With hundreds of Android devices on the market, many users are curious about how they can root their phones to have full control of their phone. If you’re thinking about rooting your phone, let’s see how you can benefit from it, the pros and cons and even how you can do it for the phone you have now.
What is rooting?
Rooting is a procedure where the user can gain access to the operating system of the phone. For a second, picture your phone as a desktop computer. If you were to log on your desktop computer as a guest, you wouldn’t have a lot of options, would you? When you root an Android device, this is going to give you the freedom of changing anything in the system that the default system generally doesn’t allow you to do. In desktop terms, you’ll now gain access as an administrator user. Rooting is very similar to the iPhone jailbreaking situation.
Will I lose data and apps?
One of the biggest concerns that Android users have is if data and apps will be destroyed. Thankfully, all of your apps will stay intact. In fact, you probably won’t see much of a difference since the rooting process will just shift a few files around. Yes, serious problems can happen, but it’s very rare.
Why should I root?
Rooting is a great way to have more freedom with your phone. Wouldn’t it be cool to change the colors on your wallpaper? What if you could download apps that make your Android faster? By pushing the restrictive permissions aside, you’ll have full control of your phone.
The Pros of Rooting
Freedom – While the Android already gives you freedom to download just about any app on the Android Marketplace, rooting will take you one step further giving you complete control. With a rooted phone, you’ll be able to disable permissions, use FTP clients, customize your home screen, over clock the CPU and tether your phone to treat it like a hotspot.
Backing Up Data – There are many great apps that work solely with rooted phones. One of the biggest reasons that people root is based on the backup functions. With certain apps such as Titanium Backup, users can click a button and backup their data from anywhere.
Moving Apps – The problem with a standard Android phone is that when apps are downloaded, it can take up a lot of internal memory. With a rooted phone, users can have move apps to the SD card and not have them eat up that memory.
Carriers – Don’t want to be locked in with the cell phone carrier that you have now? Rooting can give you the freedom of choosing any cell phone carrier that you want.
The Cons of Rooting
Warranty – One of the main reasons that people shy away from rooting their Android is because it can potentially void your service provider warranty. Keep in mind that most rooting processes can be reverted though if this were to happen. In certain circumstances, there have been reports where users have damaged their data due to rooting improperly. As long as you follow directions step-by-step, there’s no reason you shouldn’t have this kind of problem.
Data Loss – As touched upon earlier, you can risk the chance of losing all of your data and apps. To prevent this from happening, just make sure that you backup all of your data ahead of time. That way, if the worst case scenario does happen, you can restore all of your previous settings.
Buggy – Again, this is not common but some roots can cause the phone to be buggy and glitchy. This will solely depend upon what route you’ll take when rooting your phone.
How to Root
Rooting can be done through several applications that run directly on your desktop. One application in particular named SuperOneClick is by far the most popular application used by root junkies. This application can be run either on Windows or Linux operating systems. There are other software programs that can be used aside from SuperOneClick such as Unlock Root, Universal Androot and Z4Root. No matter what software you use, most work the same way with the instructions noted below.
Now, before we start with this process, there are some models that don’t work with this software. The phones that don’t work are listed below:
- EVO 4G
- Incredible by Droid
- HTC Desire GSM, CDMA and Aria
If your phone isn’t on that list, you can follow the directions listed below to successfully root your phone. If your phone is on the list, you’ll have to take extra steps. The best way to find these steps is by searching your model plus the word root via a search engine query. Be forewarned that you should do this at your own risk!
- Install the SuperOneClick software online. This can be done by searching online as there are many resources available. When found, download it directly to your desktop. Make sure that you’re running the latest .NET Framework v2.0.
- Enable the USB debugging from your Android device. This can be done by tapping menu, clicking settings > applications > settings. On the settings menu, click “enable USB debugging.”
- After debugging, make sure that your SD isn’t mounted. Tap your menu button, and click “SD Card & Phone Storage.” Look for “Unmount SD Card” and click this.
- Once these settings have been changed, it’s now time to run the SuperOneClick software on your desktop. This can be done by double-clicking the SuperOneClick.exe file. A dialog box should pop up.
- Once this box is up, plug your Android into your computer using the USB line. Click the “root” button on your desktop. Wait for it to root. If successfully rooted, you’ll get a success message. If you receive an error, there’s a good chance your phone isn’t compatible.
Your Android phone should successfully be rooted by now if you followed the prompts above. Now that your Android has been rooted, it’s recommended that you download apps so that you can successfully play around with your phone and files. Listed below are some apps that most download in order to manage files, execute scripts and manage apps. It’s highly recommended that you download the apps listed or find an alternative that performs the same job.
- ES File Explorer: This file manager app is designed for heavy root users. You’ll be able to get access to an entire file system, change permissions and even explore data directories. Beyond file management, this app also has a security manager, SMB client and FTP to transfer files from your PC.
- Silent App Uninstaller: Silent App allows you to remove unwanted apps with a click of a button. The problem with an Android that isn’t rooted is that files can be left on your phone unknowingly. This app will make sure that every file associated with that app is wiped off your phone.
- CPU Tuner: CPU tuner will help regulate the CPU speed and connections. It will also help save battery power. With sophisticated features, you’ll be able to create options based on your battery level and can even toggle WiFi and CPU settings.
- SSH Tunnel: SSH Tunnel will make sure that no one can drop in and eavesdrop while you’re on a public WiFi network or hotspot. Since there are a variety of apps that can hack Android devices on hotpots, you’ll want to make sure that you’re protected.
When rooting your phone, just make sure that you do your homework first. You’ll want to make sure that it is something that you’ll truly enjoy. Remember that even if you don’t like what you’re seeing, you can always change your phone back to the way it was. If you’re having a hard time with the instructions working above, or you’re finding that your phone doesn’t root, it probably means that your phone isn’t meant for that software package. Instead, it’s recommended that you search your exact phone model online to see exactly how you can root your phone. No matter what Android device you own, you can root it some way or another.