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How To Send Attachments Without Problems

Whenever you send or receive emails you probably always have the need to attach certain type of a file. Those attachments can be pictures, documents, installation files, etc... But sometimes these files can cause problems with certain email services, especially when it comes for example to send multiple files at once, or when files are too large to be sent or when the mail software blocks certain file types. Here are some tips to resolve common issues and send your files without worry by email.

Send an attachment that is blocked

Some application and web mail clients block certain types of files such as programs (.exe) or scripts and compressed files (.rar, .zip). You can easily overcome this limitation and by following below steps I will show you how
Step 1: Before attaching blocked file to your message, you will need to replace its extension by the one that it is not blocked. To perform this procedure, file extensions must be displayed in Windows Explorer. If this is not the case, click Start menu and choose Computer
Step 2: Now click on Organize and from dropdown menu choose Folder and search options

Step 3: Choose View tab and then uncheck the checkbox next to Hide extensions for known file types.

Step 4: Click OK to save your changes
Step 5: Now click Start menu and open Computer again. Locate the blocked file and press the F2 key on your keyboard.
Step 6: Move the cursor to the right and remove the file extension, i.e. the three letters after the dot to the right of the name.

Step 7: Then enter the three letters of an extension that is not blocked such as the .doc extension for Word documents. Confirm changes by pressing Enter on your keyboard.
Step 8: Click the Yes button.
Step 9: You can then send your file with your mail and you won’t receive warning that you can’t send that type of files.
Step 10: When the person to whom you send your file receive your message, he will do the opposite, i.e. remove the extension .doc from the file and replace it with the original extension that you previously replaced.

Upload multiple files at once

When you have multiple files to attach to a message written in Gmail for example, you have to select them one by one. However it is possible to select all of your files at the same time and avoid waiting and attaching each file individually, here is how to do that
Step 1: When you are composing a new email in Gmail for example and want to attach your files click Attach a file link

Step 2: In the window that opens, navigate to the folder where the files you want to attach are located. Press the Ctrl key on your keyboard and while holding it down, left mouse click on files that you want to upload (select as many of them as you wish)

Step 3: Click the Open button.
Step 4: The files are then uploaded to the servers and added to your Gmail message. A progress bar indicates the progress of the operation.

Split a large file into several pieces

Many mail services prohibit sending files larger than a certain threshold, e.g. 5 MB. To send a larger file, you must split it into several parts which you can then send in separate messages. The recipient will then only have to pick up the pieces of your file. To do this we will use the free tool Xtremsplit. This application is free however it’s on French, but you will ne have any difficulties to use it if you follow steps below
Step 1: First download Xtremsplit on your computer
Step 2: Once the download completes no installation is required, simply run the software by double clicking the downloaded file.
Step 3: Now click S.

Step 4: Select the file which you want to split apart and click Open.
Step 5: By clicking D you can change the location of where you splitted parts will be added.

Step 6: Then at the bottom of the window, under ‘Taille des parties‘ specify the size each splitted file, 4 MB for example.
Step 7: Then click the COUPER button.

Step 8: A message indicating the end of the operation, click OK.
Step 9: Now all you have to do is attach each of those splitted files and send them to your friend/coworker

Merge the pieces of splitted file

Now when you sent your file to a friend or coworker he will need to recreate the original file and for that purpose he will also need to use a Xtremsplit application.
Step 1: At first, he will need to save all the pieces of the file located in different mails in one folder on his hard drive.
Step 2: Then he needs to run the Xtremsplit and select Coller option

Step 3: Click S and select the first file, namely the file whose name ends with 001.xtm. Click Open.

Step 4: Click the COLLER button.
Step 5: Finally, click OK and he have original file returned to its real size.

How To Download A Copy Of All Your Emails

When you read your emails, you use a web mail clients such Gmail, AOL, Hotmail or Yahoo for example. Whenever you read emails using those online clients you need to have access to internet. If you need to take your emails wherever you go, you can download all your messages in a mail program on your computer or on a memory stick and then read them later or when you need them. This is also good a way to keep a copy of your important messages on your computer. In this tutorial I will show you how to use Thunderbird to retrieve your emails from the Internet, while leaving a copy on your web mail. You can access all your messages from the Internet, but also from your USB drive. Of course, this latest version contains all the messages until your last login.

Before proceeding to below steps make sure you download Thunderbird Portable from this link and copy downloaded file anywhere with you. The reason why we use a portable version of Thunderbird is because you can put on your USB drive and then carry your emails with you.
Note: For this tutorial I will be using my favorite webmail Gmail, however this process will work in any other such as Yahoo Mail, Hotmail, AOL Mail, etc…
Step 1: Since all webmails by default do not allow the downloading of messages from POP, we will need to enable POP inside webmail. For that first log into your Gmail account.
Step 2: Click gear button located at the top right of your Gmail and from drop down menu choose Settings

Step 3: Click Forwarding and POP/IMAP tab

Step 4: Then select Enable POP for all mail
Step 5: Scroll down the list When messages are accessed with POP and choose Archive Gmail’s copy. This way all emails which are downloaded to your computer or your USB drive will be automatically archived in Gmail.

Step 6: Now click the Save Changes button located at the bottom of the page
Step 7: Now we will configure a portable version of Thunderbird which we previously downloaded at the beginning of this tutorial. To do that start the Thunderboard by double clikcing on downloaded file
Step 8: In a window that appears click on click Tools and then from drop down menu select Account Settings

Step 9: Inside new window click on Account Actions and then Add Mail Account

Step 10: Type in your email full name, email and password. Click Continue button

Step 11: Now select POP3 select box and click Done (Note that POP settings are automatically adjusted by Thunderbird)

Step 12: Now when we have all configured lets download your emails. To do that simply click on Get Mail button located in top left corne of your Thunderbird window.

Step 13: If it ask you to enter a password type it in and then confirm. All your emails will be downlaoded now and original messages are stored online on Gmail under All Mail.
Depending on your net connection type and speed it might take some time if you have GBs of email in your mailbox. We hope this will help you having a copy of all your emails. Share your thoughts with me in comments below.

How to Get Better Battery Life and Performance on Your Android Phone with a New Kernel

You may have heard about how flashing a new ROM can improve your Android experience, but flashing a new kernel is one of the best ways to improve your phone's performance, battery life, and even add some saucy new features. Whether you know anything about either, here's what you need to know to make it happen.

What Is a Kernel?

How to Get Better Battery Life and Performance on Your Android Phone with a New KernelA kernel in an operating system—in this case Android—is the component responsible for helping your applications communicate with your hardware. It manages the system resources, communicates with external devices when needed, and so on. Android uses a variation of the Linux kernel. A kernel is not the same as a ROM, even though you install them in mostly the same way. A ROM is a bit more all-encompassing. It's the operating system you use on your phone, the software your phone uses to get things done—the kernel is the bridge between that ROM and your hardware. All ROMs come with a kernel installed, but you can install a third-party one if you like—and that's what this post is about.

What a New Kernel Can Do For Your Phone

Flashing kernels isn't quite as talked about as flashing ROMs, but it can do a ton for your phone, namely in the way of battery life and performance—though it can also add extra features to your device, too. Here are some things to look for when choosing a new kernel.

Better Performance and Battery Life

This is the big change a new kernel can bring to your device. I'd separate these into two categories, but they're so intertwined that you really need to consider both when picking a kernel. There are a bunch of different kernel features that contribute to this:
How to Get Better Battery Life and Performance on Your Android Phone with a New KernelClock Speeds: In a very basic sense, higher clock speeds will improve performance on your phone. Flashing a new kernel allows you to overclock your phone, using higher clock speeds than the manufacturer intended. They can also let you reach lower clock speeds, so you can underclock your phone when you aren't using it, thus saving battery life. Your kernel will only give you the option to do so, however; if you want to overclock, you'll have to flash the kernel in question and then use something like SetCPU or CPU Tuner to tweak the clock speed.
Voltage: Higher clock speeds use up more battery on your phone because they require more voltage. However, some ROMs come with lower voltage limits, which means your phone will run just as fast, but use up less battery. Some will even overclock and undervolt your phone, though all of this comes at the expense of stability—if you notice that your phone goes into a boot loop, or reboots at random times, you'll want to either lower your clock speed or upgrade to a kernel with a higher voltage. Some ROMS have further sub-categories in this section, like Hybrid Adaptive Voltage Scaling (HAVS), which can be better for battery life (at the risk of stability) and Static Voltage Scaling (SVS), which keeps your phone at a steady voltage.
CPU Governors: Different kernels can support different CPU Governers, which manage the way your phone ramps up or down its clock speeds as you use it. There are a few different kinds you'll see, including Conservative, which focuses on battery life by ramping up your CPU very gradually when needed; Interactive, which focuses more on performance and smoothness by scaling up the CPU faster; InteractiveX, which is like Interactive but scales the CPU down when your screen is off (for better battery life); and Smartass, which is similar to Conservative but takes more factors into account when ramping up the CPU.
Task Scheduler: Kernels come with two different types of task schedulers: the Completely Fair Scheduler (CFS) and the Brain F**k Scheduler (BFS). CFS kernels are designed for regular phone use, like texting, web browsing, and otherwise multitasking apps on your phone. Most stock kernels are CFS kernels. BFS kernels focus more on whatever app is in the foreground, which is great for things like games but can be a bit laggier and a bit less stable.
These are the biggest features, but kernel developers add in all kinds of other tweaks to their kernels when possible, whether its introducing a more efficient file system, making the RAM more efficient, and so on. Again, they should list the tweaks in their description, so read up on the kernels for your specific device to learn more. I'd also recommend checking out XDA user mroneeyedboh's HTC Evo 4G kernel starter guide, from which much of this information comes.

Extra Features

Kernels can also add full features to your phone, or fix other issues that the manufacturer hasn't attended to yet. For example, while a lot of phones support Wi-Fi tethering out of the box, some—like the Motorola Droid—don't. If you find your phone isn't letting you tether using apps like Wi-Fi Tether, you might need to flash a new kernel that supports Wi-Fi tethering on your device. Kernels for Samsung phones can add support for a feature called Backlight Notification (BLN), which, coupled with an app, can turn your phone's buttons into notification lights.
Keep an eye out for features you don't want, too. For example, some HTC kernels come with a feature called Superior Battery Charging, or SBC, that can overcharge your battery for better life—but is likely to shorten your battery's life at best, or make it unstable at worst. I'd avoid kernels with this feature. You should also watch out for kernels that disable certain features of your phone—since some features are manufacturer-specific, you won't be able to get them in other ROMs or kernels. A good example of this is HDMI support on the EVO 4G.
Again, just make sure you research all the kernels available for your device, and know what you're getting yourself into before you flash. Most phones should have a large forum thread somewhere on XDA or RootzWiki that lists all the kernels available for their device. Make sure you choose a compatible one, too—the version of Android you're running determines what kernels you can use, so make sure you don't flash a Sense kernel on an AOSP ROM (like CyanogenMod), and make sure you don't flash a Froyo kernel on a Gingerbread phone—they won't play nicely together.

How to Flash a New Kernel

How to Get Better Battery Life and Performance on Your Android Phone with a New KernelOnce you've found a kernel you want to flash, download it to your device. It should be in ZIP format. Flashing a kernel is almost exactly like flashing a new ROM. You'll need to flash a new recovery to your phone, like ClockworkMod, which you can flash with ROM Manager. Put the ZIP file on your phone's SD card, then start up ROM Manager and go to "Install ROM from SD Card". Choose the kernel's ZIP file and continue. Note, however, that some kernels require that you flash them through your recovery mode instead of with ROM Manager—so once again, do your due diligence on its home page before you go a-flashin'.
The main difference between flashing a ROM and flashing a kernel is that you do not want to wipe your data. Wipe the Dalvik Cache only, and back up your ROM if desired (I highly recommend doing so, in case something goes wrong). Other than that, you should be golden. If you haven't flashed a ROM before, I recommend reading up on that first—but if you're familiar with that process, flashing a kernel shouldn't be a big shock to the system.

Flashing a new kernel can sound pretty dramatic, but it's actually quite simple—and it's very easy to try out a bunch of different kernels before settling on one. Whether your preference is battery life, performance, or extra features like color tinting, you have a whole lot of choices to further tweak your Android experience.

How to get the Best rom for your Android device

There are tons of great reasons to root your Android phone, but once you do, you'll likely be overwhelmed with all the custom ROM options out there. Here's how to go about finding—and installing—the one that fits your needs.

What's a ROM?

One of the best things about the openness of the Android platform is that if you're unhappy with the stock OS, you can install one of many modified versions of Android (called ROMs) on your device. The downside is that there are so many developers and different Android devices out there that the custom ROM scene can be very difficult to navigate. We're here to help the whole process seem a bit more manageable.

This guide assumes you've already rooted your device. Thus, if you haven't, be sure to do that first

The Three Most Popular Types of ROMs

If you're familiar with Linux, choosing the right ROM is similar to finding the right Linux distribution. Each version of the OS has a specific goal in mind, and as such differs quite a bit from the others. Which one you choose is dependent on your priorities and how you use the device.
The most popular types of ROM's come in three different flavors: ROMs that port future versions of Android to your device (when they aren't yet officially available), ROMs that add new features beyond the stock OS, and ROMs that focus on speed and stability. These aren't the only three categories of custom ROMs, nor are they hard and fast rules, but they offer good guidelines as to what's out there. Generally, you can pick a ROM fairly easily if you know which of these three categories contains the features most important to you.

1) Future Versions of Android

How to Choose the Right Android ROM for You
Unless you're on the Nexus One, it usually takes a while for your phone's manufacturer to prepare the latest and greatest version of Android for your device. At the time of this writing, for example, Android 2.2 "Froyo" (the most up-to-date, stable Android OS) is available and has been open sourced, but most manufacturers haven't released updates for their devices yet. Luckily, since the Froyo source code became available, pretty much all ROMs out there are Froyo-based now (you'll know because they'll say they're based on the latest version of the Android Open Source Project, or AOSP). But before the source code of a big update is released, it's up to kindly developers to create ROMs based on the early releases in this category alone. Once the source is available, nearly every category of ROM will use the future version. 
For the purpose of explanation, however, let's take a trip back to the time before the Froyo source code was available. When Froyo first came to the Nexus One, many developers took that version or other Froyo leaks and and created ROMs for other phones, for those that wanted the newest version as soon as possible. They were the only ROMs based on Froyo at the time—the ROMs in the categories below may have contained a few Froyo features, but most developers don't base their ROMs on Froyo until the source code is available. Thus, if you want the newest stock version of Android as soon as it comes out, these are the ROMs to go with. They're usually the least stable ROMs of the bunch, however, so once the code's been open sourced, you're better off going with something from the "speed and stability" category (since it'll still be based on the newest version). Once the next release of Android comes out (codenamed "Gingerbread"), this category of ROM will be most people's first shot at the new release.

2) ROMs That Add New Features

How to Choose the Right Android ROM for You
Many ROMs seek to add more features to your phone that aren't available in the stock OS. Usually these are things like extra settings (seen in the screenshot above), or little conveniences like making the "sound off" lock screen slide put your phone on vibrate instead, or letting you skip music tracks with the volume buttons. Sometimes these ROMs will also contain things outright missing from the stock version, like FLAC support. While feature-adding ROMs are still built for speed and stability, they may not be quite as fast or as stable as those in the third category (though they're often still be better than the stock ROM). In most cases, the most popular ROM in this category is CyanogenMod, although devices without CyanogenMod ports have similar ROMs that achieve the same goals (such as the Fresh ROM, available for the Evo).
Note that when I say ROMs add extra features, I do not mean features like tethering, overclocking, and other larger, more publicized features. Most of these features make it to Android devices through separate apps instead of being built-in. Many ROMs (both in this category and in others) may pre-install them, but you can, naturally, add a lot of feature-adding applications to a rooted phone (through the Android Market) without installing a custom ROM.

3) ROMs That Focus Only on Speed and Stability

Some ROMs, such as OpenDesire on the Desire, Baked Snack on the Evo, or Bugless Beast on the Droid, are less focused on tweaking the OS for features and more focused on bringing as much speed, stability, and battery life to your phone as possible. Thus, if you have rooted mainly for this reason (or because you wanted to add larger, app-based features such as wireless tethering), then this type of ROM is the one for you. They may sometimes lag a bit behind in terms of adding the newest features, but they're usually the fastest and most stable around. Often they also remove the bloat many manufacturers put on their phones, such as extra apps or user interfaces (such as HTC's Sense and Motorola's MotoBlur).
Note that all ROMs will probably say that they focus on speed and stability, but this particular group focuses only on these things, and will usually say that they contain no extra tweaks as a result, so look for that as opposed to the words "built for speed and stability" when you search in the next step.

How to Find and Install Custom ROMs

We briefly discussed how to install a custom ROM in our Droid rooting tutorial, but below I'm going to delve a bit deeper into the ins and outs of the process of picking, backing up, and flashing your ROM. Reminder: Your phone should already be rooted before you proceed.

Your Recovery Image

How to Choose the Right Android ROM for You
Your phone's recovery image is is the system from which you can flash new ROMs and themes, make and restore backups (called "nandroid" backups), wipe caches, and perform other tasks. It's essentially an Android rooter's best friend. To access it, you usually need to boot up your phone while holding down one or two external buttons (such as the volume button, or a button on the phone's physical keyboard, if applicable). You'll have to look up the button combination for your specific phone on Google, by searching something like htc evo recovery mode (replacing htc evo with your specific phone, of course).
How to Choose the Right Android ROM for You
There are a few different custom recovery images out there that make hacking easier than the stock recovery image does. We're going to use one called ClockworkMod, since it comes with ROM Manager and is easy to use. To start, install ROM Manager from the Market (the free version is usually suitable, although you may find later that you want to upgrade to the pay version, which has more ROMs, themes, and overclocking kernels). Start the app, hit the "Flash ClockworkMod Recovery" button at the top of the main menu, and confirm your phone's model. You'll see a progress bar at the top of the screen while it flashes. When it's finished, you're ready to download and install a new ROM.

Finding the Right ROM

The problem with the ROM scene is that most ROMs don't have any kind of official web site; they're usually just posted on forums (which makes them a bit more difficult to search for). There aren't many comprehensive ROM databases on the net, but I did find this list at TheUnlockr, which is pretty good. Just click on your phone's model and you'll be presented with a fairly well-maintained list of the popular ROMs available for your phone (some phones, like the Droid, don't have a very populated list yet, but most do).
How to Choose the Right Android ROM for You
If you like, you can open up ROM Manager at this point and hit "Download ROM" to see which ROMs are available through the app. These are usually the most popular, and are good guidelines as to which ones you should read up on. Click on a few of the links at TheUnlockr's database and see if you can figure out which category it belongs to. Unfortunately most ROMs aren't going to come out and clearly identify as fitting into one of the categories we laid out above, but often they will say at the beginning whether they have added extra features to the ROM or whether they were built only for stability. You can also take a look at the changelog to see if extra features have been added or whether it's a bunch of under-the-hood tweaks and extra apps like Wireless Tether.
Once you've found one or more ROMs that sound good, it's mostly trial and error from here. You might have to test drive more than one to get a feel for which ones you like best, but that's the fun part of it all. Note also, that even if a ROM isn't listed in ROM Manager but it sounds really good, you can still download it to your phone's SD card and install it using ROM Manager's "install from SD card" option, so don't let ROM Manager's list limit you if you don't like anything it has, even though it is a good guideline of what's popular.
How to Choose the Right Android ROM for You
Note: In some cases, CyanogenMod is the only popular ROM available for your device. In these cases, even if you're looking only for speed and stability, I recommend you try it out—while Cyanogen definitely falls into the "features" category of ROMs, it is by far one of the most popular and widely worked-on cross-device ROMs out there, and there's a reason for it. Also, the newest version is incredibly fast and stable from my experience, far more than older versions—so even if that's your goal, you may find yourself happy with it.

Install Your New ROM

Installing a new ROM (more commonly known as "flashing") is very easy with ROM Manager. Just go back to the "Download ROM" section (or, if you're installing a ROM from your SD card, go to "Install ROM from SD card" and pick your ROM). It will download, if applicable, and then give you this prompt:
How to Choose the Right Android ROM for You
Always, always, always back up your existing ROM before flashing something new. Then, if something goes wrong, you can always restore to your latest backup, either through ROM Manager (by going to "Manage and Restore backups" on the main menu) or by booting into recovery mode and choosing "nandroid".
Generally, you'll want to "Wipe Data and Cache" if you're moving from a ROM based on one Android version to the next (i.e. a 2.1-based ROM to a 2.2-based ROM). You'll also want to check the main download page of the ROM you're installing (which you can find through TheUnlockr) to see if they recommend wiping for that particular version. "Wipe Data and Cache" basically means that all your settings will be returned to stock—If you weren't running a Froyo build beforehand, you'll have to re-download all your apps, as well as rearrange your home screens and reconfigure all your custom settings every time you wipe. In the end, you can always try not wiping and see what happens—if you flash a ROM and have problems, it's pretty easy to restore from your backup and try again.

Enjoy Your New ROM

At this point, your phone will reboot into recovery mode, flash the ROM, and you can explore all the new features available to you (or just bask in the glory of speed and stability). You can do a bit more with ROM Manager, like install extra themes and kernels, which we discussed in our Droid rooting tutorial. Remember that a good part of picking the right ROM is trial and error, so don't be afraid to flash something else, even if you like the first one you picked—you might be surprised how much more you like others. Besides, even if you don't, you can always restore from your backup and be none the more inconvenienced.

Reasons to Root Your Android Device

Android's an open, capable operating system all by itself, but by default it doesn't allow apps to assume root access—that is, take full control—of your phone or tablet. That imposes a few limitations and those are easily removed through the process of rooting your device. In many cases it's very simple, and doesn't require much more than plugging in your Android and pressing a button. Some devices require quite a bit more work, and others just need you to apply a firmware patch (which is scarier than it is difficult). Rooting will let you do great things like control your device with a PS3 controller, set up an awesome automated backup process, block ads, encrypt your internet traffic, and automate practically anything. You may not need to root for a lot of reasons, but there's almost always one killer hack that makes it an essential process.

The Always Up-To-Date Guide to Rooting the Most Popular Android Phones

We love Android, but rooting your phone can give you the opportunity to do so much more than your phone can do out of the box—whether its wireless tethering, speeding it up with overclocking, or customizing the look of your phone with themes. Here's how to root some of the most popular phones with minimal effort.
Rooting, for those of you that don't know, means giving yourself root permissions on your phone. It's similar running programs as administrators in Windows, or running a command with sudo in Linux. With a rooted phone, you can run more apps (like backup or tethering apps), as well as flash custom ROMs to your phone, which add all sorts of extra features. If you're on the fence about rooting, check out our top 10 root-only apps that make it worth the hassle.
There are a ton of different Android phones out there, and while some rooting methods might work for multiple phones, there is no one-size-fits-all guide for rooting every phone out there. As such, we can't show you how to root every phone in existence, especially since we can't test every method. So we're going to post methods for the ten most popular Android phones among our readers and the ones you voted as the five best, and keep it updated as new phones come out. If your phone isn't on the list, be sure to check the Where to Go if Your Phone Isn't Listed section for suggestions on where you can find more info pertaining to your specific device.

Glossary of Rooting Terms

As you learn more about the rooting process, you'll probably run into a bunch of terms that can be confusing. Here are some of the most important ones and what they mean.

Rooting Terms

  • Root: Rooting means you have root access to your device—that is, it can run the sudo command, and has enhanced privileges allowing it to run apps like Wireless Tether or SetCPU. You can root either by installing the Superuser application—which many of the below root processes include—or by flashing a custom ROM that has root access included.
  • ROM: A ROM is a modified version of Android. It may contain extra features, a different look, speed enhancements, or even a version of Android that hasn't been released yet. We won't discuss ROMs in depth here, but if you want to use one once you're rooted, you can read more about doing that here.
  • Flash: Flashing essentially means installing something on your device, whether it be a ROM, a kernel, or something else that comes in the form of a ZIP file. Sometimes the rooting process requires flashing ZIP file, sometimes it doesn't.
  • Bootloader: Your bootloader is the lowest level of software on your phone, running all the code that's necessary to start up your operating system. Most bootloaders come locked, which keeps you from rooting your phone. Unlocking your bootloader doesn't root your phone directly, but it does allow you to root, then flash custom ROMs if you so desire.
  • Recovery: Your recovery is the software on your phone that lets you make backups, flash ROMs, and perform other system-level tasks. The default recoveries can't do much, but you can flash a custom recovery—like ClockworkMod—after you've unlocked your bootloader that will give you much more control over your device. This is often an integral part of the rooting process.
  • ADB: ADB stands for Android Debug Bridge, and it's a command line tool for your computer that can communicate with an Android device you've connected to it. It's part of the Android Software Developers Kit (SDK). Many of the root tools below use ADB, whether you're typing the commands yourself or not. Unless the instructions call for installing the SDK and running ADB commands, you won't need to mess with it—you'll just need to know that it's what most of the tools use to root your phone.
  • S-OFF: HTC phones use a feature called Signature Verification in HBOOT, their bootloader. By default, your phone has S-ON, which means it blocks you from flashing radio images—the code that manages your data, Wi-Fi, and GPS connections. Switching your phone to S-OFF lets you flash new radios. Rooting doesn't require S-OFF, but many rooting tools will give you S-OFF in addition to root access, which is nice.
  • RUU and SBF: ROM Upgrade Utilities (for HTC phones) and System Boot Files (for Motorola phones) are files direct from the manufacturer that change the software on your phone. RUU and SBF files are how the manufacturers deliver your over-the-air upgrades, and modders often post leaked RUU and SBF files for flashing when the updates haven't been released yet. They're also handy when downgrading your phone, if a rooting method isn't available for the newest software version yet. You can flash RUUs right from your HTC phone, but Motorola users will need a Windows program called RSD Lite to flash SBF files.

Rooting Methods

We won't go through the nitty gritty details of each method, since we can't test them ourselves, but we will tell you what you need and what each method entails. Before rooting, we recommend you read up a bit more on your phone, and we've provided some links for further reading at the end of each description. Click on your phone's thumbnail below for more.

Where to Go If Your Phone Isn't Listed

Just because your phone isn't listed doesn't mean it isn't rootable (in fact, some of the above methods might work on other phones). Pete's rooting tool, which roots the Droid X and Motorola Atrix, also roots a number of other Motorola phones, from the Cliq to the Droid2 and 3 to the Droid Bionic. Similarly, HTC's official unlocking method will unlock the bootloader of nearly any HTC phone, though you'll need to look up more information on how to flash a recovery to your specific device. It also isn't the easiest method, so if your phone has a one-click tool available, it's usually better to use that because it's quicker, will give you S-OFF, and won't leave a digital "watermark" on your phone that permanently voids your warranty. Lastly, SuperOneClick is a great one-click app that roots a ton of phones, especially older ones, so do a bit of googling and see if it works for yours—because it's just about the easiest root method out there.
The best way to research your phone, though, would be to check out the All Things Root section of your phone's forum at Android Forums. If you find your phone's subforum and click on All Things Root, there's almost always a sticky post with info on rooting methods, ROMs, and other special troubleshooting tips that could apply to your specific phone. Looking up your phone on the XDA Developers forums is always a great idea too, and the CyanogenMod Wiki often has lots of information on rooting and flashing ROMs as well (even if you aren't flashing CyanogenMod). With a bit of research, you should be able to find at least one guide that works for your specific device.

The 10 Best Android Apps that Make Rooting Your Phone Worth the Hassle

Android phones are spectacular little devices because they're able to so much that others simply can't, but one big snag in that greatness is that many of those best features require that the phones be rooted. Whether you plan on installing custom ROMs or not, you may want to root your phone just to use the great apps that require root access. Here are the ten most essential apps available for Android that require root.
Rooting, for those of you that don't know, means giving yourself root permissions on your phone. It's similar running programs as administrators in Windows, or running a command with sudo in Linux. With a rooted phone, you can run more apps or install custom versions of the Android operating system. Note that there's a big difference between installing a custom ROM on an Android phone and just rooting it. Custom ROMs may offer plenty of features that aren't available direct from the manufacturer, but most of them can be added to a rooted phone by simply installing the right apps. That's what we're after today.
If you haven't rooted your phone yet, but would like to know more about the process, be sure to check out our always up-to-date guide to rooting Android phones.

Superuser Allows Other Apps Root Access

The 10 Best Android Apps that Make Rooting Your Phone Worth the HassleSuperuser is the first app a user should install after rooting, if the rooting method didn't do it already. "Rooting" a phone allows a user to establish total control over the device, but Superuser is the app that provides the button for that control. With Superuser installed, any app that needs root privileges to run will have to ask permission, and an informative pop-up will display with the option to give it those privileges. This app is an absolute must for any of the other apps on the list to even run.

Titanium Backup Automates System Backups

The 10 Best Android Apps that Make Rooting Your Phone Worth the HassleTitanium Backup is an enormously useful app. Not only can it backup apps, but it can backup apps and all their data, and it can delete apps—even system apps or bloatware. Making regular backups of all your apps (and their data) can ensure that if you ever really screw up, say in trying to install a custom ROM, that you can still have everything the way you left it should you need to wipe the entire phone and start from scratch. For more detailed information, see our full guide on using Titanium Backup.

ShootMe Takes Screenshots with a Shake

The 10 Best Android Apps that Make Rooting Your Phone Worth the HassleIt's a sad fact that Android ships with no way to take screenshots. ShootMe is an extremely simple, user-friendly app that rectifies that situation, but it needs the phone to be rooted first. ShootMe's greatest feature is that it allows you to choose from several options in deciding what the trigger should be for the screenshot to take place—whether it's shaking the phone, covering the light sensor, or just yelling at it (my favorite).

Metamorph Applies Visual Themes to Anything

The 10 Best Android Apps that Make Rooting Your Phone Worth the HassleMetamorph is a small app that allows you to theme any part of Android by applying simple patch files. Learning how to make your own themes isn't exactly the easiest thing in the world, but most users don't bother—there are plenty to choose from, made by other users who are absolutely nuts about theming. Parts of the system that can be themed by Metamorph include the lockscreen, menu screens, individual apps, or just about anything else that's ever displayed on the screen. It's all possible.

Adfree Blocks Ads Anywhere on Your Phone

The 10 Best Android Apps that Make Rooting Your Phone Worth the HassleAdfree may actually be the greatest root-essential app available on Android, and it's one that you never see unless it needs updating. All Adfree does is block ads, but it does it for everything on the phone. Since the app works by blocking ad-serving sites at the IP address level (by modifying the phone's Hosts file), it doesn't slow your system down, and it does a remarkably good job. Even if you don't mind ads in your browser, using Adfree makes "free" apps from the Market much more tolerable, since most of them have pop-up ads that tend to ruin the experience otherwise.

SSH Tunnel Encrypts All Internet Traffic on Your Phone

The 10 Best Android Apps that Make Rooting Your Phone Worth the HassleRecently mentioned SSH Tunnel is an app that allows an Android phone to connect to the internet using an ssh tunnel for a completely secure connection. It's great for those times when you've got no data signal, stuck at work or a coffee shop that only has public Wi-Fi available, and you need to be sure that nobody is snooping your sensitive personal information as you connect to sites like Gmail or Facebook.

Tasker Can Automate Almost Any Task

The 10 Best Android Apps that Make Rooting Your Phone Worth the HassleTasker by itself doesn't require root privileges to run, but some of its more impressive features do. Giving Tasker room to do what it does best is definitely a good thing, since it can practically automate your entire phone given the right amount of power. Rooting your phone is the only way to give it that kind of access.

SetCPU Controls the Speed and Behavior of Your Phone's Processor

The 10 Best Android Apps that Make Rooting Your Phone Worth the HassleSetCPU has been, is still, and will probably be for quite some time the de facto tool for controlling a rooted Android phone's processor speed. SetCPU allows the user to exert total control over how fast, or slow, the processor runs at any given point in time. As an example, SetCPU can force the processor to sit at its lowest setting whenever the screen is turned off, but to use a range between 240MHz and 806MHz as needed while the phone is awake. For phones that have the ability to drastically overclock, SetCPU can help ensure that they don't overheat by keeping watch on the temperature, and acting accordingly. Overclocking or not, battery savings and overall performance can be greatly enhanced using this app.

Busybox Adds True Linux Commands to the Android System

The 10 Best Android Apps that Make Rooting Your Phone Worth the HassleBusybox is often called "the Swiss Army Knife of Embedded Linux," because that's what it basically is. It's not an actual app that you run, but instead provides all the Linux/UNIX commands that we know and love. Without the commands installed, the barebones "Linux" that Android runs on top of can't really do too much, making apps like Terminal Emulator nearly worthless.

Wireless Tether Turns Your Phone into a Wi-Fi Hotspot

The 10 Best Android Apps that Make Rooting Your Phone Worth the HassleFinally, Wireless Tether. For many users, this feature is the single most important thing in the world of mobile devices, so having the ability to use it is a must. Wireless Tether turns an Android phone, regardless of carrier, into a full blown W-Fi hotspot for any nearby devices that need one. It's as simple as that, but only rooted phones can use it.

There are plenty of other apps out there that only work with rooted phones, and it doesn't seem likely that the carriers are ever going to allow phones on their networks to sell with root capabilities baked in. If you want the added functionality of these apps, there's just no way around it. You've got to go rooted. So, if you're convinced, head over to the rooting guide to see what's required to set your phone free.
Know of any other great apps for rooted Android phones? Have a personal favorite that's not on the list? Share them in the comments!
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