At 6:00 PM EST today, Republic Wireless will be releasing an OTA update for its single- and dual-band Motorola Defy XT. While the update will bring a slew of enhancements to the device, it also brings a not-so-desirable "fix:"breaking the root exploit uncovered by jcase back in December. That means if you're already rooted, you'll lose root during the update process, and if you haven't yet rooted, the old method will no longer work. Bummer.

However, there's light at the end of the tunnel: jcase has already found a new exploit, rooted the device, and packaged a fully open source one-click apk named Cyanide that will do all the dirty work for you. This is indeed the easiest root process we've ever posted.

Disclaimer: Android Police isn't responsible for any harm to your device - proceed at your own risk.

First off, you'll need to download Cyanide (Mirror) and transfer it to your device.  Once it's on your device, simply install it like any other apk (make sure "Unknown Sources" is checked). Launch the app, agree to the terms, and... that's basically all. The device will reboot two times. This is normal. It's supposed to happen. Don't freak out.


After the second reboot, SuperSU will be installed, you'll have root access, and all will be right with the world. It's seriously that easy.

Enjoy your freshly-rooted phone.

Cameron Summerson
Cameron is a self-made geek, Android enthusiast, horror movie fanatic, musician, and cyclist. When he's not pounding keys here at AP, you can find him spending time with his wife and kids, plucking away on the 6-string, spinning on the streets, or watching The Texas Chainsaw Massacre on repeat.

  • evolutionx1

    Ahh Gingerbread... Good old times

  • http://www.ScienceProUSA.com SciencePro

    Got my grandma this phone. It's good for what it is, she enjoys it. The Motorola UI is really quite craptasic though, I actually enjoyed stock Gingerbread back in the day, this was an unpleasant surprise. It's harder for me to explain basic actions to her (adding homescreen widgets, icons, unlocking, etc.) because Motorola has unneccessarily complicated such basic steps.

    No MMS support is also a bummer. $19/month, can complain too much - but c'mon, there are surely many simple ways to implement MMS.

    Glad it can be rooted, maybe I'll do so and remove some of the bloatware.

  • http://www.facebook.com/timothy.amorgan Tim Morgan

    Thanks for producing this ahead of schedule.

  • http://twitter.com/ranwanimator Randall Wanamaker

    I use the Holo launcher to avoid some of the Moto garbage.

    Does anyone have any info on why rooting the phone would prevent 911 calls from being placed?

    • http://twitter.com/TeamAndIRC Justin Case

      Randall, it shouldn't, unless the user alters other stuff. I don't want to be sued, hence the warning.

    • http://facebook.com/branni.mikal Branni Mikal

      I just installed the Holo launcher and I'm in heaven. This is 100% better than the bloated Moto skin UI... so so much faster too; my phone is actually usable again... thank you so much for mentioning this... I never would of known!

      I also installed an ICS keyboard to match and it's much better than the default keyboard :)

  • ibap

    Is there an easy unroot, in case the next OTA has something we really need? Given the history of all OTA updates and their subsequent fixes, I'm going to wait a bit before I do this. And boy do I want Titanium back. And Link2SD.

  • john

    What exactly does this do to the phone? could it break future OTA releases?

  • sudo makemeasandwich

    Ok, so, besides Link2SD, what other apps might rooted users be interested in?

    • http://twitter.com/Telanis_ Telanis

      I'd Google that for you, but instead I'm going to stoop to your level of laziness and not bother.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jeremiah.cummings.39 Jeremiah Cummings

    thanks a bunch that was so easy.

    • http://www.facebook.com/jeremiah.cummings.39 Jeremiah Cummings

      went from 40mb free space to 140mb in 3mins.

  • tnlobo420

    No comments in 11 days -hmmmm -- hey guys does this exploit work on the RW phones after the OTA ?????

    • tnlobo420

      My mistake reading the dates................In RW's forums it seems this will root,

      We have ROOT on the RW Defy XT


      what this means is if you "frak" something bad in the phone YOU MAY BE
      UNABLE TO FIX IT since a fix usually entails "reflashing" the wrong or a
      patch and since we have NO RECOVER OR RECOVERY IMAGE we can not do

  • Alex

    This process worked on my instructor's RW Defy XT handset, which he's owned for about 40 days, but the two I ordered that came in today, doesn't work. Reboots twice, but no SU app. Verified no access with rootchecker. All phones running 2.3.7, instructor's had the recent OTA update. Maybe different build numbers? Got more research to do.

  • http://www.onfx.com Rudy Espinosa

    Hi there!

    Thanks so much for taking the time to investigate and implement this and especially for sharing.

    I have tried to install this several times. It only boots once. I do see the "Cyanide" app (obviously) but SuperSU is never installed. I install SuperSU via PlayStore but when I runt it I get an error message "There is no SU binary installed, and SuperSU cannot install it. This is a problem!"

    Are there any suggestions? Thanks in advance!

    • Andre

      Well I decided to give it a shot anyways, First try failed to root, but doubled up some program icons that were on the SD card. 2nd try failed, icons back to normal.

    • hr

      same here, no idea how to fix it did u find anything?

      • http://www.onfx.com Rudy Espinosa

        It did work for me eventually. I am not if I missunderstood the instructions though...

        In my case, I first uninstalled Cyanide. SuperSu had not installed automatically so I had installed manually, so I also uninstalled that as well.

        Then, I restarted my phone. I then repeated the installation of Cyanide. I ran It and it rebooted but only once. I checked and SuperSu was not installed.

        I then ran Cyanide again. It rebooted. This time SuperSu was installed and I confirmed that my phone is definitely rooted by accessing various root folders and SuperSu also asked me for permissions. However, this is definitely a new thing for me. Some of the folders that are only available to rooted apps/phones appear empty. I don't know if that is normal or if something is not fully rooted. Since I only need to root for specific reasons, I got what I needed out of this app and I am happy with it. Thanks JCASE!

  • Andre

    Will this work for the Straight Talk version of the Motorola XT555C? I have looked everywhere, and cannot find the difference between the Straight Talk version and the Republic Wireless versions, other than the Straight Talk is not called "Defy XT" but rather just XT555c.

    I did see a comment on the previous version of this root here:


    but since I've never rooted an Android phone before, I'd like to proceed with cation.

    I also realize now, that I should not have paid the extra $20 warranty since rooting the phone voids that :(

    Thank you

    • Zach

      Did it work?

      • Andre

        follow the instructions here:


        DO NOT USE the updated Republic Wireless ( rooted by phone). Follow the instructions of the post that said they had success. You'll need to download JDK and ADK, push the files, bootloop, install Super SU.
        good luck :)

        • Todd Perry

          XDA way will not work. They fail to ad into the commands the location to write the file on your phone making in useless.

    • Sad

      Have a Straight Talk version and tried this, it did not work :(

      I am still looking.....

  • hr

    DId this work for anyone?

  • Andrew

    Hi Thanks for this easy rundown of rooting. I ran the Cyanide, reboot x2 and I see SU installed...and it will open...but I had expected some internal memory to be freed up like other commenters mentioned...but I'm still under 40MB on internal storage. Any thoughts on whether some didn't go quite right in the root or if I should now be following a tutorial on moving the proper apps off the internal or off the phone altogether? Thanks again.

  • xwxw1234

    It worked like a charm. Thank U for sharing.

  • john smith

    didnt work for me ive tryed it 12 times atleast now is this the only way to root it cuz idk if my phone is special ed or what cuz i have yet to find any method to root this little headache ugh

  • Kevin

    Worked great! Easiest root I have ever used. I will be donating to the developer for his great work. To the people who didn't see any space freed up, I would suggest you install the Link2SD app. Follow the instructions very carefully on how to format your mini SD card for the app to work properly. After installing it you can can move almost any non-system app and have lots of room left over. A few other suggestions of apps to use are Droidwall and Rom Toolbox Pro.

    • http://www.onfx.com Rudy Espinosa

      Thanks for the suggestions. That helps the rest us newbies due to so many options out there!

    • Bale

      Can I move the facebook app?

  • john smith

    Sigh still not rooted this apk didnt work any help would be nice

  • Matt

    Will this work with the 556 C-spire version of this phone?

  • HR

    Does anyone have the stock rom? Can't find it anywhere :(

  • annie

    It doesnt work. you said it would reboot twice. mine reboots everytime and there is no supersu or super user.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=540058182 Sheray Lord

    Has anyone that tried this root for straight talk and it didn't work, found a solution?
    Please help!!

  • Ryan

    Tried a couple times did not work but once I tried doing it without the phone plugged into the computer it worked, just a tip if this may help anyone

  • Zbigniew Majda

    Q: after rooting the phone is it OK to remove Cyanide app. from phone?

  • Gabe

    Isnt working for me just bought it as of 07/25/2013 and no luck after many attempts please help.

  • Em Loza

    does not work for motorola defy xt

  • trialanderror


    This did not work for me on multiple attempts. Super User was never created and root was never effected. After much searching i found the link below which worked immediately. I believe the apk link is an incorrect or out of date version.

    This version worked for me... Cyanide 2.2

    thank you jcase, i will be downloading.

    • trialanderror

      I meant to say 'i will be donating.'

  • NRG

    Cyanide 2.2 worked for me last night. SuperSU works and I deleted facebook from my phone. Mission accomplished! screw facebook.

  • Shawn Rosvold

    I know this is a dumb question, but I've never tried rooting a phone before. I have downloaded Cyanide apk to my computer desktop. How do I move it to my phone?

  • Lenor Adivar

    there's nothing happen to my XT535 after using the CYANIDE,, please help me how to ROOT my XT535.. thank you in advanced

  • David Byrd

    Just tried this method. No dice.

  • GLorenz

    This did not work for me but the following link did just got this defy a week ago.


  • Todd Perry

    NOPE never get Super User.

  • Rick C. Hodgin

    This method no longer works on 1_65K_1027. Is there an updated method? A new link to a new version? Has anyone had success?

  • Rick C. Hodgin

    I found it. You need Cyanide22.apk. The version above has some kind of bug in it. See: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?p=37304920

  • Terry Sellers

    I tried it and it went through the process. I then downloaded Titanium Backup and it says I don't have root access. SuperUser is not installed. I tried it several more times. It goes through the rebooting process as described but never works. The phone is a Republic 557D with the latest rebublic defy xt software. Any suggestions? I really want to delete from bloatware. This phone just does not hold to much internally.. Thanks.