How to Root Android: Two Incredibly Simple Ways to Root Your Android Phone
Have an Android device and want to root it so you can update it to a newer version of Android? Thankfully, it isn’t as difficult as you may think, and you can do it without delving into Android’s system BIOS. But first, let’s clarify the terms rooting and unrooting.
Clearing Up The Confusion: Rooted verse an Unrooted Phone
What is Rooting?
Technically speaking, rooting your phone means giving yourself access as a root user with admin privileges. This process allows you to change system settings, access system files, upgrade the OS, and sideload apps rather than install them through Google Play or similar stores.
What is Unrooting?
Unrooting your phone is the process of retracting your administrative privileges and access as a root user; it is NOT a process of removing root in the OS like the English language would make you think. Like Linux OS and even Windows, you will always have an admin account in the system.
Regardless, you find that the words rooting and unrooting your phone are used interchangeably across the web and in conversation. This scenario does not make things any easier. For the sake of this article, rooting is the process to gain administrative control, and unrooting is the method to remove your root status, not to remove root.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Rooting Your Phone
One of the things that makes Android such a great OS is the ability to customize it. Many consumers prefer to download apps, APKs, and alternative operating systems to their devices. However, there are not only advantages to rooting, but also and disadvantages.
Why Would You Root Your Phone?
Rooting an Android device allows you to manipulate the native operating system. You can customize your phone or tablet in ways that are usually blocked by the system. This function includes installing certain apps, uninstalling bloatware, adjusting the bootloader, upgrading the OS version, installing a different OS, and much more.
Why Would You Not Root Your Phone?
Second, upgrading the OS on your Android smartphone may be impossible. Compatibility issues with new processes and functions could potentially overwork internal components to the point of failure. While you may not want to update your phone, it is essential to remember that many of these updates contain vital security patches. So, if your phone is capable of a newer Android version, it might be worth it.
Third, when rooting your phone, you lose a certain level of protection, allowing risky apps to open and distribute malware, spyware, and other dangerous elements. Furthermore, hackers have a better chance of infiltrating your phone and manipulating it.
Backup Your Data First before Rooting
When doing anything to your Android device, you should back up your essential files. Rooting will wipe data from your phone. Therefore, back up anything you want to keep to cloud storage, SD card, or your PC.
Contacts can get stored in your email account, while photos, documents, and other data can get stored in the Google Suite. If you already have a backup or you don’t care too much for the information on your phone, feel free to save time and skip ahead.
How to Root and Unroot Android Using Magisk
By far, the simplest (and most popular) way to root your Android handset is to use Magisk. This application doesn’t actually modify core code like direct rooting. Magisk leaves the system partition alone; it only changes the boot partition.
The key advantage of using Magisk is that it changes the code without requiring you to have root access. You can change read-only permissions, alter files, and more without going through the tedious root process.
Another name for this type of rooting is “systemless root.” Since it only alters the boot partition, you still have proper access to Google Play. Magisk also lets you access sites that block rooted phones. You can also adjust core settings, manipulate configuration, and more.
How to Root or Unroot Android Using an Android App
Believe it or not, some file explorer apps like ES File Explorer and RS File Manager have a feature to access root files. We recommend RS File Manager since ES File Explorer is loaded with intruding ads to the point of affecting app functionality.
To use either app listed above, you must enable root access. For situations where you only need to add or manipulate files, ES File Explorer and FS File Manager work great without going through that tedious rooting process.
Note: Allowing root access is not the same as actually rooting your phone. You’re just changing user permissions to allow access to root files. ES File Explorer and FS File Explorer use that permission to give you access.
How to Use ES File Explorer to Access Root Files
- Download and install ES File Explorer from Google Play Store.
- Launch ES File Explorer, tap the menu button in the top-left section, and then tap on “Root” to activate root file access.
- Back on the main screen, browse to the root folder (labeled as “/”), and then navigate to “System -> bin, xbin, or sbin,” depending on what you need. You can also browse other folders in root.
How to Use ES File Explorer to Unroot Your Phone
- Open ES File Explorer, Click the menu button, and then click on “Root.”
- Find the “Busybox” and “su” files and delete them. If you can’t find them, navigate back to “/” and open the “app” folder. Delete “superuser.apk.”
- Restart your Android phone, and it should reboot unrooted.
How to Access Root Files or Unroot Android Using FS File Explorer
Generally speaking, the RS File Manager process to access root files or unroot your phone is the same as ES File Explorer above. The only difference is the navigation of the menu options.
Can I just factory reset my device to unroot?
Unrooting your device via factory reset depends on the version of Android you’re running and the rooting software used. In some cases, you may be able to unroot your device by restoring the OS to factory settings.
Does rooting a phone void the warranty?
Yes, in most cases. Even if you unroot your phone, there are ways to tell if the software has been modified. For example, if your flash counter has any number other than “0,” manufacturers will still void the warranty.