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I’d like to clear up some misconceptions: rooting doesn’t mean installing a custom ROM like CyanogenMod, and it doesn’t necessarily mean wiping your internal storage. All it means is unlocking your device so that you gain some extra system privileges, giving you the ability to install a custom ROM like CyanogenMod (and do a number of other neat things).

The method for doing this varies from device to device, and could change over time. So, rather than writing a guide that will only be relevant to one type of device and may soon go out of date, I’ll show you how to find the best way to root your specific phone or tablet — assuming there is a way. I’ll also include a walkthrough of how I rooted my HTC Desire, with photos, so that you can see how quick and easy the process can be.


If you’ve had an Android device for a while, you’ll have heard of rooting: breaking certain safeguards placed on your device so that you have complete control over the underlying software and operating system. Some Android users swear by it, and tell you that you’re not getting the full Android experience if you don’t root; others are perfectly happy with their phones in the state they bought them, and see no reason to change.

There are advantages and disadvantages to rooting, so in this article I’d like to help you answer the question: should you root?

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