Updated on May Magisk v16.4 along with Magisk Manager 5.7.0 brings some really important changes to the interface. It includes support for Android P and fixes logging and MagiskHide on several Samsung devices.
Updated on February 23, 2018: Magisk released v16.0 which brings a couple of changes. The update fixed Bootloop Crash, supports project treble and brings more bugs fixed.
There are many root apps available out there that you can use to gain root access on your Android device, but perhaps the simplest and easiest to use is Magisk. Magisk is an Android utility that grants you systemless root on your Android device, and managed with an application called Magisk Manager.
Customizing an Android smartphone and performing advanced tweaks like flashing custom kernels, custom ROMs, overclocking and changing system settings is fun, but you need root access to your device to be able to do these. Some time ago, SuperSU was the popular way of gaining root access on an Android smartphone, but since its release, Magisk has become the go-to way of rooting a smartphone. You can easily manage root access with Magisk Manager, and implement many functionalities with the various Magisk modules available.
Features of Magisk
- You can carry out any system or vendor modification on your Android smartphone without tampering with the system partitions. That's why root access granted with Magisk is called systemless root. Magisk only modifies the boot image and installs files to the /data and /cache partitions, leaving the /system partitions.
- Uses MagiskSU which is an open source root solution based phh's Superuser which is in turn based on CM Superuser. Forget all the technical jargons; Magisk is easy to build and develop for, and there is no limit to the functionalities that can add as it has a large developer and fan base.
- You can perform tasks like Root Management, Magisk root upgrade, manage MagiskHide lists, download the latest Magisk modules and Magisk installer zip files and install them in short steps with Magisk Manager.
- You can prevent Magisk from being detected by Google's SafetyNet security checks on your Android smartphone. That ensures that you don't miss out on new official features and updates from Google, and still get to carry out advanced tweaks and customizations made possible on the Android ecosystem with root.
- Comes with Resetprop which allows you to make any modifications to system properties, including read-only props.
- [Technical] Can be used to remove AVB 2.0, dm-verity, force encrypt and unlock partitions blocks to support remount to rw.
Installing Magisk and rooting your Android smartphone
There are several ways to install Magisk on your Android smartphone, and the one you go for depends on the current state of your device.
If your phone is not rooted at all, you can install Magisk and gain systemless root access on your device in one pass by using TWRP Recovery.
If your phone is already rooted and you want to use Magisk, you can unroot your phone and remove all existing root software on your phone, and then install Magisk using TWRP.
In case, If you're using SuperSU (which also is a good root utility software) and you want to use Magisk, you can switch over from SuperSU to Magisk. I'll be covering all of these methods in this guide.
First things first, let's see how to install TWRP Recovery on your Android smartphone
Install TWRP Recovery on your Android device
TWRP Recovery is a custom recovery that offers far more features and functionalities than the default Android recovery. With the default Android Recovery, you can only perform a factory reset, wipe data and cache and carry out some other minor functions. but with TWRP Recovery, you can install custom modules, flash custom ROMs, install custom firmware, root your Android smartphone, perform a full Nandroid backup and carry out a host of other functions.
TWRP is short for TeamWin Recovery Project, and it's an open-source custom recovery image for Android smartphones developed by, (you guessed right) TeamWin. In this guide, we'll be using TWRP Recovery to install Magisk and root your Android device.
The fastest way to install TWRP is via Fastboot (pun unintended), and as most Android smartphones have fastboot, I'll be covering only this method in this article. If you already have TWRP installed, you can skip this step.
Note: If you own a Samsung smartphone, follow this guide to install TWRP using Odin.
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- First of all, Install ADB and Fastboot on your PC.
- Enable Developer mode on your Android device by tapping continuously on Build Number on your phone About Phone settings.
- Open up the Developer Settings, find the OEM Unlocking settings and toggle it on.
- Next, you need to unlock your bootloader. If you've performed an advanced tweak on your device before, you've probably done this, and you can skip this step. Note that unlocking the bootloader will wipe your device data.
- Run adb on your PC with your device connected via USB cable.
- If your smartphone is running on Lollipop (Android 5.1) or lower, run the following command
fastboot oem unlockElse if it's running on Marshmallow (Android 6.0) or higher, run
fastboot flashing unlock
- Use your Volume buttons to move up and down and highlight Yes, then press your power button to confirm the process and your bootloader will be unlocked.
- Download the latest TWRP image file here and extract it into the same folder in which you installed ADB and Fastboot.
- Power off your device.
- Boot the device into bootloader. To do this, press the Volume up and Power buttons together until the bootloader menu comes up.
- Connect the device to your PC via USB.
- On your PC, navigate to your ADB installation folder. Right-click on any space within the folder while holding the shift key on your keyboard, and click Open command window here.
- Run the following command in the open command prompt:
fastboot flash recovery [filename.img]
Please replace [filename.img] with the name of the TWRP Recovery img file you downloaded followed by the .img extension.
- The flashing process will begin. Once done, run
fastboot rebootto reboot the device. You now have TWRP installed on your Android smartphone.
Download Latest Magisk zip file and install with TWRP
The Magisk installation file is just a zip file, and it needs to flash into your phone with software intended for such. If you had previously installed Magisk and wanted to update your Magisk version, you only need to download and install the Magisk zip file via Magisk Manager, but if this is your first time, you can install Magisk via TWRP.
To download the latest Magisk installation zip file, go here. The latest Magisk version has been updated to Magisk v16.4, but you can always grab the most recent version at any time through the link given here.
- Extract the Magisk zip file you downloaded above into your phone's internal storage.
- Power off your smartphone.
- Boot into recovery mode by pressing the Volume Down and Power button together for some seconds. If the first process above went well, the device should boot into TWRP Recovery.
- Click Install on the main menu and navigate to where you extracted the Magisk installer zip file in the phone's internal storage.
- Select the Magisk installer zip file and swipe the confirm flash button.
- TWRP Recovery will now start flashing Magisk onto your device. Once the process is done, you now have Magisk installed, and your device is rooted. Click Reboot System in TWRP main menu to reboot the device.
Download Latest Magisk Manager and verify Root status
You need the Magisk Manager application to manage root access and install Magisk modules on your smartphone. You won't get this on the Google Play Store, and you have to sideload the app, so it's time to enable installing from Unknown Sources on your phone if you haven't already.
To do this, open up your phone Settings, head over to Security and swipe down until you see the Unknown sources checkbox or toggle. Toggle it on and accept the security warning from Google.
To download the latest Magisk Manager app, go here. The latest Magisk Manager version as at the time this post was written is Magisk Manager v5.7.0, but you can always grab the most recent version at any time through that link.
- Download and install the APK above, and launch the Magisk Manager app.
- To verify that you have systemless root, check the top of the screen and if you see 15.3: MAGISKSU (topjohnwu), rooting via Magisk was successful.