The Google Nexus 9 has yet another factory image available to install — this time the LMY47X firmware build number on Android 5.1.1 Lollipop.

If you haven’t gained root access before, or if you did have root access and you updated to this factory image to get more bug fixes and improvements, you’ll need to use this guide again to root Google Nexus 9 on Android 5.1.1 Lollipop.

This is what you need to root the Google Nexus 9 tablet when you have it running on the Android 5.1.1 software update and the LMY47X firmware build number.

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.

REQUIREMENTS

  • To root the Google Nexus 9, you must have that same device and not a different tablet or smartphone from the Google Nexus range.
  • It is recommended you are running the Android 5.1.1 with firmware build LMY47X to follow this guide.

BEFORE WE BEGIN

  • Download the Google USB Drivers for your Nexus 9 device.
  • You are voiding the warranty by following the guide.
  • Enable the USB Debugging Mode so you can connect the tablet to the Windows PC with no worries.

HOW TO ROOT GOOGLE NEXUS 9 RUNNING ANDROID 5.1.1 LOLLIPOP

  1. Download the Nexus 9 root exploit by Chanifire here to the Windows PC.
  2. Click the small arrow on the side of the file that’s above your taskbar after you click the link above to download.
  3. Choose the “Show in folder” option from the menu.
  4. Drag the file over to the desktop of the Windows PC.
  5. Boot the Nexus 9 in bootloader mode (same as Fastboot mode) by using ADB or by using key commands. (Those using key commands should completely power down the tablet by holding down the Power button for 15 seconds. Now reboot by holding the Power, Volume Up and Home buttons at the same time.)
  6. Connect the Nexus 9 to the computer with the USB cable.
  7. Now run the “root-windows.bat” you dragged to the desktop.
  8. Follow the instructions on the screen to complete the job.

The Google Nexus 9 tablet should now be able to offer applications access to the root file system which is, of course, the kind of access that the root applications out there in existence need before they can run. You’ll find most of those root applications on the same Google Play Store that you already use for your regular app, but you may need to research the names of them before you go looking because Google doesn’t make it easier to come across them unless you search for them.