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How to root any Android device with Cydia Impactor [Guide]

The term Cydia is usually associated with devices running iOS, more so with the jailbroken ones. Cydia is like a 3rd party store which houses tons of tweaks, mods and apps for jailbroken iOS devices. Well, it so happens that iOS is not the only ecosystem that saurik, the dude behind Cydia, is giving his attention to. Earlier this year, Bluebox security announced the existence of a Master Key exploit for Android devices [1], which was considered a high-severity vulnerability that affected almost 99% of Android devices.

Saurik has not only patched this vulnerability, but also released a new tool called Cydia Impactor that can be used to root any Android device, or at least 99% of them which were potentially vulnerable to this exploit. The tool should work up through devices running Android 4.1.x Jelly Bean, possibly higher versions too, and will also work for Google TV and Google Glass. The cool thing about this tool, is that if it is not able to root your device via the Master Key bug, it will automatically attempt to achieve root through a different signature verification bug. Cydia Impactor is available for Windows, Linux as well as Mac. Here’s how you can use Cydia Impactor to root any Android device.

Disclaimer: This guide is intended as a helpful “how to”. dotTech and its writers are not responsible for any gain or loss (including but not limited to bricked devices) incurred as a result of following this guide. Root your device at your own risk. Rooting may void your warranty.

How To Root Any Android Device With Cydia Impactor

  1. Download Cydia Impactor to your desktop – Windows [2] | Mac [3] | Linux 32-bit [4] | Linux 64-bit [5]
  2. Extract the package to your desktop
  3. Run the Cydia Impactor tool
  4. On your Android device, enable USB Debugging from Settings > Developer Options
  5. Connect the device to a USB port on your computer
  6. On Windows, you would need to have the USB  drivers for your device installed. If not, you can also use the inbuilt Driver Scan function in the tool to automatically construct and install a driver for your device
    Driver Scan Cydia Impactor [6]
  7.  Click the Start buton, after making sure that # drop SuperSU su to /system/xbin/su is selected in the dropdown menu
    cydia impactor [7]
  8. Wait for the tool to do its thing
  9. Once done, download and install SuperSU [8] from the Play Store
  10. Enjoy Root access on your Android device.

Conclusion

Cydia Impactor is a nifty little tool which works with tons of Android devices. If universal root tools like Bin4ry, Motochopper and Framaroot [9] do not work on your device, it is worth giving Cydia Impactor a whirl. At last count, the tool has been reported not working with three devices/Android versions  – Motorola Atrix 4D on 4.1.1, Huawei Ascend Mate on 4.1, and HTC One on 4.2.2, but won’t harm the devices any.