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Once a device has been rooted, is it possible to unroot?

I also want to keep my data, so can I unroot without wiping/re-imaging? If so, how difficult is this?

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up vote 9 down vote accepted

This really depends. What phone are you using and how did you root it?

For example: some phones have an easy "one click" root method to root your phone. They often have a reverse easy "one click" unroot method. An example of this is EasyRoot for Droid.

As for doing it via a factory reset, that's not necessarily enough. Factory resets usually (always?) wipe only the user partitions such as /data without touching the system partition, where su and other evidence of rooting is likely to remain. Re-flashing the ROM should be enough though, although some devices have flash counters that may also be checked if you send in your phone for warranty purposes.

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I'm personally using and EVO and am considering rooting, but my intent in asking was to improve my general understanding. Thanks! –  BrianCooksey Oct 5 '10 at 19:33
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Usually you would root your phone and make an immediate nandroid backup. That way you can always get back to the state of when your phone was "just rooted". Then you can (usually) unroot it and return your phone for warranty reasons, or whatever reason you needed to unroot it for. –  Bryan Denny Oct 5 '10 at 20:22

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