Although the LG Nexus 5X runs the latest and the greatest version of Android – the Android 6.0 Marshmallow – it still has the potential to be further customized with root-access.

If you are one of those early birds having this great phone of the year, you should definitely go ahead and root your phone to then be able to tinker around with the operating system. Once you have root, you can run root-requiring apps, flash a custom recovery, flash a custom ROM, and do many more things on your phone. And what’s more, all these things are often free for you to use.

LG Nexus 5X

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.

So, here’s how you can go about rooting your LG Nexus 5X:

Files You Need

  1. The bootloader on your phone must be unlocked before you can do this tutorial. Follow our recovery tutorial to get your bootloader unlocked.
  2. You must have a custom recovery installed on your phone before you can root it. Please follow our how to install a custom recovery on the LG Nexus 5X tutorial to flash a custom recovery on your phone.
  3. This flashes SuperSU to achieve root access on your phone.
  4. Download SuperSU to your computer. Do NOT extract it, leave it as is.

Rooting the LG Nexus 5X

  1. Connect your phone to your computer using a USB cable. Your phone must be in data transfer mode so that it can receive files from your computer.
  2. Copy SuperSU .zip from your computer over to the internal SD card storage on your phone. Place the file in the root directory so that it is easily accessible in the later steps.
  3. When SuperSU .zip is copied, unplug your phone from your computer as you no longer need a computer to root your phone.
  4. Turn off your phone completely.
  5. Turn your phone back on in bootloader mode. To do that, hold down Volume DOWN and Power buttons together for a few seconds.
  6. When the bootloader menu shows up, select the option that says Recovery to get into the recovery mode on your phone.
  7. You should then reboot into the custom recovery mode on your phone. The following steps assume that you have flashed TWRP recovery on your phone.
  8. Once in recovery mode, select Install on the first screen.
  9. Navigate to where you copied the SuperSU .zip file and select it to be flashed on your phone.
  10. Tap on Swipe to Confirm Flash to confirm flashing.
  11. TWRP should begin flashing SuperSU on your phone.
  12. When it is done flashing SuperSU, reboot your phone by tapping Reboot followed by System.
  13. Your phone should boot-up in normal mode.
  14. You now have root access!

Cheers! Your LG Nexus 5X is now rooted and the same can be confirmed using Root Checker on your phone.

You now have an unlocked bootloader, a custom recovery, and root-access on your LG Nexus 5X. Well, that is all you need to be able to get the most out of your phone. Go ahead and install some root-requiring apps, flash a custom ROM, and do everything that you have always wanted to do with your phone!

While doing customizations to your phone, make sure that you do not overdo things or you will be in trouble. For instance, if you keep on trying new custom kernels despite knowing their disadvantages, you risk bricking your phone which then cannot be restored to the stock.

As long as you do things that you know are good for your phone, you are fine. So, go ahead and enjoy the newly found freedom on your phone.

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