Rooting your Android phone might sound risky or intimidating. You might have heard horror stories about bricked and broken devices, but that isn’t the case anymore. Rooting your phone is actually really simple, and it can open up a whole new world of possibilities in the way you use your device. I recently took the plunge and rooted my Samsung Galaxy Epic 4G, and it was a lot easier than I thought. Although the instructions might not be exactly the same for all phone models, I’ll walk you through the process I went through below.
Why Root Your Android Phone?
One thing to know about rooting, is it doesn’t dramatically change your phone in the same way that the iPhone is affected by jailbreaking. In fact, I wasn’t even sure that I had successfully completed a root at first. Your phone will basically be exactly the same, except now you’ll have access to administrator powers that were previously locked away.
Let’s look at just a few of the ways it does change your phone:
- Complete Control of your Phone
The operating system of your phone will be unlocked, this gives you access to do anything you want with it. You can install apps on your SD card, delete bloatware apps installed by your wireless carrier, and completely customize the way your phone’s interface looks.
- You can run apps that require root
Many of the most useful apps for Android requires your phone to be rooted in order to work.
- Backup your ENTIRE phone.
An unrooted backup is very limited in comparison. When your phone is rooted you can backup every single thing, including apps.
- Rooting is usually completely reversible.
- Most carriers won’t give you tech support if they know your phone is rooted, their staff isn’t trained for something so “advanced.” (I’ve found Android tech support useless anyways… Their answer to all problems is always to do a “hard reset.”)
- Depending on your phone manufacturer, your warranty may be void while your phone is rooted. However, you can just unroot your phone and you’re good to go.
Ready to give rooting a try? Let’s get to it.
This is a 2-part article (click a jump-link to view that section of the page)
Install Superuser and Root Your Android Phone
Note: This guide is specific to the Samsung Galaxy Epic 4G phone. The steps will be somewhat similar for other Android phones, but you may need to use different rooting tools (software).
Step 1 (on your PC)
Download the Samsung Drivers for your computer. If you already have them installed for PDAnet or the Android SDK just skip this step. Download either 32-bit or 64-bit depending upon what version of Windows your computer is running.
Once downloaded, just extract the .zip file and run the included Setup.exe to install the drivers.
Step 2 (on your phone)
Then, plug your phone into your computer via your USB charging cord.
Step 3 (on your PC)
Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc on your keyboard to launch Task Manager. Make sure that you don’t have a process called adb.exe running, if you do Select it and Click End Process.
If you don’t see adb.exe, just go to Step 4.
Step 4 (on your PC)
Extract one.click.root.exploitv2.5.5.zip to a folder on your computer, and then Launch run.bat
AT THIS POINT IT IS VERY IMPORTANT THAT YOU DO NOT UNPLUG YOUR USB OR DO ANYTHING ON YOUR PHONE.
Step 5 (on your PC)
This step doesn’t require anything other than waiting, just let run.bat should just do its thing. That’s why they call it “One-Click!” As it operates you’ll see a huge list of things appear in a command prompt, and if all goes well it will eventually say “read finished.” When you see this, just keep waiting.*
Your phone should automatically reboot and then the command prompt on your computer will tell you to “Press any key to continue.” Press a key and the process is finished. You are now rooted!
*If you see any errors that prevent the root from going through, feel free to post them in the comments below and we’ll try to help you out.
Your phone should now be rooted. This means you can do pretty much anything you want to your phone, but more specifically –run all of the apps from the Android Market that require root!
Manage Superuser Privileges (on your phone)
Superuser is the administrative privilege level on your Android phone, it is also referred to as root. One-Click-Root automatically installs the Superuser app on your phone, and this allows you to easily manage which applications are given elevated permissions. Superuser permissions are the Android equivalent to launching a program as an administrator in Windows.
When you run an app that requires root, it will ask you for superuser access. Of course, in order for the app to work you will need to allow it.
To manage superuser permissions, open up your App Drawer and launch the Superuser app.
The apps tab will list all of the programs that you’ve granted permission, this allows you to easily revoke access as well. One tab over you can see a log of all elevated activity on your phone, and then the Settings tab will allow you to customize the Superuser interface. Overall you shouldn’t have to mess with this too much, but now you know it is there.
It can be really scary the first time you try it, but rooting your Android phone is really simple thanks to the many groovy developers out there. Though the Epic 4G requires you use a USB cord