Rooting of the Android operating system has been something millions of people have been doing now for nearly a decade. Over that span, there were always different tools that would come and go, but there were also a few that seemed always to go on forever.

However, times are rapidly changing; it’s not so much that people have lost interest in getting root access as such, but Android developers have purposefully made it more challenging for people to get root access due to new features that have become available and having a device with those features makes having a device with root access riskier.

If you’ve known Android for many years, you might be aware of a guy named Chainifire. . . . He was the guy who created the SuperSU and then later developed the CF-Auto-Root one-click rooting tool. In more recent times he has sold both of those tools off to other people and is no longer involved with getting devices rooted. He says he needed a career change and it was just the right time to move on . . . but that’s also probably not telling the whole story.

It was evident that getting root access had become quite a hassle for Chainfire to continually have to spend many an hour to come up with new methods of getting it done. And when the most recent stumbling block arrived where Android developers wouldn’t allow his normal systemless root because it would trip SafetyNet, it was clear SuperSU, for the first time in what had seemed like forever, was no longer the first tool of choice to use.

There was a solution, at the end of the day, though, and its name was Magisk: a new tool that allowed its users to switch on or off the root access when they needed to use things like Android Pay or Netflix.

It was features like the new Android Pay that posed security risks for its users with root access—due to the nature of how root access works, it allows malware not to be fenced in like it usually would, and thus that meant big risks with your money via banking that was being linked to the Android Pay service. For that type of technology to kick off, Android can ill afford for a massive issue like people getting their money stolen to happen, so you can’t blame them for not wanting devices to have root access in the present day with new features such as these now ripe in society.

Magisk isn’t a tool that Android would worry about; it solved both problems: people get to have root access, and the devices are not any less secure. The chance to turn the root access off (you have no choice but to turn it off) to go and use Android Pay means there is no more substantial risk than using an unrooted device because it is, practically, unrooted, when you have switched off the root access. Then when you’re doing your shopping, all you need to do is turn it back on again—something that’ll only take a few seconds and is not a huge deal at all.

How to Root Android 7.1.2 Nougat with Magisk

Download the Magisk installer from the Downloads section of the XDA-Developers thread.

If you already have rooted your device, you’ll need to unroot it now before going ahead with the installation of Magisk. If you have used TWRP and then flashed Chainfire’s SuperSU, you can just remove the SuperSU by opening it up and then choosing to uninstall it from the menu. For everyone else, you might be interested in installing the unSU script instead.

You can only use Magisk if there is a custom recovery image available for you to install. You can look for a custom recovery image made for your device from the TWRP website. Remember that before you can install a custom recovery image, you need to have the bootloader unlocked first. The way you unlock the bootloader changes depending on your smartphone manufacturer. If you find a guide made for your manufacturer, then chances are you can follow it because it’s the same for all devices from the one manufacturer.

Find out the steps required to boot your smartphone into the custom recovery. The way manufacturers choose to enter recovery mode changes depending on who it is, but the good news is that booting into custom recovery is always the same steps as booting into the stock recovery for your phone because it just replaces it. So, all you really need to do is find out what steps you need to boot your device into the standard recovery mode that all devices come with and then you’ll be able to boot to the custom recovery as well.

Once you are in the custom recovery, tap on the “Install” button and then tap on the Magisk SuperSU zip file. Then to install the zip file you have selected, tap on the “Install Image” button (if you are using TWRP Recovery.) You’ll also need to swipe at the bottom of the phone’s display to confirm the installation of the zip file if it is TWRP Recovery.

After the Magisk SuperSU is installed, you then need to reboot the phone from the TWRP Recovery menu. Once your phone boots back up again, it’s time to install the Magisk Manager application directly on the phone. Before you can install it, though, you first need to enable the Unknown Sources option from the Android Settings. To do that, swipe down from the top of the Android homecreen to pull down the notification shade, and then tap on the “Settings gear icon” at the top.

Tap on the “Security” link from the Settings.

Inside the settings is the “Unknown Sources” option that you now need to tap on.

You’ll get a message letting you know about the risks of enabling the Unknown Sources before it turns on for you. Tap on the “OK” button to continue.

The Unknown Sources toggle is now turned on.

Next, you need to get the Magisk Manager application from the XDA-Developers thread under the same Downloads section that you got the Magisk SuperSU earlier. Download it like you would any other app and then tap on the ‘Install” button to install it on your device.

The Magisk Manager sends a superuser request to your device. Tap on the “Grant” button to continue.

You’ll need to allow Magisk Manager permissions to access your files from the device if you want to get the best experience. Tap on the “Allow” button here.

It lets you know that Magisk Manager is not yet installed. Tap on the “Go to Install” section” to continue.

At the bottom of the next screen is the “Download and Install” button that you need to tap on now.

You can choose to view the release notes if you want before installing. When you are done, just tap on the “Install” button, and then the Magisk manager is finally installed.

Wait until you get the “Installation succeeded!” message on the phone’s display and then tap on the “Reboot” button.

Once the reboot is complete and the phone starts up again, you can start using Magik on your device to have root access as well as Android Pay and Netflix working again.

Magisk Hide

Anyone who has a device with an unlocked bootloader needs to install the Magisk Hide or else it won’t be able to pass the SafetyNet check. Magisk Hide is available from the Settings of the Magisk application; there is nothing else that you need to have installed to get it working. Just open the Magisk application and click on the “Settings” link from the menu. You’ll then see an option called “Magisk Hide” with a toggle switch that you need to turn on.

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