How to Root Android Phone or Tablet – What is rooting?
Rooting an Android device, phones and tablets, is the process of allowing a person to have extra privileges on said device. This is known as root access and sometimes also referred to as super user access on the device. In short, with rooting you’re now the administrator of the device not much different than using an administrator account on Windows. It’s pretty much “access all areas”.
Here are a couple of FAQs on Rooting Android. Is rooting illegal?
No. If it was, there would be around 80,000,000 Android device owners that someone needs to arrest!! This is according to the main screen of iRoot. It used to be illegal but that’s all been changed. Have any doubts? A simple Google search would clear those doubts. Think of it as, how can it be illegal with so many programs and methods openly available for rooting Android devices? Any other legal concerns are based on any contracts you signed concerning your device.
Can I still get the official updates from my carrier?
Yes. As long as you didn’t install a custom ROM on your device. Then again, rooting was also about trying out various custom ROMs which have so many different configurations and capabilities. Many of which also have their own updates. If you did NOT install a custom ROM, the official updates can break your root. The fun part is, you can usually redo the root!!
Does rooting void my warranty?
Yes. The upside is, in the case where you either don’t care about the warranty, or don’t have a warranty any more, or you’re capable of properly un-rooting your device using the methods described below, then you don’t have to worry. Otherwise, you might want to consider things very carefully first.
What is Bricking my phone?
Bricking your phone is just as the name implies. You make a mistake or if something goes wrong while you attempt to root it and you now have a very fancy brick that used to be your Android device. Yes there IS a chance to fix it. No, it’s not always a very good chance or an easy fix. You can learn more by referring disadvantages and benefits of rooting android phone.
Different methods to root Android phone.
DO NOTE: These methods will NOT work on every device. There’re some devices that simply want to be a nuisance about it. You can also check out The XDA Developers Forums and see if your device is listed there and has rooting instructions for it. Try to be very specific about it concerning your device.
Method #1: Use iRoot.
This first method uses iRoot (previously known as VROOT). iRoot is literally one of the easiest methods of rooting an Android device.
It runs on Windows XP and above. Literally it takes one single click once your device is setup.
Step #1: Download and install the iRoot application.
Step #2: Setup your Android device by turning on USB Debugging (if it’s not on already). Most Android devices will automatically have USB Debugging turned on by default (standard). You simply plug your device into the USB port of your PC or laptop and it will show. Others will have to turn it on manually in the Settings of the device. Typically the setting is found in the Developer Options section of Settings. If the Developer Options are not showing, go to the About Phone/Device section and find the Build Number. Keep tapping the Build Number and it should eventually turn on the Developer Options.
Step #3: If your device is not already connected to your PC or laptop with the USB cable, go ahead and connect it.
Step #4: Once your device is ready (that might take a few minutes), run iRoot (right click and Run as Administrator if need be) and click the User Agreement box to make sure it’s checked. Then click the Connect button. Be sure your PC or laptop is online before you start. iRoot needs this.
Step #5: iRoot will first check to see if your device is supported. If it is, then it automatically checks for and downloads any needed drivers/files for your device.
Step #6: Once iRoot is ready, it will also tell you if your device is already rooted. If it is, you’re already done. If it isn’t, click the Root button and wait for it. During the rooting process, you might see an app (SuperSU) running on your device in Chinese. This is normal and you don’t have to worry about it. You’re done!!
Step #7: Once your device is rooted, it will be restarted as needed. Do NOT unplug or otherwise disconnect it from your computer until it’s done. If your device asks for root permissions, click the Grant button.
Step #8: Once all that is done, or if your device was already rooted, iRoot switches to another screen showing various apps, ringtones, and some others that you can install. DO NOTE: Those things are in Chinese.
Step #9: It doesn’t get much easier!! iRoot is free so there’s one less worry. Also note that the number of devices showing in the above picture is the number of times iRoot is known to have worked. It’s NOT the number of supported devices!! And yes, there’s a un-root option on it too.
Method #2: This next method uses Kingo software.
The steps to use Kingo Root are pretty much the same as for iRoot. The differences are:
- They both use a different set of methods to root your Android device. It still roots android device though.
- The Kingo Root application is a bit smaller in download size.
- The Kingo Root web site has a lot more content compared to iRoot. This tends to be helpful for many. There’re various sections on their web site in hopes that anyone checking it out can get the information they need quickly.
- iRoot has a larger number of supported devices. Both are still pretty big enough though.
- Didn’t spot any Chinese apps/text in Kingo Root.
- Kingo Root doesn’t seem to have any check to see if your Android device is already rooted (nothing spotted that was working when I used it. I could have missed something on this one!!).
- Kingo Root seems to be a bit slower. Wasn’t that big of a difference but some do like to complain.
Even though the steps involved in using either program are nearly identical, the idea behind including both programs is to provide options. There’s a chance one of them won’t work for your device. So rather than having to go looking again, here’s another choice.
Method #3: Root android phone without using Computer (Using APK file on mobile)
This last method uses the iRoot.APK app (big surprise, right?). It’s available from the iRoot web site listed above. You guessed right if you guessed it works exactly like the Windows version. The main difference is you don’t need a PC at all. With the APK version, you simply get in onto your phone, install it using any file manager your Android device already has, and run it. As to how you get it onto your device, that’s up to you. Download it onto your PC and transfer it to your device or use any web browser that’s already installed on your device to download it. Refer rooting android without PC to get list of available apps.
Now it’s a matter of “why are these specific programs listed?”
- Simply put, most would want a “kind and gentle” or “quick n painless” method of rooting their Android device. One click methods don’t get much easier. No fuss, no muss, no need to research every word used, and no need for a degree from M.I.T. just to be able to understand half of it!!
- They’re all free. One less thing to worry about is usually counted as a good thing.
- They can un-root when needed. This comes in surprisingly handy. Often more times than it is given credit for.
- They’re puny. It won’t take long at all to download them. Unless of course your GPRS or ultra high warp speed 9.6Kbps connection isn’t “fully cooperating” that day!! It’s good to download fast to help reduce the chance of being caught while piggybacking on someone’s connection.
There’re a large number of various rooting methods and programs available. After checking into so many of them, these two/three seem to have the fewest complaints against them. Said complaints are actual program defects/bugs. Not really a matter of someone was having a problem due to lack of knowledge, someone being a joker, or someone just being a crybaby (rotten attitude anyway just because they can) about it.
Good luck and Happy Android Rooting.