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How and Why to Root your Android Device- A Complete Walkthrough

Rooting- a terminology which you would have surely come across while flicking through numerous tech-blogs online, or while browsing some apps on Play Store.

So, what exactly is the root of this rooting? Why do you need it? What are its pros and cons? And most importantly, how do you root your device?

Let’s dig.

What exactly is rooting?

Android, as we all know is an archetype of Linux. All Linux systems conventionally have a root user account, which is endowed with administrator level privileges. A root user on Linux is equivalent to an administrator on Windows. It is capable of monitoring system activities and altering the system preferences.

Android, being a clone of Linux, also has a root user account. However, the phone manufacturers do not provide root privileges by default, as that could allow some malicious apps to gain stringent control over the device operations and disrupt the proper functioning. Hence, device manufacturers lock you into a restricted level account, purely to augment the security model of the smartphone/tablet.

By rooting your device, you gain administrator level privileges and you can choose to delegate those permissions to apps. Rooting is very much analogous to Jailbreaking for iOS devices.

Why should you root your phone?

Rooting your phone would allow you to perform operations on your Android device, which won’t otherwise be accessible to a normal user. For instance, you can adjust your processor’s speeds (overclocking), control status lights, recalibrate touch or modify/delete system files. For instance, you can remove the annoying Google+ app on your phone, which comes pre-embedded with the stock firmware.

You can also remove and replace device’s operating system with a more recent version of the operating system. Hence, even if you’re using a debilitated phone, you can enjoy the scoop of Jellybeans or Ice Cream Sandwich on your device. You can also install Custom ROMs like CyanogenMod 10, MIUI, DarkyROM, if the conventional Android versions do not match your taste.

Understanding the risks

Though rooting has many advantages, it does not necessarily mean rooting is the ‘Holy Grail’ of smartphone computing.

Before rooting your phone, make sure you fully understand the risk involved in rooting your phone:



Rooting your phone may void your warranty, as some manufacturers insist that phone should not be rooted during the warranty period.

However, there are manifold ways in which you can “unroot” your device. Rooting is a completely reversible process, which means you can remove the root from your phone any time you want, without leaving any trails. We would explore unrooting in the latter part of this guide.

After you unroot your phone, your phone is again into the default factory state and the manufacturer has no way to dig out the fact that the phone was rooted.

Note: Please make sure you do not take up your rooted device to the manufacturer’s service centre for service/repairs, without unrooting it.

Malicious apps:

Rooting can potentially disrupt the security of your Android device, if you install apps from untrusted providers.

By default, Android OS does not allow malicious apps to read sensitive data like credit-card numbers or stored PIN numbers. However, rooted apps have the required permissions to read such critical data. Hence, if you’re using your device for numerous online transactions, you might want to reconsider the decision to root your gizmo.

That being said, if you install applications only from trusted providers, you would not face much of a security threat.


That’s what your phone might become, if you are not careful during the rooting process. If you flash your phone using corrupted/buggy software, you might just end up turning your phone into a brick.

That being said, the rooting process is too simple for occasional goof-ups. Just make sure you download the kernels and flashing software from trusted forums and sites. On a personal note, I have rooted and unrooted my phone over 10 times, and never has the process predicated me.

Rooting your phone

Though the rooting process is extremely simple, it differs widely from one phone to another. There are lots of guides available online, which would help you root your Android phone.

However, we are going to recommend a relatively new method, which has been developed by an XDA developer- Bin4ry. We think the method is pretty cool as it is universally applicable and saves you from much hassle. The only limitation however is that your Android phone should be running either Ice Cream Sandwich or Jellybean OS.

The steps to rooting your phone are as mentioned below:

1)      Make sure your phone runs Android 4.0 or more. (Go to Settings-> About Phone) Do not proceed with a version less than 4.0

2)      The process is strictly confined to Windows computers. Make sure you have USB drivers of your phone loaded properly and disable your firewall/antivirus.

3)      Backup all your contacts, messages and data. Rooting might wipe off your data completely.

4)      Check the USB debugging mode by going to Setting->  {} Developer options

5)      Download the script from here. Extract the zip file and run the runme.bat file from your Windows computer.

6)      Select the type of installation in the command line window. Sony users require Backup & Restore app to be present on their system for the rooting to work. Hence, if you are a Sony user, select Special. If you have a Samsung/HTC or any other Android smartphone, select Normal. If you wish to unroot your phone, select unroot.

7)      Just follow the simple on-screen instruction then and you’re done.

There are other ways of rooting your phone too, like ClockWorkmod recovery, Odin One click recovery or using ADB command shell. You can explore them, if the above mentioned method does not work for you.

How to check if your device is rooted?

To check if your device is rooted or not, download an app called Root Checker from here. The app would request for permission and show you the status.

Unrooting your device

Once you have rooted your phone, if the Superuser app does not get installed autonomously, make sure you download the app and install it. You can unroot your phone any time using the Superuser app. You can also use the script mentioned above to unroot your phone.

Unrooting your phone might be necessary, when you need to take your phone to the manufacturer’s service centre. Once you unroot your phone, there is no way the manufacturer can make out that the phone was previously rooted. However, just in case, if your phone shows a little triangle symbol, you can wither it away by downloading the Triangle Away app from Play Store.

Is it legal?

On July 26 2010, the U.S copyright office made rooting any device officially legal. Moreover, installing third-party applications and unlocking the phone for use on multiple carriers was also made licit. [Wikipedia]

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