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Should I Root My Phone?

Tuesday, September 27th, 2016 by | Filed Under: Android, Security Help, Smartphones

Yesterday in part 1 of this tip, we learned exactly what it means to root an Android phone. Now that we know what it means, we’ll look at why you might want to do it. Plus, why you might want to forget that idea.

Why Do People Root Their Devices?

The question still stands, however; what’s the huge appeal? Let’s go over some of the positives and negatives of having your device rooted.


What can you do with a rooted phone? First, you can get rid of any unnecessary software installed on your phone, which is excellent for clearing up space and getting rid of unwanted and annoying software. You can’t uninstall these using Android’s uninstall feature, so rooting is the only way to get these aggravating additions out of your phone.

There are some fantastic apps out there that require root access to operate. These include some tether apps that allow you to use your phone’s internet from another device such as a laptop or a computer. Some backup apps also need root, which will store all your device’s settings and apps and allows you to restore them after a wipe, or transfer them to another system altogether.

A more advanced reason for rooting your phone is to change the operating system of the phone altogether. It may seem surprising to learn that phones can be reprogrammed with different operating systems, but it can be done! It’s known as ‘flashing a custom ROM’, and it’s something you should only really attempt if you’re either a professional or very brave.


Are There Drawbacks To Rooting?

As you might expect, providers aren’t as enthusiastic as you may be about accessing their root. By rooting your device, any warranty that is still on it is instantly voided. This makes rooting a very dangerous and risky action for a newly-bought device, unless you 100% know what you’re doing and don’t mind voiding the warranty.

This is made even worse when you also remember that rooting the phone gives you access to important system files. This does mean that, should things go wrong with said files, the phone will be rendered unusable. If you flash a custom ROM, you can experience a ‘bad flash’, where the original system files are overwritten to a point of being irredeemable, but the custom ROM doesn’t load properly. You’re left with a device that doesn’t work and with no warranty anymore to have it fixed — a real nightmare!

While rooting can give a few benefits, the drawbacks can mean you end up spending money for a new one, even if the phone is damaged by accident and would otherwise have been covered by the warranty if you didn’t root it. If this idea worries you, don’t have your device rooted! In the hands of someone who’s not very proficient with rooting phones, a rooted device can bring more harm than good. If you’re in doubt, leave rooting alone or get someone well-versed in rooting to handle any requests you may have.

~ Simon

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