Should You Root Your Android Device? Pros and Cons

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In this article you’ll learn the reasons why peopl root their Android devices.

Rooting an Android phone unlocks the operating system. It allows you to customize more settings, download different apps, make your phone more secure, increase battery life, use more powerful ad blocking, and even install operating systems other than Android.

For all of its ADVANTAGES related to customization and modification… is it really worth the risk?

What Does Rooting an Android Allow You to Do?

By rooting your Android device, you gain ROOT ACCESS or administrative privileges for your device.

And why is this important?

The answer is fairly simple: there are MORE features when you have admin rights.

Think of it as FINALLY gaining full access to what your phone is actually capable of doing:

  • System customization
  • Application access
  • Region-locked features access
  • Software modification

Indeed, rooting most devices gives you IMMENSE POWER over your phone.

That said, a rooted device is NOT for everyone.

Coupled with the attributed risk of malware, you lose more privacy depending on the features you CHOOSE to access.

Such is the irony of finally becoming an administrator of your Android phone and not JUST a mere user.

Pros and Cons of Rooting an Android Phone

Rooting your Android device is a HUGE decision to make… we don’t want you to act rashly!

Of course, there are advantages and disadvantages attributed to “hacking” into your old system.

Let’s walk you through each of them!

Advantages of Rooting Android Phone

#1 Customizing ROM for Personalized Android OS

A rooted Android phone allows you to BEAUTIFY YOUR SYSTEM:

  • System font
  • System layout
  • System settings
  • Language and time zone
  • Removal of unused built-in applications

All in all, a custom ROM can give you access to edit the ROOT FILES of your device, giving you full autonomy over how your MODIFIED Android version will look!

You can install custom ROMS for better experience and performance… one that tailors to your unique preferences.

#2 Accessing Root Files and System Files for Backup

Rooting your Android phone gives you access to your root files. We’ve established this much for personalization purposes.

But access to these files can also help for backing up your files.

The concept behind this is simple:

  • You gain access to system files
  • You can EDIT these files
  • You can also COPY and SAVE these files elsewhere

See, backing up your files can be done on your device, another PC, SD card, external hard drive, or the cloud! It helps free up some storage space.

You may also have to download an app to complete this backup before installing a new operating system.

#3 Removing Pre-Installed OEM Apps for Optimization of Device Performance

You can root your Android phone to UNINSTALL pre-installed OEM apps.

This helps in optimizing mobile performance and extending the battery life of your device.

Now, why is this important?

  • Phone manufacturers usually install bloatware for PASSIVE REVENUE
  • They are rarely helpful to your Android phone
  • They just take up unnecessary space

See those three points? Almost EVERY Android phone comes with these pain points.

Regular Android users CANNOT remove these apps because of a lack of permits.

Only rooted devices can allow such actions.

#4 Installing Incompatible Apps

With an unrooted Android phone, you can FINALLY use apps that you simply just cannot with your current Android operating system.

We’re sure you know the feeling all too well.

Sometimes we miss out on some GREAT apps because of OS incompatibility.

#5 Blocking Ads for Privacy

We know. Ads can be annoying.

But did you know that more than their slowing down of apps, they also THREAT your privacy?

The android system has applications that try to address this, but they acquire information that you wouldn’t want them to have:

  • Location
  • Phone number
  • Contacts list

And these are just some of them!

By rooting your phone, you gain PERMISSION to COMPLETELY block ads in certain apps!

Disadvantages of Rooting Android Phone

#1 Bricking Your Device

A bricked device refers to the state of your phone when you remove apps or files that you SHOULD NOT HAVE REMOVED in the first place… this makes your phone useless.

By the time you realize it, you’ve already ended up with an otherwise unusable Android phone.

But why does this happen?

The answer is simple: you have a rooted phone! That means you have access to everything.

This access gives you ALL of the advantages, but expect some repercussions.

#2 Being Unable to Update

Your Android phone can STILL receive news about the latest system updates.

Unfortunately, being able to update is a different story:

  • Some deleted system files may be what the next update needs
  • Some undertaken software modifications change the compatibility of your device with the new Android phone systems

In short, unrooted Android devices are more stable AND receptive to the latest updates.

But of course, it’s up to you to decide if this is important or not.

#3 Disclosing Personal Information

We get your confusion! Wasn’t this listed as one of the advantages of rooting Android device?

You’re right, but privacy issues are a double-edged sword.

The logic is once again really simple:

  • You gain root permission from apps easily
  • At the same time, you give malware access to your system

Apps can get this through your login details, sensitive data on your device, and even payment details!

You’d be surprised that even a HIGH-SECURITY APP like Android Pay can get compromised.

And really, there is only one thing to do to AVOID this: download only from LEGAL AND RELIABLE SOURCES.

#4 Disrupting Android Device System Performance

The operating systems of newly rooted Android phones run at HIGHER SPEEDS.

Your mobile phones are UNABLE to accommodate it more often than not.

  • Unstable
  • Unusable
  • Slow

These are qualities often observed in rooted devices, ESPECIALLY if the rooting was poorly done.

And just a casual reminder: some Android devices don’t receive root methods that easily mitigate these issues.

#5 Losing of Warranty

One of the MOST SIGNIFICANT disadvantages of rooting your device is that rooting voids your phone’s warranty.

Device makers LOSE RESPONSIBILITY for any damages that the previous device warranty covers:

  • While legal, phone warranty is not covered across any specific device
  • You can’t easily have it fixed by your phone provider

So what does this exactly mean?

If you root your Android phone, you would have to go to UNOFFICIAL and probably unsafe and unreliable repair shops to fix your phone.

#6. Exposing Your Phone to Spyware and Surveillance Software

Rooting your Anroid phone allows apps to directly access the data stored in other apps. This means spy phone apps could access data from your phone including social media accounts, text messages, phone calls, and more.

This is generally only a concern if you think someone ELSE might try to monitor your phone.

Should You Root Your Android Phone?

It looks like a simple decision: deciding on whether the pros outweigh the cons of rooting your phone or not.

To help you assess things better, here are a few QUESTIONS YOU SHOULD ASK YOURSELF:

  • Am I willing to take the risk of malware when downloading rooting apps?
  • Is there an app only available for rooted phones that I’m WILLING TO LOSE MY WARRANTY over?
  • Do I need custom ROMS?
  • Is getting the latest OS updates not crucial for how I work with my phone?
  • Am I unhappy with the services I’m receiving from the stock Android OS?

REMEMBER: Phone manufacturers provide little control over the OS as a SECURITY MEASURE.

However, if you’ve answered YES to any of these questions, perhaps rooting your phone is the change that you need for your device.

The RISK and RESEARCH are all out there in the open: the decision is all up to you.

Is Rooting an Android Legal?

Yes, it is completely legal to root an Android device. It’s your phone after all.

But is it safe?

Well, that depends on the technical specifications of your phone:

  • A phone’s operating system can protect you from ANY DOWNLOADED MALWARE
  • But unfortunately, a rooted Android device loses its WARRANTY should the OS be not enough protection

That said, ROOTING IS LEGAL.

But there are also SAFETY CONCERNS that shouldn’t be left unconsidered.

If you are willing to risk losing your phone OR your data, then by all means… continue to learn more about what rooting Android devices could mean for you!

Rooting your Android phone opens up SO MANY POSSIBILITIES, especially with how you can gear your device with apps.

FAQs

Before we wrap up, let’s go over some questions you might need to clarify to avoid any problems in the future.

How Long Does a Rooting Android Phone Take to Process?

The rooting process varies from device to device.

Likewise, the TIME also varies depending on the operating system installed in your Android phones:

  • If you’re lucky, you will only take 5 to 10 minutes of rooting
  • If you lack storage or phone updates, you might take 20-30 minutes of rooting
  • If you’re taking hours of rooting, perhaps you might need to perform secondary measures

Just be ready for any scenario!

Can I Unroot My Android Phone Back?

Yes! You can always unroot your device, given that it hasn’t been BRICKED yet.

This means that you can ALWAYS reset your phone as long as you have all the essential files and apps. However, it would be best to backup your files in another SD card just to be safe.

Jailbreaking VS Rooting

Rooting an Android device is essentially the same as jailbreaking an iOS device. It essentially removes the controls manufacturers place on the phone through their OEM operating systems.

Conclusion

The decision of whether or not you’ll root your Android depends on what you VALUE:

  • Customization?
  • Full autonomy over your settings?
  • Optimization?

If so, then you can probably OVERLOOK the disadvantages of rooting.

But remember: there’s always a fine line between SAFELY ROOTING and CARELESSLY BRICKING your Android phone’s system.

Do you agree? Have a story about your experiences with rooting?

Let us know in the comments below!

About the Author

Jason is a work from home dad who has a passion for DIY projects, yard work, and SEC Football. His background is IT, but he's always fancied himself as a part-time ship welder, landscaper, and short order cook. During the week he can be found on his laptop 10 hours-a-day, but on the weekends he escapes to the local DIY Cave to play with REAL toys.  You can also find him on Facebook, Twitter, and can contact him via email.
jason thompson