Rooting the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 using the CF-Auto-Root tool will do little to your operating system apart from installing the SuperSU on the device. SuperSU is by far the most common way to root an Android operating system. Whether the rooting guide you are using makes you install a custom recovery and then upload the SuperSU, or whether you can only flash a file and get SuperSU installed, they both result in the same thing. SuperSU becomes an app on your device, and it grants your system the root access. That then allows you to install apps from sources online like the Google Play Store. Once you open an app that requires root, the SuperSU app will bring up a message asking whether or not you want to grant it root access. It’s at this time that you must say yes, and then the app will start working. Should you attempt to install a root requiring application without SuperSU installed, as soon as you try opening it, the app will tell you that it cannot run or that it needs root access to run.
As far as rooting apps go, there are many to choose. One root app I always recommend to Samsung device owners is the Titanium Backup application — though you must be an advanced Android user to use Titanium Backup. Speaking from my Android rooting experience, it is very easy to think you know what it is okay to uninstall and then end up with a bricked device. Tread very carefully when choosing to uninstall something. To this day, I’m not quite sure how I managed to brick my device using Titanium Backup, but I think the instability might have happened when I chose to uninstall everything to do with Samsung Kies security. Each day now I use my smartphone with an operating system that will freeze or start pressing keys without my fingers touching anything. The phone is usable but very annoying. These are the type of brick symptoms you can expect to find should you delete something you shouldn’t have when using the Titanium Backup app.
The firmware that the root exploit in this guide is based on comes with the LRX21V.N900XXUEBOA6 build number. Chainfire states that it does not mean you have to flash that firmware on your Samsung Galaxy Note 3 smartphone. It just is there for people to use as an indicator because some of the older Samsung devices like the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 smartphone may not boot old images when they become old.
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 new CF-Auto-Root file for the Note 3 SM-N900 on Android 5.0 from here.
- Download the Samsung USB Drivers for the Note 3 SM-N900 smartphone from here.
There will be some Android updates that arrive over the air and become available to install by flashing them manually on your device. Some of the larger updates that update the Note 3 to newer numbered versions of Android can sometimes bring new bootloaders with them. These new bootloaders can present a problem for Chainfire — the man behind the CF-Auto-Root tool. The problem is a temporary one where he will need to update the files on his end, and those changes will then be automatically reflected in our guides. For Chainfire to update the data when they need updating, he relies on people like you to submit the new recovery image files to the official CF-Auto-Root tool thread at the XDA-Developers website.
Rooting the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 SM-N900 running on the Android 5.0 Lollipop software updates
- Enable the USB Debugging Mode on the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 smartphone so you can connect it to the Windows computer with the USB cable.
- Extract the rooting file to the desktop of the computer so you can see the Odin flashing application and the rooting package inside.
- Install the Note 3’s Samsung USB Drivers on the computer so you can connect the device and have it detected by the flashing tool.
- Boot the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 smartphone in download mode and connect it to the computer with the USB cable you usually require to charge the battery in the device.
- Double-click on the Odin executable file and the Odin flashing tool will open on the desktop of the computer.
- Make sure you can see a blue or yellow ID: COM port box from the Odin user interface.
- Click the AP button available from Odin and then browse the desktop for the rooting package.
- Do not change any of the default settings from the Odin user interface.
- Click the Start button and then wait for the rooting to complete.
- Check that you can see the screen of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 smartphone say that it is installing the SuperSU, cleaning up the cache partition and then flashing the stock recovery.
- Look back up at the computer display for the green pass box coming from the Odin user interface.
In conclusion, that was how to root the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 smartphone with the SM-N900 model number running on the Android 5.0 Lollipop software updates by flashing the new version of the CF-Auto-Root tool. Your Note 3 smartphone should no automatically reboot to the normal mode, and you will find the SuperSU application available from the app drawer. That SuperSU app is going to be granting your device the rooting permissions it needs to run. It is also going to act as though it is the gatekeeper to all applications on your device, so you will be prompted with a message every time an app wants root access. It’s your job to keep out anything that looks like it might be malware.
Anyone who needs to some tips for getting a Samsung Galaxy Note 3 rooted with the CF-Auto-Root tool will need to try installing a new version of the Odin flashing application if the version you are using in this guide does not work. Those who still face problems can try checking if the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 smartphone did end up making it into the recovery mode after the flashing completed. Your device does need to get into the recovery mode for it to be rooted — Chainfire tells us this from his official repository age.
What is more, there will be times when for whatever reason the CF-Auto-Root tool does not automatically boot into the recovery mode at the end like it is supposed to. When that happens, you will find the device is not properly rooted when checking for root access from apps like the basic root checker app from the Google Play Store. The root checker app won’t be lying, and your device most likely isn’t rooted because it getting into the recovery mode was a requirement. You can fix that recovery problem by booting into the recovery mode manually using the hardware keys as soon as your device is finished with the flashing.