Android is the world’s most customizable mobile platform. But Android becomes even more customizable when you root it.
Rooting your phone gives you access to the “root” directories of your device. Manufacturers keep these root directories off-limits to users by default. They lock these directories so you can’t brick your phone by accidentally deleting a file. They also do this so you can’t uninstall their “bloatware” apps.
Android smartphones and tablets are incredibly powerful. Unfortunately, most people only get a small taste of that power. Rooting your device lets you experience the full potential your device has to offer.
Here are the best reasons why you should root your Android device:
10. Install Incompatible Apps
Have you ever looked for good Android apps online, only to find that they’re not available for your device? The Google Play Store will deliver an image that looks like this:
That’s frustrating. It’s even more frustrating when you realize that there’s no good reason why you see this message. Phone carriers will sometimes restrict apps which compete with their own apps. In other cases, an app isn’t available in your “region”, although it will still work perfectly fine when you install it.
Rooting lets you install all of these apps, which means you’ll never see a message like the one listed above.
9. Improve Battery Life and Speed
Battery life and speed are the two most common complaints about Android. Almost every phone user complains about battery life, and certain versions of Android slow the OS down to a crawl.
Rooting Android lets you speed up your phone and improve its battery life. SetCPU is one popular way to improve performance and battery life at the same time. SetCPU lets you overclock your phone when you need extra performance and underclock your phone when you don’t need it. This leads to better performance and superior battery life.
A similar app, Greenify, will automatically hibernate certain apps that you aren’t using. If you don’t want Facebook Messenger constantly running in the background checking for messages, you can “Greenify” that app, which freezes its performance until you activate it again.
Beyond apps, you can install custom ROMs which are specifically designed to improve performance and boost battery life.
8. Automate Your Life
Tasker is one of the most under-appreciated Android apps in the world today. With Tasker, you can automate virtually everything electronic in your life. Want your phone to connect to Bluetooth speakers and start playing your favorite song at 4:30pm every day when your phone’s GPS is in your parking lot at work? With Tasker, you can easily do that.
Some examples of the things you can do with Tasker include:
- Tell certain apps to have a longer screen time-out, like for your Kindle app
- Tell certain apps to launch when certain conditions are met, like opening a file browser window when you insert an SD card
- Turn your phone on airplane mode overnight, while still telling it to reconnect every hour to check messages
- Tell your phone to play certain songs for certain alarms at certain times or days of the week
- Get your phone to enter “quiet mode” when it’s face down, shutting off the speakers, GPS, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi
- If one of your friends talks too loud, you can tell Tasker to lower call volume when you have an incoming call from that number.
Tasker lets you turn any phone into a superphone. Each update improves the app more and more while making the app easier to use. Non-rooted users can access Tasker’s basic functions and features, but more in-depth “tasks” require rooting.
Read the top 10 ways to use Tasker to improve your life here. You can also learn more about Tasker and its amazing range of functions at the developer’s official website.
7. Block Advertisements Across All Apps
If you talk to people who have rooted their Androids, you’ll find that this is one of the most popular options. Nobody likes to see advertisements when they’re playing games or browsing the internet.
The worst part of mobile advertisements is that they’re intentionally placed in the part of the screen where you’re most likely to tap. A single misplaced tap could lead you to a shady app download page or malicious website.
When you root your Android phone, you can actually block advertisements across all apps and browsers. You do this by telling your phone to block data from certain servers which are exclusively designed to distribute advertisements.
Just like you would block a website on your Wi-Fi network by entering it into your router, you can block entire advertisement networks by blocking them on the root levels of your device.
If you don’t want to manually enter each and every advertisement website you need to block, then there’s a better solution: install ad blocking apps like AdFree, AdBlock Plus, and AdAware.
6. Back Up Every Byte on your Device
Non-rooted Android users can back up their data. Unfortunately, it’s impossible to back up all the data on your device. You can back up contact information, for example, and certain types of apps, but you can’t back up everything.
That’s a problem. Fortunately, after rooting Android, it’s easily possible to backup everything on your device, including system apps and their data, all your contact information, message history, and settings. Titanium Backup is amazingly powerful. Within minutes of buying a new Android device, you can easily transfer all of your old information over to your new device.
5. Uninstall Crapware and Bloatware
When you buy a new Android device, it typically comes with dozens of bloatware apps installed. These bloatware apps take up valuable storage space and, in some cases, run in the background stealing away performance and battery life.
The worst part is that you can’t uninstall these apps. Manufacturers and carriers disable the “uninstall” function, which means you’re left with all of these apps you never need to use.
Fortunately, rooting Android lets you uninstall this pre-installed crapware. Deleting this crapware can free up space and improve your performance. It also reduces clutter in your app drawer.
4. Remove Stock Android Skins
If you’re using an Android made by Samsung, HTC, and other manufacturers, then you’re not using stock Android. Instead, you’re using a modified skin of Android that the manufacturer thinks you might like.
Sometimes, those skins genuinely improve Android. Many people like HTC’s Sense UI, for example. Samsung’s TouchWiz UI, unfortunately, isn’t nearly as popular.
In most cases, Android skins are bulky, ugly, or some combination of the two. After rooting Android, you can ditch the skins and make your Android device look more beautiful than ever before.
3. Enjoy Hundreds of Hidden Features
Your Android device is packed with hundreds of hidden features. Unfortunately, most users never get to access those features. When you root your device, you can do all sorts of things you never knew you could do before.
Here are some of our favorite features you can only enjoy when you root Android:
- Attach a PlayStation controller to your phone and use it to control mobile games
- Block certain callers from calling at certain times
- Download apps that aren’t available in your country
- Trick websites and Google into thinking your phone is from a different country
- Protect yourself from public Wi-Fi networks and ARP, DOS, and MITM attacks
- Use your camera in high-FPS modes, including enabling 240fps slow motion on phones where it’s not officially a feature
2. Free Wireless Tethering
One of many annoying parts about US carriers is that they charge for tethering. By default, “tethering” is disabled on Android devices on US carriers like Verizon and AT&T. Tethering lets you turn your phone into a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot, which means you can connect your laptop and other devices to that network to enjoy internet wherever you have a mobile data connection.
This feature is incredibly helpful, but most carriers charge $10 to $25 per month for the privilege of tethering.
After rooting Android, you can easily tether without your carrier’s knowledge. You simply download a wireless tether app from the Google Play Store and start using your phone’s data connection. That’s it.
1. Flash a Custom Kernel
Flashing a custom ROM is one Android rooting advantage, but you don’t have to stop there. You can also flash a custom kernel.
The kernel is what your phone uses to communicate with your apps. Some kernels are better than others – especially if you’re looking for better battery life, performance, or a different range of features.
Flashing kernels is surprisingly easily thanks to the dozens of good kernel manager apps available on the Google Play Store.
To sum up all the rooting advantages listed above, rooting Android lets you officially own your device. Without rooting, some people never feel like a phone is truly theirs.
On unrooted devices, your carrier and your manufacturer are constantly telling you how to use your device and what to do. They tell you which apps you can install and which apps you can uninstall.
Ultimately, it feels like you’re renting a device: not owning it.
Rooting lets you solve this problem and gives you the best possible openness and control over your entire Android device. And that freedom is tough to beat.