How To: Completely Hide Root Using Magisk

Completely Hide Root Using Magisk

Ever since the introduction of Google's SafetyNet feature, it's been an ongoing battle with apps trying to detect root access. For a while, there was a lot of back and forth between Magisk and certain apps. Pokémon GO was a high profile example of an app aggressively checking for anything related to root. Luckily, Magisk has made great strides to keep apps from detecting root for good.

In the case of Pokémon GO, the game's developers would even go as far as silently scanning your internal storage for the Magisk folder or any files related to the platform itself. It was quite a bold move and very intrusive since it was done in the background without user consent. At that time, you had to delete all Magisk files and folders to be able to play while being rooted.

Pretty messy stuff if you ask me, but those days are long gone thanks to the new advancements in Magisk being able to avoid detection altogether. It's almost bulletproof now that the platform has adopted the randomized package name and Magisk Hide features. When you combine these two features, even stubborn games like Pokémon GO and Harry Potter: Wizards Unite are playable while being rooted.

Step 1: Randomize Your Package Name

The first thing you need to do on your quest for a worry-free experience is to randomize the package name of the Magisk Manager app itself. The package name is a unique identifier for each installed app, much like the MAC address or IMEI on your phone right now. By ditching the original package name for something entirely random, the offending apps and games won't know what to look for.

Open the Magisk Manager app, tap the menu icon on the left, then head to "Settings." Locate the "Hide Magisk Manager" option, then tap it once to begin the process of randomizing your package name. It will make the necessary changes in the background real fast, close the app, then reopen it once more with a newly randomized package name. Awesome!

Notice the random numbers and letters after the "com." This means the package name for Magisk has now been completely randomized as intended.

Not only does the package name get changed to something undetectable, but the app name is also altered from "Magisk Manager" to just "Manager." The keyword "Magisk" is taken out to disassociate the app with the name itself, which further enhances the ability to hide your root access. It's essential to make sure you're using this feature all the time going forward, so keep that in mind.

(1) "Magisk Manager" is the default name before randomizing the package. (2) Once the package has been randomized, you'll now see "Manager" as its new name from here on out.

Step 2: Use Magisk Hide

Now that you have the first half of the changes required to make everything work, it's time to use of the Magisk Hide feature to further complement your new randomized package name. This is the other part required when trying to get all apps and games to play nicely with your root access.

Many financial or banking apps like to block root users, so that's another thing to be aware of. To get started, open the newly named "Manager" app to the main screen like before, tap the menu on the left, then head to the "Magisk Hide" entry on the list. Locate the offending app(s) that are detecting your root access and tap the dot on each one to put a checkmark on them. That's it!

Some apps will have just a single entry on the Magisk Hide list while others could have multiple, such as Pokémon GO. Tapping the down arrow icon will expand the rest of the entries for that specific app. It should enable them all by default when you tap the first dot, but it's always good to make sure everything is checked off when going through the list of offending apps anyway.

Step 3: Enjoy Your Apps & Games

From here, you can dive right into the apps and games that you thought you'd never be able to use as a root user. You don't have to worry about doing a reboot when using Magisk Hide, but occasionally you might try that if an app is still not playing nice with root access.

The apps and games listed below are just a few good examples you might find yourself using now that you can completely avoid root detection. There are plenty more examples out there that try to block root users, but with the power of Magisk at your disposal, you should have little to no issues whatsoever. There's always a chance for new root detection methods, but everything is good right now.

Pokémon GO

Harry Potter: Wizards Unite

PS4 Remote Play

Spectrum TV

Credit One Bank

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Cover image and screenshots by Stephen Perkins/Gadget Hacks

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19 Comments

It still cannot hide xposed. EdXposed module may be a option, but my phone didn't take kindly to those riru modules anyway(riru core module made me do a factory reset). EdXposed mod is a xposed mod to hide xposed, but I don't know how effective it is, as my phone had problems. After all this time magisk has been out, no one has solved this.

Yeah, the original Xposed framework is a very particular case because it's the predecessor to Magisk and is also an entire platform within itself. Since official development will most likely never happen beyond the current Android 8.1 Oreo, that's where EdXposed comes into play. It was made to unofficially bring Xposed support for current versions of Android.

The official Xposed framework doesn't go beyond Android Oreo, which means it'll likely never pass SafetyNet checks on new versions of Android. So I don't think this will ever get solved now that development has ceased altogether on the original framework.

Some Magisk modules are known to not play nice with the EdXposed/Riru modules, which is perhaps why you were having problems initially. What device are you using and do you have a lot of modules on Magisk installed? Since it would be your best bet going forward, you should look into getting EdXposed working for sure. Let me know if you have any questions or need anything.

I have a honor 5x(almost 3yrs) . Running arrows, 8.1

os'. Too many anti rules on newer os's. Edxposed should work , if that riru core module played nice. Maybe I should get in touch with the dev, see what he/she says. In magisk, I have arcore, app systemizer, audio compatibility,and modification modules, hal3 enabler, hidden settings, lkt, magisk hide props, wifi bonding, and of course, the framework. In Xposed, I use Xposed edge(better than what's out there from oems), that's it, can't go without edge.

If anything, go into the Magisk Manager app and to the "Modules" section. If you're on the latest version of the app, you can temporarily disable all modules by unchecking each of them then rebooting your phone. From there you can try again with EdXposed/Riru and see if that makes a difference. This will help rule out any Magisk module compatibility issues on your side of things.

I did some searching and found the thread you were using for the custom ROM. Sounds like at some point you were using the ArrowOS 9.x Pie version over the 8.1 you're using now? What made you go back? You said too many restrictions? Maybe you'd have better luck with the newer 9.0 Pie ROM now since they just released an update on 2019-07-07. Development is still going on with this one.

I see the one you're using, ArrowOS 8.1, hasn't been updated since 2018-12-17. Sounds like development has halted for 8.1 and shifted to the 9.0 Pie version, which is typical in the ROM scene. Maybe also try contacting the ROM developer if nothing else works since custom ROMs can also mess with Riru/EdXposed in some cases.

Hopefully, you can get things worked out eventually. The EdXposed platform appears pretty stable for me so far on 9.0 Pie. Keep us updated!

Um, is no one going to say anything about how Pokemon Go is clearly violating privacy rights? Not even a class action lawsuit?

This solution worked great for me with Harry Potter Wizards unite since they released it (from July 2019), but it seems that new release 2.9.0 (from 27.1.2020) does even more in-depth checks for rooting and I am getting the same error again (see pictures above - Device incompatible).

I hope Magisk responds to that with even better hiding technique...

Yep, same here. Wonder what they use for detecting this time. Sometimes I can play for minutes before it detects my root, sometimes it's instant. Real pain in the ass...

Not fun! Are you using the latest Magisk 20.3 stable build? I'm running that on my Pixel 4 XL with Android 10, and it's working great! Haven't been hit with the "Device Incompatible" error once. If anything, sometimes toggling the Magisk Hide switch off then on for specific apps makes them work again. Wizards Unite actually has three entries now to check off for Magisk Hide instead of just one.

(1) Old. (2) New.

Maybe you could also try renaming the "Manager" package name to something else when randomizing the package. The newer Magisk Manager app allows you to pick whatever name you want. I hope something can get you back up and running so you can play again! It's definitely a cat and mouse game with certain apps or games trying to block the root user community.

Thanks for the tips, but no. This time nothing seems to help. I had it running for over 20 minutes and thought I'd succeeded but then suddenly my device was suddenly incompatible. Like they do something really tricky in the background...

This persecution of people with rooted phones is really weird. Why can't they let me have what I want installed on my own hardware???

Yeah, both Niantic and Nintendo use root detection methods in just about all of their games. It's a way to "try" and block cheaters, but most normal root users aren't cheating. I use root access for mods, so I can customize my system.

It's a tough challenge for them to overcome without locking all root users out in the process. It only takes one bad person to ruin it for the rest of us, right?

The detection method used for the 2.9.0 update doesn't seem to affect everyone either, so that's another issue. Maybe they could be up to their old internal storage scanning methods or something entirely new here. Might be multiple variables at play.

Also: If you go to the Play Store settings, then scroll down to "Play Protect certification," does it say "Device is certified"? If it's not certified, that could be an issue as well. Sometimes when you reboot and don't flash Magisk after a system update, it can cause the device to break the certification label.

I'll keep digging and post back if I find anything else about the Wizards Unite "Incompatible Device" root detection problem. Hopefully, it'll be some good news!

I think I found it!

Originally I had a folder on my sd card named MagiskManager (or something like that), when I first installed WU I needed to rename it (so something completely different). However the folder still contained an old (Magisk patched) boot image. It seems since 2.9.0 WU stepped up it's scanning of the sd card. I've deleted the entire folder now, and WU has been running for a full hour without problems. I don't know if it was the file name (patched_boot.img I think) or the contents of the file that triggered WU.

No wonder WU completely eats battery if it spends its resources scanning each and every file on the sd cards looking for root related content. Someone ougth to sue them, they really have no right doing that.

Oh crap. Jumped too early. Now suddenly my device was incompatible again. After well over an hour. What the heck does it do???

See the comment below. I personally tested it on my devices, and it works. The game seems to be scanning for the TWRP folder, not anything related to Magisk. They switched it up this time around. It's not even root related.

Wizards Unite Update: After some more testing and digging around, it seems the "Device Incompatible" error with the recent 2.9.0 game update might actually be tied to TWRP, not Magisk. In the earlier days of Pokémon GO, the game would scan for all Magisk related files, including the "Magisk" folder itself.

The 2.9.0 update for Wizards Unite seems to be doing something similar but is looking for the TWRP folder or files instead. If you've used TWRP in the past, then the folder is likely still there. Delete or rename the "TWRP" folder at the root of your internal storage. Make sure Magisk Hide is active, and you're all set! Now you can play without the "Device Incompatible" error ruining your game.

This is the quick fix, but hopefully, it gets officially addressed in the future. The TWRP folder/file scanning thing would explain why it was affecting some people but not others. Not everyone uses or has access to TWRP right now, which meant the folder wasn't there in the first place for those who didn't have any issues.

Fun Fact: If you don't have the "Device Incompatible" error when playing the game, add a new folder to the root of your internal storage called "TWRP". You'll likely start getting the "Device Incompatible" error soon enough. I did this on a completely stock unrooted Galaxy S10, and got the error message within a few minutes. Removing the TWRP folder fixed it right away. Confirmed!

I'm sorry to say this, but on this particular device I've never had TWRP installed, so there's nothing related to TWRP on it. Must be something else...

Maybe it triggers on other kind of folders that could suggest the device is rooted? For example I have a folder named "TitaniumBackup" here. Hard to know what could be relevant :-(

Yeah, that's not cool. It seems like you have a bit more going on here. The TWRP thing is true though, I can make my stock Galaxy S10 crash like crazy by adding a TWRP folder. So that's a very interesting find, no doubt. For your specific issue, you might have to go to the extreme and rename/delete all root related files or folders.

Niantic has a history of scanning for root files, so it may be possible the game is looking for other things outside of Magisk related items. What device do you have? Maybe I can track down the issue. I'd be happy to keep trying. And do you use Titanium Backup anymore? It could potentially be related since it's such a popular root tool.

You can, however, sideload an older version of Wizards Unite and play it that way for now like you did before the new update. It's not ideal since it's an older version, but it should at least let you play until this gets sorted out.

I'm actually getting a new phone (a S10e) next week, seriously thinking of not rooting. I've never had an unrooted Android, see how that plays out. Til then I guess I'll have to play WU for very short periods of time...

That's the most extreme option you can take right now, yeah. Not being rooted would certainly make things so much easier since root detection is still an ongoing battle. It might take some getting used to at first without having root access, though. I hope your new S10e works out well. It's really a great phone!

I think I've found the offending directory. Could you try to create a directory named "/data/com.keramidas.TitaniumBackup" on your sd card and see if your WU triggers on that?

Nope. Half an hour later it triggered on something again. Damn it! Thing is, I've now done the drastical measure of actually unrooting my phone, thought maybe that would help. It just makes it harder for me to try to find offending files, since now I can't use Root Explorer any more...

So close! That would have been awesome if you found it. I really don't think it's root related this time around, at least not entirely. I can trigger the error on my S10 with an empty TWRP folder. This means a stock device that has a locked bootloader without root access can be hit with the error just the same.

In your case, you could search for "Magisk" or "TWRP" key terms using a file manager on a computer to quickly scan the internal storage of your device. Maybe you can also find a few leftover folders or files created by previous Magisk modules. Search for .zip files specifically as well. Granted, you haven't done that already at this point.

If nothing else works, you could flash a factory image and let it wipe your entire storage partition to start fresh. That'll totally eliminate your extra files and folders. Only the core directories will be created at the root of your internal storage when you boot up Android the first time around. Starting fresh might even save you some time and effort in the long run.

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