How to root the HTC One X

Unlock the full potential of your HTC One X with our guide to rooting.

Why, that's a mighty fine chunk of smart phone you have there. The HTC One X is one of the year's classiest bits of mobile kit straight out of the box, but with some judicious tweaking of its Android OS it can be even better. Improved performance and battery life, custom interfaces and a tonne of new functionality are a few steps away.

This process is known as rooting your phone. Please bear in mind doing so will void your warranty, which means HTC will effectively tell you to go away if you send back a broken rooted phone. It could also brick your device, turning £400-odd of smart phone into an expensive paperweight. CNET takes no responsibility for anything that happens hereon out, so do so at your own risk.

Although not usually a process supported -- or even acknowledged -- by most smart phone makers, HTC has decided to create an unofficial bootloader, which means the process of rooting your One X is a fair bit easier than it would be otherwise. Hooray! This same process will work for the HTC One XL and X+, but with the important caveat that you'll need to find a different set of files (see step 3). Without further ado, let's get on with rooting your smart phone.

1. Back up your phone

Just in case something goes wrong -- and it can -- back up any photos, music, documents or other stuff you would like to keep. Apps and games can be redownloaded, so that is less of an issue, but you may lose your saves and settings. While you're there, back up your contacts to your SIM card.

2. Unlocking your bootloader

Here's where HTC helps you out. Head on over to its website with this link, select 'All Other Supported Models' from the drop-down 'select your device' list. At this time, the One X does not have its own entry for some reason. Follow the instructions there -- you'll need to be registered with HTC Dev. 

3. Downloading the necessary files

There are a number of ways to root your phone. This is the simplest method to our knowledge. Point your browser to this link and download the zip file. It doesn't matter if your computer uses Windows, Linux or Mac as the file contains all the executables you need.

Note: If you have an HTC One XL or One X+, you'll need a different file -- this process will go wrong with the zip file above. XDA Forums is a good place to look.

4. Extract the file

It's no use having a file if you don't unpack it. Using WinZip, WinRAR, TugZIP or whatever you use for extracting zip files, extract to a folder on your desktop for easy access. The file name is irrelevant, so name it whatever you will find easily.

5. Plug your phone in

Using the USB cable you got with your phone, plug your HTC One X into your computer. Yes, that's all you need to do in this step.

6. Enable USB debugging and Charge Only mode

To allow the files to do their job, you need to enable USB debugging. Grab your One X and go into Settings. Select Developer Options and then USB debugging. Make sure this setting is checked -- if not, check it. Now bring down the notifications bar from the top of the display, click on USB connection type and select Charge Only.

7. Run the files

Not far to go now. Locate the file you extracted earlier and then pick one of the following options, depending on which operating system you are using on your computer. Windows users, you want root.bat; for Linux, root-linux.sh; for Mac, root-mac.sh. Double-click the file and now, assuming all has gone okay so far, the relevant script will do its job.

During this time, your HTC One X should reboot a few times. This is normal, so don't panic -- just let the phone do what it has to until the script is installed, granting you root access and the custom ROM options this opens.

8. To infinity and some ROMs

Now for your reward. Check out our roundup of five of the best custom ROMs for the HTC One X and make yourself a well-earned cup of tea. Alternatively, if something went wrong, pop by the XDA forums or search the Internet to see if your issue is a common one. More often than not, a solution is out there if you look for it. Let me know how you get on down in the comments.

 

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