Do you know what it is that’s stopping you from taking the full advantage of superior powers of your Samsung Galaxy S4 Value Edition? It’s the root-access. Most manufacturers don’t allow their users to access system files in order to keep the device safe and secure. However, there’re some users who would like to go beyond this limit to customize their device the way they want.
So for those folks, there’s a way using which they can unlock the root-access on their device and do whatever they want. From replacing stock icons to even making changes in the build.prop file, you can do everything once you’re rooted.
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.
The guide below shows how you can root the Samsung Galaxy S4 Value Edition and get the most out of it:
Files You Need
1. In order for your computer to recognize your phone, you should have the Samsung USB drivers installed on your computer. If you haven’t installed them yet, please download and install them from here before doing the following procedure.
2. Download CF-Root to your computer. It’ll be flashed to your phone to unlock the root-access.
3. Make sure you do this procedure only on a GT-I9515 device.
Rooting the Samsung Galaxy S4 Value Edition
1. Ensure that the Samsung USB drivers are installed on your computer.
2. Unzip files from the CF-Root archive to a folder on your computer. You can do that by right-clicking on the archive and selecting Extract here. It’ll extract the actual usable files from the archive.
3. Launch Odin on your computer by double-clicking on its executable file.
4. As soon as it launches, click on PDA and choose the CF-Root file available in the folder where you extracted the files.
5. Make sure Repartition isn’t checked in the Odin. If it is, uncheck it.
6. You can checkmark the options that say Auto Reboot and F. Reset Time as they won’t cause any issues to your device.
7. Turn off your device.
8. Turn your device back on by holding down Volume DOWN+Home+Power buttons at the same time.
9. Hit Volume UP when prompted.
10. You should now be in download mode.
11. Connect your device to your computer using a USB cable.
12. Hit Start in the tool and let it flash the root files on your device.
13. When the files are flashed, your device will automatically reboot.
14. And you’re done.
Root-access has been successfully achieved on your Samsung Galaxy S4 Value Edition and it’s time you get the most out of your device by installing the root-requiring apps and taking full advantage of the power that root-access has for you.
Rooting means that you can start installing the apps that need root access to the lower level of Android before they can run. Many apps need these root permissions because many of the best apps that we find useless can’t do anything without having full privilege control. That is what makes the Titanium Backup app so great at backing up and it is what makes total automation apps like Tasker able to make changes to the features. Most apps that seem compelling for backing up, changing the design, adding features or removing system apps need to have root access before they can do anything.
There are quite literally thousands of root applications worth mentioning but writing down them all is unrealistic. Instead, we’ve come up with a list of many of the root apps for Android that we think are the best ones for you to try.
If you’re interested in replacing your stock ROM with a custom one, you can follow our how to install a custom recovery on the Samsung Galaxy S4 Value Edition tutorial and get a custom recovery running on your device which will then let you flash a custom ROM on your device.