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Easy Android Rooting Guide

So you have heard about Rooting an Android and are already confused – most people are to begin with. This article will help you to understand what Rooting is all about, how it is relatively straight forward and how anyone can do it safely.

On this website I discuss cell phone spy software apps and this makes Rooting a very relevant subject for me. To install spy software on an Android device, you do not have to Root the target phone (unlike Jailbreaking with the iPhone). But several important features of most spy apps will not work without Root access.

In simple terms – to get the most value from the best spy phone programs – you should Root the device if it is Android. Programs such as mSpy and Flexispy have some very useful features that do require that an Android phone is Rooted before installation.

android rooting guide

Whatever your reasons for attempting this process you should be aware that there are some risks if you do not take care and follow the guidelines carefully. The risks are often overstated but still – take your time and get a plan in place. The benefits are definitely worth it in most cases.

It is a well-known fact that both the carriers and manufacturers of virtually all Android devices have a conferred interest in advising you against rooting. While it is true that there is obviously some voluntary risk attributed to rooting, this risk is negligible at best if you are a cautious and somewhat meticulous user.

The following guide has been compiled to carry you step by step through the process. No two Android devices are truly the same when it comes to rooting; some of these devices can be rooted in a couple minutes with little hassle, while others require a bit more effort and research, to be done properly.

So Just What is Rooting?

Rooting is, to put it simply, the “jailbreaking” of Android devices that gives users the ability to delve much deeper into the device’s subsystem – giving you Root Access. In essence, it gives you as the user; complete access to the operating system as well as the ability to fully customize virtually everything on your Android device.

Practically any and all restrictions placed on your Android device by either your carrier or the manufacturer can be bypassed with root access. Replacing the firmware; underclocking and overclocking your processor; running significantly more apps, these are just a few of the things that can be accomplished with root access.

The process necessitates that the user takes the responsibility of backing up their existing software and subsequently installing (flashing) the new modified ROM (custom version of Android) that is both relevant and desired.

Reasons to Roothow to root android phone

By far, one of the most common reasons behind deciding to root an Android is to purge that device of any and all bloatware that you, the user, find difficult or impossible to remove. Bloatware is basically all those add ons and apps that come already installed on the device when you buy it – all that stuff you don’t recognize or wish to use anyway! It is incredibly difficult to just delete and annoys many users.

You will also have the ability to configure wireless tethering even if this function was disabled by default. Some other beneficial end results of rooting Android devices are the aforementioned ability to flash custom ROMs and install diverse apps – as in the case of monitoring and tracking software apps.

This process can also result in allowing your device higher levels of performance and a mountain of additional features as well.

Reasons Not to Root

There are a couple of main concerns around this process which you should be aware of. Again, these risks are usually overstated – simple steps will make the process safe.

Security Concerns

Rooting of your Android device can potentially be the cause of security risks. The specific risks are dependent on the various apps and/or services that you chose to make use of on your device.

Root access will be enabled for any app you decide to install – so make sure the apps you chose are from reliable sources. It is argued that some malicious programs are more easily targeted towards rooted devices.

Void Warranty?

Another risk that users are often warned of is voiding any existing warranty. Many of the various carriers, and manufacturers as well, will make a case against your warranty if you have rooted (or even attempted to root) your Android device.

However, you should know that there are ways to “unroot” an Android device, just in case you absolutely need to have said device repaired and/or restored. To accomplish this all you need to do is flash the original ROM that you had made a backup of and there will be virtually no signs of rooting.

Simply updating the OS to the latest version will remove all traces of the Root – as will a Factory Reset.

Bricking?

Lastly, if you attempt to root your device you take a risk (even a very negligible risk) of inadvertently bricking said device. Bricking is a term use to describe a phone or tablet that becomes “like a brick” – unusable in other words!

This is rare these days with so much information around. The early days of Rooting was high risk – but today it is a much more common task – with good programs to help and lots of freely available advice.

Take care with your research and follow the most commonly used methods – like in this guide!

How to Root Your Android

At the moment there are two major programs that are being talked about when it comes to Android rooting. These two programs are Kingo Root and Towelroot. It should be noted that while these two programs have the ability to root your Android device in minutes, they are sadly not compatible with absolutely every Android device.android root

If your device is not compatible with these two programs then you have to go a bit further with your research to perform a successful root. For this, forums are your friend. One of the best forums for this is the XDA Developers Forum. All you need to do is do a bit of searching to find the threads related to your own specific device and look for a verified working method that has been shown to work.

Preparing the Way

Before you even to begin to consider doing anything else, you should first successfully back up everything on your phone or device. Of course you should always have good working backups as a matter of course – right? Seriously, make sure you backup and avoid ever losing everything on your phone.

Additionally, it is recommended that you back up the current ROM beforehand and turn on USB debugging.

Something that is overlooked more often than you would think is ensuring that the device that is to be rooted is fully charged.

A good deal of the rooting techniques for Android will necessitate that you install corresponding software on a computer, one such piece of software is the Android SDK.

Lastly, you will also be required to unlock your bootloader before you begin. The bootloader is a program that regulates and controls which of the device’s applications will run in the device’s startup process.

By unlocking your bootloader you are ultimately getting the ability to customize the device. Some of these terms can sound a little intimidating – but don’t let that put you off. Using the following methods is really quite easy.

Towelroot

By far, one of the most acclaimed means of rooting your Android is to use Towelroot. While it is true that it was initially designed to actually root the Samsung Galaxy S5, it has been proven to be able to work on almost all Android devices (some HTC and Motorola devices are not covered).

Compared to other methods of rooting that require that you install a downloaded program on to your personal computer, Towelroot has the ability to fully root your device through its easy to use app.

To make use of Towelroot you will first have to make sure that the option to install apps from unknown sources is enabled. This gives you the ability to install apps that are not found on the Google Play Store. Simply visit the Towelroot website from your device’s browser and it is all straightforward from there.

Kingo Android Root

While it is windows based, this is by far one of the easiest methods of rooting an Android device. Of course you should first ensure that the device that you want to root is fully compatible with Kingo Root (check their website for a complete list). Afterwards, you should then download Kingo and subsequently ensure that USB debugging mode is enabled on your device.

When you have done this, you should then run the software on your computer and use a USB cord to link your Android device to the PC. The software will automatically discover your Android device and you should receive a prompt that asks you if you want to root. After making your selection, the device should be rooted in a couple minutes.

Rooting Help Forums

The Android OS is used in a vast number of cell phones and devices – across many different makes and models. Because of this, there is never going to be any one set way to root all devices. If you find that the methods listed above cannot work for you then don’t give up; with a little online research you can be well on your way finding a guide that details how to root your exact Android device.

Two of the most reliable places that you can find this information are: Phandroid Forums and XDA Developers’ Forum.

After you are sure that you have found the instructions that are relevant to your device, you only need patience and the ability to follow sequential instructions (sounds easy enough). While these guides may seem complex and intimidating, take your time and go through the steps – it should all go well.

How to Know if Your Phone / Device is Rooted?

In most cases you should get a notification that the process has been completed successfully – and you should see the SuperUser app icon on the home screen.

To be safe and cover all your bases, you should download an app that can verify that the device has been rooted. While the Google Play store has quite a few apps that provide this service, there is one that is often recommended: Root Checker. It is as fast and easy as downloading and running the app – no confusing tabs, text or tools.

Get a Root Management App

Unfortunately, by rooting your device you are slightly increasing its vulnerability to security threats. However, fear not, remedying this is as simple as downloading a root management app for your device.

Typically, apps that need rooted access will ask for approval for this privilege. Root management apps (like Super SU) give you the ability to grant or deny this permission for all sources from one convenient location.

It even goes further to keep tabs on how many times a specific app has asked for permission and has the ability to automatically grant the request for permission if you desire.

Unrooting Your Android

While rooting your device is very beneficial, you may want to revert back to your old state for some reason or the other. SuperSU gives users the ability to easily unroot their device by simply going into settings and choosing the “full unroot” option.

Remember that updating the OS version or performing a Factory Reset will also remove the Root access.

So Should You Try Rooting?

While gaining full access to your Android device is appealing and simple enough in most cases, there are still very real reasons why rooting may not be for every user. Add in the fear of technology for some people!

Plus factors such as: exclusive apps; improved performance, overclocking; and custom ROMS – just name a few – should be considered when deciding whether or not you should root your device.

It all depends on your needs really – if you have a good enough reason to Root – go for it, it is easy and fun!

About the Author Terry Dawson

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