Android Unroot Explained!

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Unroot Android?

What does unrooting Android mean?

“Unroot” is term used for removing root on your rooted Android smartphone or tablet device.

There’s two different terms of unrooting, first refers to simply removing root from your Android device. This simply means that you will be removing 2 or 3 files that gives your Android device superuser/admin access to your phone. Specifically, you will be removing the three files Superuser.apk (the SuperUser or SuperSU app) and su binaries (usually located in /system/bin and /system/xbin) directory. (If you want to learn how to manually remove root yourself using ES File Explorer, see How to Unroot Android Smartphone or Tablet.)

You can also easily remove root by installing and using SuperSU app’s built-in 1-click universal unroot method. (See here for full tutorial on that)

The second definition to unrooting Android can be when you want to return your Android device completely back to original, stock firmware.  Simply removing root does not re-install your original stock firmware or re-install stock recovery, which are all required if you want to return your Android device for warranty.

For Samsung devices like Galaxy S2, Galaxy S3, Galaxy Note, and Galaxy Note 2, unrooting completely back to stock is rather simple.

Here’s a quick process of how to unroot Samsung Android devices and unvoid your warranty:

Step 1. Run Triangle Away app – This will reset your binary counter, which will erase any traces of rooting when you return your Android device for warranty.  This app works on most Samsung devices.

Step 2. – Re-install stock firmware using ODIN and stock firmware. (You can find most Samsung stock firmware at

More here on unrooting various Samsung Devices:

For HTC devices like HTC One X, unrooting can become a headache and complicated.

Step 1. You need to find the correct RUU (executable Windows exe file) for your model of HTC One X.  RUU is an executable Windows program that you can use to re-flash completely stock firmware.

For example, if you have a Chinese-branded HTC One X, you will have to find the correct RUU for that exact country.  There is a way around this by changing the CID on your HTC device but if you cannot find RUU for your country, you may end up installing another region firmware.

RUU also needs to match the bootloader version of your HTC device.  If you try to install older RUU on your HTC device with newer bootloader version, it will simply not install.

This means that once you upgrade your HTC device to Jelly Bean, you will never be able to flash a stock ICS firmware.

Step 2. Also, before running RUU, you will need to re-lock your HTC device using fastboot.  Once re-locked, your HTC device will still say “re-locked”, meaning if you are returning for warranty, they could tell you you’ve voided warranty because it’s re-locked.   But in most cases, HTC does not check for this, so I wouldn’t worry about it too much.

For Motorola devices like Droid Razr, unrooting back to stock can be done but you must be aware of some of the dangers.

Step 1. You will need to get stock firmware files called SBF files and use RSDLite (a Windows program for flashing stock Motorola firmware) to unroot your Motorola device. (Droid Razr Utility also does this for Razr users.)

The SBF file you are flashing must also be the same or newer than the bootloader version running on your Motorola device.

With Motorola devices that don’t have removable battery like Droid Razr, this process of unrooting can become dangerous as if you fail or used the wrong SBF file during flashing, you can end up with a phone that will not re-charge. (But you can make or buy a Motorola Factory Cable to fix that issue.)

Also with Motorola devices, once you upgrade to Jelly Bean, you can never flash an older Gingerbread stock firmware however it is possible to unroot your Motorola device completely back to stock, unvoiding your warranty.

For Google devices like Galaxy Nexus or  Nexus 4, unrooting is also rather simple and do-able.

Step 1. You will need a stock firmware for your Nexus devices provided straight from Google. (See Nexus firmwares here)

Step 2. You can use fastboot to flash the stock firmware for your Nexus device. (See video tutorial for Nexus 7 here, nearly identical process but different files for all Nexus devices)

Step 3. Once stock firmware is flashed, you can re-lock your bootloader using fastboot command and your Nexus device will be unrooted completely back to stock, unvoiding warranty.

Overall, if you rated an Android smartphone or tablet just because of its ability to root and also unroot completely back to stock with no traces of root, Samsung and Nexus devices would be ranked first, followed by Motorola and HTC in the last place.

The #1 reason I like Samsung devices is that bootloader isn’t even locked, making it easy for users to easily flash new ROMs and unroot completely back to stock easily.  Likewise Nexus devices are great also but you do still need to unlock/re-lock bootloader on Nexus devices, which wipes everything on your phone, you have to go an extra step to backup and restore your apps/settings using ADB backup.

As for Motorola and HTC, they need to provide an easier method for unrooting and don’t put so many “locks” for flashing stock firmwares, it’s only going to cause headaches for the user.



11 Responses

  1. Joe says:

    do you know how to bypass the activation screen on LG vs-700 so I can use it for WiFi

  2. Luis M says:

    Hello Max,

    I have an SGH-T989 that is not being recognized on the computer. I have tried many so-called fixes
    but they do not work. So far when I plug it on the usb cord it is recognized as a video controller, from there I re-configure the driver to the Samsung ADB driver as before but it comes up with an error code 10 on the device manager. What should I do?

  3. chocky says:

    can you plzz tell how to unroot lg optimus L3 dual e405…

  4. Robert Doherty says:

    Hi. I really need to unroot my HTC one m7 and bring it back to stock. I’m using a mac and can not find a way to do this at all. I’m new to rooting and can’t really get my head around it. Can anyone help?

  5. solomon says:

    Hi please help me with how to root my samsung galaxy s dous,i have tried almost all the usb drivers but it doesnt connect to my laptop but when i insert a memory card in it,i can see all the stuffs on the card and also it has an internal storage of 16 gig but i cant use it,if i removed the memory card it and try to download anything on it,it says insert sd card but i have internal of 16 gig which it isnt used, please help me out. Thanks

  6. cp says:

    Pls tell me about videocon a15v..I want to upgra ed e it with ics

  7. fidel says:

    help! my phone keeps deleting all my apps on sd card infact,everything on sd card..this is the second time now! I don’t know if its because I rooted my phone. pls any suggestion?

  8. Kamal Chohan says:

    I have rooted a nabi 2 with gapps which has twrp installed. How do I return it to its original stock? The reason I did the the root with gapps is because Fuhu who make nabi2 did not have goggle play store so this was the work around and now they released an OTA update in January to have google plays store and Android 4.1 jellybean update from 4.0 ice cream sandwich. So this doesn’t update due to rooting! Please could you help me?

  9. Simon samuel says:

    Please can you tell me how to unroot my tecno p5 back to its original, stock firmware? please i hope to hear from you soon.

  10. Martin says:

    preperations for full warrenty unvoid would be wanted if possible.
    device name: Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014
    model number:SM-P600
    running android version : 4.4.2

    Do you have a tipp on how to backup my entire data and prepare for the full warenty unvoid. Or is a backup not even needed and these instructions are just as good. I am worryed that downloading a stock firmware is not the same as realy backing up the hard data from the device itself. If you install latest stock firmware they might be able to tell.

  11. Pete Jones says:

    I have a Samsung S7 (off ebay|) It has been rooted.Is it possible to return to stock and get OTA updates ?

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Max Lee

Max Lee is the founder of Max makes Android tutorials and review videos for people who want to get high on Android over at his YouTube channel and Korean YouTube channel.