Why you should never root your Android phone or even try to!

Rooting is a process that allows you to attain root access to the Android operating system code (the equivalent term for Apple devices is jailbreaking). It gives you privileges to modify the software code on the device or install other software that the manufacturer wouldn’t normally allow you to. Simply put, rooting your phone allows you to remove restrictions put on the phone, mostly by the manufacturer.

I was a big fan of rooting phones! The first time I rooted my phone, it was because Android KitKat had been released and I desperately wanted to try the new OS. At the time, I could not have KitKat on my Samsung Galaxy S4, so I had to root, to be able to install a custom ROM with Android 4.4.2.

I remember the joy I shared that day. Prior to rooting, I had read a lot of scary stuff on XDA Developers. But then, I said to myself: “Hey Shepherd, you might as well risk it! You didn’t buy the phone anyways!”.

Announcing my first successful root.
Announcing my first successful root.

For those who feel their phone can’t do enough, rooting it may provide the ultimate sense of liberation (I am a big fan of customisation! And that’s why the now Obsolete Windows Phone OS was never my taste).

But if rooting can provide liberation and freedom, why would I ask you not to attempt it?

Why you shouldn’t Root your Android Phone

Rooting is no longer necessary

The practice of rooting was very popular in the early days of Android, especially by people who fancied the idea of customising their phones and giving them added functionalities. Usually, when a new version of Android was rolled out, it could take as long as a year for Phone Manufacturers to release an update to handsets.

It was very frustrating to know you own the latest flagship, but couldn’t have the latest software. Also, security updates could not be delivered on time if the update for the operating system was not available. Users who wanted these security fixes had no option than to root.

However, in this day, a lot of the top brands push updates between one to 3 months when new Android Versions are out. When it comes to security, Google pushes the security updates directly to the devices, making the Android OS much safer than before. So why root to get a security update when it would be available in a month anyway?

Rooting is a difficult process and you can destroy your android device

Most definitely. Every different model of a device has a different way to root it. In fact, depending on the current Android versions of the device, the rooting methodology will be different.

This makes rooting mostly a trial and error kind of thing and it is not rare to meet someone who is still trying to root their phones after more than 3 unsuccessful methods. Unless you are willing to do a lot of investigation and be very patient with the trial and error phases of rooting your device, don’t try it!

The average person who tries to root his/her phone may end up bricking it. This means your phone may become useless. Sometimes, you end up with a boot loop (where the phone keeps restarting itself).

Rooting can expose you to security vulnerabilities

I mentioned earlier that some people root their phones to get security patches. However, rooting your phone can also lead you into the situation where you are unable to get updates for your Android.

If you do go further to install a custom ROM, can you trust it? Most ROMS are made by people who waive all liability related to the ROM and even warn you not to use it.

Moreover, rooting your device will evade lots of the OS-level security features Android has put in place. When I wrote an article on why an antivirus may not be necessary for Android Phones, I certainly was not referring to rooted devices.

What do you think?

Rooting may sound like all fun, but the points raised above are very serious and legitimate ones you should look at. Don’t adopt the “it-won’t-happen-to-me” mentality. Look sharp!

Don’t root your android phone, unless it is a phone you don’t really need anymore and can afford to use it as a lab rat in your own experiment. Take this from someone who once made money rooting phones for people (I did warn them though)!

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