If you own an Android Smartphone or Tablet, you must have heard about the term “Root”. But, what does Rooting your Android device mean? What all benefits would you be able to enjoy if you Root your Android device?
In the following guide, we’d briefly go through the concept of Rooting, it’s benefits, and how you could easily root your Android device.
What is Rooting?
The term “Rooting” means giving your Android device, Administrative privileges, i.e. the ability to gain access to the system files of Android OS (similar to root access in Linux). By default, the Admin (root) account on Android is locked, and you’re only provided with a guest account. Rooting your device unlocks it for you, so that you could have the ability to customize your device a lot more than a non-rooted device. We’d talk more about the benefits of Rooting in the next section.
What all could I do after Rooting my device?
To be honest, this space is not big enough to describe all the benefits of rooting your device. Also, keeping in mind that this guide is for beginners, we’d talk about only a few major ones here.
1. Increase your Device Performance
The firmware, which comes pre-installed when you purchase a new Android device, is known as Stock ROM i.e. a ROM provided by the device manufacturers. Stock ROMs are non-rooted, and usually contain bloatware which you can’t uninstall, or stop from automatically running in the background, thus, occupying precious memory space, and utilizing CPU resources. This degrades the overall performance of your device, and you may even experience lag issues.
As mentioned earlier that rooting lets you access and modify OS files on your device, you could have full control over which applications you want to Freeze/Kill, or stop from loading itself. This would ensure that the memory and CPU resources are utilized by the applications you use on a regular basis, thus, enhancing your device performance, and battery life as well.
2. Overclocking your Device
With Root access, you may Overclock your device i.e. increase the clock-speed of your device processor, from the default maximum set by the device manufacturers. This also have a significant effect on your device performance.
3. Flash Custom ROMs
Custom ROMs are Android firmwares, which are provided by the Android community developers. These ROMs have no relation to the Stock ROMs provided by the device manufacturers such as Samsung, HTC, Motorola, etc. They are usually free of bloatware, and contain a lot of useful customization features, which Stock ROMs don’t provide. High performance and battery life of your device is considered to be the key focal point.
Only devices with Root access could flash Custom ROMs, making it another important reason on why you should root your device. Flashing Custom ROMs are worth a shot.
4. Install Applications for Rooted Device
There are a lot of wonderful applications, which aren’t available for non-rooted users such as Titanium Backup, Root Explorer, Gemini App Manager, Busy Box, Build.Prop Editor to name a few. To enjoy the benefits of these apps, you need to have Root access on your device.
5. Extra Customization
There are many different customization options, which you could enjoy only after gaining system-level access to your device. These features include changing the screen density of your device, freeing internal storage by moving applications to external storage (even forcing those which the device marks as unmovable), and many more.
There must be some catch here?
As we all know that nothing’s perfect, and everything which has it’s merits, also have some demerits. Rooting your device only have a couple of major demerits, which are explained below.
- Voiding your Device Warranty – Rooting voids your device’s warranty, and if something happens to your rooted device, the company may not register the complaint, or may even charge you to fix it. There are a few methods available to Un-root your device, but not all of them are reliable, and there’s no guarantee that those methods would work on your Android device.
- Risk of Bricking your Device – While rooting your device, or flashing a Custom ROM or Kernel, your device may get “bricked” or damaged. This could be due to power failure, corrupt files or anything in particular. There’s always a risk, so it’s generally advised to follow the instructions to the point, while flashing on your device. With time, the rooting methods have improved significantly, and chances of bricking your device have reduced, but they can’t be ruled out of the picture completely.
How do I Root my Android Device?
Most of you might not want to proceed with gaining root access on your device because of the above demerits. Personally, for me it was a risk worth taking for all the benefits mentioned above. But, I won’t encourage you to do so if you feel uncomfortable with it. It’s a personal choice, and if you plan to take the risk and ignore the demerits, here’s how you could root your Android device.
Earlier, there were different rooting methods for different devices, but recently, a few scripts and applications have been developed, which lets you root any Android device. But of course, if these scripts don’t work out for you, you may look for rooting methods, specific to your device on XDA Developer Forums.
Here are the two methods which have been largely successful for most Android devices:
- SuperOneClick – A desktop-based application, which lets you root your Android device easily. Detailed instructions could be found at the official thread on XDA Developers.
- Root by Bin4ry – A rooting script, specific to Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) or JellyBean (JB) devices only. Installation instructions could be located at the official thread on XDA Developers.
After gaining root access to your device, a SuperUser app would be installed automatically, which let’s you manage the access settings for those applications which require root access to work properly.
Always make sure you read the instructions carefully, or it might lead to unexpected consequences. Let us know which method works best for your device, in the comments section below.