Ultimate List of TowelRoot Pros and Cons – Should You Root?

Ultimate List of TowelRoot Pros and Cons – Should You Root?

TowelRoot has caused a stir in the Android community over the past few weeks.

TowelRoot, in case you haven’t heard of it, can root several previously unrootable devices, including:

-Samsung Galaxy Note 3 on Verizon/AT&T

-Samsung Galaxy S5 on Verizon/AT&T

These two devices were notoriously difficult to crack. So difficult, in fact, that members of the XDA Developers Forum would eventually offer a $20,000 bounty to whoever could successfully root the devices.

That’s a lot of money. Eventually, George Hotz put together TowelRoot and won the bounty. TowelRoot is available for free on TowelRoot.com and claims to root any Android device in the world today.

towelroot 2

But does TowelRoot actually work? Should you download and use it? Is rooting risky? Today, I’m going to answer those questions with this list of pros and cons:

Pros of using TowelRoot to root your Android device

It’s ridiculously easy to use

To root your phone using TowelRoot, simply go to TowelRoot.com in your mobile internet browser and tap on the lambda icon. The website will download ‘TR.apk’ to your device. Tap that file from your notification shade to run it. This will install TowelRoot, at which point you simply tap “Make it ra1n” to root your device.


George Hotz released TowelRoot for free – although he did get to claim the $20,000 bounty from the XDA Developers Forum.

Download useful root-only apps

There are hundreds of root-only apps available for Android. Some of these apps can significantly improve your device and your lifestyle. You can overclock your device, for example, or control your entire home using apps like Tasker. You can back up every bit of your Android device to the cloud using Titanium Backup or block advertisements at their source using the rooted version of AdBlock. Apps are the primary reason why you would root your device – and there’s dozens of powerful root-only Android devices out there.

root android apps

Download the latest versions of Android before they hit your device

One of the silly things about Android is that we don’t receive Android updates until about 6 months after they’re announced. That’s really the only benefit iPhone users have over Android users – they receive iOS updates instantly on all devices. After rooting Android, you too can download the latest Android updates as soon as they’re released to the Android Open Source Project. Installing the latest version of Android is as easy as installing a custom ROM.

If your phone isn’t compatible, it won’t brick your device

towelrootOne of the cool things about TowelRoot is that it won’t destroy your device if it doesn’t work. Not all Androids have this exploit, and if your phone doesn’t have the exploit, then it will simply reboot into your same old login screen: no harm, no foul, no root.

Better performance and battery life

You can install battery-saving root-only apps like Greenify to significantly improve performance and battery life on Android. Greenify effectively freezes apps when they’re not in use, which prevents them from using bandwidth or processing power when it’s unnecessary. Expect a major boost in battery life from rooting.

Custom ROMs

Custom ROMs totally change the appearance and feel of your Android device. They’re a powerful way to enjoy the latest and greatest UI improvements. There are thousands of custom ROMs out there and dozens of them are as well-supported as the Android versions you receive from your carrier and manufacturer.

Cons of using TowelRoot to root your Android device

Security risks

After using TowelRoot, you’re temporarily exposed to a major vulnerability. Specifically, you need to download a root management app like SuperSU to give root permissions only to apps that need it. Otherwise, any app you use could gain root privileges without your permission – which poses a major security risk.

wifi tether

Voids the warranty

Rooting Android typically voids the warranty. If you’re outside the warranty period (which is typically one year to two years), then this won’t matter. If you’re inside the warranty period, then it’s something to consider.


Only works on KitKat (Android 4.4+)

George Hotz initially promised that TowelRoot would successfully root all Android phones and tablets. However, in real-world testing, that has not been the case. TowelRoot only works on Androids running the latest version of Android OS: KitKat 4.4+.

Doesn’t work for Motorola or HTC phones

For whatever reason, you won’t be able to root Motorola Android devices or HTC phones using the TowelRoot exploit. Unsuccessfully tested devices include the HTC One M8, Moto E, Moto G, and HTC One Mini.

No way to unroot when using TowelRoot

One of the major advantages of using One Click Root is being able to unroot your device with a single click. If you decide you don’t want to root your Android, you can simply unroot it with no harm done. TowelRoot only roots your Android – you can’t unroot with TowelRoot.

Conclusion – Is it the right choice for you?

Rooting isn’t nearly as big a deal as some Android users think. After rooting your device, it will reboot and look exactly the same as it did pre-root. It’s what you choose to do with your rooted Android device that will affect how you use it.

You can install powerful root-only apps and customize bizarre Custom ROMs, for example. Or, you can do absolutely nothing and simply relax knowing that you’ve rooted a phone.

With that in mind, I recommend rooting. Whether you’re using One Click Root’s powerful software ( which can also unroot your device with a single click) or you’re using the free TowelRoot exploit, rooting comes with a bunch of unique and powerful advantages.

30 thoughts on “Ultimate List of TowelRoot Pros and Cons – Should You Root?

  1. Several months ago I rooted my S5 using Towelroot before it passed into history. I wanted to gain access to the EXTSD card and it worked just fine. In the past two weeks AT&T has been trying to download Android 4.4.4 prior to the update to Android 5.1. The 4.4.4 update keeps failing at about the 25-28% point in the update “Update Interrupted Try Again.”
    It must have something to do with the root, the update to my wife’s unrooted S5 went without a hitch. Anyone have any idea on the problem and how to fix it so I can do the update?


  2. Just tried to root my Samsung Galaxy Note 3 from Verizon w/ 4.4.4 and it said it will not root this phone…  I thought towelroot would work on this phone, but apparently not…

  3. COOLKEVIN You don’t lose Knox, you trip the Knox counter which voids your warranty, but doesn’t prevent you flashing original firmware using Odin.

  4. COOLKEVIN basjke So you didn’t even bother to follow my very simple advice many posts ago to “google how to flash samsung firmware using Odin” then? 
    Because the you would know you flash from download mode and not recovery, with your phone connected to your computer. Sorry I tried to help you out, but I’m not really interested in talking to a brick wall.

  5. COOLKEVIN As said previously, if you don’t know what you’re doing, stay away from root. You destroyed it’s resale value when you rooted the phone using another root as Towelroot, because it tripped your Knox counter. As far as I know for Note 3 the latest Android available is 4.4.2, so I don’t understand to what you want to upgrade. The zip filer doesn’t ask to burn to dvd, it again shows that you don’t know what you’re doing. Bye

  6. So why did I just spend all night formatting and reinstalling everything only to see that it’s still rooted and that I’m never going to be able to ota update. Did I just destroy it’s resale value? Why bother restoring factory settings if I’m stuck in 4.4.2 and I downloaded odin then some large zip file but it wanted me to burn to a dvd and the rest didn’t make sense. I tried to factory reset now I’m here and basically where I was before I was supposed to go to bed for work only with 6 hours less sleep and a phone still stuck on 4.4.2.

  7. COOLKEVIN Once your phone has been rooted you can’t install OTA updates anymore, even after you unroot it. The only way to install the updates on a phone that has been rooted previously is through flashing with Odin.

  8. OK so I just spent the past 6 hours after doing a factory reset and reinstalling my applications and settings. Dealing with some minor setting loses (like all my waze points) yet the update failed as if it were still rooted. Samsung.galaxy.s4. Stuck on 4.4.2. Battery at 74 percent on charger all night. I’m about to throw in the towel on this phone

  9. COOLKEVIN Have you tried a factory reset on your phone? Boot in recovery, hold home, power and volume down button simultaneous until you see booting in recovery, scroll down to factory reset and confirm.

  10. COOLKEVIN If something is wrong with your battery I recommend a new battery instead of a new phone. Since you say you unrooted I assume you had a custom recovery and custom rom installed, which will be the cause of your battery drain. Try to flash an original Samsung firmware and your problems will probably disappear.

  11. Fair enough will check out after work. Until then.. I’m sure something is wrong with the battery and god knows I’ve bought enough chargers. What do you recommend htc8 or note4 or s5

  12. COOLKEVIN You shouldn’t try to root your phone if you don’t know what you’re doing. Google how to flash Samsung firmware using Odin. Plenty of info available.

  13. COOLKEVIN basjke I don’t get it why rooting would drain your battery, since root doesn’t do anything more than unlocking your OS. What can drain your battery is a custom rom. Once rooted you can’t install OTA updates anymore, you’ll have to download them from Sammobile and flash them with Odin.
    For the procedure how to Towelroot have a look here.  http://www.galaxynote3update.com/safety-root-n9005xxugng1-galaxy-note-3-without-knocking-knox-counter-0x0/

  14. i only want to get rid of un wanted stock apps.. flipboard.. evernote.. and so on.. not worried about custom roms.. any help..

  15. Why so much wrong information is given in this article? 
    Towelroot DOESN”T void your warranty, because it doesn’t trip the Knox counter.
    A phone rooted with Towelroot can be unrooted in minutes, uninstall the towelroot apk, and fully unroot with 1 click on the tab in Superuser.
    I have rooted and unrooted my Note N9005 3 times in less than a week, and after unroot the Knox counter still read 0x0 and Binary and system status both read Official.

  16. Why does everyone keep saying towel root is free I mean $8.00 and change is not exactly free it asks for a donation a donation is something that you can give or not and if you don’t give with towel root you don’t get I mean call it what it is a payed for app is it worth it that’s up to you I think yes if you want your phone rooted but for me free yes for $8.00 and change for something that I may not use no

  17. Why does everyone keep saying towel root is free $8 dollar’s and change is not exactly free so called donation you mean fee a donation is something you can give or not and if you don’t give with towel root you don’t get I mean call it what it is a payed for app is it worth it that’s up to you I think yes if you want your phone rooted but for me free yes $8.00 and change for something I don’t know if it would be something I would really use no

  18. Our you can unroot manually by:
    1. Open ES File Explorer
    a. Go to Favorites and hit the / button
    b. Click on menu / Settings / and check Enable Root Explorer
    c. Also check Mount File System
    d. Click the back button
    2. Then go to the system / bin and find the SU folder. Do a long press and delete
    3. Click the back button and go to system / xbin directory and find the SU file and delete if any present.
    4. Click the back button and go to system / app directory and find Superuser.apk and delete it.
    5. Next do a reboot. Root should be gone.
    6. Next, if you want to do a factory reset, go to Settings / Personal / Backup and reset
    Summary: This should put your phone back to stock for factory warranty or to sell or to simply start over.

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