How to: Unroot your Android device

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How to: Unroot your Android device

If you've rooted your Android device, here’s how to put everything back to how it was.

One area where Android has an edge over iOS is the ability to easily root a device and bring advanced functionality to a smartphone or tablet. But what happens when you want to change back?

There may be many reasons why you'd want to restore your device to how it was, whether it be because you want to sell it on, you need to have it serviced under an existing warranty, or you simply want to make it easier to update with over-the-air patches from the manufacturer.

Whatever the reason, the good news is that unrooting an Android device is far easier than you might think - just be sure to backup your data before you do so.

Unrooting Android: ES File Explorer

ES File Explorer is a robust piece of software with a host of tools for managing data on Android, although few realise that it can also be used to rollback a rooted smartphone or tablet.

 

You'll first need to download the free ES File Explorer tool from the Google Play Store, and then launch it. At first you'll be shown a near overwhelming number of functions that the app can perform, but what you want is in the menu drop-down at the top left.

Scroll down this menu until you see a few 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.

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.

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".

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.

When this is installed, launch the app and tap on the Settings tab. Scroll down the page until you see an option called “Full unroot”, then tap on this. The app will then ask if you are sure you want to completely unroot the device. Tap continue. 

Once this is done, the app will automatically close and you will need to restart the device. Once it has rebooted, you can uninstall SuperSU and your device will be unrooted once more. 

Unrooting Android: Universal Unroot

Whereas the first couple of methods are free, Universal Unroot will set a user back 78p. However, if the first two options for some reason don’t work, this app could be worth exploring. However, the developers not that Samsung Galaxy devices from 2013 and onwards may not allow the app to work properly (due to Knox software) and LG devices while unrooted may still say they are rooted afterwards because of LG’s eFuse software. 

On launching the app, it will guide the user through unrooting an Android device, allowing for a quick and easy method of unrooting an Android smartphone or tablet.

Copyright © ITPro, Dennis Publishing
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