You might have heard people say that one of the best reasons root the Android OS is to install a custom ROM and ditch the manufactures skin. Contrary to belief, a custom ROM can be done without rooting your smartphone and tablet. All you need to run a custom ROM is an unlocked bootloader and a custom recovery. Samsung devices do not even need that much as you can usually just flash the custom recovery from the Odin flashing tool without having looked up anything to do with a bootloader beforehand. All that preparation work that people do there is what some consider as part of the rooting process, and that is where people get confused.
Rooting the Samsung Galaxy Tab S is always going to be about installing more applications. While that might sound boring, there are many different things you can do with the additional applications that are up for grabs when you root the operating system. Some of the apps can help you increase the battery life; others can help you fine tune the hardware so that it is clocked better to suit your needs.
Above all, the best reason to root is to take advantage of the better backing up applications like the Titanium Backup app or the NANDroid option. Some of you might know the NANDroid Backup from a custom recovery, but you can take NANDroid backups just by using applications too. When you paid the NANDroid Backup with the NANDroid manager application, you can back everything up at once and then restore the backups at partitions at a time. That means you can just restore the apps if you wanted to have the apps running and restore the rest later. However, a more popular way to backup the Android OS or to download the Titanium Backup applications and us it for backing up everything. The Titanium backup app lists every app that is on your device, including the system apps that your manufacturer and phone carrier networks have installed.
Chainfire was running on the LRX22G.T800XXU1BOJ1 firmware build number when he created the rooting method for this guide. You do not have to be running the same firmware build number on your Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 SM-T800 tablet when you flash the rooting file that is available in this guide. All you need to do is make sure that you are running on Android 5.0.2 Lollipop and have the SM-T800 model number. You can find out both of those details by tapping on the Menu > Settings > About Device and look for the Android version and the model number.
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.
- Note that Chainfire’s CF-Auto-Root tool does trip Knox which means even when you unroot the tablet later the warranty does not work again. Samsung is one of the few manufacturers to have an additional security measure in place for people who want to flash. It is okay though because they say you never truly own a device until you void the warranty!
- You must have the Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 that comes with the SM-T800 model number to use this guide or else you brick the device. The version of the tablet might come in many unique model numbers. You can check out what the model number of your tablet is by tapping on the Menu > Settings > About Device > Model Number.
- You need to be using a computer that is running a version of the Windows operating system or else the Odin flashing tool does not run, and the rooting cannot work. You can run a virtual machine for Windows on a MacOS or Linux computer if you need the Odin flashing tool to run on one of those operating systems.
- There could well be some more Android 5.0.2 Lollipop software updates that roll out over the air for the Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 SM-T800 tablet. All of those updates should not affect the CF-Auto-Root tool that you find in this guide. Most updates that stop the rooting packages from working are those that update to newer versions of Android such as the jump from Android 5.1.1. Lollipop software updates to Android 6.0 Marshmallow. However, it is not out of the question that a new bootloader comes in a smaller update that is still based on the Android 5.0.2 Lollipop software updates. If that does happen, you need to submit the new recovery image files to the official CF-Auto-Root thread made for the rooting package and Chainfire notices your message and use the information to update the rooting file. Once he updates the files, those changes automatically take place in our guides also because we always link directly back to the repository page for the CF-Auto-Root tool.
Download Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 SM-T800 CF-Auto-Root and Drivers
- Download the CF-Auto-Root tool for the Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 tablet that has the SM-T800 model number when it is running on the Android 5.0.2 Lollipop software updates.
- Download the Samsung USB Drivers for the computer running Windows operating systems.
How to Root Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 SM-T800 on Android 5.0.2 Lollipop Using CF-Auto-Root
- Unlock the Developer Options menu that is available on the Samsung tablet by pointing to the Menu > Settings > About Device > Build Number. Continue to tap on the build number enough times for it to say that you are now using the device as a developer. That is usually at least seven times.
- Turn on the USB Debugging Mode from the Developer Options menu that you just unlocked so that you can connect the tablet to the computer with the USB cable and it allows for some developments to be made using the flashing tool.
- Extract the rooting file to the desktop of the computer so that you can see the Odin flashing application and the CF-Auto-Root tar.md5 file.
- Run the Samsung USB Drivers on the computer before you start using the flashing tool so that your tablet can connect to the computer and be detected by the flashing tool.
- Turn off the tablet by pressing the Power button and then selecting the option to switch it off from the menu.
- Boot the Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 SM-T800 up into the download mode and then connect it to the computer with the USB cable that you would usually use to charge the battery.
- Double-click the Odin flashing tool executable file that is on the desktop and then the flashing tool user interface opens, and you should see a yellow or blue ID: COM port color combined with the added message coming from the Odin user interface also.
- Do not change any of the default settings that the buttons from the Odin user interface give you the first time you open it up.
- Click the AP button from the Odin application on the computer and browse the desktop location for the Galaxy Tab S 10.5 SM-T800’s rooting file that will be ending in the tar.md5 file extension.
- Click the Start button from the Odin app user interface and the flashing begins.
- Pick up the tablet or have it in front of you so you can see the display and keep it plugged into the computer with the USB cable. Check that you can see text rolling down the screen which is describing to you what is happening. As soon as you get the last bit of text stating that the tablet is going to reboot in ten seconds, start to look up at the computer once again.
- Check that the Odin flashing tool gives you a green box now with a message inside telling you that it has passed the flashing.
In conclusion, that is how to root the Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 SM-T800 tablet running on the Android 5.0.2 Lollipop software updates by using the most traditional versions of the CF-Auto-Root tool that still relies on getting access to the system partition. The Samsung Tab S reboots back into the normal mode now, and you can tap on the regular Google Play Store application to start installing your apps. The first application most enjoys installing is the basic root checker app. The root checker app is a free download for everybody, and it gives you the root status of your tablet.
Those who get confirmation that the Tab S tablet is rooted can check out all the things one can do with the Android operating system rooted if they are looking for ideas. Others might be more interested in working out how to troubleshoot the CF-Auto-Root tool not working. There are a few things you can do to troubleshoot the rooting application by Chainfire. The first thing is holding down the hardware button combination for the recovery mode after the tablet reboots for the last time so that it reboot into the recovery mode with your help and does not reboot into the normal mode after the flashing completes. The rooting package needs to get into the recovery mode for the SuperSU to be installed and enabled correctly and that usually happens as part of the rooting program. However, sometimes that is not the case and those times can be fixed by getting into the recovery mode by pressing the button combination whith your hands instead. Either way should result in the SuperSU application getting installed and enabled like it needs to be for the root checker application to return you the positive root status.
Furthermore, other people can try installing the Odin flashing application in different versions to the one that comes in the rooting bundle. Chainfire likes to bundle in a version of the Odin flashing application because he is nice like that but the version that he bundles is isn’t necessarily going to work correctly for every Samsung device out there. Some people on YouTube are flashing with Odin, finding it does not work and then trying another version, and it does work. You can try another version tool and see if that does the trick for your device.
Lastly, the Sam mobile website is home to many firmware files for the Samsung devices, and the Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 SM-T800 tablet should be no different. You can download the firmware from the Sam Mobile website that is made for the same SM-T800 model number and flashes it with the Odin flashing tool, so you are running a different firmware that before. That might result in the rooting file getting flashed correctly this time. People who have the device SIM unlocked can install firmware from another phone carrier network and the same model number while individuals with the tablet, not SIM unlocked need to install firmware from the same phone carrier network that and the device. Sometimes you get smartphone and tablets from Samsung that share a model number between phone carrier networks and those are the times when that information is relevant. Other times there is only one phone carrier network using the model number and those times do not matter.
CF-Auto-Root on XDA-Developers
Chainfire, the developer of the CF-Auto-Root tool available in this guide, has created a CF-Auto-Root tool thread on the XDA-Develoeprs website. You can use the CF-Auto-Root thread on the XDA-Developers site for requesting new root methods for devices that are not currently available.
Note that flashing a CF-Auto-Root file (regardless of the device) wipes the data if the device storage is encrypted. For everyone else, there should be no data loss when rooting with the CF-Auto-Root tool.
Samsung’s Knox security
Some smartphones and tablets in the Samsung range come with Samsung’s Knox security. The CF-Auto-Root tool trips Knox which prevents you from unrooting and using the warranty again.
Any device with a target flash counter is triggered when using the CF-Auto-Root tool. Chainfire’s Triangle Away supports many devices for this problem.