After holding off for a long time, I recently decided to root my Android (a Galaxy Note I). Having had experience in jailbreaking my iPhone in the past I expected the rooting process to be somewhat complicated and annoying, involving a whole lot of careful reading of instructions, finding and downloading exactly the correct version and variation of ROM to suit my particular device, booting the device into special modes in order to flash the ROM(s), etc. But then I stumbled on what may be the simplest and easiest way to do it: a simple, FREE app that can root your device in seconds.
The app is called Framaroot, and aside from the fact that it does not require or need a PC to perform the root, and does not involve any downloading or flashing of ROMs, it is also a one-size-fits-all solution that supports a wide variety of Android devices. It is likely work on yours, unless your device is relatively new or possibly if you have some sort of esoteric non mainstream device.<!–more–>
Before you start: you should know that rooting will likely invalidate your warranty. Also note that any Android system update pushed onto your device will take away the rooting with it. For any other questions check out the FAQ page on the XDNA Developer’s Framaroot page (link below).
A step by step rooting guide for the absolute beginner:
Scroll down and get the latest version. You can download straight into your device if you like, without involving a PC in the process.
Step 2: Enable app installation from sources other than the Google Play store
Android by default restricts installs to apps that come from the Google Play; however, this can be easily changed. Go to settings/security and then check the box next to ‘unknown sources’ (see screenshots below).
Step 3: install the app
Either click on the downloaded app entry in the status bar, or use a file manager to browse to your download folder and click on the Framaroot APK file, then agree to/accept the installation prompts.
Step 4: launch the app / find out if it will work on your device
You will see a single ‘install SuperSU’ dropdown, and a list of ‘exploits’ underneath. Go ahead and click on them in succession. If ‘Framaroot’ can root your device, one of them will work (it worked on the third try – ‘Aragorn’ when I used it on my Galaxy Note 1). If you do get a ‘success’ screen then you are almost done. Reboot your device and enjoy root ‘superuser’ access. If none work then your device is unsupported.
What happens if all exploits do not work? Will it cause any damage? No, it will not. Nothing, will happen except that your device will not be tooted. I tried to use ‘Framaroot’ to root my Nexus 7 unsuccessfully and moved on without changes to my device.
Once rooted (and rebooted) you will find a new ‘SuperSU’ app icon (see screenshot bottom left). This will manage any ‘Superuser’ privileges that you grant to any apps (which is a fancy term for being able to access the root folder and other root functions) . This is mainly done automatically: many apps will detect that your device is rooted and request Superuser privileges, or will do so when you try to access functions that require root. You can manage these Superuser privileges from the SuperSU app (see screenshot bottom right).
Step 5: access your root folder
You can access your root folder using our favorite FREE file management app ‘ES File Explorer’, but you will have to configure it for root access as detailed below.
First, click on the ‘Fast Access’ icon in the top right to expand the left sidebar. Next, scroll down the sidebar until you see ‘Root Explorer’ and switch that to ‘ON’. Finally, your device will display a ‘superuser request’ for ES File Explorer, which you should grant.
That’s it, enjoy your rooted Android!