How to root Android phones and tablets and unroot them
Android rooting is the perfect way to gain more control over your smartphone, and open up a world of unknown, yet important, possibilities.
Rooting isn’t without its risks — and if something goes wrong, it could void the warranty, leave you a broken smartphone or tablet, or worse.
Before continuing, it is important to understand that rooting is not always a straightforward process, and you may experience hiccups along the way. If you decide that you should root your Android device then continue below, but know that this is not for the faint of heart or tech geek.
Manufacturers and vectors will discourage you from taking root, and they’re not just a freak out of fear. If you don’t follow the instructions properly, the worst-case scenario could damage your device irreparably, but many people find the potential benefits worth it. With a rooted phone, you can remove bloatware, speed up your processor, and customize every element of your phone’s software appearance.
This guide will guide you on how to root Android phones through the steps to root your device. While we can reach some phones within minutes, others will require more research. But one thing is clear: Rooting your phone is one of the best ways to harness the true potential of your Android device.
What is rooting?
Rooting an Android phone or tablet is like jailbreaking an iPhone — it essentially lets you dive deeper into the phone’s subsystem. Once the rooting process is complete, you have access to the entire operating system to customize almost everything on your Android device, and you can bypass any restrictions that your manufacturer or carrier might have imposed.
Rooting is best done with caution. You must back up your phone’s software before installing — or “flashing” in terms of root — a custom ROM (modified version of Android).
Why should you root?
One of the biggest incentives in rooting your Android phone is to allow you to remove bloatware that cannot be uninstalled otherwise (although you can sometimes turn it off — see our guide on disabling bloatware). On some devices, rooting will enable settings that were previously disabled, such as wireless tethering. Additional features include the ability to install specialized tools and dedicated flash ROMs, each of which can add additional features and improve the performance of your phone or tablet.
There aren’t many root apps to have, but there are enough of them to make them worth it. Certaines applications vous permettront de sauvegarder automatiquement toutes vos applications et données dans le cloud, de bloquer les publicités Web et intégrées aux applications, de créer des tunnels sécurisés verses Internet, d’overclocker votre processeur ou de faire de votre appareil un point d’accès cellular. Take a look at the best root accessed apps for devices to get a better idea of what is possible.
Why shouldn’t you root?
I am a fixture on non-influencing abilities based on the Android voting system.
- Voiding Your Warranty: Some manufacturers or carriers will void your warranty if you root your device, so it should be borne in mind that you can always unroot. If you need to return the device for repair, all you need to do is flash the software backup you made and it will be like new.
- Brick your phone: choose If something goes wrong during the rooting process, you risk breaking — i.e. corrupting — your device. The easiest way to appear to happen is to follow the media carefully. Make sure that the guide you are following is up to date and that the custom ROM you are flashing is specifically for your phone. If you do your research, you won’t have to worry about bricking your smartphone.
- Security Risks: Rooting presents some security risks. Depending on the services or apps you use on your device, this could create a security hole. And I have seen malicious elements that play a big role in data protection, the combination of malicious and invented launchers and made available from devices inaccessible through the annoying web.
- Disabled apps: a few apps and services: Security-conscious doesn’t work on rooted devices — financial platforms like Google Pay and Barclays Mobile Banking don’t support them. Popular apps for human rights-protected TV works and movies, like Sky Go and Virgin TV Anywhere, won’t start on rooted devices either — and neither will Netflix.
How to prepare your Android device for rooting
One of the easiest ways to root an Android device is through an app, and several rooting apps have received attention over the years — Framaroot, Firmware.mobi, Kingo Root, BaiduRoot, One Click Root, SuperSU, and Root Master are among the most reliable.
Typically, these services root your device during the time you spend brushing your teeth. But some of them only support devices running older versions of Android, so you might need to do some research to find a device that works with your device. If you are looking to root an older device, you may need to check out Firmware. Mobi.
Previously, root Android versions of Android 7.0 Nougat was more difficult. The certified startup service will check the integrity of the device’s encryption to detect if your device’s system files have been compromised, preventing legitimate root applications. Thankfully, I faced the curve root apps and it became much easier to root newer versions of Android than before.
If your phone is not compatible with the one-click rooting app, then you need to spend some time looking for alternatives in Android forums. A great place to start is the XDA Developers Forum. Look for a thread on your phone or tablet and you’ll likely find a way.
Preparing for rooting
Back up anything you can’t live without before you start. You should always back up your current ROM to your phone before flashing a new one. You’ll also need to make sure your device is fully charged before you begin.
You will need to turn on USB Debugging and 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.
- 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.
- Tap on the Build Number seven times, and the Developer Options will appear on the Settings main page. You may need to confirm your security passcode to enable this.
- Tap on the Back key to see your new developer options.
- Tap Developer Options.
- Check to enable USB Debugging.
- Check to enable OEM Unlocking.
Installing the Android SDK Platform Tools
Previously rooting included downloading the entire Android SDK from Google. Thankfully, this is no longer the case, 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 options for Windows, Mac, and Linux systems. These are instructions for Windows devices. Extract zip files. When asked to select the directory where you want to install the program, we recommend that you set it to C: android-SDK. If you’ve chosen a different site, be sure to remember this.
Installing device drivers
To ensure that your computer can properly communicate with your smartphone or tablet, you will need to install the correct USB driver.
Devices from some manufacturers come with drivers included in the phone software, so all you need to do to install the correct USB driver is to connect your phone to your computer with a USB cable. OnePlus is an example, but it’s worth connecting your phone first to see if the USB drivers will be installed automatically.
Other than that, here is a list of the most popular manufacturers’ drivers:
Follow the installer’s instructions. Once the drivers are installed, proceed to the next step.
Unlock your bootloader
Before you begin, you need to unlock your device’s bootloader. Bootloader, in simple terms, is the program that loads a device’s operating system. Identifies the apps that run during the booting process of your phone or tablet.
Some manufacturers require you to have a key to unlock the bootloader. Motorola, HTC, LG, and Sony provide step-by-step instructions on how to do this, but a word of caution: it requires you to sign up for a developer account.
Unfortunately for Huawei and Honor device users, it is no longer possible to unlock the boot chargers on these phones. Huawei revoked the ability to request unlock codes in July 2018. If you still want to root a Huawei or Honor device, you need to use a third-party service like DC-Unlocker.
Once you follow these steps, you can start the unlocking process. You will need to put your device in fast boot mode. It’s different for each phone, but on most devices, restarting the device and holding the Power and Volume Down buttons for 10 seconds does the trick (HTC phones require you to press the Volume Down button and press the Power button to select it).
Once Fastboot starts up, head to the folder where you previously unzipped the Android SDK files. Next, open the command prompt on your computer by pressing Shift + right-click and choosing Open Command Prompt here. If your device requires a passcode, you’ll get a long string of characters. Paste it in the box on the manufacturer’s website for your device, then submit the form and wait for an email with a key, file, and additional instructions.
Unlock the bootloader of your device by connecting it to your computer and returning it to Fastboot Mode. Open a command prompt by typing cmd into the start menu.
For Google Nexus and Pixel devices, the commands are easy:
- Nexus phones: Type “fast-boot OEM unlock” (without quotes) and hit Enter.
- Pixel phones: Type “fast-boot flashing unlock” (without quotes) and hit Enter.
It’s the same for Samsung devices:
Motorola’s command is a little different:
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.