Why is rooting relatively difficult/manual-labour intensive?

I assume phone-sellers would like to

  1. keep collecting data (for themselves or others)
  2. and keep the users safe.
  3. Be sure that warranty calls are not activated due to damaging homebrewn software.

So I assume that is why most manufacturers make it quite difficult to root an Android phone. Based on my experience, the following steps are required for rooting most Android phones:

  1. Enable developer mode.
  2. (Allow unlocking oem/bootloader)
  3. Enable ADB
  4. Find a TWRP/bootloader that works for that specific phone
  5. Use some leaked/hacked tool like ODIN (for Samsung) to push that TWRP/bootloader over the existing recovery mode, whilst rooting the device.
  6. Or an open source tool like Heimdall.
  7. Or using some rooting app, which I assume use some security exploit in the factory-default phone/OS.

Because if the issue were merely point 2 and 3, decent support for rooting may be provided with a simple prompt asking the user: "Are you sure? Are you really really sure?"

I think there is quite some consumer value to be reached in rooting phones automatically, so I would like to better understand how this ecosystem works, and what the perspectives of the manufacturers are on rooting.

  • 1
    The simple answer to your question is: "because this part of Android is not standardized". Every manufacturer can have a different bootloader and also unlock mechanism. E.g. Motorola (and Huawei before they disabled unlocking) implement a variant where have to generate a device specific unlock code you have to enter in the fastboot oem unlock process so they can track which device was ever unlocked.
    – Robert
    Dec 22, 2022 at 10:02
  • 2
    Phones are not using any hardware specification like UEFI so every chipmaker is doing its own thing. UEFI consolidates multiple bootloaders and offers a generic way to bootstrap bootloader and recovery. UEFI also offers secure boot toggle which is permanently enabled in phones. Even new OEMs like Nothing and Fairfone give no attention to this aspect.
    – defalt
    Dec 22, 2022 at 11:16

1 Answer 1


Android Security is quite different from Computer OS and heavily depends on isolated apps. This is done by each app becomes a "user" with its own uid (file system permissions) so every app can only access its own directory /data/data/pkgname.

For the same reason it's forbidden to grant access to /data as that is apps internal data not intended to mess up.

Indeed that's what you expect on iPhone, iPod, Smart TV or wifi router as these are embedded systems devices running precompiled firmware.

I don't agree normal consumer could benefit from rooted device, especially not Samsung devices where this would break Samsung Knox which is must have for privacy.

The fact that some OEMs still allow unlocking bootloader is a gift to android community, it hands over the risks and responsibilities to the customizing developer and excludes warranty, which is not what most consumer want.

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