How to Root Moto X with locked bootloader (for Verizon, Sprint, AT&T and US Cellular models)

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Do you have the new Moto X from one of the following carriers: Verizon, Sprint, AT&T or US Cellular and want to gain root access? Are you worried about your phone’s locked bootloader? Well, worry no more as now you can root your Moto X even if the bootloader is locked. This is possible thanks to those of xda-developers who have provided a new root solution that is working on both Motx X with locked and unlocked bootloader. Anyway, use this guide for unchaining your phone’s system but don’t forget that all the credits should go to xda-developers community.

As mentioned the guidelines from below are compatible with the Verizon, Sprint, AT&T and US Cellular models of Moto X, so if you own a different variant of the smartphone don’t use this tutorial as you can end up in bricking your Android based device. Good, now for being able to complete this guide you will first have to read the lines from below for learning more aspects about the root procedure and then you will have to prepare your handset for the process that will shortly follow.

First, let’s see what’s with the locked / unlocked bootloader. Well, the bootloadr is a small program that runs each time when you boot your Moto X. You can compare it with the program that is running on your computer or notebook, as both are extremely similar. The bootloader loads the OS and other vital programs from the ROM memory into the RAM one. So, without the bootloader, your phone can’t perform. Now, when you first buy your device, it will be delivered with a locked bootloader, which is something like a carrier restriction. As you can see, if you want to tweak your smartphone, first of all you will have to unlock this small program. That’s why usually the root operation can be applied only on unlocked bootloaders.

So, now you know why you couldn’t root your Moto X. Fortunately for us those of xda-developers had developed a new app that can be safely used on the Moto X that is on a locked bootloader which means that root access is right near you. But, why to root after all? Well, gaining root access is extremely important especially if you are an advanced user who wants power, speed and latest apps and features on your phone. By gaining root access you are removing the default restrictions and you are gaining access to the internal system of your Moto X.

Therefore, after completing this step by step guide you will be able to remove in built programs, install a custom recovery image, update with a custom ROM firmware or with any unofficial software, install custom kernels or overclock / undervolt your Android based device. So, gaining root access is a must have.

Unfortunately, since rooting isn’t an official operation, your Moto X warranty will get void. So if something bad happens (unlikely – maybe only if you are messing things up by applying the root process without consulting the steps from below) you can’t go back with your handset to Verizon, Sprint, AT&T or US Cellular and asking for help or assistance. Don’t worry though, as the warranty can be restored; you just have to downgrade your Moto X to stock Android OS, or update your device with an official release of the Android system.

The best will be to backup your data that is saved on the internal storage memory of your smartphone because in some cases the data might get corrupted or even erased. I know that your info and accounts is important for you, so that’s why I recommend you to use backup and restore apps from Google Play for saving contacts, messages, call logs, market apps and everything else that you might need afterwards.

Other than that, make sure that you can access and use a computer on which Android SDK must be installed: learn how to install Android SDK on Windows or learn how to set up ADB on MAC OS X / Linux. On the same computer deactivate the antivirus, antimalware, Firewall or any other security protection because these programs might interfere with our root operation. On your Moto X go to path “settings -> applications -> development” and enable USB debugging. Furthermore, check the battery status: if there is less than 50% power left charge your handset, else skip this step.

Remember that this root solution is compatible with both locked and unlocked bootloader (actually the guide will be divided in 2 parts: one for the Moto X with a locked bootloader and the other for the Moto X on unlocked bootloader). Also, remember that the guidelines from below are compatible with the Verizon, Sprint, AT&T and US Cellular models of Moto X.

Root Moto X with Locked Bootloader

  1. From here download the PwnMyMoto apk file on your computer.
  2. Remember that Android SDK must be installed on your PC.
  3. Place the downloaded file on the Fastboot folder – you will get it once Android SDK is installed.
  4. Now, go on the Fastboot folder on from there open a command prompt window – press the Shift key followed by a right click on mouse. From the drop down, select Open command prompt here.
  5. Connect your Moto X with the computer via USB cable.
  6. On the cmd window type: “adb install -r PwnMyMoto-.apk”.
  7. Now the root app will be installed on your phone.
  8. When done, unplug the USB cable.
  9. Run the root tool on your device and wait while your phone is being rooted.
  10. In the end, go to Google Play and download SuperSU app.

Root Moto X with Unlocked Bootloader

  1. On your computer download the root package from here.
  2. Copy paste the root file on the Fastboot folder.
  3. Go to the Fastboot folder and open a command prompt window (see the above steps for learning how to open cmd inside a folder).
  4. Use the USB cable for connecting your Moto X with the computer.
  5. On the cmd window type: “adb install -r ”.
  6. Wait while the root tool is being installed on your handset.
  7. Then, unplug the USB cord and run the root app on your device.
  8. In the end, from Google Play download SuperSU.

Good job; now you know how to root your Verizon, Sprint, AT&T or US Cellular Moto X on locked / unlocked bootloader. Do share your experience and impressions with us by using the comments area from below and don’t forget to thanks those of xda-developers for the present step by step guide. Also, stay close as further tutorials will be developed for your Moto X.

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  • Ashwin

    hi whenever i try to install the app for locked bootloader i get this failure message

    C:adb>adb install -r PwnMyMoto-.apk
    * daemon not running. starting it now on port 5037 *
    * daemon started successfully *
    3253 KB/s (316577 bytes in 0.095s)
    pkg: /data/local/tmp/PwnMyMoto-.apk
    Failure [INSTALL_PARSE_FAILED_NO_CERTIFICATES]

    C:adb>adb install -r PwnMyMoto-.apk
    4830 KB/s (316577 bytes in 0.064s)
    pkg: /data/local/tmp/PwnMyMoto-.apk
    Failure [INSTALL_PARSE_FAILED_NO_CERTIFICATES]

    C:adb>adb install -r PwnMyMoto-.apk
    3323 KB/s (316577 bytes in 0.093s)
    pkg: /data/local/tmp/PwnMyMoto-.apk
    Failure [INSTALL_PARSE_FAILED_NO_CERTIFICATES]

    let me know the solution i have a verizon MotoX

    • dhammaraxit

      there is no root for the locked bootloaders now. do not waste time…. no way success.
      these websites are fooling peoples just to hit their website for advt business