Will I get an OTA update after Rooting

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Will I get an OTA update after Rooting

Will I get an OTA update after Rooting

One of the most common questions people ask when they are finally rooted is “will I be able to update?” The answer is somewhat different depending on what exactly you did during the rooting process. After all, rooting methods vary greatly between devices, and sometimes, getting rooted isn’t all you end up doing.

You see, much like any PC or MAC out there, your smartphone is also a computer. It has partitions that separate the system or operating system files from the space you use for your own files and installations. Your smartphone also contains a recovery image and a boot image. The recovery image is usually used to install updates as well as custom files and firmwares.

Vanilla Root

One type of root is what I would like to refer to as vanilla root. It is a rooting method that only makes changes to the system files and nothing else. It basically unlocks your root and it involves some scripting and probably ADB. No other things installed besides root access.

This type of root is usually easy to install over. Most OTA updates will overwrite your system files and often times it will unroot your device since it will now have the same files as it did back when it was not yet rooted. This means that any system protection put in place will be back. You will have to root your phone.

Flashed Root

One method of rooting involves flashing a file through the PC. This usually involves complicated scripts which are made easier by quick one root methods such as the one provided by Rescue Root. Many of these root methods involve installation of 3rd party apps like Superuser and Busybox.

Depending on which system files are changed, this root method can be updated through OTA.As long as the affected systems files match when the OTA checks, the update will go on as planned. This is kind of a hit or miss situation.

Flashed Root via Recovery

This rooting method involves two steps. The first step involves flashing a custom recovery. This completely changes the recovery file being used by the smartphone. After that, you flash an unprotected zip file to completely root the system and it usually involves installation of a Superuser type program as well as busybox.

Unfortunately, since the first method involves changing the custom recovery being used by the smartphone, there is zero chance your OTA will push through .The OTA will try to check for the recovery which is pretty much the key to its lock. If it doesn’t recognize the recovery, the update won’t complete.

Long time Root user

So far, we’ve only covered situations where the root was near freshly installed on the smartphone. What about a long time root user? A root user is likely to take advantage of being rooted. They may make changes to the system files to either improve the operating system or maybe improve his experience by visually altering some files like fonts, colors and icons.

The OTA update may need to make changes to one or more of these files, and if these files are altered in any way, the update may not go through. If that is the case, you may need to restore any files you may have changed. You may have to even reflash the whole OS just to get that update.


There you have it. You may or may not end up with that update, but there is certainly a good chance that you can. Still, as an active root user, you are likely to change files in your smartphone at any time, so you are likely to end up with an update incompatibility in the long run.

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