When we think about rooting the Android operating system, there are only a few things you lose and tons of things you gain. Examples of what you will lose will likely include the warranty that might have come with your device and the potential bricking of a device that can result in you never recovering your operating system or data. The worst bricking cases will mean you need to buy a new smartphone or tablet. However, those cases are rare. Usually, the worst bricking you will face is an operating system playing up from time to time and factory resetting and flashing a stock ROM doesn’t help the problem. The data loss on your internal system, however, is a problem that is very real. Anyone who uses a smartphone like the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 for businesses purposes and you have not got a spare backup can be left in a pickle should they get a bricked device where they cannot recover the data. Think lots of valuable contacts that you cannot find the numbers of until they send you a message letting you know that your work is late.

On the other hand, there are many advantages to rooting the Android operating system. Some of those advantages include full control of the kernel which allows for changing the way your hardware is clocked regarding speed and performance, the option of swapping your stock firmware for some custom firmware, the ability to change system-level processes and the option to change themes. In fact, those are just some of the more traditional things we can do with a rooted device, but rooting has come a long way since the early stages. These days there are also root apps that work in a similar way to a custom ROM. Applications like Xposed coupled with the Gravity Box app can tweak your operating system in just about all ways you could have hoped.

Samsung Galaxy Note 3

The rooting file that is available in this guide is for the SM-N9006 with the h3gzn name. Do not flash this file on the other named version of the SM-N9006 or else you risk bricking the device, and it won’t work.

The firmware that the CF-Auto-Root package in this guide is based on comes with the LRX21V.N9006ZNUGOH2 build number. There is no need to flash that same firmware on your Samsung Galaxy Note 3 before you start the guide. You will find the rooting file works on any firmware. Chainfire gives us the LRX21V.N9006ZNUGOH2 firmware build number so we can use it as an indicator. Some of the older Samsung devices such as the Galaxy Note 3 will not boot older images.

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 Note 3 SM-N9006 rooting file that works for Android 5.0 Lollipop from here.
  • Download the Note 3’s Samsung USB Drivers for the computer from here.

Note that we do expect some of the software updates for your Android operating system to arrive in the future with the new bootloader. Those updates might be done for the Note 3 since it isn’t getting many updates anymore, but should a new update to Android 5.1 arrive, it might bring a new bootloader. A new bootloader often means that Chainfire — the guy behind the CF-Auto-Root tool — will need to update the file in this guide. Those updates will be reflected in our tutorial automatically because we have linked to Chaifire page where he applies the updates, but he relies on people like you to help him. He asks if you could submit the new recovery image that came with the new firmware files to the official CF-Auto-Root thread at the XDA-Developers website that is made by Chainfire.

Rooting the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 SM-N9006 running on the Android 5.0 Lollipop software updates

  1. Enable the USB Debugging Mode on the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 device so it can connect to the computer running Windows with the USB cable and use the apps later during the guide.
  2. Extract the Note 3’s CF rooting package to the desktop of the computer so you can see the flashing tool and the rooting exploit on the desktop.
  3. Install the Samsung USB Drivers on the computer that you plan on using for the rooting guide so the Galaxy Note 3 smartphone can be detected by the flashing tool.
  4. Connect the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 smartphone to the computer with the USB cable that you would usually use to charge the handsets battery on the device after you have it in the required download mode.
  5. Double-click the Odin executable file that is on the desktop and the flashing tool will open so you can see the user interface.
  6. Do not change any of the default settings from the flashing tool’s user interface.
  7. Click the AP button from the Odin user interface and then browse the desktop for the rooting package that you extracted there earlier at the beginning of the guide.
  8. Click the Start button from the Odin user interface and the rooting will begin
  9. Look over at the screen for the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 smartphone and wait until you can see that it says the rooting exploit is installing the SuperSU package, cleaning up the cache partition and then reflashing the stock recovery on the device.

In conclusion, that is how to root the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 smartphone by using an updated version of the CF-Auto-Root application by the renowned developer, Chainfire. The rooting guide will work for any Note 3 SM-N9006 running on the Android 5.0 Lollipop software updates. You can check that the tutorial did work for your Samsung Galaxy Note 3 device by installing any of the root checker applications that are available from the Google Play Store. You will find some of the root checker apps will be available for you to download and install free while others will be paid versions. You should note that you do not need to pay for any root checker app just to check root access on your device. That is a free feature. Those of you who want to get access to some of the more advanced features and other things that the root checker app can do for you have the ability to pay for the Pro version of the app when available.

Moreover, anyone who does not get the guide above working can try installing one of the older versions of the Odin flashing application and seeing if that fixes the problem. According to reports, some people use a version of Odin with a device, and it doesn’t flash, and then install a different version of Odin, and it does flash. Odin comes in several version — each reflected and easily identifiable by observing the numbers.

Furthermore, anyone who does not have the guide working for the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 yet can try getting into the recovery mode manually once the flashing of the rooting file completes. Chainfire states that no recovery mode after the flashing means the device will not be rooted. Recovery mode happens automatically, and it also happens very quickly, so it can be difficult to tell if your device made it into the recovery partition or not. However, you can always try to boot it manually if you aren’t rooted in the hope that it does fix your problem.