How to unroot Android

If you've rooted your Android device, here’s how to get everything back to normal

Android and iOS are the two most widely used mobile phone operating systems with their respective users normally tied into these platforms and reliant on them for everything.

The flagship Google smartphone OS is the most popular in the world right now, with Kantar figures suggesting it's installed on 53% of phones in the UK, versus 47% for iOS. 

It's more than possible to look beyond this narrow selection, however, with Android users actually able to install an alternative operating system onto their devices. There's a selection of other platforms that you can import into the shell for a variety of reasons, with many users perhaps feeling that Android doesn't offer them all the capabilities they would like. Examples include Plasma Mobile, Pure OS, lune OS, and a handful of other less widely used operating systems. 

The fact that Android is built on open source foundations means that users will be able to gain root access to the code which, in turn, opens the door to all kinds of capabilities. These include allowing users privileges to modify the software on their device, and even replace it with systems manufacturers normally wouldn't allow. 

This process, however, is very complex and novice users aren't recommended to unroot Android and install one of the aforementioned alternatives. For those with enough confidence to try this out, though, there are a number of tools at your disposal. We've picked three to get you started, but there's a number of alternatives that you can pick from. Before you get started, however, it's advised that you backup all your apps, services and data as unrooting your Android device will wipe it completely. 

Unrooting Android: ES File Explorer

For users hoping to manage their data on Android devices, there's ES File Explorer. This app offers a variety of tools, although very few users might be aware that it can also be used to unroot Android from a device entirely. While this is a free app, be wary of ads.

  1. Download the ES File tool from the Google Play Store.
  2. Once launched, you'll be shown a long list of functions the app can perform. Ignore these, and select the menu drop-down at the top left.
  3. Scroll down this menu until you see options with button sliders, some on and some off. One of these will be the Root Explorer option (off by default) - switch this on and it will ask for root privileges.
  4. Back on the main screen of the app, hit the box with the storage information at the top of the screen and locate the device's root folder - this will typically be in "system" | "bin". Find and delete both the "su" and "busybox" files.
  5. Now head back to the main screen, hit the storage info box again and this time look for the "app" folder. In here you want to delete a file labelled "superuser.apk".
  6. Once that's done, you can restart your device. Once it boots back up, your device should be unrooted and back to its original state.

Unrooting Android: SuperSU

One of the most popular methods to root and unroot an Android device is SuperSU. If your device is already rooted, chances are that you have this installed on it already. If you don't, it is easy enough to go to the Google Play Store and download it.

  1. When this is installed, launch the app and tap on the Settings tab.
  2. Scroll down the page until you see an option called "Full unroot", then tap on this.
  3. The app will then ask if you are sure you want to completely unroot the device. Tap continue. 
  4. Once this is done, the app will automatically close and you will need to restart the device.
  5. Once it has rebooted, you can uninstall SuperSU and your device will be unrooted once more. 

Unrooting Android: Universal Unroot

Universal Unroot is now free to use, having previously costed roughly 78p to install, and it's worth using if you have issues with other methods of uprooting. The app is pretty straightforward and will simply guide you through the uprooting process for your Android smartphone and or tablet. 

However, this will also depend on your model of smartphone as some manufacturers have software that prevents it. Samsung Galaxy devices, for instance, have the company's Knox software pre-loaded, which blocks Universal Unroot. LG devices have eFuse software which is supposed to do the same.

Featured Resources

Consumer choice and the payment experience

A software provider's guide to getting, growing, and keeping customers

Download now

Prevent fraud and phishing attacks with DMARC

How to use domain-based message authentication, reporting, and conformance for email security

Download now

Business in the new economy landscape

How we coped with 2020 and looking ahead to a brighter 2021

Download now

How to increase cyber resilience within your organisation

Cyber resilience for dummies

Download now

Recommended

Qualcomm modem flaw puts millions of Android users at risk
Google Android

Qualcomm modem flaw puts millions of Android users at risk

6 May 2021
Google releases Android 12 developer preview
Google Android

Google releases Android 12 developer preview

19 Feb 2021
Android malware vendor teams with marketer to promote new malware
malware

Android malware vendor teams with marketer to promote new malware

11 Jan 2021
Android and iOS users blackmailed by 'Goontact' spyware
spyware

Android and iOS users blackmailed by 'Goontact' spyware

16 Dec 2020

Most Popular

How to find RAM speed, size and type
Laptops

How to find RAM speed, size and type

16 Jun 2021
What is HTTP error 400 and how do you fix it?
Network & Internet

What is HTTP error 400 and how do you fix it?

16 Jun 2021
EU plans to launch bloc-wide cyber task force
cyber attacks

EU plans to launch bloc-wide cyber task force

22 Jun 2021