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The big list of Android root applications and tools

Root and S-OFF toolsInitially, the big list of Android root applications and tools will be far from complete, as I could write for literally days before covering everything. So consider this a work in progress, check back later, and feel free to provide input.

My goal here is to have a repository of the most useful Android root applications. Since there are thousands of root apps in Google Play, and tons more that never make it there, I will count on some input from you for things I have missed or things that should go away.

The requirements to make this list are that the application uses root to do something other than simply request root access, and that it is not device-specific (such as turning off the triangle notification on Samsung phones). Beyond that, I’m going to attempt to list all the useful apps I know of, and add to the list as I discover new one or when people point out that I’ve missed something – I’m most likely not snubbing a developer who worked on a good root application; it’s more likely I forgot.

If there are a million variations of the same application (i.e. Root Checker), I’ll probably only put one of them down. If there’s a reason to put Root Checker-X in, let me know and I’ll get that done. If it’s a cheat for a game, I’m probably not going to put that in.

ATTENTION ANDROID DEVELOPERS: if you have a root app and you want it in this list, drop a line in the comments section. This page receives an inordinate amount of traffic and I only locate these apps by chance.

Updated 2014-04-01

Android root applications and tools

Backup

Titanium Backup for RootTitanium Backup. Back up individual apps, or the entire catalog. Back up unrooted devices, and restore to rooted. Save apps to the cloud. Keep multiple backups of applications, texts, emails and data. Restore individually or as a group. Paid application ($6.58) required for batch restore, but fully functional without.

My Backup RootMy Backup Root. Sort of like Titanium Backup – provides app and data backup with batch restore included by default, and without the cloud connect unless you purchase it.

Orange Backup for rootOrange Backup (now called OBackup,) produces nandroid backups while the phone is still running and able to do things. It’s compatible with ClockworkMod Backup, 4EXT, and Team Win’s Recovery Project. Backups can then be uploaded via FTP, Dropbox, or Google Drive. Backups can be scheduled for any time.

Orange Backup also comes with an application killer and uninstaller, supports rolling scheduled nandroid backups, and basically does most things a recovery can except restore backups.

Backup+

Carbon - App Sync and BackupCabon App Sync and Backup provides application and data syncing between multiple devices. Play Angry Birds on your tablet and pick up right where you left off on your phone. Works for rooted and unrooted devices, although unrooted will require plugging into a computer. Can sync via cloud storage, to devices on the same network, or to devices that can access the same computer. Very useful for nearly real-time backups of your non-cloud application data.

DataSync BetaDataSync for root is a multi-direction app sync and backup that pre-dates Carbon App Sync and Backup by a few months. Unlike Carbon, it only works for rooted devices. It’s a fewer-frills application that just works for what it’s supposed to do. If you’re just wanting to sync one rooted device to another, this application is probably what you’re looking for.

Application management

Root App DeleteRoot App Delete allows you to freeze or uninstall applications that you don’t want. Allows you to disable background system services and uninstall pre-installed bloat. With over a million installs and a 4.5 star rating after 55,000 reviews, it’s top of the charts.

It's a maple leaf, not a pot plant you hoserGreenify *ROOT* is an application that, instead of than freezing or uninstalling apps, allows you to pause them when they’re not running in the foreground. Greenifying an application doesn’t uninstall it or prevent it from functioning, but just prevents it from functioning when it’s not needed. Greenify tames applications with no risk other than potentially missing some synced data until the application is in the foreground.

Swiss army knife

ROM ToolboxROM Toolbox. To list all the features this app has  would take up about a page. The short features list are: complete app management, application and data backups, kernel control, ROM management/download/install, auto start manager, font installer, boot animation installer, CPU management, task killer management, and SD tweaker.

System TunerSystem Tuner. This is a task manager, CPU tuner, activity logger, terminal emulator, system tweaker, CPU monitor, and many others. System Tuner reports that it’s able to report real CPU temperature, rather than battery temperature like other apps on the market. I’m not sure how this is accomplished, or why that feat is considered awesome, but I thought I would point it out.

TaskerTasker has some features which require root, although it as a whole does not. Trying to summarize Tasker in a line or two is like trying to tell someone why Zombo.com is amazing. Check out some of the Tasker pieces on Pocketables for more information on what you can and cannot do.

File / SD / Disk management

ES File ExplorerES File Explorer – while not a root-requiring app, you can request that it request root access and then you have a file manager that allows reading and writing system and other partitions. Absurdly useful if you need to go in and edit your build.prop or want to poke around Android’s innards.

Undelete for Root Users allows you to recover deleted images and files from your SD card or internal storage. It also allows you to delete files in such a way that the files should not be recoverable by average users.

USB OTG Helper allows those who have hooked up a flash drive via a USB OTG cable to mount and use it as storage.

CPU control

SetCPU for Root Users SetCPU for Root Users. While CPU control is now a part of many other applications, back in the day before ROM Toolbox-style apps were available, this was it, and it worked great.It allows you to change speed, CPU governors, voltage control, create profiles for plugged in, too hot, low battery, etc. With the release of version 3, SetCPU now has per-app and per-day profiles which makes it insanely useful again for taming excessive CPU-using hogs.

App Control allows per-app CPU, screen orientation, screen timeout, WiFi state, font size and more. While it’s in its infancy at the time of writing, the planned future of it looks pretty cool.

Root frameworks

Xposed framework is an AOSP framework for ARM devices. One of the things you can do with the framework is download a module that allows you to set DPI for any application. That allows you to choose tablet mode for an app, or simply make the text look more to your liking for anything, There are many other modules available.

AnJaRoot is a new style of root that allows an application to pull off root tricks rather than requiring shell scripts to run other applications that have system-level access. Basically the way root currently works is your root app calls another program if it wants to touch anything outside of the sandbox. Anjaroot is not currently very active, but looks like it is the next logical step of Android root.

WiFi

WiFi Tether for Root UsersWiFi Tether for Root Users is an application that allows you to set up a mobile hotspot using your phone’s EDGE/3G/4G data connection. It’s been banned by many carriers, so chances are you won’t see it in Google Play. However you can go to the application development page and install it on your own (it appears at least on Sprint for now).

WiFiKill is an application that allows you to find and kill a particular IP/MAC from your network while the application is running. It’s absurdly useful if you’re attempting to get someone to quit surfing the net and pay attention to people, or if you’re trying to claim their phone is buggy.

fQD 7upeZuLnYRPm7NZFydVVaRcbiznwKpVJcUhVHuLVl78fDuPTYfjkyTVbgDEZ E4=w124 - for some reason we don't have an alt tag hereWiFi Pass Recovery & Backup backup and restore and view passwords for various WiFi spots you’ve been to.

Free Tether Unlocker marks packets as untethered packets in Android 4.1.2+. What this does is allows for some use of native tethering apps where the tether is blocked upstream.

Network

AFWall+AFWall+ provides a firewall for various network states. Want to block Application_X when you’re on 3G but not 4G or WiFi? You can do that. Need to block connections to an application when you’re in a den of hacking eliteness? This is the application for you.

Shark for RootShark for Root is a traffic sniffer for 3G and WiFi. You’ll need WireShark or something like that in order to make any use of the information this provides.

OrbotOrbot is an Android application that allows you to connect anonymously to the TOR network. This is generally enough to cover your tracks pretty well from any eavesdroppers. The application on non-rooted devices provides a proxy server, whereas on rooted devices it intercepts either all or by-application traffic.

It’s absurdly useful for browsing anonymously, wicked hard to track, but utterly and completely useless for torrent applications due to UDP – so don’t bother thinking about it.

dSploit is a quite featured hacking tool. You can see comments below on what it does.

DroidSheep is an ARP spoofer and allows you to capture and intercept data. It’s basically a hacking tool that allows you to capture login data if you’re on the same network as someone else.

Superuser apps

Note: Superuser applications allow other applications to request and run as root. If you have a superuser application installed on your device, do not download another one unless you know what you’re doing and how it’s going to affect your phone. The Superuser binary will be changed, which may leave your phone unrooted, and in a bad state.

Superuser by ChainsDDSuperuser by ChainsDD is what used to be the Superuser standard. As of this writing, it hasn’t been updated in nine months; however, that may be because the application works exactly how the author intended it to, rather than it not being supported any more. Allows basic Superuser grant/deny permissions.

SuperSU by ChainfireSuperSU by Chainfire allows applications to run as specific users with root access, can grant temporary root, can be launched from the dialer, has PIN protection, and the auto-deny root countdown can be adjusted. It comes in both free, and Elite versions. While the Elite version is only $2.49, should you want to not be nagged about registering the application, you can disable the nag screen and enable the elite features from the configuration menu.

Superuser by ClockworkmodSuperuser by ClockworkMod is the only completely open-source Superuser application on the market. This means that you can download, edit, and compile your own version if you want to. No more wondering if the other Superuser applications might have something sketchy built in. CWM’s Superuser also supports multiuser mode, manifest permission support, and has a proper tablet UX.

Privacy

XPrivacy is an application that allows you to feed fake data to applications that are requesting information you don’t want them to have. Feeding fake data allows apps that crash when denied a permission to continue functioning as normal.

Recovery interface

TWRP ManagerTWRP Manager is an application that runs in Android mode that allows you to set up scripts to be executed in recovery mode under Team Win’s Recovery Project. Very useful if you need to pop back into Android mode often because you need to look something up or perhaps just download an additional file or read some instructions one last time before you feel comfortable committing to an action.

4EXT Recovery Control4EXT Recovery Control is an application similar and predating TWRP Manager that will allow you to queue up actions in the 4EXT recovery mode application. It will also check to see if you have the latest version of 4EXT recovery for your particular device and allow you to install it directly from the application if needed.

PHilz Touch recovery brings a lot of functionality to ClockworkMOD’s base. It’s pretty sweet when you get right down to it and I’d expect that ClockworkMOD would be incorporating some of the changes.

Miscellaneous

Root Call Blocker Pro is an SMS/Call blocking application that contains many features for escaping spammers, exes, etc. Also allows you to schedule when you’ll accept calls from people in case you receive a bunch of drunken butt-calls from co-workers at night. There’s a free version of this somewhere if I remember correctly.

GMusicFS is an application that turns your Google Music account into a FUSE file system which enables third party applications such as Poweramp and PlayerPro to access and stream your music. Your kernel will need to support the FUSE filesystem in order to work, and currently that should be any Android 4 or above kernel.

Keyboard Manager for rootKeyboard Manager allows you to set a keyboard based on the orientation of the device at the time the keyboard is needed. Like Swype in portrait mode but like Kii in landscape? This might be for you.

Market HelperMarket Helper allows user to change or fake their device information so they can download applications that may not be listed as compatible with their device, carrier, etc. It doesn’t touch your build.prop, and goes away after a reboot or clicking restore within the app.

Push Notification Fixer modifies a timeout variable and should theoretically get google push notifications up and working agian.

Take Control LiteTakeControl is an application that allows your computer to take control of your phone as a virtual desktop extension.

Fastcharge / Force AC toggleFastcharge / Force AC Toggle is a widget for Android that toggles power drain on a computer or unknown device’s USB port from 500mAh to 1000mAh or greater. Currently most phones charge at the lower rate when plugged into a computer or what they think is a computer (some cheap chargers).

It’s important to note that the widget requires a kernel that supports fast charge. This is not the case for all kernels, so you need to make sure you’ve got a kernel that supports it.

Screen Standby # RootScreen Standby # Root is an application that enables you to kill the screen without putting the device in sleep or standby mode. This is incredibly useful if you’re wanting to stream audio from an application that turns off when the screen does, or if you want to save some battery life while you’re using HDMI/MHL to watch TV or movies.

Undelete for Root Users allows a person to recover a recently deleted file as long as it hasn’t been written over. It comes in both free and pay versions. The free version will only recover deleted images. The pay version which is $3.99 will recover anything.

LCDDensity for RootLCDDensity for Root allows you to change the resolution on the fly of your device. The higher the resolution the smaller the text and the more things you can see on the screen.

GooManager for rootGooManager is an app for rooted phones that seems to be most used to download and install custom recoveries, but can also download and flash ROMs that are hosed on the goo.im servers. In some instances you can also check for updates to your current ROM.

ADB KonnectADB Konnect allows root users to connect via ADB wirelessly. Many ROMs now have this feature built in, but if you need it for some reason it’s free and it does what it claims it will.

Busybox installerBusyBox is an application that includes a massive toolkit built into it. As some phones don’t contain things such as GZIP or find in their native install, BusyBox is a one-shot application that contains tons of utilities that other root applications (such as Orange Backup,) require.

It’s absurdly useful when dealing with different device brands and their not having the same layout, tools, etc as yours.

ROM Manager on Google PlayROM Manager is one of the first apps most people run across and their first introduction to one of the widest-ranging developers on Android. It can download ROMs, flash recoveries, flash mods, and do all sorts of things. It gets rated low quite a bit usually due to third parties which post ROMs that are available for it not working properly, and even then it maintains over a four star rating on Google Play.

Screencast Video RecorderScreencast Video Recorder is an application that allows you to take video of what you’re doing on your phone. It’s useful for people who write blogs about ROMs and applications to create videos of what’s happening, and also for end-users to create video of what is going wrong in an application so a developer can see what the problem is and fix it rather than having to ask 300 questions.

The free version only works for 20 or so seconds, which allows you to see that it works on your device and purchase it, but not really get a feel for it.

LBE Privacy GuardLBE Privacy Guard is an application that allows you to select whether or not an app that requires a permission gets that permission. Often times an application requests permissions it doesn’t need to, sometimes just due to a coding and not malicious error. LBE allows you to allow an app to run but refuse it access to certain things.

Drocap2 is a screenshot utility that allows you to take a screenshot by shaking the device. Nice if you have trouble with the default screenshot keys/sequences.

Switchme for RootSwitchMe is a root application that allows you to set up multiple accounts and profiles on a device. Want the kids to have a limited account with only a few games? Want a gaming profile that overclocks your system? Want a sandbox for testing applications before you trust them with your sensitive data? This might do it

OTA RootkeeperOTA Rootkeeper attempts to maintain superuser access after you’ve updated to a new version of your operating system. Usually used when your carrier forces you to update and you haven’t flashed a custom ROM.

Performance Booster (root) is an application that claims to manage multiple layers of the Android ecosystem in such a way that makes things faster. I’m listing this mostly because it seems to work on other people’s devices, but does not give a noticeable improvement on mine. Your device may vary, so drop a note if it worked or not in the comments.

- for some reason we don't have an alt tag hereSixaxis Controller is a root-only app that allows you to use your PlayStation 3 controller with your Android device. Useful if you’re playing emulated ROM games.

AdAway downloads a custom blocklist of advertisers and prevents many applications from displaying common ads by redirecting requests for the ad to the device itself. It’s been banned by Google as there isn’t any way to let app X display ads but prevent app Y from doing so, and it’s hurting their bottom line as one of the most costly (in terms of lost potential advertising revenue,) apps out there. It generally requires a rooted device to change the hosts file, but does little after installation other than monitor for updated hosts files.

DriveDroid is an application that turns your device into a (potentially) bootable USB or CD for a computer. You can manage multiple ISOs, create a USB stick of just tools, plenty of neat things especially if you’re an IT professional.

Hovering Controls is a non-root app with some root-only features that emulates the air gestures from a Galaxy S4. While not all features require root, some of the gallery interface does.

FasterFix polls extremely accurate time servers to get the time down to the millisecond. When you have the absolutely correct time, your GPS lock will occur much faster. Useful mostly if you’re roaming on old EDGE towers.

Loggy (root) allows you to access your logcat live and real time streaming via a web browser.

Flash Image GUI – allows you to flash kernels or recovery from Android mode. It has the amazing ability to take a ROM package and just extract the kernel modules and such that it needs and flash them. It’s great if you want to restore the kernel that your ROM came with but you’ve been blind-flashing kernels left and right. It’s $0.99 and fairly worth it if you’ve got a ROM that you have to jump through hoops to flash a kernel.

More to come…

I’ll stress this is a work in progress. As of now, there are fewer than 100 applications listed. Obviously this is nowhere near the number of unique and useful root applications out there and doesn’t even cover all of what we’ve written about on Pocketables in the past, or even all of what I have on my phone at the moment.

There’s more to come, so suggestions are welcome. Check back often for your chance to win nothing.

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Paul E King

Paul King started with GoodAndEVO in 2011, which merged with Pocketables, and as of 2018 he's evidently the owner. He lives in Nashville, works at a film production company, is married with two kids. Facebook | Twitter | Donate | More posts by Paul | Subscribe to Paul's posts

Avatar of Paul E King

44 thoughts on “The big list of Android root applications and tools

  • Oh wow…I noticed some kernels supported fast charging but never quite figured out how to get it to work. I didn’t realize you needed an app to turn it on….

    Reply
    • You don’t. You need a number in a config file to be either 1 or 0 generally. You can execute a shell command that does it just as easily. Don’t ask me what that is at the moment because I am baby brained

      Reply
  • It’s something I always meant to ask about on xda but never got around to doing. I only recently discovered it was a problem when I took a long road trip and the combination of screen on + navigation almost sucked my battery dry even tho it was plugged in.

    Reply
    • The EVOs, which I’m familiar with, pull 500mAh max on computer or anything that they don’t recognize charger wise. 1000mAh on wall/anything they do recognize.

      I’d bet other phones can pull more.

      One thing to note though is it’s entirely possible to pull more than 1000mAh using gps. Screen on + bad cell signal + GPS can be more than 1000mAh.

      I’ve had to turn off phones and let them sit for a while to charge back up… not that that matters now now that navigation doesn’t work on my phones… but…

      Reply
  • and of course my ups blew out taking half my computer with it. more later

    Reply
  • Avatar of Tyler Osborne

    For under WiFi or Network I recommend dSploit. It’s a root only application and is not available in the Play Store for obvious reasons. You can perform port sniffing, OS detection, vulnerability finding for the open ports on the selected device and send custom TCP and UDP packets to the selected device. Also their is a subsection in the app for man-in-the-middle attacks. The site where you can download the .apk is http://www.dsploit.net/

    These attacks include:

    1. Simple Sniff- which redirects the targets traffic through the phone and shows some stats.

    2. Password Sniffer- which gets the login info if they are logging in to a non-secured site/ftp/imap.

    3. Session Hijacker- which captures the cookies on the network from the targets device and hijacks their sessions if the site they are on is non-secure and uses cookies.

    4. Kill Connections- which is the same as WiFiKill.

    5. Redirect- which redirects all http traffic from the target device to another address.

    6. Replace Images- Which replaces all images on a webpage by loading a local image or a URL image of your choosing.

    7. Replace Videos- which replaces all YouTube videos on webpages with a specified one. (only works on non-secure sites that embed YouTube videos. Won’t work on the actual YouTube site)

    8. Script Injection- which injects a custom
    javascript in every visited webpage.

    9. Custom Filter- which replaces text to-and-from on webpages. So say you want the word “yes” to show up as “no” on a webpage it will replace “yes” with no”

    Reply
  • Avatar of Capt4chris

    Thanks for all these great suggestions! This site never ceases to amaze me!

    Question: is there an app for public wifi hotspots like at McDonald’s or Burger King, etc where you have to click “accept” before it’ll let you connect? Like, after you accept it the first time the app would automatically do this in the future in when you’re in areas you normally frequent.

    Reply
    • Sorry for the delay – been busy with new baby – go to the play store and look up “wifi auto login”. There’re a bunch of ’em. Some require root, some don’t

      Reply
      • Avatar of Capt4chris

        No problem Paul. Thanks for the suggestion. I’ve tried searching the Play store a couple times before but didn’t find many promising results. I tried searching more diligently this time and was able to find an app called “WiFi Web Login”. It looks like it might be the best choice.

        It’s got a free trial so I might try it out and see if it does the trick.

        Thanks again!

        Reply
        • cool beans. When I get a bit more time I’ll find some of those. I seriously needed them when I was at the hospital with the wife as the wifi there kept asking for a login every 30 or 40 minutes…

          Reply
          • Avatar of Capt4chris

            Awesome! Please let us know if you find anything that works well! :-D

  • Any tips for this greenify app? Doesn’t seem to work for me. It has been granted root access but still some apps show up after being selected and when I hit refresh apps that show running in task manager don’t show up in this greenify???

    Reply
  • You could add Fasterfix; it allows you to set your NTP server to the best option for you current location. It improved my GPS fix time by about a minute and a half (which is a lifetime when you’re at 130km/h looking for the right exit!).

    Reply
  • Is it possible to indicate with apps have been added to the list each time its update? I come by once a week and I sometimes can’t tell what has been added.

    Reply
    • Hrmm, thinking of what tools I have I don’t think it’s possible to easily indicate what’s new and added in the piece itself (unless you can think of a way, my Sunday brain isn’t coming up with good ideas,) however as this is becoming a fairly popular older piece I can update in the comments every time I add a few things that way you could see that it’s updated up top and see which ones were updated down bottom.

      I’ve got so many to add and categorize it’s absurd

      Reply
  • what about LLAMA.i found it very useful.

    Reply
    • Does Llama require or even use root? I don’t recall it needing it.

      Reply
  • 6/20/13 added

    drocap2
    root call blocker
    switchme
    OTA Rootkeeper

    added note to android developers

    Reply
  • updated SetCPU description and linked to Pocketables piece that will post tomorrow about what version 3 can do that makes SetCPU once again pretty darn sweet.

    Reply
  • Recovery interface section added
    twrp manager added
    4ext recovery control added

    Reply
  • Added fasterfix and loggy to misc

    Stopped using icons as Google Play switched from PNG/JPG to .webp format for all new icons and we don’t have support on that and my request to add support was turned down.

    Reply
  • Can i ask if you now of a jb 4.2.2 for samsung gt-s5830i only im chacing my own tail as well as getting disapounted i already ive no chance of ever getting a look in with goigle 4.3 thanks to that last letter I after 30 its hard going.but thank you for tajing the time in reading my email..Tina x

    Reply
    • nope… looked at the XDA development threads on that and it appears that it may not have ever reached Ice Cream Sandwich http://forum.xda-developers.com/forumdisplay.php?f=1730 lotta roms, mostly GB though.

      That phone is not something I’ve ever really delved into though… I know the HTC EVOs, Sony Tablets, that’s about it for ROM-specific development… sorry

      Reply
  • Avatar of syed

    Can u pls help me how to hack wifi after rooting the andriod device (Samsung galaxy s3 gt-19300)

    Reply
  • I’m a newbie, came across your post lookin for a root delete app. & I want to thank you for explaining the definition of EACH app,, it’s very helpful since I’m a stay at home older lady tryin to figure it all out,. Thank you again

    Reply
  • Avatar of mohsinr

    which bloatware can be permanently deleted from rooted android 4.2.1

    Reply
    • There is no bloatware in Android 4.2.1. There’s bloatware in various carrier’s implementation of Android 4.2.1… you’d need to specify phone, carrier, etc.

      All of it can be deleted, but that might affect your ability to an OTA upgrade, and some of it might crash your phone if you remove it. All depends…

      There’s multiple phone vendors (HTC, Samsung, etc) with multiple models of phones with a bare Android versions that they put their branded launcher on (Sense, Touchwiz, etc) and then each of the carriers they sell to (Sprint, AT&T, T-Mobile, Virgin, Verizon) puts software they get paid to place there (Blockbuster, Sprint Football, etc.)

      So, that’s probably about 6000 possibilities of bloatware…

      I generally look at what’s running, and if I don’t want it and it’s using cpu time and memory I remove it. Just always make sure to have a backup

      Reply
  • which app can be used for wifi password cracking?
    please answer.

    Reply
    • I don’t think any of the ones listed do. Have not played with anything that isn’t a brute force attack, which can take weeks.

      Reply
  • Avatar of nubair

    Hi. My dsploit gives error that port 8080 is busy and is used by an other app.i m using it on note 3 rooted.plz tell me how to fix this??

    Reply
    • Sounds like it may be a kernel issue with port mapping. However, I have no clue on this. I’d head over to the xda thread and ask the author..

      Reply
  • Avatar of ashish vhatkar

    Can I use fast battery charger for spice mi535

    Reply
    • Fast Charge is a kernel option usually only included in custom kernels. If you’ve rooted, replaced your kernel with one that supports it, yes. If you haven’t no.

      Reply

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