Rooting is a word tossed around constantly when bringing up Android devices. It’s a process, that although potentially dangerous, can prove to be one of the best additions to your device. If you’ve never rooted a device before, there are a few important facts you’ll need to familiarize yourself with, but don’t let that scare you.
Rooting an Android phone isn’t as hard of a journey that you might think, and in my opinion, the risks severely outweigh the rewards. If you’re still unsure about rooting your device by the end of this list, I’m not sure what will change your mind.
1. Removing Bloatware
One of the biggest reasons new rooters are often told to root their device is to remove bloatware. However, that brings up a good question, what exactly is bloatware?
Bloatware is any software that comes pre-installed with your device that your manufacturer won’t let you remove. Removal of these apps could greatly speed up your device.
Root Uninstaller, as a free app, can only remove or freeze three apps before you need to upgrade to the Pro version. For the unaware, freezing an app essentially stops it from acting. The app will stay on your device, but will not function, use data, or send notifications.
System app remover is free all the way through, but has ads taking up screen space that could get annoying. You can remove the ads by purchasing the app through the settings menu, but that’s only if an ad-free experience seems worth the money. This app functions primarily in the same ways that Root Uninstaller does, and has many of the same tools.
If you’re going to root your device, uninstalling bloatware should be one of the first things you accomplish.
2. Installing Custom ROMs and Recoveries
If you’ve thought about rooting, you’ve probably heard about custom ROMs at some point. If you don’t know what it means, Custom ROMs are, more or less, interface customizations. If you’ve installed a launcher from the Play Store before, you have a basic idea of what a Custom ROM could do for your Android device.
One of the most popular Custom ROMs available for almost any Android device if CyanogenMod.
CyanogenMod is capable of plenty of features that could convince you to root your Android device for just the ROM alone. If you’re on a phone like the Samsung Galaxy S6, CyanogenMod could be a great, and easy to install alternative to TouchWiz.
However, before you install a custom ROM, you’ll need a custom recovery to flash it. When dealing with custom recoveries, you have two choices: TWRP – Team Win Recovery Project and CWM – Clockwork Mod.
You can’t go choosing either of them to be your custom recovery. Both custom recoveries will ensure you can take advantage of rooting benefits, and installing software to help make your device unique.
3. Speeding Up Your Device
Getting rid of bloatware isn’t the only way you can speed up your Android device after a root. Through a process called overclocking, you are able to dramatically speed up your device at the cost of increased heat production and battery power. This is not a process recommended for new Android users, or users new to rooting Android devices.
Overclocking has serious potential to damage your device if not handled properly and used in appropriate moderation. However, if you want to squeeze the most speed and processing power out of your device, overclocking is the way to proceed.
On the other side of the spectrum, if you want to slow down your device, say to save battery, you could try underclocking. Underclocking shares the same basic principles as overclocking, but works in reverse. Instead of turning your processing power up to 11, you crank it down to a gentle 4 or a 3.
If you need your battery to last for a longer period than usual, underclocking your device may slow down performance, but it will keep your device running for longer.
4. Access to Complete Backups
When I say complete backups, what I mean is truly backing up your Android device in full. After a root, instead of fiddling with cloud backups, you can essentially take snapshot of your phone at any given moment. You can then take that snapshot, and restore from it whenever you desire.
I don’t know about you, but that sounds a lot more reliable to me than any backup you could make without a root. There are two services I want to bring up here, and the first one is Titanium Backup.
Titanium Backup, with the help of root access, can backup absolutely everything on your device, freeze apps, and can do far more than any backup app should. The app has a free version available, but a full version for $5.99 that’s well worth the money.
The next service I’d like to talk about doesn’t technically require a root, but requires you’ve completed one of the most painful steps of rooting your Android device. I’m talking about Nandroid Backups, and the fact that it needs an unlocked bootloader to function.
Unlocking your bootloader will wipe all data from your phone on success. This process is also required to root an Android device, so unlocking the bootloader and rooting tend to go hand in hand.
You can take a look at our full write up of Nandroid Backups here for more information, or just take my word for it that it’s an amazing backup service.
5. Complete Control over Your Device
After you’ve rooted your device, its fate is completely in your hands, not the manufacturer’s or the carrier’s. It may be a cheesy saying at this point, but the sky really is the limit once you’ve rooted. If there’s ever been a moment where your device has denied you permission for any task you want completed, or any file you want access to; a root will fix that.
If you have any technical skills at your disposal, you could even create your own ways to interact with your Android device. It’s difficult to describe every benefit there is to rooting on Android, when those benefits are nearly limitless.
Once you’ve rooted, you can truly start to explore those limitless possibilities without anyone telling you No.
The rewards of rooting far outweigh the dangers in my opinion. Rooting your Android device opens it up to whatever you can imagine and more. As long as you follow all of your rooting instructions carefully, and double-check every step, you’ll succeed.
If you’re fine with your current Android phone experience without root, you may not see the need. However, if you’re fed up with feeling like your phone doesn’t really belong to you, rooting will help clear up any doubts.
Have any reasons why you’re still on the fence about rooting? You can voice your concerns in the comments below and see if they can’t be sorted.