
Do note that if your phone and model don’t have a TWRP image on that list, you won’t be able to root your phone.
- Go to where you downloaded the TWRP image file and move the image file to the one containing the Android SDK Platform.
- Connect your USB debugged and OEM unlocked phone to your PC. A prompt will appear – allow the prompt to enable USB debugging.
- Open a command window on the file with the SDK.
- Type and enter the command: “adb devices”
- On the following line, type and enter the command: “adb reboot bootloader”
- Your phone should then reboot to its bootloader mode. On the same command window on your PC, type and enter: “fastboot flash recovery <TWRP image file name>” (replace this with the exact filename of the TWRP image file you downloaded.)
- Then type: “fastboot boot <TWRP image file name>”
- Your phone should then restart and boot with TWRP completely installed.
You can also refer to the YouTube video below.
Once you have TWRP installed, all you need to do is install your rooting client. The SuperSU app will grant you root access over your device, but although you can download it at the Playstore, you can’t root your phone unless you flash it through TWRP.
In this section, we’re going to learn how to flash the SuperSU app to root your device using TWRP.
- First, download SuperSU on your device. On your Android, go to the SuperSU website and tap Download SuperSU.
- The SuperSU app will download to your device. Take note of where the installer file ends up, as you will have to locate it later on.
- When you have downloaded SuperSU, turn off your device.
- Turn off your device and reboot it to the recovery mode, which should be TWRP recovery.
The method to boot to recovery mode varies for every device, but generally, it involves pressing and holding the power button and volume button for five seconds.
- Before you fully root your phone, backup your current device. You can do this by tapping the Backup button on the TWRP menu. Follow the on-screen instructions.
- If the backup is done, tap Install.
- You will be redirected to a file directory where you will locate the SuperSU file you just downloaded.
- Look for the SuperSU file and tap it.
- On the TWRP menu, you will see that you have to swipe to confirm the flash. Swipe to the right to flash the SuperSU file to your Android.
- Your phone will then display the process logs while your device is being rooted. This is normal. The waiting time will vary and you’ll see the progress on the screen.
- Your phone will then reboot, and when your phone turns on, you will see that the phone has been rooted.
For clearer step-by-step instructions, you can also refer to the YouTube tutorial below.
Tools & Apps To Root Your Android Phone
The most reliable way to root your phone is with TWRP and SuperSU. However, the process can be pretty confusing and daunting, especially for beginners.
Thankfully, one of the things that makes Android a great operating system is the open community that surrounds it.
Because of the difficulty of traditional rooting, some developers have created one-click rooting tools that are much easier to use. In the next section, I will go through the best rooting tools for Android.
More than that, it also offers an easy alternative to the TWRP solution. With Dr.Fone Root, all you have to do is click some buttons, and you can root Android phone without PC – all for free! Plus, there’s a lower risk of bricking your phone since you won’t have to touch your phone’s bootloader.
Check out how you can use this app in the instructions below.
- Download the Dr.Fone Root app from their website and install it on your computer.
- Make sure the app is open on your computer, and then connect your Android to your PC with your USB cable.
- Wait for your device to be detected.
- Make sure USB Debugging and OEM Unlocking are enabled.
- Wait for the app to check your device’s status.
- Once recognized, the app will then scan your phone for compatibility. It might take a few minutes, but you will see a Start button once the phone is ready. Click this to begin the root process.
- The app will then root your device. Wait for the process to finish.
- Once it does, it means that your phone has been successfully rooted.
You can also take a look at this video if you’re having a hard time following the instructions.
Root Master is another alternative rooting system that allows you to root your device with just one tap.
It’s available in two versions: PC and mobile.
If you want to know how to root an Android phone with PC, it’s actually pretty straightforward with Root Master. You just have to install the file on your PC, attach your device, and then root via the PC.
On the other hand, the mobile version only requires installing the APK file and then running the root from the phone itself.
Since the mobile phone method is more convenient, as well as relatively safer since you don’t have to access the bootloader, that’s what I’m going to discuss below.
- The first thing you need to do is download the Root Master .apk file from their website.
- Install Root Master to your device. If this is the first time installing from outside of the Google Playstore, you need to enable the phone to install non-Playstore apps first by disabling Play Protect.
- Play Protect will try to block Root Master from installing but confirm it anyway. This should successfully install it on your device.
- Open the Root Master app and tap Root.
- Wait for the rooting process to continue. If your device is compatible, it will finish shortly, and your phone will be rooted.
You can also refer to the YouTube tutorial below for a visual guide of the steps.
In the video, the tester downloaded the .apk file to the PC first and then transferred it to their device by USB. There is no difference between downloading it to your device directly and downloading it through your PC.
iRoot is another one-click rooting solution that allows you to easily root your phone compared to traditional methods.
It has comprehensive brand coverage, including Google, HTC, and Samsung devices. Using one-tap rooting methods will also help you avoid bricking your devices because you won’t directly access your device’s bootloader.
- First, download the iRoot tool from their website and install it on your phone.
- If you haven’t done so already, you will need to enable downloading from a different source than Google Play. Simply enable this download in the pop-up prompt.
- Next, install the application. Once again, Play Protect will block the application’s installation due to security reasons. When prompted, tap Install Anyway under Details to authorize the installation.
- Wait for the installation to finish and open the app.
- Agree with the terms and conditions for usage.
- On the app’s main interface, tap the Get Root Permission button on the center of the screen.
- Wait for the rooting process to finish. iRoot will notify you when the root access ends.
- You can then install a root checker application to check for root.
You can also see the complete tutorial from the YouTube video below.
Along with SuperSU, Magisk remains one of the most popular and reliable rooting methods.
Just like SuperSU, Magisk is also flashed into your system using a custom recovery image, like TWRP, if it is compatible with your device.
Now that you know how to root your phone with SuperSU, rooting it with Magisk is also easy. Follow the instructions below:
- Download the Magisk app. Make sure you are downloading the latest version for maximum functionality. Also, remember the location where you want to save the Magisk file – you will need to navigate to it later.
- With the Magisk zip file successfully downloaded, reboot your phone into its custom recovery mode, which should be TWRP or something similar.
- Tap Install.
- Locate the downloaded Magisk zip file and tap.
- If you are using TWRP, swipe to confirm flashing.
- Your phone will then reboot, and when it turns on again, it means the rooting process has been successful.
There is also a step-by-step YouTube tutorial on installing Magisk below if you want to see the actual installation process. The custom recovery used there is Orange Fox, but the process is the same as TWRP.
SuperSU Root is one of the most reliable methods of rooting around. However, it’s also one of the most complex.
Installing SuperSU will need access to both a mobile device and a PC. The mobile device will need to have developer options enabled and OEM unlocked.
On the PC, you need to download ADB software to communicate with your device. You will then need to link your device to your PC, unlock your device’s fastboot, install TWRP or some other custom recovery, and then flash SuperSU to your Android.
The entire process is documented in the Installing The Needed Android Tools section. You can also follow the YouTube tutorial below if you want a visual guide.
Is It Safe To Root Your Phone?
It’s safe to root your phone, as long as you follow all the proper procedures. Rooting can be risky, but if you want to minimize your risk, you can try various one-click root solutions as a safer and more convenient option.
Is It Legal To Root An Android Phone?
It’s legal to root your Android phone. However, there are some caveats. For one, your manufacturer will void any existing warranty for your device once they find out that you rooted it. You might also not be allowed to use high-security apps, like payment or banking apps.
How To Root Android Phone: In Conclusion
Rooting your Android device is admittedly a complicated and somewhat risky task. However, if you want more freedom and control over your phone, the rewards are worth it.
One of the main advantages of Android is the fact that it’s more customizable and open-source than iPhone. Rooting your phone simply extends that capability.
As long as you follow the procedures I laid out on how to root Android devices, you can root your device very easily.
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