Do You Still Need to Root Your Android Phone in 2023?

Is rooting your Android still necessary? Uncover the reasons people rooted in the past, the evolution of Android, and the risks and benefits of rooting today.

By Abhishek Chandel
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Do You Still Need to Root Your Android Phone

Do You Still Need to Root Your Android Phone

Android rooting used to be extremely common to overcome system restrictions and customize devices more extensively. However, over time, the need to gain admin privileges has diminished for the average user due to Android OS maturity and enhanced first-party personalization. Still, a subset of power users may still require root access for specific functionality. This article explores both sides of whether root access remains a necessity in 2023 for most smartphone owners.

Top reasons people used to root their Android devices

Installing Custom ROMs

Custom ROM installation enables upgrading to newer Android versions than the phone maker provides, sometimes years before official support. Custom ROMs often have extra features and more timely security updates. They can also optimize devices slowed down by bloatware. Popular options included LineageOS, and CyanogenMod.

Removing Bloatware

Carrier and phone maker customized Android builds frequently contain lots of pre-installed apps. Often 20+ apps running continuously, unused by customers. This wasted resources and impacted performance. Rooting permitted fully uninstalling bloatware.

Customization of Interface/Apps

With root access, tools like Xposed Framework, GravityBox and Lithium allowed deep customization of interface elements, app functionality tweaks and visual themes. Examples include icon packs, boot animations, status bar changes, adding/removing quick settings and letting apps run in multi-window mode.

Improving Battery Life

Through apps like Kernel Adiutor, users could manipulate CPU voltages for improved battery efficiency. Additionally such apps enabled automating performance profiles based on usage conditions.

Why root access is less critical on modern Android devices

Maturity of Android OS

Recent Android versions are far more flexible and feature-rich than early iterations. Areas once needing root access like wireless backups, split-screen apps, scrolling screenshots and advanced power user settings are now built-in features. Even theming has native support through runtime resource packages.

Prevalence of Third-party Launchers

Launchers like Nova, POCO, Apex and Hyperion completely transform home screen aesthetics and functionality without root. Icon packs further customize icons. Similarly, widgets present information in varied styles benefitting different users.

Improved First-party Customization

Modern manufacturer skins from OnePlus, Samsung and Xiaomi contain extensive options to personalize. Between launchers, themes, icon packs and built-in tweaks, most visual changes are achievable without root now. Even disabling most bloatware is possible through package disablers.

Concerns Around Security & Stability

Rooting elevates app permissions to far more dangerous levels potentially allowing malware system-level access. Additionally, some users experience random reboots/freezes when running certain Xposed modules or Magisk modules.

Remaining plausible reasons to root an Android device

Ad Blocking Throughout Device

Aggressive ad blocking still requires root to function device-wide in most cases. For users highly concerned about ads and trackers, this is motivation to continue rooting.

Open Access to all System Files

File managers with root access permit interacting with everything in the /system partition down to build.prop. While edge use cases, some developers and power users still require or desire this access.

Specialized Functionality

Occasionally a specific feature may compel rooting - like using a Note 9 S-Pen as a pointer on a Note 3. Or multi-user profile support on a tablet for family members. Very specific needs but pivotal for some nonetheless.

Potential downsides to rooting your Android

Invalidated Warranties

Manufacturers tend to void device warranties once bootloader unlocking or rooting is detected. While unlikely issues arise, costs now fall upon the user to repair.

Bricking Devices Permanently

If certain system files get corrupted or deleted incorrectly, it can lead to an irrecoverable bricking of the device. While rare, it's a risk for users unsure about everything they are modifying.

Increased Malware & Virus Risk

Apps with root access have far greater permissions, home much system data they can mine and what device changes they can execute. Users have to be far more careful regarding app permissions and install origin when rooted.

Stability & Battery Issues

Poorly coded Xposed modules, Magisk modules and tools that hook deep into the Android framework can cause freezes, random reboots or battery life problems.


For the average Android user on modern devices, rooting is no longer a necessity. Between launcher personalization, built-in tweaks, and third-party tools, most needs are addressable without administrative access. However, specific power users may still benefit from rooted functionality around backups, ad blocking, and extreme customization. When deciding whether to root or not, weigh the benefits against the security and stability risks involved carefully.

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