How To: Get Android Pay Working on a Rooted Device

Get Android Pay Working on a Rooted Device

Android has a brand new mobile payments system, and it's rolling out to most devices as we speak. Android Pay, as it's called, will replace the existing Google Wallet app as an update, and it brings some awesome new functionality such as tokenization and the ability to tap-and-pay by simply unlocking your phone.

The only downside is, those of us who have already received the update have found that Android Pay won't let users add their credit and debit cards if their phone is rooted. On the bright side, though, you can work around this root restriction on most devices in just a few simple steps.

Method 1: Temporarily Unroot (Most Devices)

For most devices, getting around Android Pay's root restriction is incredibly simple. To begin, open your SuperSU root management app, then head over to the Settings tab. From here, simply untick the box next to the "Enable Superuser" option, then give the app a few seconds to temporarily unroot your phone.

Once the subtext underneath the "Enable Superuser" option says "Superuser is disabled and hidden," you should be able to add your cards to Android Pay without any issues. When you're done setting up Android Pay, just tick the box next to "Enable Superuser" in SuperSU again to get root access back, and Android Pay will continue to work as if you weren't rooted.

Method 2: Temporarily Lock Bootloader (Nexus Devices)

With a Nexus device, traditional root methods involve unlocking the bootloader, which is another thing that causes Android Pay to refuse to run. As a result, you'll need to temporarily unroot, and temporarily relock your bootloader.

Luckily, locking and unlocking the bootloader on a rooted Nexus device is incredibly easy, thanks to an app called BootUnlocker for Nexus Devices. To begin, simply install the free app, then open it up and grant it root access.

Next, tap the "Lock" button directly beneath the Bootloader Status header. If everything went off without a hitch, your the app should now say "Bootloader Status: Locked."

From here, open your SuperSU root management app, then head over to the Settings tab. Next, untick the box next to "Enable superuser," then wait for the app to report that "Superuser is disabled and hidden."

Now that your phone is unrooted and your bootloader is locked again, you should be able to add cards to Android Pay without any issues. But once you finish setting up Android Pay, you'll probably want to put everything back to normal, which won't affect Android Pay's functionality in any way.

So to wrap things up, head to the Settings tab in SuperSU, then tick the box next to "Enable Superuser" to get root access back. When that's finished, open BootUnlocker for Nexus Devices, then tap the "Unlock" button beneath the Bootloader Status header, then everything will be back the way it was before you started.

Note About Custom ROMs

If you're running a custom ROM on your device, chances are, you won't be able to get Android Pay to work on your device. This is because most custom ROMs are missing some proprietary files that Android Pay relies upon, so there's essentially nothing you can do other than ask your ROM developer to include Android Pay support. It's unfortunate, but this is an issue that should hopefully be worked out when developers start to learn more about Android Pay in the future.

Which method did you use to get Android Pay working on your rooted device? Let us know in the comment section below, or drop us a line on Android Hacks' Facebook or Twitter, or Gadget Hacks' Facebook, Google+, or Twitter.

15 Comments

I thought since I'm running the Google Play edition Rom on my HTC One M8, I wouldn't have a problem using the first method but it's not working. I'm hoping there will be a fix soon, possibly thru the Xposed framework maybe.

After you temporarily disabled root with with supersu and added your card to android pay. where you actually able to use it when you went to pay with your phone in the store?

Off the top of my head, I know Walgreens and McDonald's accept Android Pay, but there are lots of other stores that accept it. Basically, anywhere that accepts Apple Pay would accept Android Pay. And it's really easy to use, too. It will ask you to enable a secure lock screen (pattern/PIN/password/fingerprint), but once you've done that, all you have to do is unlock your phone, then tap the back of it to the terminal to pay with Android Pay.

Your steps will work to get around the validation to add the cards, but you will not be able to process an actual payment. I have everything setup and I have tried my cards with Android Pay at both Whole Foods, and Vending Machines with no success. I used to use Wallet on both of these.

Oh man, that absolutely sucks. I tested it at Walgreens after adding a card, but I must not have re-enabled superuser access yet. Maybe this can eventually be fixed with an Xposed module, but if not, I guess I'm not going to be using tap and pay anymore.

I am confused by this line "but I must not have re-enabled superuser access yet" explain that? I wrote a task that a 1-click to disable SuperSu before I use Android Pay

I mean that I unrooted and locked my bootloader, then used Android Pay. I didn't re-root until after using it, so I didn't have any issues. I think that task of yours should do the trick, since it will be unrooted while you're using Android Pay.

Would it be possible for you to update this method with either an explication of you actually using it or if it didn't work, please? I'm not asking for you to share personal info but it would be great to know if this is continually working. Any follow up info would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!

I was able to add the cards using the unroot/root method. However, the actual payment wouldn't take at first. So, what I had to do with mine is i had to remove the card then re-add it again. It works. One snag i come across is, if i reboot my phone, it will not work again and I have to remove then re-add the card...again. Hope this gets fixed.

I'm unable to add CCs after doing both methods. I have a Nexus 5, stock (LMY48M) rooted.

Maybe I'm just dim, but I don't understand how this is more convenient than pulling your card out of your wallet and sliding it down the side of the machine.

Dallas, do you have any advice for those of us with a Nexus 6? The boot loader app does not work with Shamu but we really want Android Pay.

I use to be able to use Android Pay on my Samsung Galaxy Note 4. But now I can't, Why?

I could not wait to use Android Pay and is has arrived in the UK. I have installed but is does not work on my rooted phone. :( I have Vodafone Smart Prime 6. I know it is not a good phone but are there any solution I can use Android Pay on my phone?

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