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What Does Rooting an Android Device Mean?

“Rooting” an Android device is the act of unlocking the OS of your smartphone or tablet. This practice first gained attention with the earliest generation of iPhones. When performing this process on an iOS appliance, it is known as “jailbreaking.”

What is rooting an Android device?

The term rooting refers to the fact that you’ll have root access to your smartphone or tablet. This is the portable equivalent of becoming an admin user of a desktop computer. There is nothing that you cannot change on a rooted device. Whether this is a good or bad thing depends on your perspective.

By default, users cannot tamper with the OS of an Android device. On paper, this means that you will not accidentally delete any critical functions of a phone, rendering it useless.  However, a more cynical audience may claim that these restrictions prevent Android users from achieving true liberty and keep them under the control of Google.

Why do people root their Android devices?

One of the main reasons that people root their Android devices is to enjoy more personalisation. With a rooted appliance, you can change the logo on your screen when you boot up. You can alter the default font, create a unique lock screen … the possibilities are endless. These changes all sound a little superficial – and they are. Minor, aesthetic differences can make a big difference to user experience, though.

Perhaps the most significant advantage of rooting an Android phone is the freedom it provides to tinker with apps, though. Ordinarily, you can only adjust apps according to the settings assigned by manufacturers. A rooted phone offers complete control. If you are a skilled user, you can maximise the performance of your apps – potentially extending the lifespan of a device.

Rooted appliances can also delete pre-installed apps, often referred to as Bloatware. You know the ones we mean – apps that simply waste space on your phone, but you cannot remove them. Samsung is particularly guilty of this. Android stores these apps in the equivalent of the C drive in a smartphone or tablet – usually off-limits to users. Rooted devices will not endure this restriction.

Can I install iOS apps on a rooted Android device?

If your Android appliance is rooted, you can “sideload” apps onto your device. Sideloading means installing unofficial apps that you cannot source from the Google Play store. You may want to continue using an old app that is no longer supported or an app that Google refuse to acknowledge.

There is a restriction here, though. Rooting does not allow Android users to install apps from the iOS store. Android apps are developed using different code from their Apple counterparts. As a result, the two systems remain incompatible. Asking Android to run an iOS-only app, or vice versa, is like trying to converse with a French speaker in Russian. 

There are ways to use iOS apps on Android using an emulator, but we do not recommend it. Rooting your device is already risky, as we’ll discuss in a moment. If you start messing with more options, you’ll leave your appliance at risk. A Google search will reveal how you can achieve this aim, but we will not detail them here as we cannot condone such actions.

Should I root my Android appliance?

Rooting an Android device is a matter of personal preference. If you are considering rooting your smartphone or tablet, we recommend asking yourself three questions.

Do not just root your Android device for the heck of it. There are risks involved, so you should only attempt this if you have a compelling reason. The hazards inherent in rooting an Android smartphone or tablet include:

The most considerable risk will always be the chance of completely trashing your appliance, though. Our advice? Back up everything before you start and only root your phone if you have a Plan B, such as the financial means to buy a replacement if things go wrong. 

How to root an Android device 

If you have weighed up the pros and cons of rooting a device and have decided to go ahead, you have two main choices.

There are risks to both approaches. Apps are typically easy to use, but some are safer and more reliable than others. As Android runs on countless different phones, you’ll also need to find an app suitable for your manufacturer. Check online forums (Reddit is typically a font of all internet knowledge) to find the best software for a Samsung, LG, Huawei or Lenovo model.

If you take your phone to a shop, they’ll likely be able to root it in a matter of moments. In theory, this is the safest option. In reality, though, you’re handing complete control of your phone to a stranger. As we mentioned, rooting means that somebody can install any kind of software, compromising your security. Only approach somebody that you trust implicitly. 


There are pros and cons to rooting an Android device. If you are comfortable with making changes to the OS of your appliance, you’ll certainly enjoy a lot of benefits. Just be aware that it’s easy to make a real mess when a phone is rooted. 

Only attempt this if you are confident in your tech skills – and can think of a compelling reason why a rooted phone would improve your life. In the meantime, be sure to bookmark Dumpster for more Android tips.

Greg Porter

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