The Complete Guide to Unrooting an Android Phone or Tablet

After hours of toil, tampering and trying to unlock your bootloader, you’ve finally rooted your Android device. But just as you’re about to start reaping the benefits of your fully-unlocked phone, it hits you that you didn’t update your Android version to the latest one, which by extension locks you out of nice custom ROMs like LineageOS. Or maybe you want to return your device under warranty, but can’t because rooting voids your warranty.

Thankfully, if you want to unroot your Android device and forget the whole thing ever happened, you can.

If you’ve rooted your Android phone or tablet, there’s a good chance you’re using SuperSU, an app that gives you control over which apps get root access to your device. Once you’ve unlocked your bootloader, then SuperSU is basically the thing that gives you root access. If you have a rooted phone but don’t have SuperSU (i.e. used another superuser access tool), then you can get it on the Play Store, or get the latest APK here.

If you haven’t installed a custom ROM yet, you can use SuperSU to unroot your device. Just open SuperSU, tap Settings, then select the “Full Unroot” option and reboot your device once it’s done. Finally, uninstall SuperSU, and you’re done! Simple.

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If the above method doesn’t work, then it’s possible that your device is simply getting re-rooted every time you reboot, which means you’ll need to unroot manually. One option is to use ES File Explorer to navigate to the root directory (/), then search for the files “su,” “busybox” and “superuser (orsupersu).apk.” Delete them all, and reboot your device. Note that you’ll first need to enable “Root Explorer” in ES File Explorer, which you can find under the three-lined menu icon at the top-left.

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Reboot your device, and SuperSU should be gone (use an app like Root Checker Basic to confirm your device has unrooted).

There’s a possibility that SuperSU reappears after you’ve tried unrooting, in which case you’ll need to work a bit harder to get rid of it. Boot your phone to recovery mode (presumably, you’ll be using either TWRP or Clockwork Mod if your phone is rooted), then in recovery mode sideload this handy little tool, unSU, which was created by one of the good folks on the XDA forums specifically to remove SuperSU when it’s being stubborn.

In case you’ve forgotten how to “adb sideload” stuff, you’ll need to go into the Android SDK folder on your PC where the “adb” files are kept (C:\Users\Your User Name\AppData\Local\Android\Sdk\platform-tools by default), “Shift + right-click on an empty space,” then click “Open PowerShell window here.” Make sure the unSU zip file is in the platform-tools folder, then type the following into the Powershell and hit Enter:

adb sideload UPDATE-unSU-signed.zip

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This should do a full, comprehensive uninstall of SuperSU, which by extension will mean that your phone is now unrooted, and you’ll be able to do all the things you couldn’t with a rooted phone, such as OTA Android updates.

It’s good to know that you can always undo your root if you’ve made a bit of a mess of it. Likewise, it’s good to know that you can re-root again after you’ve unrooted and done all the business you needed to. If you’ve just gotten a new phone and want to root it, remember to do all the software and OTA updates before rooting it, then you may negate the need to unroot your phone altogether.

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