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What's the point of rooting your cell phone?

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ssjwizard

Has slightly less legible writing than Thideras
Joined
Mar 12, 2002
Rooting your phone gives you root access(read administrator access) and enables you to do anything you want with it. Some applications require admin access and if you want the functions of those apps its necessary. Mostly its for people who want more than the phones stock features enabled.
 

Jeff G

Member
Joined
May 22, 2016
Remove bloatware, run cfw, overclocking, etc. Lots of great features can be had if rooted. Downside is it usually voids any warranty and there's always the chance to brick your phone.
 

knoober

Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2015
Downside is it usually voids any warranty and there's always the chance to brick your phone.

^this^

As an example: When I unlocked the bootloader (needed for rooting on most devices) I had to acknowledge that my warranty "may" be voided. I had an issue that was clearly not related to root, but customer service wouldn't give ANY support once they found out about root (citing the click-through acknowledgement on the bootloader unlock). Some places are more tolerant than others though. A different company said there was no problem with rooting and even provided links to stock firmware, but wouldnt address any other type of support. The thing to keep in mind is that once you root, you are kind of "on your own".

I have however unlocked every bootloader on every device possible (around a dozen) and installed custom roms on any that I had the skill to do. Even with all those devices and all that tinkering I have only had 2 bricked devices (and in this case "bricked" means "could not be recovered by any means"). Installing a custom recovery is more useful than rooting. Both can be done separately in most cases but are usually done at the same time for convenience. Custom recovery will allow for making backup images of your rom and a few other handy features like sideloading apps and flashing new roms (not every device will have all the same features).

I think the main advantage to rooting is just to remove bloatware though. Having your app storage full when the manufacturer has "included" a half dozen apps that you never use and cant remove is .....:bang head I would consider root if you have to pass on apps you want because they require root access as well. Backing up your app drawer becomes alot easier once you have root. I just took a look through my own app drawer and didnt see anything that required root except for system monitoring apps and backup apps. YMMV of course :thup:
 

noxqzs

Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2005
Location
Boston, MA
I have used root for many things: such as updating my own hosts file on the phone which limits what the phone can connect to online, turning off services that come baked into the standard ROMS that do not allow you to remove them normally. In terms of benefits, the most critical for me was when one of my kids deleted a whole album of pictures off the phone. The only program to successfully retrieve every file found them them in the root directory.
 

torin3

Member
Joined
Dec 25, 2004
I think the main advantage to rooting is just to remove bloatware though. Having your app storage full when the manufacturer has "included" a half dozen apps that you never use and cant remove is .....:bang head I would consider root if you have to pass on apps you want because they require root access as well. Backing up your app drawer becomes alot easier once you have root. I just took a look through my own app drawer and didnt see anything that required root except for system monitoring apps and backup apps. YMMV of course :thup:

Adding on to this, I just got a cheap (as in Android 4.2 and $40 at Amazon) tablet to come up with a replacement for my wife's Zune. It comes with pop-up adds on the main screen every 4-5 minutes, and installs audible and a star wars game in the background. When you try to uninstall the pop-up program, (helpfully named "adloader", it reinstalls it for you. Then, when you do a malware search, 3 of the 4 files it finds are considered system files and you aren't allowed to uninstall them. You can disable some of them. But there is another I haven't found yet that about every 20 minutes tries to download and install what appears to be random software. I haven't seen the same one twice yet. So I'm going to have to root the phone/tablet just to uninstall the self-installing malware from the manufacturer.
 

hokiealumnus

Water Cooled Moderator
Joined
Oct 14, 2007
I root so I can install a custom recovery (TWRP) and install the ROM of my choice. You can't ever install a custom recovery without first gaining root access.

After that, I use root for several things. I backup (and restore) my non-system apps & data with Titanium Backup, which requires root to do. Sometimes I use theming (either Substratum OMS or LineageOS [formerly Cyanogenmod] theme engine), which requires root as well.

Beyond that there isn't much I actively use root for, and indeed often unroot after doing what requires root so my kid can play Pokemon Go. Then I just re-root as necessary. :p