Android 4.4.4 KitKat is the last stage of the chocolate software and now you can root it on the HTC One M7 for Verizon subscribers using a new exploit called WeakSauce 2. You may remember the original that works for earlier states of Kitkat on the same device. There are a few different ways of gaining root access on this device. However, few come simpler than this exploit. If you are wanting to open up the operating system away from the default factory restrictions while you wait for Lollipop, I suggest you follow the steps here and not any other.

Android 5.0 Lollipop is great with the new material deign UI, material design app drawer, Android Beam, Android Runtime, smart notifications offering a bevy of features from the lock screen and more. Nonetheless, custom ROMs are not there yet. If you are keen on having root access and want to run some decent ROMs you should stick with KitKat for a while longer.

Verizon HTC One

Apply the following on the original M7 variant of the HTC One only. We have a dedicated guide for the M8 users here.

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

  • You must be an advanced Android users to follow the guide. That way you reduce the chance of coming up with problems. Furthermore, you can find a way out of trouble if it find you.
  • Apply a factory reset or a hard reset to solve most problems for when rooting goes wrong. Check out the simple factory reset app from Google Play here. Most modernistic devices come up with a solution for applying the same by using keys. That way if the screen isn’t working you can still access the recovery mode or apply the hard reset by the built-in local feature.
  • Backup the device data before starting. You can use apps available from Google Play or use the built-in backup feature of the phone. Some helpful apps include Helium, Easy back and G cloud backup.
  • You want to store the phone contacts, EFS folder, SMS texts, pictures, videos, music files and all other sensitive data such as the device settings.
  • Use a computer, notebook or laptop for transferring the file. You shouldn’t download the app directly to the smartphone as it isn’t as safe. It can be a Windows PC, laptop or notebook, a Mac or a Linux machine. The main thing is that it comes with a working USB slot in the side for connecting the phone.
  • The USB charging feature will keep the battery charging enough. If you don’t have the USB charging feature, you ought to reserve at least 50% battery power.
    – you can check the battery levels by turning on the phone and looking at the battery icon from the status bar.
  • Allow permissions for the Dalvik mode from Settings> Developer options.
  • Enable USB Debugging by navigating to Settings > Developer Options > USB Debugging.

How to root the HTC One M7 By Verizon on Android 4.4.4 KitKat

  1. Download the WeakSauce 2 apk file here.
  2. Stopover at Settings > Security and enable the ‘unknown Sources’ option.
  3. Transfer the apk file to the internal SD card of the HTC One M7.
  4. Install a suitable file manager app if you don’t have one already.
    – ASTRO File manager is a popular choice.
  5. Install the file and open it from the app drawer.
  6. Go back to Google Play and install the SuperSU from here.

The developer mentions that is does allow for the SunShine exploit to allow S-off and unlock some Android 4.4.4 versions too. The Sunshine developers are the same team behind WeakSauce. The difference is Sunshine is not free. Read more on that here.

Those of you who wish to return back to stock Android and revoke the root access can download and install the root checker and unroot pro app from Google Play.