Know if an Android Phone Has Been Rooted

Edited by Rob, Anonymous, Dougie-1, Dougie and 5 others

For all the flavors and versions of Android, one thing remains constant: users looking to get the most from their Android devices will probably wind up rooting them. Android, which is based on Linux, gives all installed apps and functions unique "permissions", to allow them to carry out their tasks. Rooting opens up control over those permissions, allowing rooted devices to do things the manufacturers might not have intended or thought of. Not unlike a jailbroken iOS device, a rooted Android device is able to download applications that are otherwise unavailable.

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That's not to say that there aren't risks. The more control you have over a device, the more opportunity you have to accidentally do something that might cause it to malfunction, or even stop working altogether. Not only that, but the added access to your device's operating system means apps that require root access, if malicious in nature, can do a lot of damage.

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There's a lot to think about before rooting a device, and there's a concern for those who aren't sure if their device has been rooted. Thankfully, it's a simple process to figure out whether your device has been rooted. Just follow the steps below.

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Method 1: Check Device Terminal

This is a surefire way to see if your device has been rooted. You'll need to download a terminal application and follow a few short steps.

  1. 1
    On your device, navigate to the Play Store and download a terminal application.
    Consider using Connectbot, as it's laid out quite simply, and easy to use.
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  2. 2
    Open the app and read, or skip through the introduction pages, until you reach the main screen.
    Screenshot 2014-08-01-13-52-05.png
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  3. 3
    Tap the drop-down menu to the left of the quick-connect box and select "Local."
    Screenshot 2014-08-01-13-52-24.png
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  4. 4
    In the quick-connect box, type "Terminal" (no quotations).
    Hit enter/done.
    Screenshot 2014-08-01-15-41-54.png
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  5. 5
    Look to the line of text at the top of the screen.
    If the last character is a dollar sign "$," your device is not in SuperUser mode (but may still be rooted). If the last character is a number/pound sign, "#," your device is has been rooted and is in SuperUser mode.
    Screenshot 2014-08-01-13-52-46.png
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  6. 6
    Type "su" (no quotations) and hit enter.
    If your device has been rooted, it will show a number/pound # sign. If it has not been rooted, it shouldn't recognize the SuperUser command.
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Method 2: Look For SuperUser App

Rooting involves downloading a "SuperUser" app. While finding the app on your device is not in itself direct proof that it has been rooted, it's at least a hint you can work with if you're hesitant to experiment with a terminal.

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  1. 1
    From your Home menu, open your Applications list.
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  2. 2
    Navigate to the section of applications beginning with the letter "S".
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  3. 3
    Try and find an application called "SuperUser" or "SU." If you have one of these applications on your phone, there's a good chance it's been rooted.
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Method 3: Download A Root Checker App

If you want a quick way to check whether or not you've got a rooted device, go to the Play Store and download a root checker app. Running one of these apps will let you know whether or not your device is rooted. It doesn't get simpler than that.

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Tips Tricks & Warnings

  • Most regular users probably won't need to root their device.
  • While some devices can be easily unrooted, others require a bit more work. *Research your device before taking any steps to root it.
  • If you're nervous about rooting your device, see if there's a way you can accomplish your goal without having to do so.
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Questions and Answers

SuperUser - but asks me to use TWRP/cwm or normal. Own HTC one m8?

I rooted my phone using MobileGo app via my computer. I did a check to see if it was rooted and it came back unverified i.e. - $. Typed SU, but still not still not getting a pound/number sign #.

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I want to know if my HTC one m8 phone (purchased second hand) is rooted or not.

My phone is not showing software updated option, and not connected with HTC sense.

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I need to edit the preferences file on .com.WhatsApp, as I want to increase the video limit size.

I understand I need root access to do that. Is that correct?

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Article Info

Categories : Android

Recent edits by: Soji, evans ocharo, Eng

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