How Safe is Rooting Android Devices?

At LockerGnome.com, Ryebread761 writes:

After almost a month with my Nexus 7, I am beginning to get comfy with Android. (So comfy that I want my contract to end so I can switch to an Android phone…) Anyway, I have seen a few cool things pop up whilst going around the Web consuming Android-related content and some stuff requires rooting. I am wondering: is rooting fairly safe? What are the real risks of it? Mostly I am talking just rooting without a custom ROM, but some info on that would be of interest too. Thanks.

AndroidOne of the biggest advantages to Android over iOS is its open and easily rooted framework. Some Android devices are designed specifically with rooting in mind. It’s far more encouraged than it is on iOS, and that’s a great benefit for users who prefer to have that extra control over their software.

Here’s the thing to keep in mind. If you don’t know what you’re doing, then you’re probably going to have a much harder time rooting your device than people who are a bit more experienced. The people with a firm grasp on how Android works will tell you it’s easy and anyone can do it, but I’ve known enough people who end up stuck in a reboot loop with no idea how to recover from it to tell you that there is an inherent risk involved with fiddling in the back end of complex software like Android.

The good news is that you can recover your device from virtually any issue caused by a corrupt ROM or failed root. Android is very versatile in that way, and it has several built-in safeguards that allow you to apply updated ROMs and other fixes to get your phone back to working condition when things get rough.

My best advice to you would be to find a friend who knows the process inside and out and ask them to guide you through it. Forums alone can help, but it’s much better to have someone to turn to when things go sideways.

One of our writers, Ryan Matthew Pierson, had an issue with a corrupt ROM that locked his phone in an infinite reboot cycle. He was able to get some help from Eddie Ringle that got him back on track. He was even able to revert to vanilla Jelly Bean with minimal issue.

If you feel that your experience will improve with a rooted device, then go for it. Just keep in mind that you’re doing so at your own risk. Things have a way of going wrong when you start tinkering with the back end of an operating system, especially if you do so without understanding what you’re doing!

Image: Wikimedia

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Chris has consistently expressed his convictions and visions outright, supplying practical information to targeted audiences: media agencies, business owners, technology consumers, software and hardware professionals, et al. He remains a passionate personality in the tech community-at-large. He's a geek.

  • db25

    Rooting is technically exploiting a security measure. You don’t even cover the issues of malware, spyware, etc. So I honestly have to ask… What’s the point of this article if you don’t discuss saftey issues?