Before you even think about adjusting your Android root folder, you need to read this article. Sure, there are many articles giving you enough reasons to do so: A little tinkering on your phone gives you the super-user access that you’ve craved.

However, you’ll need to understand the whole story of rooting your Android. Most opinions that champion rooting your Android, may not warn you of the dangers if you get it wrong. 

What does “rooting” mean?

In order to have a better picture of what “rooting” is all about, you’ll need to have a basic understanding of how the Android phone functions. At its core, all Android phones run on a Linux kernel. 

If the idea is vague, try picturing a Windows running on top of DOS on the computer. The operating system is highly restrictive and access is governed by permission levels. An Android phone follows the same principle, which limits the things you can do as a normal user.

Rooting is a process that grants you administrative rights. It allows you access to the Android root folder, which is barred to the normal Android users. Having root access gives you the power to modify files at the system levels. It’s an administrative right that can do wonders or create complete chaos. 

For most users, rooting an Android phone is a challenge. Each version of Android is slightly different and requires different methods to access the root folder. Generally, the process involves introducing a function onto the Linux kernel which grants administrative rights to the users.

If you wanted to root your Android phone, you’ll need to have an Android SDK ready, unlock the bootloader, and install a rooting app. It sounds highly technical because it is. Also, not all Android phones can be rooted in the same process. Some are built to counter against tampering. 

Why Root Your Android? 

It’s undeniable that rooting your Android phone is tempting, as it gives you the power to perform unusual tasks with the device. By altering how your Android phone behaves, it is possible to gain an edge in terms of processing speed and battery life. This is usually achieved by installing apps that require root access and allows you to tweak the system performance.

Annoyed with ads popping up over all your apps? Rooting your Android is an alternative to subscribing to the apps to make those ads disappear. Again, this is aided by ad-blocking apps that will only work if the Android phone is rooted. 

Another benefit of rooting your Android phone is the ability to recover “deleted” files. What most users don’t know is that an Android phone has a smart backup system that’s only accessible with root access. 

With root access, you can practically alter any files on your Android phone. This can be handy if you intend to remove pre-installed apps that you deem a waste of space on your phone. If you’re going to be a self-trained Android expert, rooting allows you a detailed understanding of the file structure of an Android device.

What Are the Risks of Rooting?

Using Android root software seems like a great idea, considering the vast power bestowed on a normal user. However, there are some darker sides to Android rooting that you should know.

If you aren’t good with tech to start with, there’s a risk of flashing the wrong file into your Android phone. This will potentially render the phone unable to operate and effectively turning it into a piece of worthless electronics. Here’s the bad news, rooting automatically voids the warranty, so you’ll need to bear the expense to fix it.

Some apps may also cease to function on a rooted device. Android Pay, which relies on the security of the device, will detect the tampering that you’ve done and stop operating on the phone. If your device is running on Android 5.0 and above, you’ll find that system updates will also be halted on rooted Android phones.

In terms of security and privacy, rooting is a double-edged sword. While it grants you access to administrative files, it may also open the gateway for potential hackers. Besides, some of the rooting apps may also slip malware into your phone and you stand the risk of losing private information in the process. 

How to Protect Your Android Phone While Rooting

Having your phone hijacked while you’re trying to gain administrative rights is something you’ll want to avoid at all costs. Therefore, it makes sense to install an antivirus along with a VPN. While an antivirus will block potential malware, a VPN encrypts communication to the Internet, which renders a hacker’s effort futile. 

Here are the top-rated VPNs that will protect your Android phone. 


FEATURES
AssguardSurfsharkNordVPNIPVanish
Safe JurisdictionNo (USA)
Voice call-friendly connection speed
AES-256 encryption
Number of countries50+ 61+59 75+
No-logs policy
24/7 Customer support
No of devices6Unlimited610
Supports chain VPN connectionsYes (Double VPN)Yes (Multihop)Yes (Double VPN)No
Price range
(per month)
$4.99 – $7.99$1.99 – $11.95$3.49 – $11.95$3.25 – $5.00

Need help installing a VPN on your Android? Read: How to Set Up a VPN on Your Android.

Summary

Rooting your Android phone isn’t right or wrong, and we’ll leave it to your best judgment. If you choose to root your phone, ensure that you take precautionary measures and are aware of the risks in doing so. Before you start the process of accessing your Android’s root folder, sign up to one of our recommended VPNs.