Best Apps For Rooted Phones

If you’re reading this blog, you probably already know what rooting your phone means, but for the uninitiated, here’s a quick rundown.

Rooting is the process of obtaining full administrative rights to your phone. This can be accomplished through a variety of methods, but generally involves opening up your phone and making some changes to the operating system. Once you have rooted your phone, you have access to certain apps that you cannot get on a non-rooted device.

The apps that are available to rooted users are often times more powerful and dynamic than their non-rooted counterparts (because they don’t have to adhere to the same security restrictions or policies). They also tend to be better at blocking ads—which is always nice!

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In this blog post, we’ll go through some of the most common reasons why people choose to root their devices and then explore what we think are eight great apps for rooted phones

Best Apps for Rooted Device | Root apps, App, Best apps

Best Apps For Rooted Phones

It’s true that rooting your device is far less popular than the good old days. Stock Android grew up quite a bit and root is simply less appealing than it once was. Also, apps like Netflix, Pokemon Go, and Google Pay don’t work on rooted devices without some fun hacks for some dumb reason. However, there are still those who prefer the root experience and there are still plenty of excellent root apps that improve functionality and do stuff that unrooted devices can’t do.

Here are the best root apps for Android! We also left Chainfire’s apps off of the list because, well, he’s throwing in the towel. We wish him all of the best in his future endeavors. In addition, some of these apps are not available in the Google Play Store. Use those at your own risk.

The best root apps for Android
Adblock Plus
FK Kernel Manager
GSam Battery Monitor
Magisk Manager
Permission Ruler
Solid Explorer
Substratum and Synergy
Titanium Backup
Xposed Framework
Adblock Plus
Price: Free

AdBlock Plus is a free, open-source app. As you may have guessed, it removes ads from the device. Root users swear by this one We bloggers don’t like it, but we’ve accepted that people really do find this app useful. This one is configurable so that some unobtrusive ads get through. The app is also lightly configurable. It’s not available on the Google Play Store but there is an official link from ABP that you can use by clicking the button above. It’s definitely one of the most popular root apps.

Price: $0.99

Bouncer is one of the best security apps for android
Bouncer isn’t technically a root app. However, it’s the kind of app we think root users would like. It lets you manage your permissions with a bit more granularity than stock Android without being overly complicated. Each time an app asks for permissions, you can enable it and then enable Bouncer to disable the permission after a few minutes. Thus, you can use every app on your phone with its maximum permissions but ensure that none of the permissions are permanently enabled. Permission Ruler does much the same thing but in a different way so we thought you’d appreciate having multiple options here.

FK Kernel Manager
Price: $3.49 with optional in-app purchases

Franco Kernel Manager screenshot 2021
Kernel Manager is a root app for devices with Franco Kernel installed. The lets users tweak a variety of things, including CPU frequencies, the governor, GPU frequencies, color temperature presets, and a lot more. It also supports a bunch of devices, specifically in the Google and OnePlus lineup of devices. This isn’t the only app for a specific aftermarket ROM or kernel. However, this is definitely the best one if it’s compatible with your device. It’s also one of the few currently in active development on the Play Store. It runs for $3.49 and it’s highly recommended for those who want more control.

GSam Battery Monitor
Price: Free / $2.49

gsam battery monitor best battery saver apps
GSam Battery Monitor is a decent app for root users. The base version is kind of like an advanced view of your battery stats. It shows things like the screen on time, which apps use the most battery, and stuff like that. Root users can extend that functionality a little more easily than non-root people can to show more stats. The instructions on how to do that are in the app. Additionally, you can set various alerts, see your historical stats, and more. This is about as good as it gets in this space, even if it’s not strictly a root app.

Magisk Manager
Price: Free

Magisk Manager screenshot 2020
Magisk is one of the most popular and powerful root apps. It’s also relatively new. Its big function is allowing you to hide root very effectively. That lets you do things like watch Netflix or play Pokemon Go while rooted. It has a variety of other functions, including modules that add even more functionality. It’s a real must-have root app. It’s not longer available on Google Play. Thus, you’ll have to pick up the APK from XDA-Developers. The app is also in active development. That means it gets new features, designs, and fixes fairly frequently.

Read more:

15 best Android apps available right now
How to use Servicely, a root tool to save your battery
Price: Free

Migrate – best root apps for android
Migrate is one of the newer root apps on the list. It’s a ROM migration tool. You basically back-up a bunch of data, including apps, app data, call logs, SMS, and other bits of information. The app creates a flashable zip file. You flash a new ROM and then the flashable zip afterward. You boot up and it’s like you never left after a final installation period. This one is still very new. In fact, it’s still in beta. However, this takes a lot of the setup process out of installing a new ROM. It also works with Magisk (in fact, the developer recommends it). The app is currently free with no in-app purchases or ads for now.

Price: Free / Up to $12.99

Naptime screenshot 2020
Naptime is a decent tool for root users and non-root users alike. It basically uses some coding magic to induce Android’s native Doze Mode more quickly, resulting in better battery life. The app can also disable various connections such as WiFi, mobile data, location, and GPS when Doze Mode goes into effect and that should help squeeze a little more juice out of your battery as well. The app is relatively easy to use once you get it to work. Root users have an easier time of it than non-root users, but you can enable the same permissions over ADB. The instructions for that are in the Google Play description. In any case, this is a neat little tool that you set and forget.

Permission Ruler
Price: Free

Permission Ruler screenshot 2021
Permission Ruler is a bit of a diamond in the rough for root apps. It does require root to do anything other than manually manage your permissions. However, with root, this app does something kind of unique. It turns off permissions for all of your apps while the screen is off. That way they can’t do naughty things in the background while your phone sits in your pocket. That is its main function and it’s quite simple. Make sure to pause the app before uninstalling or all of your apps will have their permissions revoked and you have to manually re-enable them. Otherwise, the app is free to use.

Price: Free / Up to $13.99

Servicely screenshot 2020
Servicely is an app that helps control background services. This will allow you to do something like preventing Facebook from running in the background while your device screen is off. It’s a stop-gap for stopping rogue apps and unwarranted wake-ups of your device. It may even improve performance and battery life depending on the services you stop. It’s a little less relevant now thanks to improvements in Android’s Doze Mode. It’s still good for those who want to manage their running services a little more. Greenify also works pretty well, but not quite as well as this.

Solid Explorer
Price: Free / $1.99

Solid Explorer is a really good file manager. It works without root for most tasks. The app can do the usual stuff like copy and paste, unzip files, etc. It also has support for cloud storage and network storage devices. The design is good, too. There is the option to enable root within the app. That allows you to do all kinds of stuff that you couldn’t previously. There are a lot of good file managers with root access. However, this one is clean, it works well, and it’s cheap with no advertising.

See more lists here:

10 best Android themes, theming apps, and customizations
10 best icon packs for Android (by developer)
Substratum and Synergy
Price: Free / Varies

Substratum is a theming engine for Android. It’s not available on every rooted Android smartphone. However, it works really well on the ones that it supports. It should work best on stock Nougat, stock Oreo, Samsung devices with Nougat, and a few other devices and Android versions. You download and install the app. Then you seek out Substratum themes online or the Google Play Store. Apply the theme and that’s all she wrote, so to speak. Some themes cost money, but there is a healthy selection of free options as well. You can also find support for this on XDA-Developers, Reddit, GitHub, Google+, and even Telegram. Synergy is another excellent theming app like this one that works a little better for newer Samsung phones.

Price: $2.99

Next on our list is a very useful root app called Tasker. This powerful application can make your phone do pretty much anything you want. It’s a vague description but an accurate one because the only limit is your imagination. Many of the functions don’t need root permissions. It does add some functionality if you have it, though. It’s a great application, especially for tinkerers and those who have unusual needs for their smartphones. Do beware, though, because the learning curve is rather steep. It’s useful with or without root. You can also use this one for free if you use Google Play Pass.

Titanium Backup
Price: Free / $5.99

Titanium Backup is a long-time mainstay at the top of many root lists and it feels almost blasphemous to not include it here. With this application you can uninstall bloatware (a must-have for many people), freeze apps (leaves them installed but prevents them from ever running), and backup your applications and application data. ROM flashers have sworn by this app for years. Everyone recommends it to new root users. If you have root, go get it immediately. It’s probably in the top three most useful root apps ever.

Price: Free

Viper4Android best root apps for root users
Viper4Android is an audio modification tool that gives you untold amounts of control over how your audio sounds coming out of the speakers, out of Bluetooth devices, and out of your headphones. It comes with its own audio driver, an equalizer, tons of effects that allow you to control how your audio sounds, and a lot more. It’s a complicated install process and you’ll need to go to the official XDA thread for downloads and instructions, but this is as good as it gets when it comes to audio modifications on Android.

Xposed Framework
Price: Free

root Xposed modules
Xposed Framework has replaced installing ROMs for many as the default root experience. Modules are created inside of the framework by many developers that do various things like theming, UI and performance tweaks, visual modification, button remapping, and much, much more. Modules can be a tad difficult to find sometimes depending on your device but there are plenty of universal ones that you can use and enjoy. Magisk Manager kind of usurped Xposed as the must-have root app for mobile. However, you can install Xposed as a Magisk module so it doesn’t really matter either way. Additionally, Xposed works better for older versions of Android rather than newer ones.

best things to do with rooted android

Okay, so you rooted your Android phone …. now what? There are a few ducks you need to get into a row, like backing up your stock boot image, getting SafetyNet sorted, and improving security with biometrics. But there are also awesome root mods waiting for you — just don’t get ahead of yourself.

Now that you’ve achieved superuser status, you have new responsibilities. But perhaps more importantly, you no longer have to put up with any of the minor annoyances from your phone’s stock ROM, because you can uninstall all the bloat, block ads better, and add cool functionality with all sorts of root modules.

Don’t Miss: How to Root Android 11 Using Magisk — The Foolproof Guide
1Save a Copy of Your Stock Boot Image
Pretty much all root methods these days are systemless, meaning they only modify the boot partition by default. If you use Magisk to root, you have to first obtain a copy of your phone’s stock boot image, then patch it in Magisk Manager before flashing the patched version to obtain root.

So as you might imagine, if you ever want to unroot, you’ll need to re-flash the stock version of your boot image. Since you just downloaded a copy of that stock boot image before you patched it and flashed it, now’s the time to stash it away for future use. I like to keep mine on Google Drive so it’s easier to pass back and forth between the phone and computer.

2Pass SafetyNet
Next, let’s talk about the biggest problem with rooting: SafetyNet. This system makes sure that Android’s security measures are all still intact, and if they aren’t, it informs security-minded apps that your phone might be compromised. Rooting your phone lets you do anything to Android, including bypassing those security measures, so it stands to reason doing so should trip SafetyNet.

Grab the SafetyNet Test app to see your full SafetyNet status. Right off the bat, many people might have problems with a “CTS Profile Mismatch,” but that’s fairly easy to fix. This guide walks you through it:

More Info: How to Fix SafetyNet ‘CTS Profile Mismatch’ Errors
Then, if you’re using a newer phone, SafetyNet might actually be hardware-backed. It’s somewhat like a tamper fuse that trips when you root, then tells on you about it. Luckily, you can still get around this by making your phone identify as an older model so the hardware check is bypassed:

More Info: How to Spoof Google’s New SafetyNet Hardware Attestation Method
3Lock Superuser Access with Biometrics
Going forward, apps can ask for root access at any time. You’ll simply get a popup asking if you’d like to deny or grant the elevated permission. If someone else ever gets their hands on your phone while it’s unlocked, this can be dangerous — you don’t want the wrong app having superuser rights.

Luckily, Magisk has a feature that will require you to scan your fingerprint before root access can be granted to any app. And it’s super simple, not a chore like some other security measures. Check it out in action below:

More Info: How to Lock Magisk Superuser Requests with Your Fingerprint

While it’s true you can now remove bloatware without a computer or root, it’s still so much easier to remove preinstalled system apps with root.

Just install a the Debloater module in Magisk Manager, then type “debloat” into any terminal app. From there, you’ll get a simple interface for removing all types of bloatware easily — system apps, priv-apps, and vendor apps alike. Check it out in our full guide below:

More Info: The Best Way to Uninstall Bloatware on a Rooted Phone
5Get Better Ad Blocking
System-wide ad blocking on Android no longer requires root, but you stand to benefit if you use a root-based ad blocker. Other methods use Android’s VPN or custom DNS feature to block ads, which means you can’t use something like NordVPN or Cloudflare private DNS unless you want to see ads again.

Instead, open Magisk and tap the settings cog in the top-right corner, then scroll down and tap “Systemless hosts” to enable the associated module. Now, you can use any root ad blocking app like AdAway, and you’ll free up your VPN and DNS settings for other uses like encryption, anti-tracking, and changing your geolocation.

Don’t Miss: Here’s Why You Should Be Using Private DNS on Your Phone
6Stock Up on Magisk Modules
Speaking of Magisk Modules, these can do far more than just block ads. Open your Magisk Manager app and tap the puzzle piece icon on the floating menu bar at the bottom of the screen. Here, you can sort or search a list of all the official modules on the Magisk repo.

But that’s not the only source for Magisk Modules. There’s a forum on XDA dedicated to them, and many don’t make it to the Magisk repo despite their usefulness. There are also several that we’ve come across and found useful in our previous coverage. Here are a few of the highlights:

Hide the Gesture Pill in Android’s Navigation Bar
Keep Apps from Collecting Data About You by Spoofing Device ID Values
Bring Back the 9-Tile Grid in Android 11’s Quick Settings Menu
7Get Systemless Xposed
Before there was Magisk, the Xposed Framework was far and away the best way to customize your phone’s UI. It hooked into the system at such a low level that it could change virtually anything — from the color of your notification icons to the layout in apps you installed.

But as the community gravitated towards systemless mods that made it possible to pass SafetyNet and easier to update Android, Xposed’s system modifications fell out of favor. This also coincided with developer Rovo89 stepping away from the project, leading to the “death” of Xposed.

But then the EdXposed module from developer solohsu, based on the Riru platform by developer RikkaW, brought Xposed back from the brink and into the systemless era. In short, it’s Xposed for Magisk, and most of the massive repo of modules still work. Definitely worth checking out:

Don’t Miss: How to Install Systemless Xposed on Almost Any Android Phone
8Get Xposed Modules, Too
Once you’ve got the framework installed, make sure to take advantage of it. In the EdXposed app, open the hamburger menu and tap “Download.” Here, you can sort and search through hundreds of powerful modules that can be installed in just a few taps. But with the overlap in eras that these modules span, it’s advisable to carefully read the release notes to ensure compatibility.

Also know that some modules may trip SafetyNet, depending on what they change. Typically, modules that change the functionality or appearance of apps won’t cause issues, but the ones that change Android itself might. Still, there are ways to make SafetyNet work even in these situations. Check it out at the link below:

More Info: How to Make Your Phone Pass SafetyNet with EdXposed Installed

Images by Stephen Perkins/Gadget Hacks
9Tweak Your Kernel
Custom ROMs are cool and all, but you don’t have to replace your entire operating system to get some serious performance benefits. A kernel manager app — even if you’re not using a custom kernel — can do things like overclocking your CPU for better performance or undervolting it for better battery life. Changing your CPU governor can also have some serious impacts on your phone’s overall performance.

Two recommendations here are Franco Kernel Manager and EX Kernel Manager by flar2. Again, these work with any kernel, not just the ones these apps are named for.

10Spread the Love — Root Other Phones
Perhaps the coolest thing you can do with your newly rooted phone is root other phones. With USB Type-C cables so common nowadays, you can connect to another phone and use the ADB & Fastboot Magisk module to send the commands that will root the other device — no computer needed. It would be a good way to give new life to an old phone stashed in a drawer somewhere, or just to impress a friend.

More Info: How to Use Your Rooted Phone to Root Another Phone

Image by Stephen Perkins/Gadget Hacks
Don’t Miss: How SafetyNet Proves That Google Actually Cares About Rooting

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