Computer Tricks

How To Root Your Android Phone

Rooting is all the rage these days, especially if you want the latest build of Android running on your phone. Here’s how it’s done

If you’ve been using an Android phone for a few years, or have a mate who is heavily into tech, you’ve probably heard about “rooting”. Essentially, when you root your Android you get access to everything aboard the phone, allowing you to modify the software, optimise performance and delete irksome features – bloatware – you don’t need.
Another huge advantage of rooting is it allows you to install the latest build of Android on your device. For instance: you’ve got a Galaxy S3 and just learned Samsung isn’t updating it to KitKat. Well, if you root your device, that doesn’t really matter, because sooner or later there’ll be a KitKat ROM you can flash onto your device. 
Rooting isn’t just for the hardcore coders and hackers amongst us, either. Literally millions of people run rooted Android phones and the reason for its popularity is pretty simple: rooting removes bloatware; rooting can improve battery performance; rooting takes you out of the where’s-my-update-loop; and, lastly, rooting grants you more control over your device, which, at its core, is what Android is supposed to be all about.
According to a recent study conducted by Tencent, around 27.44% mobile phone users inside the Android space are rocking rooted handsets –– that’s a HUGE figure when you consider just how big the Android space really is. And the reason why these people rooted their Android devices? More than half said they did it because they wanted to remove bloatware –– things like Samsung’s ChatOn and Samsung Apps, for instance, things you cannot get rid of without root access. 
So, how does one liberate their phone from the sometimes uncaring clutches of its creator? Read on to find out. 

First, The Risks 

As with anything, there are potential consequences to rooting your device. So, before proceeding here’s an overview of some things that CAN go wrong, and what happens to your consumer rights once you’ve rooted your Android phone or tablet.
Turn Your Phone Into A Brick – This is the BIG ONE. When you mess around with things like this there’s always the potential for it to go horribly wrong. Sort of like what happened to Regan in The Exorcist, only here it’s your smartphone’s mortal soul on the line. In order to avoid this: follow the steps carefully, ensure you use a sanctioned ROM and do not overclock your CPU too much.
Malware & Viruses – To avoid your phone being compromised by malware, hackers or bugs, it’s best to keep it official when downloading content. Stick to Google Play or other reputable app stores. Avoid anything remotely Chinese or Russian. If it costs money and is offered for free elsewhere, there’s usually a catch – so keep it safe, stick to Play. 

What You’ll Need 

  • An Android smartphone, obviously.
  • The USB cable it came with.
  • A PC running Kingo Android Root or SuperOneClick – click the link to download and install. In this guide we used Kingo to root our handset. 
(Note: SuperOneClick was built by XDA Developers, can root almost any Android phone and features a ton of supporting content – things like videos, guides and articles) 

Unlocking The Bootloader

In order to root your Android phone or tablet, you will first need to unlock your bootloader. The bootloader is, essentially, a programme for determining what applications run during the phone or tablet’s startup process. Once unlocked you’ll be able to fully customise your phone or tablet. And thankfully a lot of manufacturers now allow you to do this, though they usually require you to register an account. Here's some official programmes from Motorola, HTC and Sony. 
If you’re using another device, built by a manufacturer not on the above list (Samsung, for instance), don’t worry: it can still be done. All it takes is a quick search on the XDA Developers Forums. Here’s how you unlock the Samsung Galaxy S3’s bootloader

Right, Lets Root This Mother! 

Okay, you’ve downloaded Kingo Android Root to your Windows PC. Next you need to go to Settings on your Android phone/tablet and switch on USB Debugging. If you can see “USB Debugging” make sure you have “Developer Options” switched on – Settings > About Phone > Developer Options > tick USB debugging. Finally, tap OK to approve setting. 
Once that’s done, attach your Android device to you PC via the USB Cable.
Kingo Android Root should recognise your phone (as will SuperOneCLick). Once it does, select the “Root” button and sit back and relax; the entire process should take a few minutes, and you can expect a few reboots along the way.
And that’s it. Your Android phone/tablet is rooted, opening up a myriad of customization and software options to you. For the most up-to-date ROMs, tweaks and guides, do check out and become a member of the XDA Developer Forums – it’s a hot bed of information for this type of thing.

Here’s What You Can Now Do With Your Rooted Phone 

You’ve rooted the phone and nobody – including your phone – died in the process. Congrats. The next stage in your journey is finding cool mods and tweaks for your phone. As always, an excellent repository of information is XDA Developers forum. You’ll find everything you need here. So, what kind of things can you do now your Android is rooted? Glad you asked:

Install Custom ROMs

The first thing you’ll want to do is install a custom ROM. Again, there’s a myriad of options available to you now your phone’s been liberated – so feel free to explore your options. One of the best in the business, however, is CyanogenMod. It’s stable, regularly updated and always uses the latest and greatest build of Android. Definitely worth a look, if you’re new to the rooting game. 

Banish Bloatware

If you bought your Android on contract, chances are it is jam-packed with bloatware (translation: useless software put on by handset makers and carriers). You’ll want to get rid of this superfluous BS right away, and to do so we recommend you use Titanium Backup – it’s simple and very easy to get to grips with. Bye, bye, bloatware!

Overclock The CPU

Having root access to your device’s software opens up a lot of doors if you’re interested in performance boosts. For instance, say you want more CPU power when playing games, all you need to do is download Set CPU – or something similar – and configure it to kick the CPU into overdrive once you boot up Dead Trigger 2. 

Improve Battery Life

You can do similar things with customized kernels also. Many are about maximizing a particular handset’s performance and getting more out of older hardware; handy if you’re running something like the Galaxy S3 or HTC One S. Other kernels are all about power conservation and are designed to improve the efficiency and, therefore, battery life of your Android. 
These are just a few things you can now do with your Android handset. But it really is just the tip of the iceberg. There’s a whole universe of mods, tweaks and bizarre application you now have access to, so get out there and start enjoying them. 
Keep on moddin’, mother truckers! 
How To Root Your Android Phone How To Root Your Android Phone Reviewed by Anmol Agarwal on 3:17:00 pm Rating: 5