If you have a Sony Xperia device which is running on Android 4.4.4 KitKat firmware, you can root it without having to unlock the bootloader. Rooting is a process that unlocks endless possibilities to your phone.

You can do a ton of things with a stock Android device already, but the list expands a lot more once the word “root” comes in. With root access, you can overclock the phone for better performance, under clock the processor to improve battery life, delete or uninstall all unnecessary apps that simply take storage space and completely customize it.

Also Read: How To Restore DRM Keys After Unlocking Bootloader on Xperia Devices (Lost DRM Keys)

You can install special launchers, use applications that require root access and more. But on most of the devices, you need to have an unlocked bootloader if you want to root it. But Sony Xperia devices have a slight advantage as they can be rooted even if the bootloader is locked.

root xperia 4.4.4 locked bootloader

To do so, you must be running on an Xperia 4.4.4 KitKat firmware, have a locked bootloader and a few tools. The rooting process is very easy and at the end you will have a Sony device, rooted, running the latest Android 4.4.4 KitKat firmware.

The guide below works for all Sony devices for as long as they are running on an Android 4.4.4 KitKat firmware even though reports say that it can work on 5.0 Lollipop ROMs too.

Guide to Root Sony Xperia With Locked Bootloader (4.4.4 KitKat)

Downloads

There are a few things you need to download like Flashtool, rootkitXperia and FTF file.

Flashtool: link

rootkitXperia: link

Download Jelly Bean stock ROM (The FTF file depends on what kind of Xperia device you have.)

Install USB drivers: download

Getting ready

Enable USB Debugging. If USB Debugging is off, the phone cannot communicate with the computer. tutorial

Make sure that the battery level is high enough for the phone not to shut down during the process.

Make sure that you are running on the latest 4.4.4 KitKat firmware.

Rooting process

  1. Open Flashtool on your computer.
  2. Turn off the phone. Press the volume down button and connect the phone to the PC using a USB cable. The LED light on the phone should blink.
  3. Flashtool on your computer should say that the phone is connected.
  4. Using Flashtool, select the Jelly Bean FTF firmware for your phone. Uncheck all the boxes except “kernel”.
  5. Flash the Jelly Bean kernel and then disconnect the phone from the computer.

Now reboot your phone. It will bootloop. Don’t worry. That’s what should happen. Now connect your phone again to your PC.

Also Read: Install CyanogenMod 12 Lollipop ROM on Xperia SP With Locked Bootloader

  1. Using a terminal, go to the rootkitXperia directory and launch the script “install.sh” in Linux/OSX or “install.bat” in Windows.
  2. The phone will bootloop again.
  3. Disconnect the phone from the PC.
  4. Press the volume down button and connect the phone to your computer again.
  5. Open Flashtool and flash the kernel of your 4.4.4 KitKat FTF ROM.
  6. Reboot the phone and excecute the following command:

[quote_box_center]adb shell “su -c /data/local/tmp/install_tool.sh[/quote_box_center]

That is it. Now reboot your phone and it should be running on Android 4.4.4 KitKat firmware, rooted and with locked bootloader. This method is confirmed to work on Xperia M2 but it is said to work on other devices too like Xperia Z2, Z3. However, proceed at your own risk.

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  • Pasan Henadeera

    HI, I have a xperia D2303 running on latest android 4.4.4 (build no 18.3.1.C.1.13). I couldn’t find drivers in the given link->sony USB drivers (Note:- No drivers saying M2). Also, will I loose my DRM keys if I do this?

  • AkinFad

    Can this work for xperia z2 D6503? Pls reply ASAP

  • AkinFad

    Thanks Ronaldo for this post bcs am afraid of unlocking bootloader which in all indications prove to damage my DRM keys.

  • AkinFad

    So I will still backup d DRM keys if I want to root my z2?

  • AkinFad

    Do I still need to do backup for DRM keys before proceeding to root my xperia z2? Thanks for ur assistance.

    • It is recommended in case something goes wrong. Even if the guide doesn’t affect the keys, it is always good to have a backup.

  • AkinFad

    Thanks! Can I still find d DRM keys inside the stock firmware? Am abt to download the stock firmware.

  • Aleksa Sukovic

    Where should I enter the last line of code : adb shell “su -c /data/local/tmp/install_tool.sh

    PS. Great guide, I did everything there, my phone booted good, I have supersu installed but don’t know where to enter this command… 🙂