One of the best qualities you have with a rooted Samsung Galaxy Note 3 smartphone is the ability to use apps to save you much of the work. We always hear about root apps being the main reasons to root in the first place, but we do not often listen to what these apps can do. The Flashify application is a perfect example of an app that can take the hard manual labor away from flashing for you thanks to its built-in features that will help you flash just about anything you could ever possibly want to flash on your smartphone.

The CF-Auto-Root exploit in this guide is for the Snapdragon 800 MSM8274 system chip and not the other version. Make sure you have the right version of the Snapdragon processor–including the MSM8274 before you flash this file.

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 White

The CF-Auto-Root package in this guide is based on KOT49H.N9008ZMUENG4 firmware which is part of an Android 4.4.2 KitKat software update that rolled out to some regions. You do not need to be running that same software build ID on your Samsung Galaxy Note 3–it is just there to be used as an indicator.

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 Note 3 SM-N9008 running Android 4.4.2 from here.
  • Download the Samsung USB Drivers for the Galaxy Note 3 SM-N9008 smartphone computer from here.

You must have the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 with the SM-N9008 model number to use this guide or else you will almost certainly get it bricked according to Chainfire — the developer of the CF-Auto-Root tool we are using the guide.

Note that some larger software updates for the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 smartphones can bring in new bootloaders with them. Those same new bootloaders cause Chainfire’s CF-Auto-Root tools some problems with regards to the rooting procedure not flashing or a device is not booting after following the guide. To rectify the CF-Auto-Root not working problem, Chainfire — who is the developer of the rooting tool we are using for the tutorial — asks for people who pick up on these issues to please submit them. You can do that by sending the new recovery image files that are found in the new firmware files to the official CF-Auto-Root tool thread at the XDA-Developers website. That gives Chainfire the chance to update the files, so they start working again. The changes made to the files will be automatically reflected in our guides, so you do not have to worry about finding the updated files. They are already here.

Rooting the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 SM-N9008 Smartphone running the Android 4.4.2 KitKat software updates

  1. Turn on the “USB Debugging” Mode from the settings of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 smartphone so you can connect the device with the computer and the USB cable.
  2. Extract the rooting package to the desktop of the computer so you can see the rooting exploit and the flashing application that you are going to use to flash the rooting exploit to your device.
  3. Install the Samsung USB Driver package on the computer running Windows so when you connect the device to the computer the flashing application can detect it.
  4. Double-click on the Odin flashing application executable file that is on the desktop and then wait until the user interface opens.
  5. Boot the Samsung Galaxy Note smartphone into the download mode and then join it to the computer with the USB cable that you would normally are to charge the device battery.
  6. Double-click the Odin flashing tool executable that is on the desktop and wait until the user interface opens.
  7. Click the “AP” button from the Odin user interface and the browse the desktop location for the rooting exploit you are going to use to root the device.
  8. Do not change any of the default settings from the Odin user interface before you star the flashing.
  9. Click the “Start” button from the Odin user interface and then browser the desktop location for the rooting package you want to use to root the device.
  10. Look over at the display of the smartphone and check that it says that it is installing the SuperSU application, cleaning up the cache partition and the re-flashing the stock recovery on your device.
  11. Look up at the computer and check that it says that you have passed by giving you a green pass box available from the Odin user interface.

In conclusion, that is how to root the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 smartphone with the SM-N9008 model number running on the Android 4.4.2 KitKat software updates by using an updated version of the CF-Auto-root application by Chainfire and a computer that is running a version of the Windows operating system.

You can check that the rooting guide did, in fact, work well for your Samsung Galaxy Note 3 smartphone by waiting for the handset to reboot and then opening the Google Play Store app and searching for the basic root checker app. You will find the basic version of the root checker is there for you to install free of charge and it will tell you if your device does have root access to the internal system when you open the app and follow the few on-screen instructions to get it working.

Anyone who does not have a rooted Samsung Galaxy Note 3 smartphone can look at a few things. One of those things you can do is try installing another version of the Odin application — which is your flashing app. Chainfire gives us the Odin 3.10 to use in the latest updates and one of the earlier version to utilize in the previous updates, but these do not always work all of the time for everybody. There are videos of people trying one version of Odin and it failing to flash and then the person tries another version, and it flashes, so give a few version of the Odin flashing app a try before you give up.

Moreover, Chainfire states that each Samsung Galaxy Note 3 must get into the recovery mode during the flashing of the CF-Auto-Root file for the guide to have worked. You will find it hard to see because everything happens quickly, but recovery typically boots after the flashing all by itself. If yours doesn’t then, you need to boot the recovery mode manually for the rooting to work. You can do that by holding down the hardware key combination for the recovery mode as soon as the flashing completes in the Odin application.