Feb 11, 2015

What are the risks of rooting an Android phone?

I see a lot of posts regarding Android where the solution requires that the device be rooted. Ok, so rooting allows you to do additional things. What are the downsides? Are there reasons not to root?
It can also void your warranty, and if things go wrong, you can brick your phone, so there is a risk. As was already said, it also makes it easier for malware to gain unwanted access to your device, but if you use SuperUser, you have to approve root access for each app. Be very selective in what you approve, and I also suggest requiring approval upon app updates, so that you can make sure permissions haven't changed.

Taking into account the risks and rewards, all of my phones are rooted. I have bricked one before though, so those risks I mentioned aren't just theoretical.
Some apps also perform a check and won't work on rooted devices. Fortunately, it isn't very common, but I have ran into this issue.
Rooting (aka side-loading) your Android device makes it easier for malware to be installed from websites, emails, and so on. Malware is already a big problem on the Google Play Store, and there's way more from outside sources that rooting exposes you to. The sad truth is that nearly all apps not available in the Play Store are malware.
Answer this