Most people love their smartphones because it offers them a way to now get access to the internet from their pockets instead of having to open up a laptop or even sit behind a desktop computer as it were in the old days.

It would be a lie to say that all people do on their smartphones is use a standard web browser for surfing the Web, though: there are literally millions of applications out there being used by people, and they all specialize in different things. A lot of the applications that people use are offering features that the basic version of Android doesn’t have. It’s that same idea of customizing the operating system that has so many people now installing custom ROMs.

A custom ROM is custom software made by third-party developers who had ideas for different features and layouts that would change the user experience up from what people were getting with the stock versions of Android. Or at the very least, they would be offering custom software that actually removed the extra stuff that manufacturers and carriers put over the top of it after it has left the hands of Android developers.

Whether you like using the stock ROM the way it rolls out to your device or a custom one put together by third-parties, all of the flashing done manually is going to happen with the Odin flashing tool. This is a tool that was never officially released by Samsung not because they didn’t think it worked very well but rather because it was intended for use by Samsung repair centers. The Odin flashing tool then leaked online and did the rounds on several Samsung web forums and before too long the files were being hosted on a bunch of different sites for anyone to download and start using.

The Odin flashing tool is a Windows-based program that will run fine on most Windows versions ranging from Windows XP and up. It is capable of flashing any of the firmware files that you can find made for Samsung’s vast array of devices. With that being said though, that doesn’t mean all files you find will be trustworthy. If you aren’t sure who to trust, then you can always scan your files with VirusTotal before downloading them onto your computer. Just make sure you read how to use VirusTotal carefully because just because you get one or two potential red flags doesn’t necessarily mean there is anything wrong with the file.

How to Flash Samsung Firmware with Odin

1. Get started by downloading the Odin flashing tool to your computer. You’ll need to download it from a third-party because it was never officially released by Samsung. Many websites are hosting the Odin flashing tool these days, including the file hosting website that we’ve linked to. (You can always give your files a VirusTotal scan before downloading them just to be sure.)

2. Generally speaking, you want to download the latest version of Odin as it has the most chances of being compatible with what you’re flashing. Once you’ve got Odin downloaded on the computer, extract it and then open it up so you can see its interface and just leave it there in the background of your desktop.

3. Now download your firmware that you want to flash. You need to make sure you have the right firmware that’s made for your device. For example, not all “Samsung Galaxy S9” smartphones are the same: there can be different hardware and other regional differences inside that can result in minor or major problems if you get it wrong.

4. Boot the device into Download Mode and then connect it to the Windows computer with its USB cable. Assuming you already have the USB drivers installed on the PC, Odin should now detect your device by changing the color of the ID: COM port from its interface to a color which is usually blue or yellow.

5. Lastly, you need to upload the firmware files to the Odin flashing tool. To do this for a full stock ROM, you need to open the firmware folder and then locate the four following files:

  • BL: Bootloader file
  • AP: Android partition
  • CP: Modem firmware
  • CSC: Consumer  software customization

Each file that you need to upload from the firmware folder will be maked “BL,” “AP,” “CP,” or “CSC” on the actual firmware files themselves so you can easily see them.

Note: You may not always be able to downgrade your firmware from Samsung or carriers working with Samsung. Sometimes extensive software updates are given downgrade blocks. There’s no way of being able to tell if your device has been downgrade blocked without checking reports from other users and doing lots of reading on relevant web forums.

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