If you own the G900H variant of the Samsung Galaxy S5 that is region locked to North and South America, you can gain root access to it by following the guide below.

You should check that you are running Android 4.4.2 KitKat before starting the guide. Once you know you have KitKat running, following the guide so you can then install root-only apps from Google Play, including Device Control, Full!screen, Root Explorer, ROM Toolbox Pro and many more. . . .

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.

Furthermore, since this is the Sammy S5 we are talking about, you will have no shortage of custom ROMs to flash later too. Here’s how it’s done:

REQUIREMENTS

  • The S5 with model number G900H and not any other model numbers.
  • You ought to be running Android 4.4.2 KitKat for this to be 99.9% safe.

BEFORE WE BEGIN 

  • Download the Samsung USB Drivers to the desktop of the computer.
  • Unlock the Developer Options menu by navigating to Settings > About Device > tap the build number 7 times.
  • Understand that you are voiding the warranty by following this guide provided by Chainfire. Most of Chainfire’s work always voids the warranty.

HOW TO ROOT SAMSUNG GALAXY S5 G900H ON ANDROID 4.4.2 KITKAT

  1. Download the CF-Auto-Root file you need on the desktop of the Windows PC.
  2. Download a version of Odin to use with Chainfire’s work.
  3. Extract both files from the desktop by right-clicking over the file and choosing the “extract here” option.
    – Download WinRAR for free for Windows if you do not know how to unzip the file.
  4. Now you should see both executable files (.exe) available to use on the desktop.
  5. Double click the executable Odin file and run that app.
  6. Hold down the Power key on the S5 for 10 seconds and wait until it shuts down.
  7. Boot the Samsung Galaxy S5 smartphone in download mode.
  8. This should boot it to Download Mode. You might see a warning screen. Press the Volume Up button on the warning screen to finish the path to Download Mode.
  9. Connect the S5 to the WIndows computer where you have the files and the Odin already open.
  10. Click the PDA button inside Odin and upload the executable file from Chainfire’s folder.
  11. Leave the default Settings inside Odin.
  12. Click the Start button and don’t touch any keys until the flashing completes.
  13. It will eventually say “pass” on the Odin app and your handset will reboot. Now you may regain control of the S5 handset and your Google account.

The easiest way to test it worked by head straight to Google Play and test out a root-only app. There’s also several versions of the root checker app available from Google Play which will verify it’s complete with your display.