Android is one of the most preferred operating systems out there, simply because of the customizability it offers. The user can change almost every aspect of one’s device, and even tweak it in certain ways to make sure their devices perform better. All of this is primarily dependent on your device’s config file, that is, the build.prop file. This file contains all the configuration data for your device as well as the Android system installed on it. Many power users modify this file in order to tweak their device furthermore. We recently did an article on some of the coolest build.prop tweaks for your Android device. Sadly though, since this is a system file, the general conception is that you need a rooted device. Well, don’t worry, as there is a way around that as well. So, if you’re an Android user looking to the build.prop file on their Android device but don’t have root access, read on, as we share with you our guide on how to edit build.prop without root access:
Edit Build.prop Without Root Access
Note: The following method requires you to have a custom recovery like TWRP or CWM. You can either install the custom recovery or even choose to simply boot through it for this process. This is because you have full access to system files in recovery mode. Also, this is only possible if the system partition is mounted, something which stock recoveries don’t allow. I tried the following method on Samsung Galaxy S8 and Moto X Play, and it worked just fine.
- To begin with, download and install ADB and Fastboot drivers onto your system, as shown here.
- Install an advanced text editor like Notepad++ or Sublime Text on your system. This is will be used later on to edit the build.prop file.
- Next up, switch off your device and head over to the recovery mode. Once there, tap on “Mount”. A list of all the partitions on your device will open up. Make sure the checkbox next to ‘System’ is checked, and the checkbox next to “Mount system partition read-only” is unchecked.
- Once you’ve mounted the /system partition, connect your device to your PC and open the ADB window. Once there, type in the following command to transfer the build.prop file onto your system:
adb pull /system/build.prop <path to save file>
For example, I wish to transfer the file to C:\Beebom on my system, hence the command that I’ll be inputting will be:
adb pull /system/build.prop C:\Beebom
As you can see below, the build.prop file will now be transferred to the specified path, in my case, C:\Beebom.
- Now that your build.prop file has been transferred to your system, you can edit it easily using the text editor you downloaded previously. To do so, simply right-click on the build.prop file and select “Edit with Notepad++” or any other text editor that you may have downloaded.
- A new Notepad++ window should now open and you should easily be able to modify the build.prop file. Once you’re done with your edits, simply save the changes.
- Now that you’ve edited the build.prop file, we need to transfer it back to your device. To do so, run the following command in the ADB window:
adb push <path to your file> /system/build.prop
So, since my file is located at C:\Beebom\, the command that I’ll be inputting will be:
adb push C:\Beebom\build.prop /system/build.prop
- Now that you’ve transferred the modified build.prop file, you need to set its permissions as well. To do so, open up the ADB shell by typing in the following command:
- Once you’re inside the ADB shell mode, type in the following command to set the right permissions:
chmod 644 /system/build.prop
And that’s it. You can now close the ADB window. Your build.prop file has now been modified as per your preferences.
Edit Build.prop Without Root on Your Android Device
Modifying your build.prop file can help you make more out of your Android device. The strongest advantage of Android over other operating systems is its level of customizability, something which is primarily dependent on the build.prop file. And while not everyone has root access, one can still modify their build files using the above method. Do note that whatever you do with your build.prop file, always and always have a backup ready just in case. Well, that’s all from my side but I would love to hear the multiple tweaks you tried to implement on your device in the comments section below.