There are countless ways in which you can use root access on your Android smartphone, but in this article, we will focus on those used in conjunction with MOBILedit Forensic Express.
Our software uses root access to obtain as much data as possible (including deleted data).
It's also crucial to have a rooted phone in order to perform application analysis and physical dump of any Android phone using MOBILedit Forensic Express or any other software.
What does rooting an Android actually mean?
It is important to realize that Android runs on Linux kernel, which means it is a Linux-based operating system with a few major changes to make it suitable for touchscreens.
When you root your Android phone, you are essentially using an exploit to unlock one of Linux's basic functionalities - access to the core of the operating system, which is normally only accessible by phone manufacturers.
Once you gain root access you can use it to manipulate, change, remove, or add anything inside your Android phone.
How do I root an Android phone?
Most Android devices should be able to be rooted. However, the process of rooting is specific to each phone model, version of Android, and build number. You will always need to find the right tool depending on your phone model.
You can root a majority of old school Android phones using an app called KingoRoot, if for some reason this method doesn't work for you (locked bootloader, Knox, etc.) or you have a modern Android device then you may be able to find help on XDA Developers, which is a website with a large active user community dedicated entirely to Android smartphones.
Please note that sometimes it is necessary to unlock your phone's bootloader in order to root it. You can either find a step-by-step tutorial on how to unlock the bootloader on your phone manufacturer's webpage or you can use a technique described on our user-guide here.
Some devices tend to wipe all the data once the bootloader is unlocked. We recommend storing the phone’s data before rooting it.
Once rooting has been completed successfully the phone is then switched to so-called "rooted mode". In this mode, you will be able to extract and analyze the deleted data, create physical images, access more data from applications, and have more available data for extraction in general.
Rooting your phone may void the manufacturer's warranty and could cause security risks. Please take this into consideration before performing this process.
Rooting a Samsung device can trip the Knox Warranty void flag which will make the data stored in Knox permanently inaccessible.