Ask LH: Is It Safe To Root An Older Android Phone?

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Dear Lifehacker, I'm looking to root my HTC Wildfire smartphone (2011 model) with Unrevoked3. However, it says my phone is not supported. Can you explain a workaround or other rooting method I can use? Thanks, Janos

Dear Janos,

I’m going to be brutally honest here. This is a really tough one. Without a phone to try this out on, I’m in the same position as you, resorting to a search engine.

My guess is you’ve found most of the same search results as I have such as this advice from The Unlockr and this from Wikihow.

It’s hard to offer you more advice without knowing what your reasons for rooting the device are. Is there a specific activity you wish to execute that requires rooting the device that you can't achieve without a freely available app?

My other suggestion is to consider updating to a newer phone. There are plenty of more recent models that allow you to either root the device or install custom firmware. If rooting a device is the only way to meet your requirements then that may be the path of least resistance.

Cheers Lifehacker

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    i rooted my galaxy 2s and removed everything except for the free GPS software that came with it, navicon or something like that, lives in my car now, the software would cot $40 on my newer phone

      You can usually grab the APK files from a rooted phone and install on another phone.

      Did this to get SpaceTeam on a friends phone while on a remote farm with no connectivity.

    Best place to root your phone is always to check out XDA (! They have a full forum, guides, people to ask and everything else you may need to know about it.

    Here is a full thread detailing just that: (plz check to see if I went to the correct phone, as there may be differences in terms of CDMA and GSM versions and other things)

    "Is it safe to root my older phone?"
    "You should buy a new phone"

    Also, when you say 'my other suggestion is...' it usually implies there was a suggestion before that.

    The first guide the article links to is for an earlier revision of the phone software (which was supported by unrevoked), the second is for a different model of phone.

    I'd probably start here: . It's pretty detailed, but covers most eventualities. There's a simpler-looking guide here:

    It looks like a hassle to root that model phone but it'd make a fun weekend project. If you really need root and your only other option is 'buy a new phone', what is there to lose?

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