Updated June 23, 2023
Rooting Android – One of the biggest unique selling points about Android is the fact that it is so flexible and malleable. While Apple’s iOS is workable right off the packaging, it is also more closed in than Android, which is why Google’s popular operating system has been such a hit among developers. You have to root it to understand how much you can do with Android truly.
What does Rooting Android even mean?
Before we get into the pros and cons of rooting Android devices, let’s look at what rooting Android involves. Simply, rooting means getting root access or administrative privileges for your device. You may have paid for your Android device, but it’s worth noting that no matter how much or how little you pay, the device’s internals are still locked away.
Think of it as operating on a desktop computer through a user account. You can take advantage of most of the phone’s features but can’t do anything without administrative rights. Rooting an Android device gives you exactly that for your device. It makes you the administrator of your phone and not just a user.
With great power, however, comes great responsibility. You have more things in your hand, and some of the security and protection you take for granted on your unrooted device will not work on a rooted one. Still, you do get full control over your device. You can browse the Android root folder and make changes to the system files, which means altering and installing or removing some of the key elements of your phone.
Rooting an Android device gives you total control over the entire Android system. You can use and download all the blocked features and tools, but this power comes with risks. For instance, many blocked features and tools are present to protect you from malware. Once rooted, you won’t be protected by an unrooted Android version. And that’s what this article gets into: the advantages and disadvantages of rooting Android devices. Before you start rooting your device, read this once to understand what you are getting into clearly. Let’s be optimistic and get into the advantages first:
Advantages of Rooting Android Devices
Below are some of the major advantages described –
#1 – Installation of custom ROMs
You can install a custom ROM or Kernel after rooting your device, which means you get a new device software-wise. This is often the biggest reason for people to root their devices. Custom ROMs offer several performance fixes and tweaks to your system and are typically more user-friendly than stock ones. They are optimized for battery and performance and update more frequently than stock ROMS.
A kernel is part of the Android operating system that helps apps, and others control the hardware aspects of the device. Several goodies accompany a custom kernel for a rooted Android device. For one, you can add previously unavailable features and improve your device’s battery life and performance. A ROM is essentially a modified Android version that can be installed, once again, with extra features and several other benefits. Custom ROMs can be installed even without rooting, but using one on a rooted device is much better than an un-rooted one. They can significantly change the look and feel of your device. What’s great about them is that they also come as stock Android, which gives you the basic Android install typical in most devices. This can come surprisingly in handy when you want to un-root your device.
#2 – Removing pre-installed OEM apps
Every Android phone comes with a bunch of apps directly from the manufacturer. Some are good, but most are useless, if not worse, and you cannot remove them. However, once you root your device, all those apps can disappear, and you can get the most out of your machine.
#3 – Ad-blocking for all apps
Ad-blocking is simple on a web browser but gets infinitely more complicated on a smartphone or device. Pop-ups are a regular problem in most games and apps, but rooting immediately takes care of it.
#4 – Installing incompatible apps
Some of the best apps right now may not even be compatible with your phone. But Rooting Android gives you access to all the apps you can find. You get the latest Android updates before your phone maker releases its own, plus bonus features. You can run special applications that require root access, which are generally more powerful and feature-rich than others. These applications directly deal with Android system files, tweaking your Android operating system more extensively than other surface-level apps can. For instance, you could silently uninstall several applications after downloading e Uninstall with root access.
#5 – More display options and internal storage
Most devices come with three to four default skins, but rooting Android phones lets you install new ROMs to fully customize and tweak your skins for a truly unique display. Another big benefit is rooting android frees up your device’s internal storage. People with low internal storage space can transfer whatever application they want to the SD card after they root their device. Some applications can be transferred by default, but an un-rooted device typically blocks you from doing this for all devices. Once rooted, you can force move an app with a symlink.
#6 – Greater battery life and speed
While most of the above benefits have been largely cosmetic or convenience-based, this is more practical. Rooting Android helps unlock the full potential of your phone. You can use apps like Greenify to close useless applications automatically, effectively improving your device performance. But it does need root access to do that.
#7 – Making full device backups
When you have an unrooted Android phone, you can only back up many things, like your apps or some settings. Once rooted, however, plenty of apps like Titanium will entirely back up your rooted device.
#8 – Access to root files
When you are Rooting an Android device, you have access to several files, sections, and parts of your device that would otherwise not be available. This gives you so much access and freedom to do what you want with your device. You can use existing apps or, with a little knowledge, tweak the files and sections of your device yourself.
#9 – CPU Clocking
Un-rooted devices typically do not have CPU clocking capabilities, which enable you to increase and decrease your device’s CPU or processor speed. Increasing processor clock speed helps you extract maximum performance while lowering it helps extend battery life. No Frills CPU Control is one such device that easily does this, and it is free from Google Play. You can find other apps that quickly let you take control of your CPU performance without worrying about the technical terms or settings while ensuring that the device works within safe limits.
#10 -More tweaking
With a rooted Android device, you can configure and optimize your device for a customized feel and better performance. Android can be tweaked to a significant extent, which is why it is so popular in the first place. You can make several changes depending on what you want with your device.
Disadvantages of Rooting Android Devices
Given below are some of the disadvantaged of Rooting Android Devices –
#1 – It can brick your device
One of the most common threats to a rooted Android device is misoperation, which could turn your device into an expensive, unusable brick. To avoid this, you should always get your apps from reliable sources, like Google Play, and do not delete files that rooting apps suggest not to delete. The risk of bricking your phone is even greater if you are new to rooting. You can find some pretty detailed tutorials on the internet to root your device, but it can still be a daunting task. You will likely have a bricked device if you flash a corrupt zip file or miss any step. If this happens, you must either get your device fixed at the manufacturer’s service center or fix it yourself if you are a power user. If you opt for the first option, you will face the second big disadvantage of rooting an Android device. Bricking is a dreaded term in the rooting world. Although there are ways to fix it, bricking a device can be surprisingly easy.
#2 – No more warranty
Another big disadvantage of rooting Android is the fact that you lose your device warranty. Device makers will not cover damage caused after you root the device or if you realize the phone was bricked while it was being rooted. In some devices, you can still unroot the device after rooting so that device makers do not know whether you rooted it. On the other hand, device makers can go to great extents to discover the truth about your device. For most users, your phone warranty is permanently voided once you root your phone.
#3 – Root and super user access
Having root access sounds amazing, and it is right up until things go wrong. A wrong setting or moving the wrong item into the wrong place and time can cause huge problems. Similarly, CPU clocking can also turn out to be a disadvantage. Overclocking or increasing processor speed can maximize performance but also comes with the risk of overheating your processor, which is the heart of your device. That means you may likely give a heart attack to your device.
#4 – Tweaking risks
Some risks come with tweaking your device. What will happen when you adjust certain settings? The worst-case scenario is that you will brick the device, but another likely situation is that nothing will happen, which is frustrating too!
There is also the risk of getting the wrong kernel or ROM, which comes with problems. Your device could end up bricked or worse. Fixing these disasters can also cost a lot of time, money, and effort.
#5 – Ad-blocking
Ad-blocking is listed as an advantage, so how can it be a disadvantage to rooting? Well, the truth is that those ads generate revenue for developers, which is used to develop the app further and give you, the customer, more features. If too many people root their devices and block these ads, it translates to revenue lost, causing a big problem for developers and you in the long run. Additionally, manually changing or editing the app to block ads could turn the app useless.
#6 – Update problems
A good thing about unrooted Android devices is that the system update will install and work well no matter how late it comes. The risk with rooted devices is that this may not happen. You may find that automated firmware updates may not be working. In some cases, updates will not install because of software modifications made during the rooting process itself.
Now that you know the pros and cons of rooting Android, you should be able to decide whether it is worth the hassle and risks. It all depends on how much risk you are willing to take, the kind of usage you have with your phone, and what your expectations are if you choose to root, root with caution.
You may have also noted that some of the pros and cons are very similar to each other. That is, in fact, Android’s greatest benefit and downside. It gives you immense power, but you must also be careful. Your decision should be based on your answers to these questions:
- Are you willing to risk facing and trying to fix the disadvantages of rooting your device?
- Have you made a backup for your device before it is attempted to be rooted?
- Have you researched enough online to find out how to root your specific device?
If your answer to these three questions is a ‘yes’, then you should be ready to root your Android device and face the consequences and benefits. If your answer is ‘no’ to two or all three questions, then you should probably think a few more times before you leap. Or leave out rooting your device altogether.
This has been a guide to Rooting Android Devices. Here we have discussed the basic concept, advantages, and disadvantages of Rooting Android Devices. You may look at the following articles to learn more –