The Android Debug Bridge (ADB) itself has root access (after executing the adb root command). Can that be used to give the same privileges to apps on the device? Is there a file somewhere in the system that keeps track of which user (app) has root access and can it be modified? If it helps I've already put the app in the system folder so it's regarded as a system app now.


Nope. Though you could use e.g. pm grant and grant it SUPERUSER, but that would have no effect if the app hadn't declared that in its manifest. And if it had, it wouldn't be necessary to grant it manually.

An app must actively request superuser privileges in order to gain it – and even then it only works with a superuser app in place (acting as "gate keeper") that then pops up a message for the user to confirm.

  • Ah, I had hoped it could be done without a superuser app. Too bad but thanks for your time. Nov 14 '18 at 11:32
  • 1
    If it could be done without a superuser app, it would be too bad – for security :)
    – Izzy
    Nov 14 '18 at 12:38
  • True but after the ADB is allowed you can already compromise security in many ways. I've tried making my app a system one on two different devices. On one making the app a system one automatically gave it root privileges but in the seconds case it does not... Better security I guess. Nov 14 '18 at 12:45
  • Does that mean that granting SUPERUSER with pm grant effectively does nothing? Nov 14 '18 at 15:48
  • Granting anything an app has not in its manifest does nothing AFAIK, @RaimundKrämer.
    – Izzy
    Nov 14 '18 at 15:56

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.