Root Android: Guide to root (or NOT) my cell phone

Although there is a lot of information about root on the web (rooting, rooting, etc.), this page explains in a simple way what it means to be root in an Android cell phone. In addition, it indicates how to obtain root rights and all the implications of this procedure.

In this article, the terms cellular, telephone, smartphone, tablet, mobile, computer or device refer to only one thing: a mobile device with Android operating system.

What is root?

Being root on Android is similar to being an administrator on Windows. You have full control and all the necessary privileges or permissions to do and undo anything on the device. Basically, that means being Android root.

To remember : Root in Spanish means Root. That is, you get “root permissions” on the device. These are also known as superuser privileges or permissions (root = superuser). Commonly the symbol of # is known as the symbolic representation of the superuser.

What is the use of rooting the cell phone?

In order to install and use certain advanced applications , the cell phone must have root.

Rooting the phone also serves to uninstall pre-installed applications that come from the factory on new phones.

These are just a couple of examples of what can be done or what it can serve to be root. The general advantage is that, being root, you will have full control over the Android system. You can manipulate any file in the system, to modify some aspect of it at an advanced level. You can even be able to change the Android operating system easily after rooting the phone.

How to know if I’m root or not

It is very easy to know if the Android phone has root or not. You just have to install the Root checker application that indicates whether the device is rooted. If the message “Congratulations, your device has root access” is displayed, the cell phone is already rooted. If it is a completely new device, it is most likely that it is not root and that message does not appear.

What happens if I am NOT root

Nothing happens. You simply do not have the SUPER user permissions and therefore you will not be able to make the deep changes or modifications in the Android phone or the installed applications.

It is dangerous to root your cell phone

If you do not want to take any risk with your smartphone or tablet and you are afraid that it will be damaged, it is better not to try to obtain root access in the cell phone. Avoid this procedure.

That said, rooting an Android is not dangerous. However, it is a technical procedure that must be done correctly. The risk of damaging the phone is minimal when rooting, but it always exists, regardless of the method used.

In addition, we must consider that no application or software to root is official. Virtually all the programs and APKs that exist for this (such as those cited below) are created by independent developers and it is very difficult to know what they will do or what they will install on the cell phone, regardless of whether they successfully root or not.

I repeat, if you do not want to take any risk, better not try it. What you do with your device will be your absolute responsibility.

After being root …

You have to be careful, because root access is a superpower, literally.

Once the cell phone has been rooted, you have to grant root permission carefully. For example, an application with superuser permission (previously granted by the user) has the ability and authorization to do anything on the mobile. Maybe install a virus, delete files or extract information and send it to another part of the world, etc.

Rootear voids the equipment warranty

Rooting normally increases by one (+1) the “flashing counter” (flash counter) of the equipment. This is especially true on Samsung devices.

An intact computer has that flashing counter at zero. That this counter has increased to one (or more than one) means that the device was modified in some way. It means that the original software was altered (a new firmware may have been rooted or flashed / installed).

The vendor or manufacturer can detect this change in the cell phone. It is a powerful reason for you to void the equipment warranty.

This may be legal or not ( in the United States it is not ). Whatever the case may be in your country, it is most likely that the manufacturer and / or the seller will not validate the guarantee after knowing that the software of the equipment has been put to use in this way. Possibly take this position, even if the failure is hardware and has nothing to do with the software.

It is not strange, because some vendors even warn not to update the operating system to maintain the guarantee, this being an “official” procedure and with less risk.

Therefore, root if it cancels the cell phone warranty. Unless you want to get into a legal mess to face the possible illegality of this issue in your country, this is the practical position that you should have.

Can not update cell phone after rooting

If you are root, it is LIKELY that you can no longer update the Android operating system over the internet (update “Over The Air” or “OTA”).

This problem is generated when rooting modifies key files of the operating system. The phone may be  unrecognizable to the manufacturer that sends these updates. Assuming the update is notified, it may not be possible to install or fail when trying.

Not only does it happen with rooting, but also when a custom recovery is installed.

There is no way to know if a root method invalidates OTA updates or not. The only way to know is to try. There may be methods that do not block OTA updates.

Before rooting a cell phone

  • Before starting the procedure check that the battery has more than 60% charge. Never do this procedure with low battery.
  • If it is routed through the PC, it is best to use a laptop. If the computer shuts down for any reason during the process, the phone may become unusable.
  • When you do root, the data stored in the phone is NOT deleted. Not those of the internal memory, and much less those of the SD card (if there is one).

How to root

There is not a single method to get root access to all cell phones. In fact, the method varies by brand and model of the cell phone, and even depending on the version of Android you have.

There are several alternatives that work for one or multiple teams at the same time. You can find out there a certain program to root Android from the PC, and also one or another app or application to root directly from the cell phone.

Here are some programs, one-click applications and popular websites to root virtually any Android phone.

Towel Root  ( towelroot.com )

Simple application to root in a click a mobile. Just install like any other application and press a magic button to get superuser permissions.

Framaroot

Another installable APK to root virtually any android from the cell phone. You just have to install and test the one-touch rooting with one of the available methods.

Kingo Android Root  ( kingoapp.com )

Program to root from the PC with the USB cable. You only have to install and follow the integrated instructions.

z4Root

This is another Android application that serves to root («root APK») quickly an Android mobile. Application of intuitive use.

IN THEORY it should work with any device with Android 2.2 (Froyo) or lower versions, although this is not confirmed by the developers.

In the aforementioned link there is a list of some of the cell phones with which this app works («PERMANENT Root»). This list has been completed by testimonials from people who have used it.

The list is incomplete: if your phone is not listed it does not necessarily mean that it does not work but that no one has confirmed it yet (unless it is below the list of devices incompatible with «PERMANENT Root»).

SuperOneClick Root

This is a program that is installed on the computer and serves to root “almost any mobile” Android from the PC.

It works for any mobile that has Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) or a higher version, according to the creators.

The link lists compatible and incompatible devices until now. If your cell phone is not on the list of compatible cell phones, that does not mean it will not work but that nobody has confirmed that it works (again, unless your mobile is already on the list of incompatible devices).

Byn4ry

According to the creator of this program for PC, it works for almost any cell phone with Android 4.0 (ICS), 4.1, 4.2 and 4.3 (Jelly Bean) of any make and model (even if your cell phone is Chinese).

Before using it you have to activate the USB debugging and the installation of unknown sources in the Android mobile (Settings> Security) and install the respective drivers of the device in the PC.

After that, the file is downloaded from the indicated link, it is extracted, the RunMe.bat file is executed and the instructions are followed. This YouTube video  explains the procedure (in English).

CF Root – CF Auto Root

This is a root method for a large number of Samsung cell phones and for some Motorola, Asus and Nexus.

It should only be used on devices with the bootloader unlocked or they can be brickered .

On how it works, if the device is in the “ODIN” list, you have to put the phone in download mode (commonly, with the phone off, keep the buttons Volume down + Start + On) pressed, connect the phone to the PC with the cable USB, run the Odin3-v1.85.exe file, press on the PDA button and select the tar.md5 file that comes in the download package. Press Start to start the process.

If the device is in the “FASTBOOT” list, put the phone in Fastboot mode (usually, with the phone off, press and hold the Volume up + Volume down + On buttons), connect the cell phone to the PC with the USB cable, run the file root-windows.bat of the download package and follow the instructions.

KingRoot  ( kingroot.net )

APK application of Chinese origin to root from the same phone and in one touch, without using a computer. In theory it works for phones with Android 2.0 and up, which includes devices with Android 4.4, 5.0 and 5.1.

XDA Developers Forum

If none of the solutions worked for you, you can search in this forum (using the search box «Search All Forums» in the top right) something like «Root Samsung Galaxy S» to see if you find information, software or specific tutorial for Route your phone, tablet or Android device.

Do you want to root a Samsung Galaxy S2, S3, mini, which is with Android 4.1, 4.2, 4.3? Any other make and model of device with any version of Android? Most likely some of these tools will serve you.

There is no compatible utility to root your device? Well, this page will be updated every time an interesting program or application appears that covers other equipment where yours may be.

Remove root

The Kingo software cited above, framaroot and other rooting programs, have built-in function to remove root to a rooted phone (Unroot). This function can be used to revert this change and return the phone to its original state and be able to update your mobile via OTA (provided that you have also installed the original recovery of the manufacturer).

If you have used a program like Odin to root, you may also find tutorials to remove rooting in a “manual” way. You can also find information about returning the flash counter to zero. This can be useful if you want to validate your guarantee.

I’m already superuser now what?

Congratulations. You no longer have restrictions of any kind to do what you want with your Android. A world of possibilities opens up for you. For example, installation of interesting applications that can not be installed by other users than superusers. Also the uninstallation of bloatware (those applications that come installed from the factory in the phone) or advanced management of apps (move, backup or uninstall, no matter what these are). You can achieve maximum and deep customization, installation and management of modified versions of Android (ROMS), and much more.

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