These are the steps to root the Motorola Moto G Turbo smartphone running Android 5.1.1 Lollipop. The Turbo variant of the Moto G comes running Android 5.1.1 out of the box.
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.
Files You Need
- You must have the Moto G Turbo bootloader unlocked before you can follow this guide for tooting the device.
- You must have a custom recovery installed on the Moto G Turbo before using this guide.
- Understand that you are voiding any warranty you might have had with Motorola by following this guide. You can flash the Moto G Turbo stock ROM back on the device and it should get that warranty working again.
Rooting the Motorola Moto G Turbo Edition
- Download the SuperSU exploit by Chainfire for your Turbo Edition device from this page.
- Drag the SuperSU package from the default download location over to the desktop of the computer.
- Do not extract or unzip the SuperSU file, you want to have it zipped during the guide.
- Connect the Turbo Edition device to the computer using the USB cable.
- Copy the SuperSU updated file over to the topmost folder on the internal storage SD card.
- Unplug your Turbo smartphone from the computer once you have the file on the SD card.
- Reboot the Turbo Edition smartphone to the custom recovery mode by pressing the Volume Down and Power buttons for a few seconds and releasing them together. You should see the bootloader mode screen where you can scroll down and highlight the recovery option. Now confirm you want to enter that recovery mode by pressing the Power button.
- Tap on the ‘Backup’ button from the main recovery menu and choose to take a NANDroid backup of your data. You can choose to restore that same data later using the NANDroid Manager application from the Google Play Store.
- Tap on the ‘Install’ option from the recovery menu and browse the SD card for the SuperSU zip file.
- Swipe where it says Swipe to confirm on the bottom of the screen.
- Wait as the SuperSU exploit is applied to your device.
- Choose the ‘Reboot System Now’ option from the central recovery screen.
Your Motorola Moto G Turbo now has root and it ready to install new apps from the Google Play Store. You might like to start installing the basic root checker app to check that it did work. When you root using the SuperSU it is more of a soft root designed to allow permission for the root-requiring apps. SuperSU can do very little damage to your device and the only brick you will ever have is a soft-brick which can be fixed.