Flashing the SuperSU is the most popular method for getting root access on Android. It’s been the go-to tool for many years now and is the successor to SuperUser.

SuperUser worked much the same way as SuperSU, but Superuser required the user always to grant apps root permissions each time they were being used. SuperSU, on the other hand, will remember the root privileges for applications that you’ve chosen to grant or deny, so there is no manual work on your part.

It’s also possible to open the SuperSU application and change the permissions manually if you want. For example, if there is an application that you’ve installed and you granted it root access but now wish you didn’t because you don’t think it’s trustworthy, you can enter SuperSU and change the permissions so that app no longer has root access to your mobile device.

Installing/flashing SuperSU is always done from a custom recovery image. Today’s leading custom recovery image is TWRP. There are advantages to installing TWRP over other custom recovery images, such as you’ll increase your chances of being able to install more ROMs. The SuperSU itself doesn’t usually mind what custom recovery image you have installed. As long as it comes with the ability to flash zip files, which all custom recovery images built to date do, then it will manage to get your root access.

The point of having root access on the Android operating system is so that you can start installing root applications. There are roughly a few hundred root applications that people from all over the world are downloading, installing, and finding useful. A root app is an application, usually found on the Google Play Store or the XDA-Developers web forum, that cannot run until it gets access to the root file system.

Often root applications prove more useful than regular apps that do a similar thing. An example of this is applications for backing up. The best applications for backing up devices that don’t have root access is Helium for Android. Helium is no match for Titanium Backup though—an application that rooted users can install and run. Titanium has more features and offers better backing up capabilities thanks to its chance of using the root file system.

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This article was last updated on August 5, 2022.

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