Root access is what you need to run the root-requiring apps from the Google Play Store. A custom recovery is what you need to install Android custom ROMs that take your device away from the stock software.

However, what if you wanted to run the stock ROM again and use Android the way your OEM and phone carrier network intended? Well, you can unroot the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 to get that done. Here’s the steps you need so that it is safe to flash official over the air updates on your Note 4 once again.

Samsung Galaxy Note 4

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 Files You Need

  • Download the stock ROM from this page.
  • Download the Samsung USB Drivers directly to the computer.
  • Download one of the Odin flashing tool versions.
  • These are the steps to unroot the Verizon Samsung Galaxy Note 4 with model number SM-N910V. That’s the same model number for every Verizon Note 4.

Unrooting The verizon Samsung Galaxy Note 4

  1. Unzip the Odin flashing tool first.
  2. Run the Odin tool on the desktop so it’s open.
  3. Unzip the firmware (stock ROM) so you can see the file in the folder.
  4. Click, drag and drop the firmware file from the folder over to the desktop.
  5. Long-press the Power button, or swipe and select to turn off the Galaxy Note 4 smartphone.
  6. Reboot in the download mode so you can connect to the computer. Do that by pressing the Volume Down + Home + Power buttons.
  7. Let go of each of the three buttons when you see a warning screen.
  8. Press the Volume Up button by itself and your device will now get to the download mode.
  9. Find the USB cable and connect the Note 4 to the computer.
  10. The ID: COM port should change colors when you connect to the computer, provided you had Odin already open.
  11. Click the AP button found in Odin. You will see PDA if you were using an older version.
  12. Browse the desktop for the official stock ROM you places there during the guide.
  13. Wait for that file extension to load in the AP/PDA slot.
  14. Click the Start button and Odin will now flash that ROM on your device.
  15. Do not touch any buttons until you see the pass message given from Odin.

Now you can unplug and you should no longer have the root access you had before. You can check that by installing the root checker app.