These are the instructions to root the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 LTE-A with the model number SM-N920W8 running on Android 5.1.1 Lollipop.

Anyone who has not rooted the Galaxy Note 5 LTE-A using the CF-Auto-Root tool will be getting the bootloader unlocked during the guide. You must backup your Note 5’s data before starting the guide to rooting the Note 5 LTE-A device or else you cannot restore that data later.

Samsung Galaxy Note 5

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.

Files You Need

  1. Download the CF-Auto-Root file for the Note 5 LTE-A device in 5.1.1 from this page.
  2. Download the universal ADB Driver from Koush on this page.
  3. Download the original Odin 1.85 from this page.
  4. The following guide to root the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 LTE-A running Android 5.1.1 Lollipop is based on the LMY47X.N920W8VLU1AOI1 firmware build number. You do not need to flash the LMY47X.N920W8VLU1AOI1 on your device before using the guide. Chainfire gives that information as an indicator you can use. Some devices in the Samsung range do not boot older images, so use that build number as a guide. The aforesaid firmware build number is only for some regions and not all regions, so it won’t make sense for all of you to flash it on your device.  Furthermore, future software updates can bring new bootloaders and when that happens the device won’t boot when you use the guide. It requires Chainfire to then apply the update when he finds out about that issue. You can reach him from the official CF-Auto-Root thread on XDA Developers.

Rooting the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 LTE-A SM-N920W8 LTE-A running on Android 5.1.1

  1. Download and install the universal ADB Driver on your computer running Windows.
  2. Extract the Odin and the CF-Auto-Root for the Note 5 LTE-A device on the desktop by right-clicking over the files and choosing the “extract here” option from the menu.
  3. Double-click on the Odin executable file on the desktop and the Odin flash tool user-interface will open on the computer.
  4. Enable the Developer Options on your Note 5 LTE-A smartphone by tapping on the Menu > Settings > About Device > Build number at least seven times and it will let you know when you are a developer. Now the Developer Options is enabled.
  5. Enable the USB Debugging Mode from the Developer Options menu on your Note 5 LTE-A by tapping on the Menu > Settings > Developer Options > USB Debugging Mode.
  6. Tap on the Power button and select the Power Off option from the Device menu.
  7. Boot the Note 5 LTE-A up in download mode by pressing the Home + Power + Volume Down buttons simultaneously.
  8. Release the Home + Power + Volume Down key combination and just press the Volume Up button when it tells you to do that on the smartphone’s display.
  9. Connect the Note 5 LTE-A to the computer with the USB cable you would use for charging the battery.
  10. Look out for the ID: COM port turning green from the Odin user-interface on the computer; this means the ADB Driver is working.
  11. Do not change any of the default settings from the Odin user-interface.
  12. Click the PDA button and browse the desktop for the tar.md5 file for the Note 5 LTE-A CF-Auto-Root file.
  13. Click the Start button when you are ready to root the device.
  14. Wait until the pass message is available from the Odin user-interface.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 5 LTE-A should automatically reboot by itself to recovery mode. The recovery mode is the important ending you must see for the device to get rooted. Those who never see the Note 5 boot into recovery mode should do it manually now by turning off the device and booting by holding the Volume Up + Home + Power button combination.