Getting access to the root file system on the Samsung Galaxy S4 SGH-M919N smartphone is the only way to start installing the best applications. These apps aren’t just for fun either. You can install the Tasker app which is like having total automation on your device. Think of it like your own robot personal assistant that looks after your device and not just says things like a Siri would.
In fact, it’s probably ten times more powerful than Apple’s Siri and Cortana combined. These are the kind of experiences you can have when you root the Samsung Galaxy S4 device. Another thing that most Samsung device owners love is the Triangle Away app made by Chainfire. With the triangle Away application, you can take off the yellow warning triangle that is displayed if you are running custom firmware. A must have app for most Samsung owners.
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
- You must have the bootloader unlocked on your Samsung Galaxy S4 device before you can follow this guide.
- Download the CF-Root package from this page.
- Download the universal ADB driver for Windows from this page.
- Download the latest Odin version if the Odin in your root zip file bundle doesn’t work.
- These are the steps to root Samsung Galaxy S4 SGH-M919N running Android 4.4.4 KitKat. You need to downgrade to Android 4.4.4 KitKat to complete this guide if you are running Android Lollipop or even Android 6.0 Marshmallow. The firmware build you want to find for downgrading is the KTU84P.M919NUVUFNK3 firmware.
Rooting the Samsung Galaxy S4 (SGH-M919N)
- Download the rooting bundle from the first link directly to your Windows PC.
- By default, that rooting zip file will end up in your folder called Downloads.
- Open the Downloads folder and transfer the zip file over to the desktop. Just click and drag the file.
- Once on the desktop, right-click the mouse on the file and click the “extract here” option from the menu.
- You now have all the executable files on the desktop from inside the zip file. Double-click the Odin file and it will run on your computer. Leave the Odin user-interface open and proceed.
- Turn off your Galaxy S4 device and reboot it in download mode. To enter the download mode, reboot by holding the Power + Home + Volume Down buttons simultaneously.
- Connect the Galaxy S4 to the computer using the USB cable.
- Wait for the Odin user-interface to change the color of the ID: COM port. When the color changes, you know the driver is working. If the ADB driver isn’t working, download the Samsung USB driver and try again.
- Here is your troubleshooting point. If you see the ID: COM port light, you know every problem from this point forward is not driver related. If the flashing doesn’t work and your light does work, try installing a different Odin version and trying again. Those without a light know they must get the drivers working.
- Click the AP or PDA button from the Odin app on the computer.
- Browse the desktop for the CF-Root file.
- Click the Start button from the Odin user-interface.
- Wait for the Odin app on your computer to type the pass message in the message box and your device will then reboot by itself.
Once rebooted, you can check the guide did work for your S4 device by installing the root checker app.