The third-generation Motorola Moto G is now out and a reliable rooting method made readily available thanks to SuperSU.
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.
- You must unlock the bootloader before starting this guide or else the rooting process will not work.
BEFORE WE BEGIN
- You must be using a Windows PC for this guide.
- Download the Motorola USB Drivers to the Windows PC. The universal drivers will work for the Moto G just as well as any other Motorola device.
- You are voiding the Motorola manufacturer’s warranty by following the guide. Both flashing a custom recovery image and gaining root access void the warranty.
HOW TO ROOT THE MOTOROLA MOTO G 2015 THIRD-GENERATION
1. Download and install Minimal ADB and Fastboot to the computer.
2. Download the SuperSU file you need. Transfer the SuperSU to the internal SD card root folder. Don’t hide it in a sub folder.
3. Download the TWRP Recovery file from here.
4. Transfer the TWRP recovery to the minimal ADB and fastboot folder.
5. Open the py_cmd.exe file found in the minimal ADB folder.
6. It will now open the command prompt windows for you to type some commands.
7. Type the first command: “adb devices”.
8. Press Enter.
9. Type the second command: “adb reboot bootloader”.
10. Press Enter.
11. Type the third command: “fastboot flash recovery twrp-osprey-2.8.7-test1.img”.
12. Press Enter.
13. Select the recovery option from the ADB mode on the Motorola Moto G’s display. browse through the options using the two volume keys. Scroll one way only using the Volume Down key and select the option using the Volume Up key.
14. You should now be in the desired TWRP recovery mode.
15. Choose the Install option from the TWRP menu and browse the internal SD card for the SuperSU file.
16. Go back to the main TWRP recovery menu and reboot the device from the options.
Now you have root access running on your third-gen Moto G. The custom recovery allows you to directly install custom ROMs and take NANDroid backups. Remember to always apply the NANDroid backup before installing new ROMs.