How to Root Your Android

May 25, 2011, By Christian Cawley

In order to get the most out of your Android and take advantage of apps that deliver enhanced functionality, you might have to make the decision to root your device.

“Rooting” opens up access to previously locked files and folders on your phone, and with root access applications can gain more direct integration with your Android’s hardware. One such example is downloading a file explorer app, which requires root access to work, or one of the many tethering apps for the platform.

We’re going to look at how you can easily root your Android without engaging in any potentially disruptive “black arts” by taking advantage of a simple rooting app, but before we do that, let’s consider the advantages and disadvantages of rooting.

How to root your Android

Should I Root My Android?

Rooting is the Android equivalent of jailbreaking and iPhone, and permits access to the root directory of the file system. The reason rooting is required is because this directory is restricted by default, preventing access from apps and users, and the reason why access is prevented is because these directories contain all manner of vital files and settings that, if disrupted, could stop your phone from working correctly, perhaps permanently.

So the question you should ask yourself is not “how do I root my Android?” but “should I root my Android?” With so much at stake, you could – potentially – end up gaining functionality with one hand and losing it with another (note that his is an extreme example, however; use of reputable and highly rated apps should allow you to carry on as normal). You decision should be based on what you hope to achieve, and how important the extra functionality that you would gain is.

When you have made your decision on whether to root your Android, it is time to move on and find the right tool for the job.

Rooting Your Android with z4root

Your best bet for rooting your Android is to take advantage of the free z4root app, which you won’t find on the Market. Instead, load up your Android browser and head to Softpedia where you will be able to download it directly to your phone. Once the download is complete, you may need to run the APK file manually, which you can do by dragging down the status bar and tapping the downloaded file.

Using z4Root is very simple. You will find it listed in the apps list, and when launched it will give you the simple, single option to Root your device. Once this is tapped, z4root will add files to your phone or tablet, and at some point the device phone may restart. This is all part of the process of rooting your tablet, and within a few minutes your device will be rooted, and you’ll be able to install apps that require root access!

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