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Rooting is the most popular term used in Android development. Rooting is a process where you break the file permission limit set by the manufacturer. This means you are breaking into core file system with which you can modify the system according to your choice. This process is analogous to jailbreaking an iPhone. By default, accessing certain files and folders in Android OS is blocked. By rooting your device, you will be able to overcome this restriction and you can be able to access the blocked files. This makes you ‘Super user’. A ‘Super user’ can access all the files or folders that have been restricted. Most of the users want to root the device to uninstall unnecessary apps that come preloaded when you buy an android device. You cannot uninstall these apps unless you root your device.
ROOTING ANDROID: PROS AND CONS
Rooting has both advantages and disadvantages. You must weigh both and look for what you need most. Rooting will break the warranty of your device. You may not get the OTA updates and in certain situations your device may get bricked or stuck in boot loop. Certain devices like Sony come with some excellent inbuilt app engines like Bravia Engine and TV mirroring. These apps will fail to function when you root your Sony device. Similarly, HTC’s gallery app HTC Zoe will also fail to function by rooting. You are also liable to Google’s security terms and conditions meaning of which, you are responsible for security of your device and Google has no role or responsibility for it. You may also break the carrier contract on which you are.
While rooting has disadvantages, there are plenty of advantages as well. You can remove the bloatware which come preinstalled. You can modify the system core and make the device faster, increase the CPU speed, increase internal memory by partitioning and linking the sd card and install custom ROM’s.
So rooting depends on your need. Check your need and proceed for rooting with extreme caution.
PREREQUISITES FOR ANDROID ROOT
After you have followed the pros and cons of rooting and if you are still ready to proceed for rooting, you need to prepare your device as well your PC/Mac to start the procedure.
- Backup your device to PC before rooting. Some devices may require unlocking bootloader before you root. Unlocking bootloader will wipe user data and reset your device. We will discuss about bootloader in further discussions.
- Download and install Android SDK tools or install ADB and Fastboot drivers on your PC. These software’s are mandatory if you are an advanced user and use a computer to root your device.
- Enable USB debugging from developer options on your device. If you can’t see developer options in your device settings, navigate to settings – about phone – build number and tap build number 7 times to unlock developer options.
- Enable OEM unlocking in developer options if available. This step is required for unlocking bootloader if needed before rooting your device.
- Enable Unknown sources in security settings. Enabling unknown sources is to allow installing third party apps which are downloaded from external sources other than Google Play store. This option is required if you are rooting your device without the use of a PC or simply, using one click root apps.
- Unlock the bootloader of your device if required. Many devices come with locked bootloader. Some manufacturers like HTC, Sony, HTC etc support unlocking bootloader officially. If you are on a carrier contract (Verizon, AT & T etc), your carrier holds the authority on unlocking the bootloader irrespective of the manufacturing firm. You must need to contact your carrier technical team to unlock the bootloader. If your phone is factory unlocked, you are lucky because the phone comes with unlocked bootloader and you can proceed to rooting.
Bootloader is a code on every android device which directs the linux kernel of the device to boot specifically through the specific operating system. The bootloaders are hardware specific and hence each manufacturing firm has their own version of bootloader. If you want to install custom ROM on your device, you need to guide the bootloader to boot your device into the ROM of you have installed instead of the default firmware it has. In order to do that, you need to unlock the bootloader. As all manufacturing firms want you to use the firmware which they preinstalled, they lock the bootloader.
To install a custom ROM, you need to root the device but it is nullified when you have locked bootloader. Some devices require mandatory unlocking of bootloader if you want to root. This concludes that you need to unlock the bootloader before you root.
Note that unlocking bootloader will wipe the user data and factory reset your phone along with the SD card. Backup your device before you unlocking.
You can follow the links below regarding unlocking bootloader
- How to Unlock bootloader of LG Devices
- How to unlock bootloader of Moto/Motorola devices
- How to unlock bootloader of Samsung Devices
- How to unlock bootloader of HTC devices
- How to unlock bootloader of Sony devices
- How to unlock bootloader of Huawei devices
- How to unlock bootloader of Google Nexus devices
- How to unlock bootloader of Xiaomi devices
- How to unlock bootloader of Alcatel devices
- How to unlock bootloader of Gionee devices
Once you have unlocked the bootloader of your device, you can proceed to rooting.
Rooting can be done with or without PC. Rooting process without the use of a PC is called as one click root. You need to install a rooting app on your device and get root access with a single click. These apps support large number of devices and the process involves minimal risks. This method of rooting does not require much technical knowledge and can be done by a beginner as well. While most of the one click rooting apps support many devices, the success of rooting depends on the app you are using, the firmware version on your device and the device model/manufacturer. Some older devices can be rooted easily while some devices get errors. You need to either repeat the process or try another rooting app. Some popular rooting apps include:
You need to be connected to stable internet connection on your phone while using these apps. Connect to a good Wi –Fi or switch to LTE/3G connection. These apps also support PC version, which is same as the app on your device. You need to connect your device to PC via USB and click one click root in the PC app.
While one clicks root is a trial and error process, you can root your device with specific set of commands on your PC. This method is for advanced users who are familiar with technical terms and procedures. This process also involves high risks. If misused, you may brick your device permanently. Proceed with caution. This process of rooting with PC using ADB commands is device specific and you may need to unlock bootloader if required before proceeding to rooting.
HOW TO ROOT HTC DEVICES
Before rooting HTC devices, you need to unlock the bootloader first. To know how to unlock bootloader htc, Once you have unlocked bootloader, you can root your phone with set of adb commands. While few devices can be rooted with flashing the super user file with the adb command, some devices must be rooted with installing custom recovery first and side loading the super user file.
Both follow the similar procedure in execution. You need have all the required prerequisites before starting the rooting procedure. Some older devices can be rooted with one click root apps without fail.
For detailed procedure to root HTC phone
HOW TO ROOT HUAWEI DEVICES
Huawei devices run on the most popular UI called MIUI. There are rooting apps similar to one click apps for pc to root Huawei devices. These are little advanced apps which also install custom recovery on your device via PC with a single click.
These apps work depending on the MIUI version on your device. Though you can root your device with adb commands, these apps make the process very easy. Though it sounds simple, you must be careful with the tool because there are different tools for different MIUI versions.
For detailed process to root Huawei phone
HOW TO ROOT LG DEVICES
LG smartphones also come with unlockable bootloader. Unlock the bootloader for a flawless procedure of rooting. To know how to unlock bootloader LG, With the latest release of LG G6, many developers are in a rush to develop a stable rooting method. The rooting process of LG G5 is still under development.
While it is little difficult to root LG G variants, other versions are simple to root without mush difficulty. There is a rooting tool for G version of devices which does the rooting process on your PC like single click rooting app. But this tool does not support LG G5 or later versions. Check for the developer’s site before proceeding.
For detailed rooting process to Root LG Phone
HOW TO ROOT MOTO/MOTOROLA SMARTPHONES
Motorola or Moto devices can be rooted without the need of unlocking bootloader. But if you are in carrier contract, you may need to check with carrier technical team as the bootloader status or authority is completely under the administration of your carrier.
If unlocking bootloader is not essential, you can root your device with either one click root apps or with simple adb commands on a PC.
For detailed process to root Motorola phone
HOW TO ROOT ONE PLUS DEVICES
OnePlus garnered much popularity with its powerful hardware at comparatively lower price. Bootloader unlocking is essential before rooting your OnePlus smartphone. OnePlus smartphone officially supports unlocking bootloader and you can check with their developer’s site.
Once unlocked, you need to install custom recovery and flash the super user file via recovery options.
Note that there is no stable process that is officially documented with which you can root without installing custom recovery.
For detailed process to root OnePlus devices
HOW TO ROOT SONY SMARTPHONES
Sony is the firm that set benchmarks for other manufacturers in terms of build quality and water/dust resistance. This gained a lot popularity in developers’ point of view. Similar to HTC and LG devices, Sony handsets also require unlocking the bootloader before rooting. Unlocking bootloader is officially supported. Note that unlocking bootloader will break TA partition and DRM keys. This will make default apps such as Bravia engine. You need to backup TA partition and DRM keys before unlocking bootloader and restore after unlocking. Relocking the bootloader will not help. For detailed process of unlocking bootloader
Once your bootloader is unlocked, you can root your device with Sony Easy Root tool for PC or with any one clicks root apps. Sony easy root tool comes with plenty of options like flashing custom recovery. This tool may not support latest devices as rooting process for few devices is still under development.
For detailed sony root process
HOW TO ROOT SAMSUNG DEVICES
Samsung devices come with wide variety of variants in different countries. Similar device may have different hardware or kernel in different countries. Samsung also restricts unlocking the bootloader. They have built in security system called Knox, which will cause few problems when you root or unlock your device. If you are in carrier contract, except Verizon, you can unlock bootloader by agreeing to the terms and conditions of your carrier. If you have factory unlocked phone, you are good to go for rooting, as factory unlocked phones come with unlocked bootloader. For unlocking bootloader of Samsung devices
Rooting of Samsung devices requires a flashing tool called Odin (for windows PC) or Heimdall (For Mac). The process of rooting is similar for both windows and mac which requires you to flash recovery and install super user file.
For detailed process to root samsung devices
HOW TO ROOT XIAOMI DEVICES
Xiaomi devices, another Chinese firm gaining popularity which provide top notch hardware at a reasonable price. Xiaomi developer site officially support unlocking bootloader and you need to unlock bootloader before rooting the device. The major flaw regarding unlocking bootloader is that you have to wait for few days before you are permitted to do so. For detailed procedure of unlocking xiaomi bootloader
Once you have unlocked bootloader, you can root the device with simple set of adb commands on your PC.
For detailed instructions on root Xiaomi devices
HOW TO ROOT NEXUS DEVICES
Google Nexus, the official products from Google with Google’s own android firmware are the first devices to get updates via OTA. Google officially supports unlocking bootloader and the brighter side is that your device break warranty if you unlock bootloader. For detailed process of unlocking bootloader
Like Samsung has Odin/Heimdall, Nexus devices have Wugfresh rooting tool which will root in a single click. All you need to do is have required files and folder for rooting.
For detailed instructions on root Nexus device.
HOW TO ROOT LENOVO DEVICES
Lenovo another Chinese firm stepped their foot in smartphone market and are very popular in mid-range devices. You need not require to unlock bootloader to root your Lenovo smartphone but if you have an option it is better to unlock bootloader before rooting. If you are in carrier contract, it is highly possible that your device has a locked bootloader. You need to contact technical team of your carrier to unlock bootloader.
Rooting of Lenovo devices via PC is no stranger to adb commands. You need to install custom recovery image to flash super user file. This means you need to know how to boot your device into bootloader mode and recovery mode.
For detailed process on root lenovo devices
HOW TO ROOT VIVO SMARTPHONES
When it comes to selfie oriented smartphones, two brands flash into mind, Vivo and Oppo. Vivo smartphones are primarily mid ranged devices with selfie oriented cameras. The Chinese firm is very popular in India. To root these devices, you must have an unlocked bootloader. Unlocking bootloader is still under development. There is little or no support for unlocking bootloader of Vivo devices.
If you are lucky enough and got unlocked bootloader you can root your device with once click rooting app on your phone or with one click tool for PC called, Graphical auto root tool which will root devices running on Mediatek processors. This is a risky process and proceed with extreme caution.
For detailed information on root Vivo smartphones
HOW TO ROOT MICROMAX DEVICES
Micromax is an Indian firm with wide variety of mid ranged devices. They have been facing heavy competition with the introduction of other Chinese smartphones like Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo. Yet they are still favorites when it comes to budget android phone. Rooting Micromax devices is an easy process either with a one clicks root app on the device itself or via PC.
Rooting with PC requires a tool called SP Flashing tool. This tool will help you in flashing custom recovery and rooting the device as well. You need to get the suitable recovery image for your device to root it.
For further instructions on root micromax
HOW TO ROOT GIONEE DEVICES
Gionee another Chinese firm made its way to mid-range devices. Gionee is no exception with other Chinese brands which come with tons of preloaded bloatware. To remove these apps, you need to root your device.
Similar to Micromax, you can either root with one click root app or with SP flash tool. The process is similar to the one followed in Micromax.
For detailed process to root ginonee
HOW TO ROOT OPPO DEVICES
Oppo along with Vivo are mostly selfie oriented smartphones. On the contrary Oppo have better hardware than Vivo. Oppo devices can be rooted with one click apps or with a PC with command prompt.
You need to reboot your device into recovery and flash the Super user file. Oppo comes with default recovery pre-installed. If you want to install a third-party recovery like TWRP or CWM, you can do that too.
For detailed process to root oppo
HOW TO ROOT COOLPAD SMARTPHONES
Coolpad smartphones are yet another Chinese manufacturer popular in mid ranged android devices. These devices have very little support in android development. But still you can root your device with one click rooting app on the device or on a PC with SP flash tool similar to Micromax devices.
Note that all Gionee devices cannot be rooted with SP flash tool as this tool is devised to root based on the type of processor. Proceed with caution.
For detailed procedureto root coolpad
HOW TO ROOT LeEco SMARTPHONES
LeEco yet another Chinese firm infamous for their decent hardware at a low price. These phones are available through Amazon in India. Formerly known as LeTV, these devices also come with pre-loaded bloatware. To remove them you need to root your device.
You can root LeEco smartphone with one click root apps on the device itself or with a PC. While flashing super user with adb command is not a direct option, you need to install custom recovery before rooting your device. Install any custom recovery like CWM or TWRP and flash super user file with options in recovery.
For detailed process to root leeco
HOW TO ROOT ASUS SMARTPHONES
Asus another Chinese firm who focused both on mid-range and premium smartphones as well. They have wide range of smartphones which can compete in all sectors with every manufacturer. Rooting of Asus devices is bit clumsy in terms of development. While some older devices can be rooted without major flaws and some devices cannot be rooted till date.
Asus also has one click root app support but there are some devices which needs to have unlocked bootloader before rooting the device. Sadly, there is no official support of unlocking bootloader by ASUS. There is a rooting tool for PC as well similar to SP flash tool or Sony easy click root tool.
For detailed process to root asus
HOW TO ROOT ACER DEVICES
Acer does not need a special introduction especially if you are PC/Laptop user. They released few android smartphones and tablets. Considering their limited release, these devices can be rooted with one click root app or with adb commands on PC and it is easy to root.
Since these devices are bound to have older firmware version of android, you will find no difficulty in rooting. Acer tablets have dedicated rooting tool for PC with which you can root in a single click.
For detailed process of rooting acer
HOW TO ROOT ALCATEL DEVICES
Alcatel, a company owned by Nokia is widely popular in China. Alcatel is slowly expanding its market to other countries. Presently focusing on mid ranged devices, Alcatel smartphones are released with locked bootloader. You need to unlock bootloader to root the phone.
Once the bootloader is unlocked, you root your device with one click rooting apps preferably KingRoot. You can also root by adb commands on PC.
For detailed rooting instructions root alcatel
HOW TO ROOT KARBONN DEVICES
Karbonn is another Indian firm that manufactures budget ranged smartphones. Similar to Micromax, Karbonn is having a heavy competition from other Chinese firms in mid-range devices. They are presently not actively releasing smartphones as once they used to do.
Rooting of Karbonn devices is pretty easy and can be done with one click root apps or by a PC. You can also experiment with SP flash tool to root Karbonn smartphone via PC as these devices mostly run on mediatek processors.
For detailed instructions, to root karbonn
HOW TO ROOT INNJOO SMARTPHONES
Innjoo is very popular in Gulf or Middle eastern countries. Though the firm’s base is in China, their main market is middle east. There is active development and discussion for these devices in popular forums like XDA Developers.
Rooting Innjoo devices is similar to those with mediatek processor which requires SP flash tool. One clicks root apps also support Innjoo devices. There are plenty of active forums available online which indicates there will be more methods of rooting and custom ROM development in coming future.
For more information on rooting, innjoo root
HOW TO ROOT MEIZU SMARTPHONES
Meizu smartphones are very popular in China. They are the first to demonstrate 5G cellular data speeds in Mobile World Congress 2017, Barcelona. They have allied with Samsung and the latest Meizu devices come with Exynos processors. Unlike other Chinese manufacturers, Meizu is no exception to have bloatware pre-installed. To remove them you need to root your device. Unlocking bootloader is also a must before proceeding to rooting.
While rooting of rest of the android devices which aren’t listed above depends on several factors like manufacturer, bootloader status, android firmware version, the variant of the device, carrier contract and hardware. Considering all these factors, you need to do a little research regarding rooting your device. While some devices have little to no support for rooting or unlocking bootloader, some devices have active development in this field. Never venture in rooting or unlocking the bootloader if you are unfamiliar with the specs, support and status of your device. You may cause irreversible damages to your phone. Some older devices for which the company has stopped support or stopped the android device manufacturing itself, you can experiment if you are willing to take risks. Since they have no official support for further development, you can proceed to rooting or unlocking at your will. Some users take risks irrespective of the results. We suggest to do that if you are an advanced user or you have knowledge of Android SDK, Kernel used in android devices and adb commands used.
After you have successfully rooted your device, you can now proceed to next step of uninstalling the bloatware. Some pre-installed apps are not useful and they also drain the battery very fast, consume huge amounts of RAM space. These apps can be uninstalled without much stress. If you can’t root with default app installer on your android device, there are many apps which can do this for you. One such app is Link2SD. This app apart from uninstalling the apps also performs wide variety of functions.
If your android smartphone has low internal memory, you can partition your SD card and use the newly created partition as internal memory. This can be achieved only when you root your device.
You can back up your data to SD card with apps like Titanium backup pro. What makes Titanium backup unique is that you can not only back up the app but also the app data. For example, an offline game which you are playing on your smartphone, you have passed certain levels and assuming that it does not have any game center or social media syncing to save your game progress, you can back up the progress with Titanium backup pro and restore it later. This method also requires rooting your device.
While there are plenty of options with after you root your device, all you need to do is explore. You can also install custom ROM’s on your smartphone once you have rooted your device. Custom ROM’s are the developer designed ROM’s or Firmware’s which can be flashed on to your device to have unique user experience.
If you love HTC Sense UI but you have a Sony device, you can flash HTC Sense based Sony custom ROM by rooting your device. The options here are endless. Developers are now cross porting the UI to different devices. You have to make sure whether your device supports the ROM or not. Though the tweaks of the custom ROM give you better and higher functionalities, the core of the ROM depends on the kernel of your device. You have to make sure regarding the compatibility of the ROM kernel.
If you need a guide, we are always here to help you. Please drop a question or an email with your query.