Are you a control freak who wants more power over your Android? Or a customization aficionado who likes to tweak every aspect of your phone? Then “rooting” might be for you.
“Rooting” is the process of assigning yourself superuser access to your Android. This allows you to take advantage of more functions and features of the operating system. While rooting your Android might mean more power, it also puts you at risk for needing cell phone repair.
Because you have unlimited access on a rooted phone, that means if your Android falls into the wrong hands, a cybercriminal now has unlimited access as well. What’s more, malicious apps can take advantage of the extended privileges and gain more access to your phone. In this article, we’re going to explain what rooting is, why you might want to do it, and why it can pose a security risk for your smartphone.
Android has an open-source OS, which means that anyone is free to modify or build on the code. OEMs may modify the Android operating system to manufacture custom versions for the phones that they sell to add features or to provide a more polished experience.
Both carriers and flagship manufacturers like LG, Samsung, Huawei, and others place restrictions on their phones in addition to modifying the Android code. In fact, Google itself places restrictions on its own OS for the security of users.
Locking up devices by putting restrictions on the Android code prevents users from opening the door to security risks or doing unintentional damage to their phones. OEMs also lock down their devices to stop smartphone owners from removing apps that were installed by the manufacturer.
What does this mean? It means that the Android user account won’t be logged in as root (administrator), so every app will have limited permissions and access. OEMs and carriers will limit what can be done for your own protection and for their own business interests.
Why Should You Risk Needing Cell Phone Repair to Root Your Phone?
Rooting your Android gives you fine-grained control over your phone and lets you extend its capabilities. When you root your cell phone, you aren’t constricted to what an OEM says you can do with the phone. You can push the limits and do anything the phone’s hardware allows.
When you root your phone, you’re in control. You can add new functionality with custom ROMs like LineageOS. These ROMs open the door to features on your smartphone and provide updated OS versions even after your phone manufacturer stops support.
Apps made to run on rooted Androids are available in the Google Play Store. Downloading apps from this source can limit the possibility of installing a nefarious app that could take advantage of the permissions of a rooted phone.
You can use these root-only apps that do things like give you control of storage, or the ability to modify hidden settings and remove bloatware. Root-only apps often give you control of your smartphone at the hardware level, for example, to optimize and save battery.
The Downsides of Rooting
Rooting a phone will void any warranty you have and your carrier may refuse to fix your phone. Rooting your phone might also violate your service contract.
Additionally, you can make a mistake when you root your phone and brick your device. A bricked phone won’t make calls, connect to wi-fi, or even boot.
Rooting also makes it possible for apps to run with superuser privileges. This gives an app the ability to really do anything on your phone. Nasty apps with these types of privileges can wreak havoc on your phone.
Finally, rooted phones don’t receive automatic updates that have been released by Google. You’ll have to update your OS manually with your ROM like LineageOS.
Lack of updates plus security concerns might put you at risk for needing cell phone repair if your phone becomes infected and you need a professional to remedy the situation. If you aren’t a tech-savvy person, rooting may not be your best choice. If your device is close to the end of its life and you’re trying to extend it, rooting might be worth it, if you’re comfortable rummaging under the hood to make your device work.