How to Root Your Android Phone: A Starter’s Guide

Mobile Operating Systems

Are you looking for more control over your smartphone? Rooting your phone opens up to an entire world of possibilities. But to have this much power, you first need to learn how to root your Android phone. Even though the concept of rooting sounds complicated, the actual process isn’t. Rooting lets you access all the settings and sub-settings on your phone. This means you can install and uninstall any application you want. It’s just like having administrative privileges over your computer. With this guide, we’ll show you how to root your Android phone and get these privileges.

Back then, Android phones had horrible software. Certain applications misbehave, batteries drain too fast, and there are some apps you just can’t uninstall. Basically, your smartphone can’t reach its full potential. As a result, people started rooting their phones.

Every Android phone runs on Linux middleware you would install under the hood. Learning how to root the phone allows you to fix them your way. These tips can make even the cheapest phone perform better than the recent Android phone releases. 


What is Rooting?

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Rooting is simply the process of getting complete access to everything in your operating system. This simply means that when you root your phone, you have the access to change anything in it all. Android phones use Linux permissions and file-system ownership. 

Signed in as a user on your phone, you get permission to do certain things. Even applications installed on it will get a type of user ID that also has access to some settings. When you root your phone, you create another user. This root user has permission to do anything to any file anywhere in the system. This includes things like uninstalling applications that are pre-installed on the system, or things you don’t want to do that can make your Android phone unstable. 

Rooting your phone is simply adding a standard Linux function that they took out of the device. Add the “su” file into the system and it’ll enable access for other users. If you run this file without any other parameters it lifts the restrictions of a normal user, turning it into a superuser. You are in complete control of the whole system and you can access all the functions on your device that you can’t access before. 

If you want to learn how to root an Android phone, there are many rewards and risks to consider, as well as few precautions you need to take. 


How to Prepare Your Android Device for Rooting

Android Phone
Photo from Wikimedia Commons


There are several ways on how to root your Android phone. One of the easiest ways is by using an app. Several rooting apps are available and we will discuss each one in the latter part. These programs will usually root your device in a jiffy.  However, some of them only support devices running on older versions of Android, so you may need to look for something that works on your device. 


Preparing to Root

To prepare your phone for rooting, the first step is to back up everything you can’t live without. Don’t forget to back up your phone’s current ROM before installing a new one. This is important especially if something goes wrong or if you changed your mind midway through the process of rooting. Also, make sure that your device is fully charged before you begin. 

You will need to turn on the USB debugging and the OEM unlocking. To do this, you will need to go to your phone’s Settings. If you don’t see the Developer Options toward the bottom of the Settings screen, follow the steps below to activate it:

  1. On your phone Settings, tap the About Phone and find the build number. The exact path on where to locate this depends on your phone but you can usually find it with other software information. 
  2. Once you find the Build Number, tap it seven times. This will make the Developer Options appear on the main page of the settings. A prompt for your security passcode will appear to enable this. 
  3. Go back to see your new developer options. Then, tap Developer Options.
  4. Check the enable USB Debugging and OEM Unlocking. 


Install the Android SDK Platform Tools

Back then, you needed to download Google’s entire Android development kit to root your phone. But that’s not the case anymore. Thankfully, all you need is the Android SDK Platform Tools. 

To start, simply download and install the Android SDK Platform Tools. You can download it on your Windows, PC, or Linux. If you are a Windows user, follow these steps to install it:

  1. After downloading the file, extract the zipped files.
  2. It will prompt you for the directory you want to install the software to. We recommend that you set it to “C:android-sdk”. If you choose a different location, be sure to remember it. 


Install Device Drivers on Your Computer

Install on your Computer
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To guarantee that your computer can properly communicate with your device, you will need the appropriate USB driver. Some devices come with the drivers in their phone’s software and all you have to do is to attach your phone to your PC by the USB cable. This usually will automatically install the drivers. If none, you can go to the device’s manufacturer’s website and download the USB driver. 


Unlock the Bootloader

Before you can root the device, you need to unlock your phone’s bootloader. The bootloader loads the phone’s OS. It is the one that determines which applications run during your device’s startup process.

Some manufacturers will require you to obtain a key to unlock the bootloader. They will require you to register for a developer’s account. This is for Motorola, HTC, Sony, and LG. For Honor and Huawei devices, you are no longer allowed to unlock their bootloaders. If your device is one of them, you will need to use a third-party service like DC-Unlocker. 

To unlock the bootloader, enable the USB Debugging and OEM unlocking on your phone. Then, the standard method is as follows:

  1. Connect your device to your computer and open a command window.
  2. On your PC’s command prompt, type: adb devices; you should see a device serial number displayed.
  3. Boot your device into bootloader mode by typing in this command: adb reboot bootloader
  4. Unlock the bootloader of your device by issuing this command: fastboot oem unlock. You may receive a prompt asking if you want to unlock your bootloader. This depends on what Android device you have. To select yes, just use your volume buttons and the power button to confirm.
  5. To boot back your device into the system after unlocking the bootloader, simply type in: fastboot reboot


Note that doing the steps above will delete all your data and factory reset the device. You can backup all of your data on a hard drive if you want to keep a copy.

Your bootloader is finally unlocked and you can now continue to root your Android device. 


How to Root Your Android Phone Using Different Programs

After you have prepared your phone for rooting, now learn how to root your phone. There are several ways you can root your device. Some may be more complicated than others, while some would only require you to do simple steps. Remember to always check the compatibility of the program when choosing one. 


How to Root Your Android Device with
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Developed by Chainfire, is one of the most stable programs to root your Android phone. Yes, it isn’t the easiest way to root your device, but it works on more than 300 devices which only means that it may be compatible with your phone as well. Follow the steps below to learn how to root an Android phone:

  1. Download the appropriate ZIP file for your device. You can download the file on site.
  2. Extract the ZIP folder. 
  3. Navigate the folder and find the root-windows.bat file. Double-click it.
  4. Wait for the script to execute and once it’s done, press any key.
  5. After this process, your phone will reboot automatically, and voila — it’s rooted. 


How to Root Your Android Device with Framaroot

Photo from Framaroot


Framaroot one of the newer one-click rooting programs. It aims to make the rooting process easy for everyone by simply clicking the root button. However, you still need to go through a couple of things to get started.

  1. Download the APK on the website. 
  2. Install the app. You may need to tap the Unknown Sources button on your Settings to complete the installation,
  3. Once installed, open the app and tap Root. The app will try to find out if you can root your device, it will proceed. You may need to try a different method if not. 
  4. If it is, go ahead and root your device. Once done, you will need to download and run the SuperSU so you can manage your root access. 


Why Should You Root Your Phone?

How to root your android
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The main reason why people root their phones is to have more control over the device. You can strip away the bloatware that is impossible to uninstall. This also allows you to install specialized tools and flash custom ROMs, each of which can improve your phone’s performance. 

There aren’t many must-have root apps, but there’s a handful that will make it worthwhile. Some applications will let you automatically back up all your apps and data to the cloud, block web and in-app advertisements, overclock your processor or even create secure tunnels to the Internet. 


Why Wouldn’t You Root Your Android Device?

These are the four potential cons of rooting your Android phone: 

  • Security risks: It can introduce some security risks and could create a security vulnerability. 
  • Voiding the device’s warranty: Some manufacturers will void the warranty if you root your device. Keep in mind that you can unroot anytime if you need to claim your warranty.  
  • Bricking the phone: If you are unable to follow the correct rooting process, you may corrupt the device. 
  • Disabled apps: Some security-conscious apps will not work on rooted devices.