Rooting your Android phone needn’t be a scary prospect, as long as you prepare properly and make sure you have everything you need before you start. Some of the tips here may seem obvious to some, but it is always better to go over things one last time rather than discover a problem when it is either too late or when fixing things will be much more difficult.

1. Backup Everything

I can’t emphasise this enough!

Backup, backup, backup! Save your cherished photos onto your computer, backup your apps and settings, and ensure that everything you want synced to your Google account has been synced or you can backup everything from your phone to PC on one-click using Syncios Data Transfer. Bricking your phone might be quite hard to actually do, but wiping everything off it certainly isn’t. Almost every method of rooting Android phones involves completely wiping the device data (although not always the data on the MicroSD card), so even if you don’t make any mistakes, you are going to lose things if you don’t prepare.
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2 Check the Details

By details I mean knowing the make and model of your phone, and which version of Android it is currently running. It is even a good idea to check the kernel version and build number. Now, when you are searching for a guide to rooting your phone, you can hopefully find one which is specific to your exact device, and reduce the risk of something going wrong. It is no good using a guide to rooting a Nexus 5 if you have a Samsung Galaxy S5, for while the general steps will be similar, the details may well be very different.

3 Read Before You Root

When you have found the guide to rooting your specific phone make and model, and you are happy that it is well written and contains enough detail (important!) make sure that you understand each step. You don’t need to be an expert in custom recoveries, but at least make sure you know what that means. And while reading, download any files that you are told to throughout the guide. It is not unlikely that newer version of files have been released, and the link given may dead end. If this is the case, try to find a newer version of the file (be careful, as this is not as simple as it may sound) or find a more recently written guide, with a better possibility of working links.

4 Check Your Warranty

If you are still sure you want to root your potentially very expensive phone, and that you understand the process, take a moment to check the warranty. It is not definite that rooting a device will invalidate the warranty, but it is very possible that it will. Even if you can return the phone to what you think is exactly as it was before rooting, the manufacturer or carrier might still be able to tell it has been tampered with. If your phone is still within the warranty period, consider waiting to root until that warranty runs out.

5 Understand the Limitations

I eat, breathe and sleep mobiles phones. I work with them all day, and mess around with them in the evening. To me, rooting is a useful thing to do as it lets me try out advanced settings or functions, and it increases my knowledge of smartphone software. Think about why you want to root, before you take the first step. Yes, rooting will give you access to CPU tuner apps, but that doesn’t mean you can make your ageing HTC Desire perform like a Galaxy S5. Installing a custom ROM such as CyanogenMod is very cool, and will definitely make the phone a better tool for some, but you will still be using an Android phone, with many of the features being exactly the same as on your stock setup. It may let you update an old phone to a otherwise unavailable version of Android, but that doesn’t mean your phone will be able to cope with the additional power requirements. Think about why you want to root, and understand the limitation of rooting.

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