How to Root Android Phone?

how to root android

by Alex Gustman

Updated: December 4, 2021

The Android operating system offers the user a wide range of customization options. The access to most of the functions is initially blocked, and is only opened after rooting your device (you get superuser privileges). Ways to root android smartphone or tablet are described in detail in this article.

What does rooting an android phone do?

In Android, root is a privileged account that gives the owner full control over the device. Having superuser privileges, removes the manufacturer’s restrictions on access to the root folder of the Android OS file system, and allows all operations to be carried out without exception.

The need to get root access on Android OS, often arises due to the extended customization of the firmware. You may also be bored with the standard design or want to try new features that were previously unavailable. It can also be used to install a new or upgrade your current operating system, uninstall system software or easily create backups. There are other reasons too.

Advantages and disadvantages of getting root permissions on android

Rooting your android device allows you to remove restrictions and customise the system as you see fit, which is an undeniable advantage. However, excessive discretion often has undesirable consequences. Therefore, inexperienced users should not be advised to root their devices.

Main advantages

Deleting, moving and backing up applications, including system type programmes.

  • Move the application cache to a memory card. Important for devices with an internal storage capacity of 8/16GB.
startup applications
  • Access to hidden settings, fine-tune sound, microphone sensitivity, etc.
  • Installation of custom firmware and kernels. Create full backup of firmware or specific partition.
  • Full control over file system.
  • Changing visuals.
  • Setting processor and graphics accelerator modes.
  • Set fixed CPU frequency.
cpu frequency adjustment
  • Setting ad blocking in applications and games.

Main disadvantages

Without sufficient experience and knowledge, the user is likely to malfunction with the operating system, resulting in a factory reset, the need to re-install the firmware or other software failure.

  • Security is reduced as it is easier for malicious apps to gain full control of the device when it is rooted. It is easier for attackers to bypass the locks set by the owner.
  • Rooting an android device is a good reason to deny warranty service.
  • You cannot officially get an OS or security update, as this will cause software damage to the device.
  • To get full root access, having an unlocked bootloader is mandatory.
  • In the process of getting root permissions, a failure is not excluded that can lead to “bricking” – the case when the phone stops turning on and showing any signs of life.

So, after getting acquainted with the pros and cons of rooting your phone, you should think carefully about whether it is worth rooting your android phone.

How to get root permissions on android phone?

Methods to gain root access are roughly divided into two types: without using a PC and by using a PC. Let’s consider each method individually, including the specifics and specifics of the installation.

Important: Starting from Android 5.0, getting root access is only available via TWRP. For firmware versions 2.x-4.4.x the “One-click” and “Using a PC” methods are also suitable. When rooting your device, you should consider: whether the software supports the device; what version of the firmware or kernel the exploit runs on; the recommended build of the application to root.

Rooting an android phone without using a PC

The easiest way to grant root access to an Android device is to install a special app. This method is referred to as “one-click root access”. This is because there is no algorithm, all you have to do is run the app, press a button, and wait to get root access. The number of such applications has exceeded three dozen, the most prominent of which are Framaroot and Towelroot.

However, this method of rooting an android device is highly undesirable. Since their operating principle is to hack into the system through the available vulnerabilities. For this reason, most anti-viruses take such apps as viruses.

Moreover, most developers of one-click root access programs reside in China. Therefore, for their personal benefit, they introduce trojans and other viruses, which get deep into the system after rooting and are not detectable. In the best case scenario, the display of advertisements will increase, and in the worst case scenario, regular charging of the balance and theft of personal information will occur.

It is also worth noting that in order to always have root access, the bootloader must be unlocked. Otherwise, rooting will be incomplete and some functions will remain inaccessible, and a simple reboot of the device, in most cases, will lead to the removal of root permissions.

A safe way to root an android device without a PC

A reliable and secure way to get root permissions, using a modified TWRP boot loader program. Simply download the appropriate version of the SuperSU application for your device, boot into TWRP mode, and install.

Obtaining root access on android using a computer

The method is similar to the one described above in the “root access on android in one click” method. Only the rooting software, such as Kingo Android Root, is installed on the PC, not the smartphone, and then the phone or tablet on the android OS is rooted.

The method is similar to the one described above in the “root access on android in one click” method. Only the rooting software, such as Kingo Android Root, is installed on the PC, not the smartphone, and then the phone or tablet on the android OS is rooted.

It is worth noting that this method of obtaining root access is also undesirable, due to inefficiency and low security. The process is often interrupted due to insufficient optimization for the specific device. There is also a high probability of getting a virus on your device.

Instructions to get root access on android in one click

Before downloading an app, you should first check what type and version of the app is suitable for your device. If possible, check with users who have used the application of your choice to see if there are any hidden viruses or additional installation conditions. As an example, consider an installation using Framaroot.

Procedure:

  1. Download and install the app on your mobile device.
  2. Once launched, select Superuser or SuperSU utility.
  3. Below, select the name of a known character whose name hides the exploit type.
  4. After selecting a character, you will see a window with successful root access or an error. In the latter case, change the exploit type and try again using a different application or version.
  5. If successful, you should reboot the device.
  6. In most other applications, to obtain root access, more often than not, you only need to press one button and wait for the operation to complete.

Instructions for a safe way to get root access on android OS without using a PC

  1. Download the appropriate version of the SuperSU app for your device to an external SD card.
  2. Launch TWRP mode and select “Install” or “Install” if the TWRP version is in English.
  3. Specify the path for the downloaded SuperSU, and confirm the installation action.
  4. After the operation is completed, perform a Dalvik Cache cleanup and reboot. The flashed application will automatically appear in the list of all applications.

How to root an android device using a computer

Make sure the version and type of application is supported beforehand, then download and install the software on your PC. As an example, here are the instructions for Kingo Android Root. Other programs work on a similar principle.

Instructions:

  • Start the programme and connect your smartphone or tablet to your PC. Use the original USB cable and the ports on the motherboard for connection.
  • Activate debug mode and check the box to install applications from unknown sources. These items are in the “security” and “for developers” sections.
  • Kingo Android Root will download and install the drivers, which requires Internet connection.
  • After successful installation click on the “root” button that appears.
  • Wait for installation to complete. The smartphone or tablet will reboot automatically.

Rooting Android 7.0, 7.1, 8.0

Android 7 introduces for the first time a system integrity checking mechanism at boot time. If the system partition has been modified – either by a user or by malware – the OS will not boot or will start with limited functionality. Therefore, the usual ways of gaining superuser access, starting with android version 7.0, are not suitable. The procedure remains the same, only the files to be installed are changed.

The SafetyNet utility will prevent you from using your rooted device freely. The software analyses the activity of the applications and compares it with the original images. If the applications or services have been modified, the application will be blocked or deleted.

For root access on Android 7.0, 7.1 and 8.0, Magisk replaces SuperSU. The utility modifies the boot partition so that the system remains unchanged. It allows to get root access and install system applications and modules. Additionally, it hides the presence of an unlocked boot loader and root for certain applications, including banking, allowing the correct usage of payment services and SafetyNet. Receive OTA updates of standard firmware without worrying about the device turning into a “brick” – a non-bootable device.

How do I install Magisk?

Important! Installation is carried out on a device with an unlocked bootloader, as changes are written to the kernel. Android version 5 and higher is required for installation. Modified TWRP, CWM is required. TWRP and CWM versions are different for each device model.

installing root through magisk

The following steps are for reference only; the steps and file types may be different when installing Magisk on other devices.

Algorithm of actions using Motorola Moto Z as an example:

  1. Copy Magisk to the phone’s memory. Since some Motorola models have incorrect F2FS implementation, f2fs loopback bug workaround should be copied. For other manufacturers models it is not necessary to flash the module, unless specified in the manual.
  2. Boot the handset into fastboot mode.
  3. Unlock boot loader, flash TWRP 3.2.1-0-griffin if it was not done before.
  4. Backup BOOT partition in TWRP. This action is a must!
  5. In TWRP, open the Advanced section and then Terminal, then type in the commands one by one:
    echo KEEPVERITY=true>>/data/.magisk
    echo KEEPFORCEENCRYPT=true>>/data/.magisk

    Flash “magisk” and then “module” alternately in TWRP.
    Important! If you have a third party kernel – TurboZ, elementalX, you should not flash the module.

Disadvantages of Magisk

  • Some applications do not support root, which can only be fixed by the developers of such applications.
  • Not supported on adoptable storage, where external flash card is connected to internal memory.
  • Problems without timely updates of components and shell.
  • Not supported by some Magisk firmware.

Conclusion

The best way to root your android device is using the TWRP method. This method will avoid unwanted infection by viruses, avoid incomplete root access and the possibility of incorrect booting of the system.

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Alex Gustman


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