The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is still the latest phablet-sized smartphone under the Sammy name. It’s recently seen the latest Android 5.0 Lollipop software update, but many people are choosing to leave that for now and stay with the trusty KitKat version.
If you are rocking the Exynos system chip, Octa-Core CPU variant of the same and running the Android 4.4.4 KitKat software, you can unlock the internal system free from any restrictions by applying the steps below.
What Is Rooting the Android Operating System?
When you buy a new smartphone, you might not know it, but the Android operating system is in a “locked” state. For the most part, it will not make much difference to you: most apps are still available to use, and there are benefits to this locked state such as better security. When you root the Android operating system, you are gaining full administrative rights over the OS.
Why Would You Want to Root Android?
Gaining full administrative rights over the operating system has some perks to some people. For example, out of the millions of applications available on Google Play, some of them will not be able to run on your device unless it has root access. Until you have a specific need for wanting Android rooted, you probably want to leave Android as it comes out of the box. But if you need to unlock an app, then that is when you want to look into rooting methods. Using more apps is only one example of why you may want root access, here is the full list of benefits:
- Unlock more applications. Some of the apps available for Android cannot run unless you have root access. This is because the app’s features cannot run without the root permissions because the features require the full system access before they can be useful.
- Better battery life. Smartphones are great, but they have one caveat, which is each time you recharge the battery, it loses some of its overall lifespan. That means smartphones, in general, do not make great investments, and if your weekly paycheck is low, you will want to limit the number of smartphones you go through. One of the ways you can do that is by removing bloatware and creating a better battery life.
- Bolster performance. If you are the budget-conscious shopper, you may want to increase the device’s performance. This can be done by removing the bloatware as well. The more processes you have running, the more memory that is used. By removing some of the apps, it can help lighten the load on your hardware.
- Customize Android with themes. With root access, you can download and install any theme that’s at your disposal. That includes any customized theme you can find.
What Are the Risks of Rooting?
If you are buying a smartphone that is not running iOS, then it is probably the Android operating system that you want running as the ideal software to pair with your shiny new hardware. It is, in fact, the Android OS that offers you the chance to customize the OS considerably more than iOS: custom themes, run any app you know about, the works. For many users, the “openness” of an operating system is important, because it offers them more freedom which means running into fewer problems with their investments. But there is a reason iOS likes a far more locked approach: the ability to customize is not for everyone, and if you do not know what you are doing it can lead to a lot of problems which can define your time with the OS rather than freedom.
With power (full admin permissions) comes greater responsibility. Here are some of the main risk factors when it comes to rooting:
- Malware becomes a larger threat. You might read the occasional news article about how new malware is wreaking havoc in parts of the world on Android. But the Android operating system with root access becomes considerably more vulnerable to exploits because applications are no longer prisoned off in their own sandbox environments. This means if you accidentally download malware, it can do more damage because it can spread throughout the operating system and even jump into other applications and potentially view sensitive data.
- You can accidentally brick the smartphone. There is always a chance that you end up bricking the smartphone before you had the opportunity to use it with root access. That is because if you are going to brick it, it is going to happen during the rooting process.
- You may void the warranty. Most manufacturers do not allow you to root the Android operating system and still get to bring it in for repairs under warranty. Whether they are legally meant to do that or not is another question, but it is now common knowledge that most do not want to help you if they find out you have unlocked the OS with root access.
BEFORE WE BEGIN
- Turn on the smartphone and navigate to the Settings, followed by the About Device menu and check that you have the N910H model number and no other. The key here is with the last letter. They all start with N910 and change the previous digit depending on the carrier it’s hooked up with.
- While you are still in the About Device menu, you want to check the software version matches up with Android 4.4.4 KitKat and not something like 4.4.3 or 4.4.2 KitKat. Likewise, you want to avoid it saying Android 5.0 Lollipop.
- Applying the following steps on your device does automatically void the manufacturer’s warranty on your device. You can gain that back again by unrooting the same device afterward, thanks to specialized third-party applications available from the Google Play store.
HOW TO ROOT THE SAMSUNG GALAXY NOTE 4 SM-N910H RUNNING ANDROID 4.4.4 KITKAT
1. Download the Samsung USB drivers for mobile phones from our page here.
2. Use the desktop of the Windows PC for installing the drivers.
3. Turn off the computer and back on again once you are done.
4. Now you should have the drivers working.
5. Download the Odin file here.
6. Download the CF-Auto-Root file from here.
7. Extract both of the files directly above to the desktop and run the Odin tool, so it’s working. We’ll come back to it in a minute.
8. Reboot the device in Download Mode. (You must start with it turned completely off, then press and hold the Volume Down + Power + Home buttons at the same time. Press the Power button once more if you get to the warning screen.)
9. Connect the Note to the computer with the same USB cable you use for charging the device.
10. Open the Odin application on the computer and check the ID: COM port has changed to a color, and it displays the word “added.”
11. If that didn’t happen, you might need to retry installing the USB drivers.
12. Do not adjust any of the default Settings in Odin.
13. Leave the re-partition box empty.
14. Click the AP button and upload the executable tar.md5 file from inside the extracted CF-Root folder on the desktop.
15. Click the start button and wait for ten to fifteen minutes until the flashing completes.
16. You’ll get a pass message on the display, and the phone will reboot by itself.
Take control of your Google account and smartphone again after it reboots and you are rolling with root access on your Note 4. You can head over to the Google Play Store and install BusyBox.