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How to unroot your Android phone or tablet
Rooting your phone and unlocking its true potential is one of the best parts of the Android ecosystem, and just one of the things that set it apart from other mobile operating systems. Of course, it isn’t for everyone. Everything becomes more complex with root access. Not to mention you could potentially harm your device, and tinkering with a handset can void the warranty, resulting in an unfortunate situation. Maybe it’s time to unroot!
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 generally gets in the way of updating your software over the air. Furthermore, 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 are plenty of tutorials out there for rooting a smartphone, but not many show you how to unroot. Let’s take care of that!
See also: The benefits of rooting your phone
The simplest and most universal way to unroot Android devices is by reinstalling the device's stock firmware. This will work regardless of the device, ROM, kernel, or recovery.
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Editor’s note: Any tinkering with your smartphone’s software may cause issues and possibly harm your handset. Do your research and be careful every step of the way. No one but you will be responsible for any harm that may come to your gadgets. Especially now that you’ve rooted your handset and possibly voided your warranty.
Unroot by installing the stock firmware
Returning the phone to its original firmware is usually the best way to unroot your Android phone. There are 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 give you a tutorial entirely. Phones have different ways of accomplishing a manual firmware install, so you will have to research how to do this on your specific smartphone. Users will need to download their particular firmware files, use USB Debugging, and possibly download some PC software.
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, restart the phone, and you will be back to normal.
Unroot by using an app
Are you not 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 a hit-or-miss situation.
A popular option is Simply Unroot, which can quickly eliminate root privileges in Android devices. This is a bit of a gamble, as it costs ~$2.50 to unroot devices, 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 setup, 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. Grab your favorite one and follow the following steps.
How to unroot your Android phone using a file manager:
- Access your device’s main drive and look for system. Select it, and then tap on bin.
- Delete “busybox” and “su.” By the way, these might not be there. If that is the case, move on to the next step.
- Go back to the system folder and select xbin. If the files are there, go ahead and delete both “busybox” and “su.”
- Go back to the system folder and select app.
- Delete “superuser.apk.”
- Restart the device, and it will all be done.
Also read: The best file manager apps for Android
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 can often break root access. Most users have to root again, but installing your next update is easy if you don’t want root.
The obvious downside is that you have to wait for an update to arrive. Oh, and don’t forget to uninstall SuperSu and any other root-related apps. Also, remember that this will only work when using the stock recovery on your device.
Flash the original boot image
Certain root apps, like Magisk, create a backup of the stock boot image. This can also be withdrawn from the factory firmware of your exact smartphone build and model. This boot image should be named “boot.img,” and you can install it using the Fastboot utility. Do some research, as the process is different with every phone, and some manufacturers make it harder to do this.
If you originally rooted your Android using Magisk, unrooting it will be a breeze. There is an official Uninstall Magisk button in the app. Tap on it and select Complete uninstall. The application will work its magic and automatically restart. You’ll be set after this.
Yes, you can root a phone after it’s been unrooted. Simply go through your phone’s current standard method for rooting. This may often change, as finding an exploit can differ for different software versions. You might have to root your phone differently than when you last did it.
Rooting your Android phone can be unsafe if you aren’t careful. Root access gives you more control over your phone’s system and files. Likewise, it can provide hackers and viruses more access. Because you’re likely downloading files from third parties and installing them on your phone manually, there’s also a higher risk of catching malware.
Honestly, there are much fewer benefits for rooting a phone these days. It was a widespread practice before, when phones were much more limited. For example, we used to like overclocking phones to make them faster, but even affordable handsets are pretty snappy these days. ROMs were common to customize the UI, but this can easily be done with launchers and third-party apps. It was also a common tool for quicker software updates, but manufacturers and carriers are also getting much better at this.
We know some of you may like tinkering with software freely. Installing and running UI elements natively is also much more seamless than running a launcher on top of your software. Root access can also allow for much more complete backups, in which you can store things down to the system level.
If you’ve gotten rid of root access on your Android phone, but still have issues, you might want to get some more tips for fixing common Android OS problems. Check these out!