Rooting your phone allows you get complete access to its software, opening up a wide variety of options for those who want complete control – however, it isn’t something that should be done lightly as it will void your warranty and could render your phone useless. As ever, knowing what you’re doing is essential and we’re going to inform starting informing you right now.
It’s important to understand that the average Android phone user probably isn’t going to root their phone; much like the average PC user isn’t going to overclock the components in their system. For those who have the time and will, some pretty incredible results are possible and we’ll go into what exactly they are.
What does ‘rooting’ your phone mean?
The process of rooting your phone allows you to get into the nooks and crannies of your phone’s operating system, giving you access to options and systems that you wouldn’t otherwise have from the default user interface.
This allows you to get around any manufacturer restrictions that may have been put in place. Depending on how cynical you are, these restrictions are in place to help make sure we don’t break the operating system or because the big companies don’t want us getting any more performance out of our devices - as ever, the truth is probably somewhere in the middle.
Regardless, if you do plan on rooting your phone you must make sure you back up your phone’s software before you start tinkering in case the worst should happen.
What are the advantages of rooting your phone?
Rooting your phone means you essentially get the keys to the castle. You can remove manufacturer installed software (aka bloatware), enable settings you couldn’t get access to before and install software that allows your phone to run faster.
You can also customise almost every aspect of the user interface, allowing you to create a custom look and feel to your phone – or allow you to reorganise the interface entirely.
There are a range of root applications that make the idea very tempting, from blocking in-app advertisements and creating secure paths to the internet, to automatic back-ups and processor overclocking.
What are the dangers of rooting your phone?
Rooting your phone will almost certainly void your warranty, but if you keep a backup of the software you’ll be able to reinstall the default configuration if your device ever needs to go back for repairs.
Just as adjusting the registry on a computer, rooting your phone involves tinkering with the very core of the software – this can cause some real damage if done incorrectly and can cripple your phone. However, as long as you do your research and follow a trustworthy guide you shouldn’t have a problem.
Stopping certain processes from running can grant far more freedom with your device, but it can also have some negative effects – security software that has been installed can also be deactivated which could leave your phone vulnerable, as most of us use our phones extensively, having data lifted from your phone could compromise anything from your social media accounts to your credit cards.
How to root your Android device
Considering the amount of power and control that is available by rooting your phone, is it surprisingly easy to do. As with most aspects of our lives these days, there is an app to make it easier – and the same can be said here.
There are a wide array of applications you can use to root your phone, and we can’t stress enough that you need to do your own research before doing this - we’re not recommending doing it, we’re just telling you that it’s possible and can have beneficial results.
If we’re going to recommend an app, Dr.fone’s – Root supports a wide array of devices and also lets you unroot the device in future should you feel the need. There are several other rooting apps that allow you to complete the process, including Kingo and iRoot, but these only work on much older versions of Android.
What to do before rooting your device
It can’t be stressed enough that before you do anything, you should back up your phone – luckily for you, we have a guide to do just that.
You’ll need to turn on developer mode which we show you how to do here, and enable USB Debugging and OEM Unlocking.
The exact rooting process will change depending on which software you’re using. You’ll be able to find guides for each specific piece of software on the developer’s website, such as here for dr.phone’s root software.
How to unroot your Android device
You may wish to unroot your device at some point, and once again, there will always be an app for that too.
SuperSU and Universal Unroot are two of the most common methods for this, and you’ll find exact instructions on how to use them on their respective websites. Once again, do your own research before doing anything else.