Do You Root or Jailbreak Your Phone?


To get added functionality on their phones, many people root or jailbreak their device. It, of course, comes with many advantages and disadvantages such as possibly ruining your warranty, or even brick the device. We asked our writers if they root or jailbreak their phones.

Our Opinion

Many of our writers root their phones, meaning they have Android phones. For the most part, they aren’t doing it with reckless abandon and are all doing it for specific functionality.

Damien will usually just keep his Android phone the same as how it’s shipped; however, he does admit, “I root my phone only when there is a feature that I really need.” Mahesh roots his so that he “can get access to the custom mods and tools such as Xposed modules.

Christopher roots his phone so that he can “access a fuller feature set.” While the “developer-level tweaks” can be risky, he does enjoy the experimentation. Derrik finds it uncomfortable to not have root access. He roots his phone “because I like to replace the firmware, block ads via the host file, mount NFS shares with busybox and just uninstall bloat.

I’m the lone wolf here who has an iPhone. I have had them since the debut of the iPhone and have never been tempted to jailbreak one. For one, I haven’t ever wanted functionality that I didn’t already have badly enough to risk jailbreaking. For another, Apple is usually really strict with their warranties. If something happens to my phone, I want them to fix it free of charge.

Your Opinion

Our Android users either root their phones when they need to or just prefer the rooted experience all around, while the one iPhone user prefers not to jailbreak. What about you? Do you root or jailbreak your phone? Let us know below in the comments section.

Image credit: Freedom

Laura Tucker Laura Tucker

Laura has spent nearly 20 years writing news, reviews, and op-eds, with more than 10 of those years as an editor as well. She has exclusively used Apple products for the past three decades. In addition to writing and editing at MTE, she also runs the site's sponsored review program.


  1. I root my Android for complete backups, to remove bloatware, and to control background apps that increases battery life. I have many interests and have a pretty heavy app load, but I don’t want most of them running in the background.
    Far too many apps auto start, run in the background, and push data/notifications without giving me the opportunity to decide if I really want that. Titanium Backup and Gemini App Manager allow me to do this with root. Otherwise, I wouldn’t bother.

  2. I used to root, tinker, code, poke, and play. For a while, I’d not buy anything I could not root. I go through a lot of hardware and I end up using it for a while and then donating it or giving it away. I went through a phase like that with phones and tablets. Then, I just sort of got tired with always having to work to maintain yet another device. I got tired of maintaining and tired of the cycle. A few years back, I pretty much stopped rooting phone at all.

    Err… So things changed. I’m a pretty avid Linux fan and a free software aficionado – but not to be mistaken for a zealot. Umm… Yeah… So, back in September, I got a Windows 8 phone. I can put 10 on it, I haven’t. I haven’t had to worry about the OEM keeping things updated. I don’t have to worry about the cell company passing the patch down to me. It just works – and it does just fine. I’ve not yet found anything I wanted to do with my phone that I couldn’t do with this new one. I looked before I bought it and there are plenty of apps. I don’t have to rely on an app store so if I really wanted some functionality well enough, I’d just write it myself. I could do that with Android and it’s doable with an iPhone but a bit more difficult with an iPhone and my goal is to use it, not update it or play with it.

    I will, hopefully soon, be trying another phone. I’ve been told that there’s a new Ubuntu phone coming down the pipes soon. I’ll almost certainly buy one of the new models as I’m told they will support the NA protocols/spectra. I obviously won’t need to root that either. Though, I suppose, I could technically (if the software’s the same) just assign a password to the username root and then I’ll have root. That should take all of about 10 seconds.

    As for tablets? I always root ’em. I don’t really like them much. That may sound as odd as my saying that I’m happy with a Windows phone but it’s true. I’d rather just use my phone. I’ve tried lots and lots of them. I still have a half dozen, including two in this room with me. I just can’t get into it. I can (and will) carry a laptop/mobile workstation. Otherwise, I can surf and email on my phone. That’s fine. If I’m going to carry a second device, it might as well be a full function device. Also, I’ve not really found a bluetooth keyboard that I like.

    Years ago, I had a couple of tablets that I really liked. They were from a company called Motion Computing. They had XP on them but you could get Ubuntu running on them. I didn’t keep up with them but those really weren’t much like today’s tablets. I’m not sure of the vernacular but I think, back then, those would have been tablets and what we’re calling tablets today would have been called slates? Don’t quote me on that.

    And, for the record, I am gonna try that whole tablet thing again soon. They’re nearing the point where they’ve got a stable Linux distro (Ubuntu, again – though I’ll probably do Lubuntu) for the Surface Pro. That’s actually a pretty good bit of kit and I’ll try that one. I’ve tried everything from an iPad to a Kindle to a Galaxy to a ZenPad. I’ve just not yet found on that does the trick. I want to like them, I really do. That’s why I keep trying.

    So, I’ve rooted all of my tablets (except the iPad) but I will not have to root the next one. I’m not sure if it’s really called rooting if you’re removing the OS and installing a whole new OS on top of it? I’ll be buying the Surface for the sole reason of installing Linux on it and seeing if I like that at all.

    I guess that answer is about as clear as mud. However, it’s a complicated subject. Who has just one phone or hasn’t had multiple phones over the years and done varied things to them in that time? With my phone, I can unlock the bootloader. I’m not sure why I’d bother. I’m already babysitting and maintaining enough devices. So, my phone is *currently* not rooted.

    Well, there’s a novella for you. Yes, yes I am bored.

  3. Rooting an Android phone is one of the first things I do whenever I get one. I like to uninstall the bloatware and get full access to the phone.

  4. I have had Android devices, but I haven’t attempted rooting them. I would, but there are things holding be back. Main thing is: I don’t know how to root my device. Currently I have an Android phone that sometimes the battery life isn’t that great. I’d root to fix that, but I also am afraid of warranty and things like that.

  5. I want to root mine. I have just never done it before. I am not sure where to find out how to, a reliable source. Any suggestions? I want to get rid of the bloatware, and have access to all of the features this model of android has.

    1. I would recommend anyone to recommend their Androids for the reason that the possibilities are endless if you do. Imagine being able to access your entire operating system just like that and being able to customise it to your heart’s content. You need to be aware though that some manufacturers and carriers might dislike it and use it as an excuse to void your warranty. If you still see the benefits of rooting despite this, I would recommend using I used it when I had to root my Samsung Galaxy 5, and I had absolutely no problems as the instructions were clear.

  6. Hey, I can help.

    What carrier do you have? What’s your phone’s model? It’s important to start there so I can find out if your phone is rootable or not.

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