These are the guidelines to root Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini GT-I9190 running on Android 4.4.2 KitKat operating systems.
Applying the CF-Auto-Root on your smartphone for the first time will unlock the bootloader and wipe your data. You should find the package automatically unlocks the bootloader for you, but you must backup before you start or else the data is lost.
The firmware version this rooting method is based on is listed in the files section below. That firmware build is only for specific regions and it might not be in your language. You should find other build numbers that were released around the same time should work too. Just be careful with anything that is released in the future from that build ID.
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
- Download the updated CF-Auto-Root tool for the S4 Mini GT-i9190 running 4.4.2 from this page.
- Download the universal ADB Driver from this page.
- Download the Odin 1.85 from this page.
- The CF-Auto-Root package in this guide for the GT-I9190 on 4.4.2 is based on the KOT49H.I9190UBUCNG1 firmware. New firmware builds can sometimes produce new bootloader which can lead to flashing fails and booting fails. Those experiencing that can report the problem to Chainfire at his official forum thread over at XDA Developers here: CF-Auto-Roo thread.
Rooting the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini GT-I9190 running on Android 4.4.2 KitKat
- Turn on your computer running Windows operating systems only.
- Enable the USB Debugging Mode from the Developer Options menu on your S4 Mini by tapping on the Menu > Settings > Developer Options > USB Debugging Mode.
- Those who need the S4 Mini’s Developer Options unlocked can do that by tapping on the Menu > Settings > About Device > Build Number repeatedly until it says you are using the device as a developer — it’s usually seven times.
- Download and extract the Odin flashing tool and the CF-Auto-Root for I9190 4.4.2 to the desktop of your computer.
- Long-press the Power button on your S4 Mini and turn it off completely.
- Boot the S4 Mini up in Download mode by pressing the Volume Down + Home + Power buttons at the same time.
- Keep holding the three buttons until it says to press the Volume Up button.
- Connect the S4 Mini to the computer using the USB cable you use for charging the battery.
- The ID: COM port will turn green if your ADB driver is working; install it or reboot the computer if your driver is not working.
- Click the PDA button from the Odin user-interface and browse the desktop of the CF-Auto-Root tar.md5 file you can see after you extracted the rooting file earlier.
- Do not touch any of the default settings from the Odin user-interface.
- Click the Start button and wait for the Odin 1.85 flashing tool to flash the rooting exploit on your Galaxy S4 Mini device.
- You know it is ready when it gives you the pass message for your S4 Mini from the Odin user-interface.
The Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini should now reboot automatically into the recovery mode. You need to boot the device manually into recovery if that does not happen automatically.