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Root Android

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Root Android: If you have friends who are passionate about technology, you have surely heard of Android root . This is a procedure by which it is possible to override some limitations normally provided by the operating system of the green robot and act in more depth on the settings of your smartphone or tablet.

In practice, this translates into the possibility of using applications to adjust some advanced parameters, such as processor performance; make full backups of apps and data; move applications to microSD cards even when it would not be allowed and much more. However, as you will soon discover, enabling root permissions on a device has material consequences, such as voiding the warranty in some cases; moreover, the procedure is not without risks and a single mistake could completely compromise the functioning of the smartphone or tablet.

In any case, if you are really interested in deepening this topic, take a few minutes of time and carefully read everything I have to explain to you about it: I’m sure that, at the end of reading this guide, you will have perfectly understood what are the benefits and risks of the root and you will be able to make a decision in complete autonomy. That said, there is nothing left for me to do but wish you good reading and good luck!

Preliminary information

I am sure that, if you find yourself on this guide, it is because you have discovered that obtaining root permissions on Android further unlocks the possibilities of customizing the operating system, allowing interventions on delicate parts of the same after installing special apps.

If, on the one hand, this is true, on the other you must know that putting the root procedure into practice requires time, patience and extreme precision : in fact, a single error in any step is enough to make the device irremediably unusable .

Among other things, rooting a device often voids its warranty (depending on the manufacturer’s policies); moreover, the root procedure almost always involves formatting the Android memory, with consequent loss of personal data.

And it doesn’t stop there: I would like to tell you that unlocking Android’s advanced permissions makes the device extremely vulnerable in terms of security. One tap too many is enough to allow an app, even unconsciously, to act on delicate parts of memory, which could contain personal data or, even worse, security information.

Moreover, having active root permissions significantly increases the risk of contracting malware such as viruses , Trojans , spyware or, even worse, ransomware that are very difficult to eradicate (which could lead to extremely unpleasant consequences).

So, before even doing anything, carefully evaluate the risks and benefits and evaluate if the root can actually be right for you; moreover, if you do not have much experience with the world of Android, I recommend that you get the assistance of a person who is more knowledgeable on the subject, at least at the beginning: this will undoubtedly limit the possibility of problems caused by inexperience or, even worse, distraction.

How to root Android

How to root Android

After understanding the risks and benefits of rooting Android , the time has come to explain to you, in practice, how to achieve this result.

Basically, to obtain root permissions, it is necessary to follow a well-defined sequence of actions, which requires the availability of a computer: below you will list the main steps.

First of all, on the PC from which to act, you need to download three fundamental elements: ADB , the Android utility that allows you to issue commands from your computer; fastboot , the official tool to be able to operate on the boot area of ​​the device; and the drivers of the device itself, to ensure that it is recognized.

Next, it is necessary to activate the USB debugging mode on the device, in order to allow communication and the acquisition of commands from the computer; Once this is done, you need to unlock the bootloader of the Android device, which is the memory component that manages the startup of the operating system. This operation, however, involves the complete loss of the data present in the memory, therefore it is always advisable to make a preliminary backup of the same, before proceeding.

Unfortunately, some bootloader unlocking procedures require authorization from the device manufacturer, after obtaining a code; this procedure may not be immediate. Some smartphones, such as those of the Android One line , allow you to unlock the bootloader immediately, via fastboot, simply by activating a specific option in the developer menu.

After unlocking the bootloader, you can proceed with the installation of the customized Recovery : if you had never heard of it, it is a small operating system independent of Android, which allows you to write directly to system files ( flashing operation ) and to carry out some other emergency actions.

Finally, you need to download the app to get the root and flash it using the previously installed Recovery: at the next restart of the device, the root permissions will finally be available.

As you may have noticed, the procedure I have shown you so far is absolutely generic and does not contain any reference to specific apps, programs or devices: the world of Android is extremely fragmented and each smartphone, or tablet, needs a specific procedure to perform the operations. that I have indicated to you so far.

For this reason, I am unable to provide you with a procedure valid for all smartphone models, but only “guidelines” applicable in general. However, to give you an idea of ​​how the root procedure is completed, I can explain how to act on a specific model of smartphone in my equipment, the Xiaomi Mi A1 , from the Windows operating system , using the TWRP Recovery and the app for the root Magisk .

For your information, the Xiaomi Mi A1 is a device belonging to the Android One line, ie devices whose bootloader can be unlocked “on the fly”, directly with fastboot; the procedure that I am about to illustrate can be easily replicated on other Android One smartphones and on those of the Pixel family, except for small functional details (such as installing the exact drivers for the device and downloading the specific version of TWRP).

Download ADB, Fastboot and drivers

Root Android

In order to unlock the bootloader and install the custom Recovery, it is essential to download the Android ADB and Fastboot tools in advance : in simple terms, ADB allows you to perform a series of operations on the device, directly from the computer, while Fastboot allows you to operate on parts external to Android.

Both tools are included in Android Studio but, for simplicity, we will use a “minimal” version of the same, which can be downloaded directly from the XDA forum: to obtain it, connected to this website , click on the Download version XXX Portable link and then on the Click Here to Start Download and Primary Download buttons , located on the next page, to download the compressed archive to your computer. Once the download is complete, extract the file to a folder of your choice, convenient to remember: you will need it later.

At this point, it may be necessary to install the specific Fastboot drivers for the device in your possession: in my case, you can achieve this by downloading the official Mi Unlock tool , which allows you to obtain the aforementioned drivers in just one click.

To obtain it, connected to this Internet page , click on the Download Mi Unlock button and wait for the file to be downloaded to your computer; now, extract the compressed archive in the folder you prefer, open it and run the miflash_unlock.exe file contained within it.

Now, click on the Agree button and, when the login screen on Mi Account appears , click on the gear symbol located at the top right and then on the Check button , located at the wording Click the button to install the drive . Finally, click on the Yes button twice consecutively and, when the Connect device again message appears , connect the smartphone to the computer using the USB cable and wait for the driver installation to complete. Finally, click on the Close button and close the Mi Unlock window.

Unlock the bootloader

Root Android

Now, to operate on the device in ADB / Fastboot mode, you need to enable the Android development options . To succeed in the enterprise, open the operating system Settings , by tapping on the gear symbol located on the Home screen or in the drawer of the device, reach the System> About phone sections and tap seven consecutive times on the word Build number , until you see a message notifying you that you have become a developer .

Once this is done, return to the previous menu, access the Advanced> Development options sections and move the lever relating to the USB debugging item from OFF to ON , responding affirmatively to the warning shown below.

Now, since we are operating on a smartphone belonging to the Android One line, it is possible to prepare it immediately to unlock the bootloader, without having to request authorization from the manufacturer (which happens, however, for manufacturers such as Sony , Motorola and Xiaomi itself. , for smartphones not belonging to the “Mi A” line): to do this, again from the Development Options menu , move the lever relating to the OEM unlock item from OFF to ON and answer affirmatively to the next warning. Please note that, following this operation, any advanced system protection mechanisms will be disabled.

If your smartphone manufacturer does not provide official instructions for unlocking the Android boot sector, I recommend that you Google for phrases such as unlock bootloader [make and model of device] .

Now you are ready to act: keeping your phone connected to your computer, go to the ADB / Fastboot tools folder you extracted earlier, double-click the cmd-here executable file , in order to open a Command Prompt window, then type inside the command adb devicesand press Enter .

After a few moments, a request for authorization for communication with the computer should appear on the Android device: put the check mark next to the item Always allow from this computer , visible on the Android screen , and tap the OK button to provide the necessary permissions .

Once this is done, return to the Command Prompt window, issue the instruction again adb devicesand verify that the device is correctly recognized (you will see the word device appear in correspondence with its ID).

To restart the device in Fastboot mode, issue the command adb reboot bootloaderand enter : following this operation, the Android device should reboot instantly and access the bootloader.

When you turn it on, still in the Command Prompt, issue the command fastboot devicesand check that the terminal is correctly recognized. To unlock the bootloader, aware that this operation will delete the contents of the memory, issue the command fastboot oem unlockand enter : within a few moments, the smartphone should restart a few times and restore the memory , which could take a few minutes.

Booting immediately after the reset can take a long time – don’t worry, this is completely normal. Furthermore, most likely, before each future boot you will see a disturbing warning message about the risks that unlocking the bootloader brings with it.

In any case, once the first start-up procedure is completed, proceed with the initial configuration of the device and enable the development options and USB debugging again , as I have indicated previously. Don’t disconnect your phone or close the Command Prompt window – you’ll need it shortly.

Install the custom recovery

Root Android

The next step is to install the customized Recovery: in this regard, I would like to recommend the TWRP , one of the best in the category, equipped with an interface suitable even for the less experienced (complete with touch-screen support) and constantly updated by the development team.

To obtain the most suitable file for your device, connected to the TWRP main page , click on the Devices item located at the top and use the following pages to indicate the make and model of your device; if you prefer, you can help with the search field located at the top. Pay close attention to this choice: downloading and flashing an incorrect file can irreparably compromise the functioning of your smartphone or tablet.

Once on the download page, click on the Primary (Europe) button located in the Download Links box and download the most recent file, in .img format , using the links on the next page. Once you have the file, copy it to the ADB / Fastboot folder .

Now, resume the Command Prompt opened previously and issue the command adb devices, to verify that the Android device has been recognized again (if necessary, authorize the communication by answering affirmatively to the message that appears on the display of the same). Now, restart the smartphone in Fastboot again, issuing the command adb reboot bootloaderand verify that the device has been correctly recognized, by typing the command fastboot devices.

At this point, issue the command fastboot getvar current-slotto locate the active partition : the TWRP must be installed on the one that is not . So, if the output of the previous command is current-slot: b , you will have to act on partition a .

Root Android

Assuming therefore that partition a is the one currently not active, issue the command fastboot flash boot_a nomefile.img, replacing X with the name of the TWRP file copied a little while ago (e.g. twrp-3.5.0_9-0-tissot.img) and press the Enter key on the keyboard , to copy the Recovery into the Android boot sector. Finally, set the partition you acted on as active by issuing the command fastboot set_active a(or b, as the case may be).

Finally here we are! At this point, press and hold the Volume + key of the Android device and, at the same time, issue the command fastboot rebootin the Command Prompt, to restart in Recovery mode.

At the first start of TWRP, tap the Select Language button , put the check mark next to the Italian item and tap the OK button ; then, put the check mark next to the item Do not show this screen again at startup and tap the Keep read-only button . The big part is finally done: you can finally use your brand new Recovery, to get root permissions! You can now close the Command Prompt window, but not disconnect your phone from your computer.

Root the device

Root Android

Finally, you just have to download the application that allows you to obtain root permissions and flash it via the TWRP. First, mount the smartphone memory on the PC, so you can copy files inside it: therefore, tap the Mount button visible on the TWRP screen , put the check mark next to the Data item and tap the Enable mode button MTP , to make the computer recognize the phone memory.

Now, go back to your computer and download Magisk , the tool I chose to enable root permissions: to download it, connect to this Web page and click on the Magisk-vxx.zip link , located in the Assets box . When the download is complete, copy the archive obtained to the internal archive of the Android device, which you can access by opening the File Explorer and going to This PC> [device name]> Internal archive .

After this step too, return to the Android TWRP, tap the Disable MTP button and touch the Back button (the one in the shape of a triangle residing at the bottom left), to return to the main Recovery screen; finally, touch the Install button , tap on the name of the previously copied archive (eg Magisk-v21.4.zip ), put the check mark next to Restart after the installation is complete and swipe from left to right on the Slide to Install bar , to start the process and restart the device when it is finished.

We finished! If all went well, root permissions should have been permanently unlocked. To check this, download the Root Checker app from your device’s store, open it and agree to use root permissions.