Without a comprehensive root method for all Android phones and tablets, a device-specific approach is needed. And since we always cover each new rooting method for all the popular phones and tablets here at Gadget Hacks, we’ve built this always-updated guide to rooting any Android device.

Any time we find a new and better way to root, we’ll be updating this post. Bookmark it now, and we’ll be ready when you get your next new phone or tablet. Currently, this guide covers the following devices and methods.

What Is Root?

In the simplest terms, “root” is the topmost folder on your Android device. If you have experience using Windows Explorer, you can think of root as the C:\ drive, where all of your other folders like My DocumentsProgram Files and your Windows files are stored.

However, unlike Windows, Android doesn’t let you access these top-level folders and leaves you stuck behind a virtual wall about halfway up the file tree. This is done so that novice users don’t accidentally compromise their device by deleting necessary files.

Rooting your device gives you access to these top folders so that you can make system-level changes such as getting rid of bloatware apps, blocking ads in apps, or even modifying your System UI to give your device a completely new look and feel.
  • Don’t Miss: Android Basics: What is Root?

There are a few drawbacks to rooting your device, most notably that your device will most likely no longer receive over-the-air firmware updates (in most cases). Secondly, rooting voids the warranty on most devices, so you’ll probably be out of luck on that end if something happens to your phone after rooting it. Lastly, there are potential security risks involved, since rooting your device will also grant apps access to your top-level folders. However, you should be able to mitigate these concerns by installing a root manager like SuperSU.

CF Auto Root: Multi-Device Rooting Tool

Due to the vast number of Android devices on the market and the differences between these devices, there isn’t a rooting method that will universally work on all devices. However, there is a tool you can utilize for many of the most popular Android devices. CF Auto Root, created by developer Chainfire, works on hundreds of devices on their latest firmware. You will need to use a computer with CF Auto Root, so make sure you have access to one before you begin.

CF Auto Root works by unlocking your device’s bootloader, so bare in mind that if you use a device with a locked bootloader, you’ll lose all of your stored data by using this method, so make sure to back up your files before you begin. Typically, the only phones with locked bootloaders are models sold through Verizon and AT&T in the U.S., while phones sold through Sprint and T-Mobile are generally unlocked. Some devices, such as Nexus and Moto X/Z handsets, are universal to all carriers, so you will be able to unlock them.

Almost all international variants will allow the bootloader to be unlocked.

Also, you’ll need access to a Windows PC in order to use CF Auto Root with a Samsung device, but for any other Android device you’ll be able to use either a Windows, Mac, or Linux computer.

Just because it’s not a phone or tablet doesn’t mean we shouldn’t root it. Adding root-level permissions to tSo if you’re ready, check out our full guide on rooting the Fire HD 7 and installing TWRP.


he ROM that operates the Chromecast can allow you to customize the welcome screen, make changes to the DNS (to watch locked-out content), and more.

The process is also fairly easy and straightforward, but does require a few pieces of equipment that you may or may not have lying around. Check out our full guide to rooting the Chromecast for all the details.

Google Nexus 4 / Nexus 5

As Google’s own flagship phone, the Nexus has always been among the easiest devices to root. The N4 and N5 are no exceptions here, as legendary developer Chainfire created a handy tool that will not only root your phone, but will also unlock your bootloader to allow for installation of a custom recovery using the CF-Auto-Root Method.

Any questions or concerns you may have about this method can be directed to our full guide on rooting a Nexus phone with CF-Auto-Root.

Since the process of unlocking your bootloader wipes your existing data, you may want to use the Towelroot Method instead, which roots while leaving your bootloader intact. You can check out our full guide to rooting Nexus phones with Towelroot for more help.

Google Nexus 6

The Nexus 6 was rooted before it even hit store shelves, courtesy of renowned Android developer Chainfire. Using his CF Auto Root method, all you need is a Windows, Mac, or Linux computer and about 5 minutes. His fully automated method does require that you have an unlocked bootloader (which will wipe data if it isn’t already unlocked), but his rooting script can handle that for you as well.

Google Nexus 7 (2012 / 2013)

Every Nexus owner should have the Nexus Root Toolkit installed on their Windows PC. This powerful tool has the ability to root any Nexus device, but is capable of much more. With functions ranging from creating a backup to installing a custom recoveryNRT is a great companion program for your Nexus 7.

We’ll actively monitor the comments section at our full guide on rooting the Nexus 7 on Windows for any questions or concerns you may have.

If you own a Mac, a simple root tool is also available. Check out our full guide to rooting the Nexus 7 on Mac for more info.

And, as is the case for most Android devices, Towelroot works wonderfully as well. Check out our full guide to rooting the Nexus 7 with Towelroot for more help.

HTC One (M7 / M8)

Beyond just rooting your HTC One, the HTCdev Method allows you to install a Custom Recovery, providing a comprehensive backup solution and giving you access to the world of Custom ROMs.

This method will require a USB cable and a computer, but it works on both the HTC One M7 and the HTC One M8.


Samsung Galaxy S6 & S6 Edge

The following method uses CF Auto Root and Odin to root the Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge, but only works on a Windows computer. Also, this method will trip your KNOX counter, so your warranty will be voided, and you won’t be able to use Samsung Pay. If you want to keep KNOX intact, see the next method.

Samsung Galaxy S7 & S7 Edge

A root method was released for Samsung’s latest flagship phones shortly after they were released, but there are some serious limitations on which variants the exploit will work on, so we should cover that first.

This method uses CF Auto Root, meaning it will unlock the device’s bootloader to work. Unfortunately, every version of the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge sold in the U.S. through carriers (Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile) comes with a bootloader that is not able to be unlocked, and there’s no alternative method at present.