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For those of you you who want to root your Moto X 1st generation or 2nd generation, here’s a universal root guide for Moto X, Moto G, Moto E, and other Motorola Android devices.
UPDATE: This root method also works for Moto X Pure/Style and newer Moto X devices!
This root method will work on all Motorola Android devices that came out in 2013 and later such as Moto X 1st/2nd gen, Moto G 1st/2nd gen, Moto X Pure/Style. If rooting other Motorola Android device, you must find the ClockworkMod (CWM) or TWRP recovery image file for the specific Motorola Android device you are trying to root, which I will show you how to find in Step 7 of this tutorial. So, let’s go root this!
This root guide works for all Android 4.4.2, 4.4.3, 4.4.4 KitKat and 5.0, 5.0.1, 5.0.2, 5.1.1 Lollipop on Windows, Mac OSX, or Linux/Ubuntu.
Step 1. Unlock the bootloader on your Motorola Android device, see How to Unlock Bootloader on Motorola Android! Then go to Step 2.
Step 2. Power off your Moto X (or your Motorola device). Then hold down Volume Down and Power buttons for about 3-4 seconds.
Step 2. Let go of the Power button and if you see the fastboot bootloader screen like below, you are good to go, let go of all the buttons. If you don’t see this, try Step 1 and 2 again until you do.
Step 3. Your phone should say “Device is UNLOCKED” or something similar, which means you have an unlocked bootloader. Go to Step 4.
Step 4. Connect a micro-USB cable from your Moto X (or other Motorola device) to your computer.
Step 5. If using Mac OSX or Linux/Ubuntu, you do not need to install drivers so skip to Step 6. If using Windows, open device manager and make sure you see “Motorola ADB Interface”. If you don’t see this, download and install Motorola USB drivers here.
Step 6. Download fastboot.zip and unzip, you should get a folder called “fastboot” in your Downloads directory. (or you can unzip to a directory called “fastboot”)
Step 7. Go to our CWM/TWRP Recovery page for Moto X or Moto G to download the latest CWM or TWRP recovery for your phone. If you have other Motorola device, you can check ROM Manager site or TWRP site to download the appropriate recovery image file. (The recovery “image” file ends in “.img”.)
Step 8. Once downloaded, copy and paste the recovery image file to the “fastboot” folder you unzipped earlier.
Step 9. Open a terminal for Mac OSX or Linux/Ubuntu and command prompt for Windows. (If you don’t know how to do this, please Google it.)
fastboot flash recovery PutNameOfRecoveryFilenameHere.img
For Mac OSX:
chmod 755 *
./fastboot-mac flash recovery PutNameOfRecoveryFilenameHere.img
For Mac OSX:
chmod 755 *
sudo ./fastboot-linux flash recovery PutNameOfRecoveryFilenameHere.img
This is the fastboot command that flashes custom recovery to your Moto X (or other Motorola device). If you ever lose your custom recovery for any reason, you can try this again so bookmark this code somewhere in your brain just in case things go wrong in the future.
Step 10. Reboot your Motorola device.
Step 11. Download SuperSU zip file onto your Motorola device.
Step 12. Power off your Motorola device then do the buttons again to enter fastboot bootloader screen.
Step 13. Choose “Recovery” using Volume Down button then hit Volume Up button to select it.
Step 14. You should now see either CWM or TWRP recovery depending on which recovery you’ve installed. If using CWM recovery, use “install zip” menu to find the SuperSU zip file you copied over earlier and use “install” option for TWRP. Then install/flash the SuperSU zip file.
Step 15. Reboot your Moto X (or other Motorola device) and you should find a new app called “SuperSU” in your app drawer. Open it once and if it asks you to update binaries, say yes and use the “normal” method. If it doesn’t ask you, you are good to go!
Step 16. You can download any rooted app like Titanium Backup app from Play Store and open it. You should see a Superuser request window pop-up. If you see this, you have verified full root,congratulations!
Q: I have a question!
A: Please ask in the comments box below.
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You will need a rooted Moto X to install all ROM/kernels.
NOTE: THE AUTHOR OF THIS SITE IS NOT RESPONSIBLE IF YOU MESS UP YOUR PHONE, PLEASE READ INSTRUCTIONS TWICE BEFORE TRYING IF THIS IS YOUR FIRST TIME TO ROOTING AND CUSTOM ROMS!
First time to rooting and custom ROMs?
Please see our Moto X Root FAQ FIRST!!!