These are the steps to root the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini GT-I9195T smartphone operating on Android 4.4.2 KitKat using a Windows computer and the CF-Auto-Root exploit developed by Chainfire.
The CF-Auto-Root file in this guide is based on Android 4.4.2 KitKat and KOT49H.I9195TDVUCNG1 firmware. You do not need to be running the KOT49H.I9195TDVUCNG1 firmware build number on your Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini before you start the guide. That build ID is there for you to use as an indicator only.
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 CF-Auto-Root tool for the GT-I9195T on Android 4.4.2 from this link.
- Download the universal adb driver from this link.
- Download the Odin flashing tool from this link.
- Check that you have the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini with the model number GT-I9195T before you start the guide or else you run the risk of bricking your device. You can find your model number on the S4 by turning it on, navigating to the Menu > Settings > About Device > Model Number.
Rooting the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini GT-I9195T on Android 4.4.2 KitKat
- Download the CF-Auto-Root for the S4 Mini GT-I9195T smartphone and extract the package on the desktop (right-click > extract here).
- Download the Odin flashing tool and extract it on the desktop too.
- Long-press the Power button on your Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini smartphone and wait until it turns all the way off.
- Reboot the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini in Download Mode by pressing the Power + Home + Volume Down buttons.
- Press the Volume Up button on the display when your S4 Mini tells you to do that.
- Connect the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini handset to the computer with the USB cable.
- Wait a few moments for the drivers to start working and then check the Odin user-interface for a green ID: COM port — that means your universal ADB Driver is working. Anyone with problems can install the Samsung USB Drivers and try again.
- Do not make any changes to the default settings you can see from the Odin user-interface, such as the Auto Reboot, F Reset Time and Re-partition check-boxes.
- Click the AP button or the PDA button from the Odin user-interface and browse the desktop for the Cf-Auto-Root GT-I9195T tar.md5 file.
- Click the Start button from the Odin app on the computer and it will flash the rooting exploit by Chainfire on your GT-I9195T device.
- Keep watching the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini’s display for when it says “restoring the stock recovery, cleaning up and rebooting in 10 seconds”.
- The Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini GT-I9195T will now reboot in recovery mode automatically and the SuperSU will be installed and enabled on your smartphones.
You must press and hold the Volume Up + Home + Power buttons on your S4 Mini and get it in download mode manually if it doesn’t happen automatically. It will happen automatically for most.