How to switch CyanogenMod File Manager to root mode on CM13/14 and gain access to system files

Here is the step-by-step guide on how to grant root access to CyanogenMod File Manager on CM 13/14 and gain access to hidden system files. It consists of two parts: 1) how to enable root on CyanogenMod, 2) how to view and modify system files in CyanogenMod File Manager. 

Enable Root on CyanogenMod

First of all you should ensure you allowed the Root access for apps globally.

  1. Go to Developer options.
  2. Ensure Developer Options are ON.
  3. Scroll down to the Root access item and tap it.
  4. Select Apps only:
    root-apps-only-cyanogenmod-cm13 In such a way you grant Root access to apps.

Enable Root Access in CyanogenMod File Manager

Now time to grant the root access to CM File Manager app. Follow the steps:

  1. Launch the CyanogenMod File Manager app. cyanogenmod-file-manager
  2. Tap the Menu icon: cm-file-manager-menu
  3. Tap the gear icon to open the app’s settings: cm-file-manager-gear-icon
  4. Select General settings: cm-file-manager-general-settings
  5. Scroll down to the Advanced section.
  6. Tap the Access mode setting: cm-file-manager-safe-mode
  7. Select Root Access mode: cm-file-manager-root-access
  8. Set the checkbox Remember my choice.
  9. Tap Allow: cm-file-manager-root-access-allow

The hash icon should appear in the status bar. This mean the app is successfully using the root access. Besides that you can see hidden partitions in the File Manager:

hash-icon-hidden-partitions-root-folderNow you can for example modify the hosts file:


From now on the app will always launch in this mode.

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