Sprint subscribers of the LG G4 variant are getting a new over the air update to the ZV5 firmware. If you updated the operating system and chose to accept the new software update notification, you will have lost root access.

Moreover, you can’t just go back and follow the same guide you used last time because it won’t work and you might brick your smartphone. Never fear! A new rooting method is here, and we’ll show you how it’s done after the drop.

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.

REQUIREMENTS

  • Check the About Device menu for the build number ZV5.
  • Make sure you are a Sprint subscriber and have the Sprint variant of G4.

BEFORE WE BEGIN

  • Download the LG USB Drivers on the Windows PC. You might need to reboot the PC to get that working. If the guide doesn’t work for you, it might be a driver issue, in which case, try rebooting and starting again.

HOW TO ROOT THE SPRINT LG G4 ON ZV5 LOLLIPOP FIRMWARE

1. Download the Send_Command tools package here.

2. Download the LS991ZV5.tar.gz file here.

3. Extract above tar.gz file to the desktop of the computer.

4. When done correctly, you’ll see the system.rooted.LS991ZV5.img file inside.
5. Transfer that .img file to the root of the SD card, which means not inside any subfolder.

6. Extract the Send_Command tools file now.

7. When done correctly, you should find the Send_Command.exe file and the ports.bat files inside.

8. Reboot the G4 in Download Mode. Volume the Volume Up and Power and connect it to the computer at the same time. It only works if you have completely powered it off first.

9. Double-click the ports.bat file and check what COM port your computer and the G4 is connecting with. Keep a mental note of that number.

10. Open the folder where the Send_Command.exe and right-click the mouse and hold Shift to open the command window.

11. Type the command: “Send_Command.exe \\.\COM4” in the command line if your COM port equals 4. Change the value accordingly to what you found in step 9.

12. Type the next command “id,” and you should get a string in return similar to this “‘uid=(0)root gid=(0)root’. Repeat the steps with the commands again if you don’t see that string or else you risk soft-bricking the device.

13. Those happy it’s working so far you can type “dd if=/data/media/0/system.rooted.LS991ZV5.img bs=8192 seek=65536 count=557312 of=/dev/block/mmcblk0”.

14. Finish up by typing “LEAVE,” followed by “Enter” and you’re done.

You can now start thinking about flashing a custom recovery image such as TWRP or ClockworkMod recovery.