Firstly you should understand that there is no traditional rooting tool for this update. We know Chainfire is working hard to come up with solutions for Android 5.0 Lollipop once it comes out. What we are doing involves going back to 4.4.2 KitKat and installing the new 4.4.4 through a custom recovery so you have root access on the last stages of KitKat. It’s a nifty work-around that’s made by “Norti’ from XDA. If you prefer to read the original posters guide you can follow the thread through here. We are getting a great deal of requests for providing a way for unchaining the system internals so people can use Custom ROMs and other application from the Google Play Store that they can’t use unless they break away from the default factory restrictions. Hence why we are creating this tutorial.
Backup the smartphone data and settings. Following through with the steps doesn’t automatically delete the data this time. However, if something goes wrong and you must do a factory reset, your data is compromised. Most people have their own way of backing up. Since you must be rooted already you can take a Nandroid backup or use apps such as Titanium. If you are doing the whole shebang today and are running stock firmware you can use Helium for Android available from the Google Play Store. Don’t forget to make copies of the phone contacts, settings, call logs, SMS texts, videos, pictures, music and other audio files you don’t want to lose.
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.
Details of Note
- Don’t follow this guide unless you have the Sony Xperia Z2 smartphone. You can download the stock firmware for the eligible devices from the step during the guide.
- You must use a Windows PC or else this won’t work. Do not try installing the files on Mac or Linux since they are made for Windows. You can use Windows XP through to Windows 8. We don’t know if it works from Windows 10 if you are reading this later. Remember that Microsoft are choosing to skip the 9 this year and go with the 10 name.
- You must use the exact files listed in the guide. We know you know names such as SuperSu already, but you must understand that they come in different versions. The files here are for the Xperia Z2 only on the current firmware. Do not try to install them on any other smartphone or tablet since you risk bricking.
- You must stopover at the Developer Options and enable USB Debugging Mode. You find the menu from the Settings application. The Dev options are only hidden in an earlier version of Android software whereby you tap the build number seven times to unlock it. Likewise, you need the up-to-date USB Drivers. If you are connecting to the computer and accessing the phones data you don’t need to download drivers since the existing drivers are working.
- As I mentioned before, do not follow the steps unless you are an advanced Android user. Find a family member with experience in modding and customizing the operating system if you don’t have a friend who can help.
- Furthermore, stop the security programs from running on the Android handset and the Windows computer. The Android has security apps to prevent viruses. You will get access to the Windows security programs direct from the system tray next to the task bar. Don’t forget to start them up again after you leave here.
- The guide is for those with a locked bootloader.
- Monitor the battery percentage before starting. You ought to start with at least 50% battery power. That way is won’t shut down during the installation process. Most people have the USB charging feature working. However, we are not connecting to the computer all the time.
How to root Sony Xperia Z2 running Android 4.4.4 KitKat
- Download the FTF update file from this XDA Developers thread.
- Download SuperSU here.
- Download PRFCreator v0.5.zip here.
- Download XZ Dual recovery here.
- Extract the PRF Creator and run the program on the computer.
- Upload the other three zip files (SuperSu, Dual recovery and FTF) to the three section.
Uncheck all the boxes that say “include” since we are flashing them later with the flash tool. The developer suggests this is safer.
- Click the “create” button.
- Copy the zip file to the internal memory of the Xperia phone.
- Boot it up in team Win’s TWRP.
- Choose the “install” option and upload the file.
- Go back to the main recovery menu and wipe the Dalvik cache.
- Go back once more and select reboot/power off.
- Open the flash tool and flash the kernel and baseband files with the flash device icon. Do this from the FTF in flashmode.
- Check the partition, TA, system and “no final version” boxes. leave all the other boxes unmarked.
- Find the USB cable.
- Click the flash button.
- press and hold the Volume Down and connect the phone to the computer using the USB wire.
- Hold the volume down button until the flashtool start flashing and then release.
- Don’t touch any buttons until it finishes.
- Disconnect safely by stopping the USB mass Storage Device.
- Check the SuperSu after it reboots and mount the system R/W.
In case you are getting stuck in a boot loop enter the recovery mode; from there select the cache options such as “wipe data factory reset” and “wipe cache partition”. navigate back to the main recovery menu and select “reboot system now”.
Don’t hesitate to leave questions and comments if you need anything. Hopefully now you can enjoy custom apps such as Children Tracker, BBQ Screen, FPS meter, Unicon, Nandroid manager and more. Moreover, download and install the root checker app from the Google Play store.