rooting your Android phone
You’ve got your smartphone. It’s new, shiny and neat. You can go online from it while you’re out and download cool apps to keep you company wherever you go.
But can you download any app you want? What about custom themes? And did you ever feel like altering or replacing system applications and settings on your phone because they’re not so user friendly?
Well, the thing is you can’t do whatever you want with your smartphone. For security reasons, phone manufacturers and mobile network operators impose software limitations.
However, these limitations can be overruled by rooting your Android phone,
although it is not advisable. Especially if you don’t have antivirus for Android installed, to protect you from mobile malware.
Many people are talking about the freedom rooting their phone gives them, without necessarily stressing the risks you face by doing so. Here’s a brief overview of the advantages and disadvantages of this process. In case you decide to go for it, it’s best you take an informed decision for your own mobile security.
WHAT IS ROOTING
Rooting is a process that allows you to attain root access to the Android operating system code (the equivalent term for Apple devices id jailbreaking).
It gives you privileges to modify the software code on the device or install other software that the manufacturer wouldn’t normally allow you to. And for good mobile security reasons: they don’t want users to make modifications to the phones that could result in accidents beyond repair;
it is easier for them to offer support if they allow users to only use the same unmodified version of the software. But tech savvy users have already developed rooting methods, which vary depending on device.
They are available on the web, and more and more Android users are resorting to them because of the powerful perks they provide, such as:
- full customization for just about every theme/graphic
- download of any app, regardless of the app store they’re posted on
- extended battery life and added performance
- updates to the latest version of Android if your device is outdated and no longer updated by the manufacturer
But if you do it improperly, it can create havoc. And even done properly, if your phone doesn’t have proper antivirus protection for Android, rooting leaves your device open to all sorts of malware.
With a rooted phone, you can remove bloatware, speed up your processor, and customize every element of your phone software’s appearance.
This guide on how to root Android devices will walk you through the necessary steps to root your phone. Some devices can be rooted in minutes. Others take a little research. But one thing is clear: Rooting your phone is one of the best ways to tap into your Android device’s true potential.
WHY WOULDN’T YOU ROOT?
- Voiding your warranty: Some manufacturers or carriers will void your warranty if you root your device, so it is worth keeping in mind that you can always unroot. If you need to send the device back for repair, simply flash the software backup you made and it’ll be good as new.
- Disabled apps: Some security-conscious apps and services do not work on rooted devices — financial platforms like Google’s Android Pay and Barclays Mobile Banking do not support them. Apps that serve copyrighted TV shows and movies, like Sky Go and Virgin TV Anywhere, will not start on rooted devices, either.
PREPARE YOUR DEVICE FOR ROOTING
One of the easiest ways to root an Android device is by using an app, and a number of rooting apps have garnered attention over the years — KingRoot, Firmware.mobi, Kingo Root, BaiduRoot, and One Click Root are among some of the most reliable. These services will usually root your device in the time it takes you to brush your teeth. But some of them only support devices running older versions of Android, so you may need to do some shopping around to find one that works for your device. If you’re looking to root an even older device.
If your phone isn’t compatible with a one-click rooting app, you’ll have to spend a little time researching alternatives on Android forums. The best place to start is XDA Developers Forum — look for a thread about your phone or tablet and you’re likely to find a method.