What is root rights on Android

Root access opens up endless possibilities for customizing your Android device. We tell you how it can be useful to obtain root rights.

In order to understand what the abstract concept of "root" is, let's start with simpler things. Every operating system, be it Windows, Android, iOS, Linux or others, has accounts ( accounts ). Thanks to this, users are divided into special groups and receive any rights and opportunities.

So "root" (from English - "root" or simply "root") is actually the usual designation for one of these groups in UNIX-like operating systems. This is a special account with UID 0 (User Identifier - a personal identifier for each member of the system), which gives its owner full control over the system. This scheme was created to simplify administration processes and to separate the powers between users.

Thus, ordinary "users" were in the same group and had relatively few opportunities, and administrators were given another, more advanced group (root rights). For convenience, the owner of root is called the superuser. It is worth noting that by default on all smartphones / tablets running Android, the user does not have root access to the system, but is limited to only the basic “user”. It is the same with Apple devices, only on them a similar process is called “Jailbreak” (from the English “jailbreak” - “jailbreak”).

It should be noted that root rights are divided into several types:

  • Full Root. The most common category. If you get root access on a regular Android device, then this view in 99% of cases will be at your disposal after the process is successfully completed. Full Root gives the user full control over the system.
  • Shell Root. A less "popular" species that also occurs. This category gives the user almost all the possibilities of a regular (Full) root, with the exception of access to the /system directory.
  • Temporary Root. In fact, this is the same as Full Root, however, such rights are granted, as the name implies, only for a while - until the system is rebooted. Some programs designed to root older devices were previously only able to provide the user with this kind of root.

Now that we have an idea of ​​what root rights are on Android, it is worth talking about the motives that often encourage users to bother and spend more than one hour with instructions and a smartphone to get the same root access.

Why Root is needed

UID 0) is granted the rights to perform any operations that are only incorporated in the system. Let's consider what specifically give root rights to their owner:

  • Changing system files. The superuser in Android has access to the root storage of the device and can modify/delete/add any files in the /system directory. Thanks to this, various parameters are configured (changing the maximum speaker volume or system font, detailed camera settings, and more), which are hidden by default for the average user.
  • Block any ads. On some Chinese devices from unreliable manufacturers, you can often encounter annoying banners even in standard applications and the launcher. Not all programs solve this problem, but if you have the skills (or Internet access), you can permanently get rid of ads at the system level.
  • Hacking games and applications. Access to system files frees the superuser for many other operations as well. In particular, root allows you to embed special patches into the system, which is used to emulate Google services and other things (thanks to this, you can install a hacked Play Store, bypassing any locks, gaining access to paid content for free, etc.).
  • Full control over the file system and data exchange. Also, with the help of root access, you can fine-tune the permissions for each application individually. Thus, the access of programs to reading SMS, making calls and so on is controlled. If necessary, you can remove any service, virus or application if you could not do this before getting root.
  • Sets the operation of the processor. Another privilege that comes indirectly from the ability to modify system files. Once rooted, you can overclock / slow down the chipset or graphics accelerator by manually setting the frequencies or changing the scheduler.

In addition to the above features, it is worth noting that many applications, in principle, require the owner of the device to have superuser rights in order to work. Considering how open is the Android system, there is a huge number of useful programs in free access, which is already impossible to submit to the usual operation of the gadget.


with the positive side of the root, we figured out, and advantages There is a lot of access to this account in obtaining this account, and the list presented could be expanded for a couple of points.

And, perhaps, everything would be wonderful and getting root-rights would like all users of the Green Robot, if not for a number of serious minuses and nuances, which questioned the need for this process. Moreover, there is a serious list of what the root of rights can be dangerous:

  • there is a chance of breaking the device. In the absence of due experience or due to banal inattention, a person can output a smartphone, since the receipt of root access usually provides for several frontiers in which you can harm the system: unlocking the loader, installing a custom (unofficial) recovery, firmware of the necessary files. If at some stage something is wrong, there is a high probability that the worst scenario and the gadget will turn into a "brick".
  • Loss of warranty from the manufacturer. With a successful attempt to get Root, you are absolutely accurately canceled by the warranty period. The fact is that for any modification and intervention in the Android system you want to unlock the bootloader. If at some point you have to seek help in the service center, and employees will see traces of your actions, will refuse assistance. However, Sometimes there is an option to bypass it, just deleting all modifications by putting the official firmware and blocking the bootloader.
  • The inability to receive official updates "by air" (OTA). After a serious intervention in the system, new firmware and security patches will stop "flying" to the device automatically. You will have to install them manually.
  • Blow on the safety of its data. In view of the combination of many factors, it can be definitely said that an inexperienced user will reduce the safety of its device after receiving root rights. Such a process will make the system more unreliable: official updates will not be installed automatically, as well as all sorts of vulnerabilities will cease to be corrected by the manufacturer.

As you can see, the reverse side of obtaining the status of the superuser is also multifaceted. Negative moments in this process are no less than positive.

But if you have sufficient knowledge, it is well counted technically, then some unpleasant aspects will be able to level. Experienced users usually prefer to receive root rights, as notified of all risks and know how to smooth them.

How to get / delete root access

on the old Android versions (for example, 4.x, 5.x, etc.) The process of obtaining root rights was as primitive as possible. It was enough to install a special program in accordance with the manufacturer of the smartphone and press a pair of buttons, after which it is waited for the restart of the device already with the root access.

But if we are talking about new Android assemblies, in particular 7.0, 8.0 and higher, then you will have to spend an order of magnitude longer. Now in the overwhelming majority of cases, it is necessary at least to unlock the bootloader (although on some devices it is made in a couple of clicks in the settings), set a third-party recovery with an extended set of functions and so on.

If you still decided to go for such a step and want to try to reveal the entire potential of your smartphone / tablet based on Android OS, then you can read more about ROOT methods here.

In turn, learn about, how to remove root rights from the device, can be in another article. It describes the main mechanisms for the deactivation of the superuser.