What is Rooting an Android Phone – and How to Do It

Have you ever heard of Rooting an Android and wondered what it is and how to do it? Rooting an Android cell phone is basically the same as Jailbreaking an iPhone. It allows you to have greater access and control of the phones operating system, allowing root permissions which are required by some software apps. When you hear about Rooting an Android phone remember that it can apply to any device that runs Android software including tablets.

 

Do I Need to Root My Android Device?

As with Jailbreaking, Rooting gives you a little more freedom with certain apps and software downloads. Most of the main spy phone software programs will work on non-rooted Android phones but for a couple of the advanced features to work properly your phone may need to be rooted.

For example with MSpy and Flexispy software you can monitor instant messaging services such as WhatsApp on an Android device if it has been rooted. With MobiStealth it also needs to be Rooted to be able to use the Live Control Panel feature. All of the other main features will still work so don’t feel that it is necessary to Root your phone in order to use spy software programs.

 

The Same as Jailbreaking?

Essentially yes although the process is even easier! Jailbreaking an iPhone is totally against Apple’s wishes, they do not provide any official apps to help with the Jailbreaking process – control freaks! Check my article about how to monitor an iPhone here for more details. For Android rooting there are free apps available from trusted sources in the official Google Play store (formerly Android Market).

You still need to take a few important steps to protect your phone before you Root your Android device.

Before You Begin

Just like Jailbreaking, rooting your Android is totally reversible. If anything goes wrong or you wish to restore your phone to its previous settings, you can do a factory reset or reinstall the OS – but this will erase all data on the phone – contacts, e-mails, apps – everything! Before you attempt to root your phone it is essential that you do a full backup of everything. A quick search online will find some good guides about backing up your android device – see resources below. Once you’re backed up you need to ensure the phone is fully charged and then you can begin.

 

How to Root an Android Smartphone

To Root your phone or device you are going to need to download a software app to your PC, then connect your phone to the computer and run the software. There are several good free apps available to download online including: SuperOneClick, Z4Root and Universal AndRoot. I prefer SuperOneClick as it is easy to use and will work for the majority of android phones.

Start by going into your phone settings and enable USB Debugging – see

rooting screenshot

Enable USB Debugging

screenshot. Next download SuperOneClick to your PC – you can find the download Here. Connect your phone to the computer and run the SuperOneClick exe. file. The software should open then all you need to do is click on the Root button. Everything happens automatically and only takes a few minutes. It will confirm when completed and then you should restart the phone (or device). Rooting is completed – easy!

SuperOneClick installs the SuperUser app and whenever any software attempts to get root permissions it will prompt you to allow or deny access. If you trust the software you should select “Remember” and “Allow”.

superoneclick screenshot

SuperOneClick Screenshot

If you’re really into your technology there are lots of other advantages with rooting an android phone or device. You can customize and even speed up your device, install apps on your SD card as opposed to on the phone memory, allowing Bluetooth and Wi-Fi tethering – loads of cool stuff if you’re that way inclined!

If you’re not into all that, stick with the basics and do not read too much – it can all get confusing. Pick out one of the rooting apps, do a complete backup, follow the instructions and go for it.

Top Tip – To make sure your Android has been Rooted successfully you can install a simple free app from the Play Store — Root Checker. Just download it and follow the instructions it will confirm if your device has been Rooted – see screenshot.Root Checker Screenshot

 

Some Useful Resources

If you get into any difficulties and need more detailed information, perhaps for a specific phone you should check out:
XDA Developers Forum at www.forum.xda-developers.com/forumdisplay.php?f=564

There are so many different phones and operating systems that no one site is going to cover all of them – Google is your friend!

For more details another good site is Androidauthority.com – they have good guides about backing up your Android cell phone.

Lastly – for some new additions, check out our own Resources page here.

Remember that for nearly all features on cell phone spy software it is not necessary to Root your Android – only do it if you really need to.

Worried about Security? Check out my articles –

How to Secure Your Phone and Stop Spy Software Apps

How to Remove Spy Software from Your Cell Phone

2 Responses to What is Rooting an Android Phone – and How to Do It

  1. Jon March 16, 2014 at 1:18 am #

    Do I need to backup my phone before rooting? I was told that rooting would not erase my data

    • Michael Keenan March 31, 2014 at 5:39 pm #

      I would always do the backup – just in case something goes wrong. Always better to be safe than sorry!

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