Some of us have always wanted to become complete master of our digital devices. Rooting android opens a lot of possibilities but can also void the warranty or leave you with a bricked device. So when it gets down to rooting android device, you would want to know the benefits as well as the risks.
Your phone’s manufacturers might have some personal interests in keeping you from rooting. The rooting android process can be quite dangerous. Even so, a careful user can breeze through the process and the risk to reward potential is great. This handy article will guide you through the intricate steps of rooting android device of yours. Some devices can be rooted in seconds or minutes. Others will take research and searching on your behalf. One things though is clear, rooting android is the best way to get full potential of your android device.
What is rooting and Why would somebody Want to Root ?
Rooting is like jailbreaking for Androids and permits you to dig deeper into a phone’s sub-system. Basically, it allows for access to the entire Android operating system and the ability to just about customize everything. With your root access enabled, you can bypass any restrictions whatsoever that may have been applied by the manufacturer or carrier. You can also run more apps, over or under clock your processor and replace the firmware.
The process of rooting will include backing up of current apps and rooting itself.
The best reason to root on a custom android is the removal of bloatware (pre-installed apps that you find personally of no use but have been installed by the device manufacturer or mobile carrier) which can’t be removed without root privileges. Other benefits include the ability to install special apps which require root privilege and custom ROMs. These all features hekp with your phone’s performance and make it more streamlined. You can also choose apps permissions.
You won’t find a lot of amazing must-have apps when you root, but there are enough to make it worthwhile. For example, some apps allow you to automatically backup all of your apps and all of their data, completely block advertisements, create secure tunnels to the Internet, overclock your processor, or make your device a wireless hotspot.
Why wouldn’t you want to root?
There are 3 cons that would be preventing you from rooting android.
1) Bricking your Phone: If you temper too much without care or caution, you can brick your device. So, make sure you are following the guidelines that work for your device and if you flash a custom ROM, it is designed specifically for your smartphone mode. Also check the comment and feedback section of people using the ROM you want to flash to see for any potential dangers.
2) Voiding your warranty: Some manufacturers or carriers use the ruse of rooting as a cause for voiding warranty. There is a trick to unroot your phone as well. If ever you want to send the device back for repair, flash the original ROM and no one will be the wiser of it ever being rooted.
3) Security risks: Rooting can sometimes lead to undesired security risks. It depends on the type of services or apps you use on your android device. Like take an example of Google refusing to support Google Wallet on rooted devices.
How to root your Android Smartphone
Rooting Android for a user usually requires a rooting program for the specific OS for your device. These programs are developed by independent/enthusiast developers. Few popular root programs currently now (working on recent devices) are Towelroot, Kingo and Stumproot. Choose which of these supports your smartphone and the ROM version installed.
If you find that your phone is not compatible with above root programs then worry not, for there are a lot of other root programs. You will just have to spend time searching for it on different Android forums on the web. One of the best places for it is the XDA developers forum. XDA forum has threads dedicated to different phones. Just find one for yours.
Preparation for root
Before rooting, it is very important you backup everything of importance. Similarly, before flashing a new ROM, backup the current one.
Make sure your device is fully charged before getting underway.
Rooting process is different for different devices and the rooting tool. Some rooting tools just require you to download an apk and run it form your phone to root it. Some require USB debugging and running though a computer connected through USB. The Debugging enable options are mostly found under Settings>About Phone>Developer Options.
Unlocking your bootloader
Before getting started, you will need to unlock your bootloader as well. Bootloader determines the startup running apps.
If you unlock your bootloader you get a lot of customization options. Manufacturers have seen this demand and now even provide methods for unlocking the bootloader themselves.
For manufacturers that don’t provide or don’t allow bootloader unlocking, you can find a way around by searching on the web.
Rooting Android Using Towelroot
One of the easiest methods of rooting is through Towelroot. Towelroot works on a lot of different devices like Galaxy S5, HTC, Motorolla etc. This is one of the programs which don’t require you doing anything from the computer. Just simple download the app and run it. Towelroot supports devices with Kernel date earlier than June 2014 as of now.
Towelroot requires that you have enabled app installation from unknown sources. Do this by going through Settings>Security> Unknown Sources. Now you will also be able to download from sources other than Google play store.
Using Kingo Android Root
This is a windows based root app and one of the easier one. First of all check that your device is supported by the app. There is a full list of android devices that are compatible.
After that download Kingo and enable the USB debugging mode. After enabling the debugging mode, run the PC version of the program and connect your smartphone via USB cord. The program will as you if you want to root. Select “root” and let it do its magic.
This is a simple app which you can download and run on your smartphone. This app will use brute force to see if it can root your device.
No other mobile operating system equals the diversity of Android OS. Similarly, there is no single way to root your device. If above options fail, do not lose hope. There is a good reason you can still find the rooting procedure for your device if you look online, generally in XDA developer’s forums.
After finding the right walkthrough for your device, simply follow the step by step tutorial. The procedure can appear to be complicated and daunting, especially for a first timer. So take your time and make sure to have a backup!
Root Checking and Root Management App
To confirm that your device has been rooted succesfuly you will need another app. Many apps can do this function. Root checker is a good app for this purpose. ES File Explorer is a good app for not only checking for root, but also exploring and transferring data to root as well. It also has a slew of other features like network file transferring, app management, FTP creation, download manager, video player and tons of other stuff, all in a single app.
Super SU is an excellent app for root permissions management. This is good as rooting phone would also mean that other apps will be able to take root permission too without your knowing and this app will stop them.
UNROOTING YOUR ANDROID
If you ever want to make your device unrooted at any time, for whatever reasons, then SuperSU can even help with that as well. Go into the apps settings and select the full unroot option.
Verdict: To root or not to root
Rooting android and gaining full access can be a thrilling and empowering experience for a casual user, especially if they find themselves to like the tinkering of settings and phone customization. The amount of change brought on by rooting depends on the device you have.
The potential benefits for all Android users include overclocking, root-only apps, improved battery life, custom ROMs, ability to upgrade your phone at will, end to bloatware and improved performance. If you don’t want any of these things, then rooting is not for you my friend.