If you are the happy owner of the first-generation AT&T Motorola Moto X smartphone with model number XT1058, it’s time to get your handset out of your pocket and plug it into the computer because root access is now up for grabs. We’ve seen Android developers really step up security in the past Lollipop release. In earlier years, it wasn’t uncommon for root methods to be made before a device releases. While we are still seeing some of those sporadically, those handsets running the latest software updates are often finding patches which plug the old exploits. It’s now taking a long time for third-party developers to find root access running the latest software updates.

Thankfully, today is not one of those days where we are continually waiting, thanks to a new rooting exploit found. If you want to gain rooting privileges, following the guide below. Remember to take the usual precautions like backing up before starting if you come up with a soft brick situation and want to apply a reset. Often taking the hard reset, otherwise known as a factory reset, is the best way out of trouble and not fiddling around and trying to find specific answers.

Motorola Moto X

If you are looking to take a backup, there are several ways to go about that. The first is to type what app you want in the Google Play search bar and download them. Helium for Android is one we are still recommending to most people. However, it doesn’t backup everything you need. With the remaining data you haven’t backed up yet, type the keyboard into the Google Play search box and find when you need.

You are voiding the Motorola warranty after the guide because the Hello Moto company don’t want you complaining the software isn’t working. While custom ROMs are often really stable, it’s only fitting a company receivers many complaints after customizing their devices. That’s why no OEM running Android covers it under warranty.

Furthermore, some of you might find you need to unlock the Developer Options menu. Doing that is easy enough: just head over to the Settings, followed by the About Device menu and tap over where the build number is seven times. You’ll now get a message telling you that you have successfully unlocked the Developer Options menu.

Moreover, to get the most out of the Developer Options menu, you must enter it from the Settings. Specifically, search for the USB Debugging option you will find inside the Developer Options and enable it. Now you are easily able to connect your device to the Windows computer you are using during the guide.

What Is Rooting the Android Operating System?

When you buy a new smartphone, you might not know it, but the Android operating system is in a “locked” state. For the most part, it will not make much difference to you: most apps are still available to use, and there are benefits to this locked state such as better security. When you root the Android operating system, you are gaining full administrative rights over the OS.

Why Would You Want to Root Android?

Gaining full administrative rights over the operating system has some perks to some people. For example, out of the millions of applications available on Google Play, some of them will not be able to run on your device unless it has root access. Until you have a specific need for wanting Android rooted, you probably want to leave Android as it comes out of the box. But if you need to unlock an app, then that is when you want to look into rooting methods. Using more apps is only one example of why you may want root access, here is the full list of benefits:

  • Unlock more applications. Some of the apps available for Android cannot run unless you have root access. This is because the app’s features cannot run without the root permissions because the features require the full system access before they can be useful.
  • Better battery life. Smartphones are great, but they have one caveat, which is each time you recharge the battery, it loses some of its overall lifespan. That means smartphones, in general, do not make great investments, and if your weekly paycheck is low, you will want to limit the number of smartphones you go through. One of the ways you can do that is by removing bloatware and creating a better battery life.
  • Bolster performance. If you are the budget-conscious shopper, you may want to increase the device’s performance. This can be done by removing the bloatware as well. The more processes you have running, the more memory that is used. By removing some of the apps, it can help lighten the load on your hardware.
  • Customize Android with themes. With root access, you can download and install any theme that’s at your disposal. That includes any customized theme you can find.

What Are the Risks of Rooting?

If you are buying a smartphone that is not running iOS, then it is probably the Android operating system that you want running as the ideal software to pair with your shiny new hardware. It is, in fact, the Android OS that offers you the chance to customize the OS considerably more than iOS: custom themes, run any app you know about, the works. For many users, the “openness” of an operating system is important, because it offers them more freedom which means running into fewer problems with their investments. But there is a reason iOS likes a far more locked approach: the ability to customize is not for everyone, and if you do not know what you are doing it can lead to a lot of problems which can define your time with the OS rather than freedom.

With power (full admin permissions) comes greater responsibility. Here are some of the main risk factors when it comes to rooting:

  • Malware becomes a larger threat. You might read the occasional news article about how new malware is wreaking havoc in parts of the world on Android. But the Android operating system with root access becomes considerably more vulnerable to exploits because applications are no longer prisoned off in their own sandbox environments. This means if you accidentally download malware, it can do more damage because it can spread throughout the operating system and even jump into other applications and potentially view sensitive data.
  • You can accidentally brick the smartphone. There is always a chance that you end up bricking the smartphone before you had the opportunity to use it with root access. That is because if you are going to brick it, it is going to happen during the rooting process.
  • You may void the warranty. Most manufacturers do not allow you to root the Android operating system and still get to bring it in for repairs under warranty. Whether they are legally meant to do that or not is another question, but it is now common knowledge that most do not want to help you if they find out you have unlocked the OS with root access.

How to root the AT&T Moto X variant on the Android 5.1.1 Lollipop Update

  1. Download Python from here.
  2. Download Pyserial from here.
  3. Download the rooting patch from here.
  4. Download the Drivers you need here.
  5. Download the ADB and fastboot drivers to your computer and run them.
  6. Extract the Python, Pyserial and rooting patch to the desktop and the Python 27 in the C Drive.
  7. Transfer the Root_ATT_XT1058_5.1_LPA23.12-21.1_cid1.rar file found in the unzipped rooting patch over to the same folder where you have Python 27 in the C Drive.
  8. Completely power off the Motoola Moto X and reboot it in fastboot mode.
  9. Fastboot mode is easy enough: Hold the Volume Down and Power buttons together for at least five seconds and let go. You should see it boot into fastboot/bootloader mode.
  10. Make sure you are connecting the Moto X to the computer now because we are about to run a program that reboots the handset automatically.
  11. Double click the BLBROKE file found in the Python 27 folder.
  12. Wait for the Moto X to reboot. It’s normal for the screen to go black now.
  13. Extract the drivers you downloaded at the beginning (not the ADB and fastboot drivers but the other package).
  14. Open up the device manager on the Windows operating system.
  15. Look for “QHSUSB_DLOAD” in the device manager and install the driver manually. To do that, right-click the mouse over the name and select update driver software.
  16. Choose to “browse my computer” for the software.
  17. Open the folder where you have the drivers while you are browsing. You extracted the drivers to a place just a few steps ago. Go to that location.
  18. Choose to upload those drivers and ignore any warnings the Windows OS might give you about the lack of a signature.
  19. Now run the root.bat file found in the Python 27 folder and follow the on-screen instructions to finish the rooting process.