Android is one of the most open, versatile, and customizable mobile operating systems out there. Android rooting opens up a world of possibility. What is rooting? And why do you need to root your Android phone?
What is rooting?
Rooting is jailbreaking for Androids and allows users to dive deeper into a phone’s sub-system. Essentially, it’ll allow you to access the entire operating system and be able to customize just about anything on your Android.
With root access, you can get around any restrictions that your manufacturer or carrier may have applied. You can run more apps, you can overclock or underclock your processor, replace the firmware.
The process requires users to back up current software and flashing (installing) a new custom ROM (modified version of Android).
Why do you need to root your Android phone?
1. Flash a Custom ROM
One of the best benefits of rooting is to flash a custom ROM. A custom ROM is basically a custom version of Android, and it truly changes how you use your phone. Some merely bring a stock version of Android to non-stock
phones, or later versions of Android to phones that don’t have it yet. Some add a few handy features, some add lots of really unique features, and some change your operating system from head to toe. No matter what phone
you have—even if it’s a Nexus—we highly recommend checking out the custom ROMs out there. You won’t be disappointed. Note: As some of you have noted, you don’t actually need root access to flash a custom ROM—though
you will need to unlock your bootloader (a process that sometimes comes bundled with root access). Still, it requires freeing your device from manufacturer lockdowns, so we’ve kept it in the list despite this technicality!
2. Unlock Hidden Features and Install “Incompatible” Apps
Sometimes, even Android isn’t open enough to give you some of the features you want. Either an app is blocked by carriers, hacks into Android’s system files, or otherwise isn’t available. Luckily, rooting can help with that: you
can install carrier-blocked apps, get features from the latest version of Android, make incompatible apps compatible, power up your hardware, get features like Beats Audio from other phones, or emulate exclusive features like
those on the Moto X. Whatever you want, rooting gives you the power to do a lot more. For instace, you can pricesly run Android data recovery App
3. Block Ads in Any App
Look, we of all people understand the need for occasional ads—it’s how we make money. But ads can also get in the way and use up data. If you want to block ads in certain apps or on certain devices, rooting is by far the best
way to do so. AdFree, AdBlock Plus, and Ad Away are all great options. Of course, if you aren’t rooted, going into airplane mode works in a pinch too.
4. Remove Preinstalled Crapware
Titanium Backup is good for more than just backups, too. It can also uninstall that annoying, battery-draining, space-wasting crapware that comes preinstalled on so many phones these days—and, sadly, this feature is root-
only. Freeze them first to make sure your phone operates normally without them, then delete them completely to free up that space. You’ll be glad you did. Photo by Daniel Sancho.
5. Back Up Your Phone for Seamless Transitions
When you move to a new Android device—or restore your device to stock for any reason—you can make your life a lot easier by backing up your apps and settings first. That way, you can get your entire setup back in just a few
taps. If you aren’t rooted, you can back up a few things like apps and data, but you won’t necessarily be able to backup system apps and their data, or automate the entire process as well as Titanium Backup can. Check out our
guide to Titanium Backup for more tips. Lost data and do not have a backup? See the method!
6. Boost Your Phone’s Speed and Battery Life
You can do a lot of things to speed up your phone and boost its battery life without rooting, but with root—as always—you have even more power.