How to unroot your Android phone or tablet

by: Edgar CervantesNovember 3, 2015
1.1K

This is my Note 3, there are many like it but this one is mine.

Rooting your phone and unlocking its true potential is one of the best parts of the Android ecosystem, but it certainly isn’t for everyone. For one, the process is a bit complicated. Not to mention the fact that you could potentially harm your device, and tinkering with a handset can void the warranty, resulting in an unfortunate situation.

Don’t want to be part of the root club anymore? Being in Google’s protective arms is definitely nice, and it is an inconvenience that root gets in the way of updating your software over the air. Additionally, when it comes to selling a phone, many buyers want the “out of box” experience, as if the phone were brand new, which root technically detracts from.

The thing is, there’s plenty of tutorials out there for rooting a smartphone, but not as many show you how to unroot. Let’s fix that!

Unroot by using SuperSU

Many users take advantage of SuperSU, a popular tool for managing rooted devices. Among its many features is the ability to unroot your device.

The process is as simple as they get. Just open the SuperSU app and head over to the Settings tab. Scroll down and select “Full Unroot”. Follow instructions and let the phone do its thing. After it takes care of business, just restart the phone and you will be back to normal.

SuperSU

Unroot by using an app

universal-unrootNot using SuperSU? There’s a slight chance you might still be able to unroot your phone by taking advantage of a simple app. The only caveat is that these applications don’t seem to work well with every smartphone out there. It’s kind of a hit or miss.

The most popular option is Universal Unroot, which can easily get rid of root privileges in Android devices. Sadly, there’s plenty of downsides. For starters, a bunch of Samsung devices won’t work, due to a complication with KNOX. LG devices will be unrooted, but they will still show as rooted afterwards, thanks to LG’s eFuse.

I will say this is a bit of a gamble, as it costs $0.99, but that might be worth it if you don’t want to play around with your phone too much.

Unroot by using a file manager

Root access might seem like a complicated set-up, but it’s really nothing but a bunch of files on your phone. Get rid of them and root will also go away.

To do this, you will need a file manager with root access. My favorite one happens to be ES File Explorer (just turn on root access in the settings).

  1. Access your device’s main drive and look for “system”. Select it, and then tap on “bin”. From there, delete “busybox” and “su”. By the way, these might not be there. If that is the case, move on to the next step.
  2. Go back to the system folder and select “xbin”. If the files are there, go ahead and delete both “busybox” and “su”.
  3. Go back to the system folder and select “app”.
  4. Delete “superuser,apk”.
  5. Restart the device and it will all be done.

ES-File-Explorer-2

Unroot by installing an OTA update!

Remember we told you root gets in the way of updating? Well, that is only if you want to update the traditional way, you can still push updates manually. We won’t get into those details right now, but the trick here is that software updates tend to break root access. Most users have to root again, but if you don’t want root it’s easy to simply install your next update.

The obvious downside is that you do have to wait for an update to arrive. Oh, and don’t forget to uninstall SuperSu and any other root-related apps. Alos keep in mind that this will only work when using the stock recovery on your device.

android update 2

Unroot by installing stock firmware

Taking the phone back to its original firmware is usually the best way to unroot a phone. There’s no ifs or buts here, it will work regardless of your device, ROM, kernel or recovery. This is because the firmware has all the necessary software packaged together.

The only sad part is that we can’t quite give you a tutorial. Phones have different ways o accomplishing a firmware install, so you will have to do a bit of research on how to do this to your specific smartphone. Users will need to download their specific firmware files, use USB Debugging and possibly download some PC software.

nexus 6p vs nexus 5x aa (23 of 25)

Wrapping it up

So there you have it, guys. Now you have the necessary tools for getting your phone away from the potentially dangerous world of rooting. Remember smartphone hackery is not exactly for everyone!

Have any of you guys tried these methods? Hit the comments to let us know your experiences. I have personally only used the last option. I feel like clean starts are always better, but I do have to say it makes me work and research much harder.

  • Peter Mulders

    I used to root to get rid of bloadware and also to boost batterylife and performance, but since a year or two, smartphones are so fast that I don’t think all the hassle is worth it. To me, of course. It is a good way to keep your old phone up to date with custom roms of Android’s latest, of course.

    • TheGCU

      It’s still worth it to root, if for no other reason than to block ads and uninstall bloatware. Getting the latest updates is just a bonus for most people.

      • Peter Mulders

        I disable or hide bloatware apps and ads don’t bother me that much so I stopped rooting two years ago. But sure, if you are experienced enough and you have time to, why not? ;-)

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    • PC_Tool

      You don’t need root to install a custom ROM (though most do come “pre-rooted”).

      I’m actually right there with you. Aside from ad-blocking, there’s really no need lately; at least on the beefier devices.

    • Akshay Magar

      Will unrooting gets my device wiped

    • Azeem

      The best thing about root is backups. You can make a full system backup and recover it incase of an emergency. If I am right, the backup and restore option only backs up the apps, not the system image.

  • Haxrs

    Thanks sir for this osm tutorial. Haxrs

  • Picachu

    Hi,

    I’ve root my device because I hate my phone carrier. My phone carrier, PUT ADVERTISEMENT in every web pages I view. So, I put their web address in hosts file, and send it to 127.0.0.1

    My question is, after I put the host file, and unroot the phone.
    Can I lock the bootloader again??
    I want to make sure my device security is NOT compromise.

    Thank you.

  • robert fish

    Root is slowely phasing out because we used it to get more power and control while marshmallow gives us that without root.

  • Mohammed Adnan

    hey,

    could anyone please help me in rooting my samsung galaxy s4 gt-19505 knox version 2.3

  • Akshay Magar

    If I unroot my device using su will my data get wipe

    • Azeem

      No.

  • With a Note 4, u can root using ‘Chainfire’ CF-Auto Root. And using his app SuperSU, there is the option to un-root, as the article mentions. I think to install custom ROM’s u need root. Well, u really just need a custom recovery, but to get the custom recovery, u need root.

  • MartySchellman

    Thanks for the quick tutorial. Really comes in handy, so I bookmarked it. √

  • zam

    i have rooted my phone using framaroot and installed twrp recovery,. can i unroot itt using supersu app ?? please help..