You might have come across people talking about wanting to root their Android devices so they could do more. Rooting helps you squeeze out even more value from your device if done right. Done wrong and you’ll end up with a bricked Android device.
What does it mean to root Android?
Root for Android is like Administrator for Windows. Root access allows you to make changes to the Operating System and Kernel.
Here’s a short video answering some questions on rooting.
What are the benefits of rooting Android?
Since rooting gives you the freedom to modify your Android device’s OS, you can add lots of improvements and optimizations.
Common reasons for rooting Android include; debloating (removing unneeded apps), removing malware, patching bugs, removing limitations, and adding more features. In some cases, it is required in order to install custom ROMs.
What are the disadvantages of rooting?
There’s a risk of bricking your device when trying to root. Rooting also exposes your device to malicious exploits. If a hacker breaks into your device, root access can allow the attacker to wreak more havoc.
What are the requirements to root Android?
There are several root exploits; each having its requirements (which will be discussed later in this article). Generally, it is best to have an unlocked bootloader before you attempt to root. Temporary root exploits and one-click root apps might not require an unlocked bootloader.
How to root an Android device
We’ll be looking at 5 approaches. Note that some approaches only work on certain devices so ensure to try as many as possible.
- Rooting Android using root apks or one-click-root apps
On old Android versions like Android 5 (Lollipop) and below, root apps like Framaroot, Kingroot, Trowelroot, etc enable you to root Android devices without a PC. It’s as easy as installing the app, launching it, tapping a button, and waiting a few seconds.
The downside of this approach is that such apps hardly ever work on more recent Android versions.
2. Rooting Samsung phones using CF-Auto-Root
CF-Auto-Root enables you to quickly gain root access on your Samsung smartphone simply by flashing a patched firmware in Odin. To root, you head over to the CF-Auto-Root website, search for your model, download the patch, and flash.
The downside of this approach is that it only supports old Samsung models.
3. Rooting Android using custom recovery and SuperSU or Magisk zip
One popular technique is to flash a custom recovery e.g TWRP, CWM, OrangeFox, Pitch Black, RedWolf, etc to the device then flash either SuperSU or Magisk zip in the custom recovery.
Magisk is the recommended of the two because it’s still being actively maintained and gives systemless root (doesn’t tamper with the system or super partition). SuperSU also has a systemless version and you could consider it for Android 7 (Nougat) and below.
The downside of this approach is the difficulty of finding a custom recovery for your model. You could try our Mediatek Auto TWRP porter, Spreadtrum Auto TWRP porter, and Qualcomm Auto TWRP porter if you find none.
4. Rooting Android using Magisk Manager + boot.img (Recommended)
This approach should work on a lot of Android devices. All you need is the boot.img (or recovery image for models without ramdisk in the boot image) and the magisk manager app. The image is patched using magisk manager and then flashed back to the device.
We’ve created a detailed guide on how to root Android using magisk manager so follow it for a step-by-step guide. You might also want to check out our guides on how to root Spreadtrum Android and how to root Samsung Android.
5. Rooting Mediatek devices using MTKSU
MTKSU is an exploit that was discovered to work on some Mediatek chipsets. This exploit enables you to gain temporary root. Watch our video on how to root Android using MTKSU for detailed steps.
I’ve covered the popular Android rooting techniques. Drop a comment if none works for your model or if you think I left out a technique.