Linux and Unix-based operating systems are by far the coolest operating systems in the world. They are also open source operating systems which mean you can install them for free because they are made by the general public and not attached to any company. Make no mistake about it, the owners of these operating systems who originally developed them are still profiting large amounts of money through other means, but the codes themselves can be modified by people like you or me should we be talented enough to do so. The part where open source software often breaks down for business we like smartphone manufacturers is the security. Google — the owners of the Android operating system that is based on the same Linux kernel — is modified to meet the needs of the OEMs and manufacturers who demand better security. That need is hardly difficult to understand — most people in the world who are buying Android smartphones and tablets do need better protection because they have no idea what they are doing. You can find situations online where the fact of opening something up is similarly as dangerous as inviting a random person off the street who has walked up to your front door into your family home; however, most people do not have the technical knowledge required to identify that same threat. It’s one of the ways where it makes perfect sense to beef up our security online.
The firmware that the CF-Auto-Root tool in this guide is based on comes with the LRX21V.N900PVPUEOK2 firmware build number. That build number is given to us by the developer for you to use as an indicator only. You do not need to be flashing that same N900PVPUEOK2 firmware on your device before you use the guide after the jump.
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 tool for the Note 3 SM-N900P on Android 5.0 Lollipop from here.
- Download the Samsung Galaxy Note 3’s USB Drivers on the computer from here.
You can only follow this guide with the SM-N900P model number version of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 smartphone. You can check the model number of your Note 3 handset by pointing to the Settings icon > About Device > Model Number. Do not follow this rooting guide and flash the CF-Auto-Root file that is in this guide on any other model number or else you risk bricking that device.
Chainfire says that some of the software updates that could be in store for the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 smartphone and those same updates could very well bring new bootloaders with them. Those new bootloaders present a problem for the CF-Auto-Root tool in that Chainfire needs to apply some updates to the files when the new bootloaders arrive. Once he makes those changes the files will root your device again. Two mains problems occur when a file needs updating: a device will not flash, and a device will not boot. You can submit the new recovery image from the firmware file to the official CF-Auto-Root thread over at the XDA-Developers website if your device suffers from one of those problems and the developer will then apply the necessary updates.
Rooting the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 SM-N900P running on the Android 5.0 Lollipop
- Enable the USB Debugging Mode on the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 smartphone.
- Extract the rooting file to the desktop of the computer.
- Install the Samsung USB Drivers on the computer so your Galaxy Note three smartphones can be detected by the flashing tool later in the guide.
- Boot the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 smartphone into the download mode and then connect it to the computer with the USB cable that you would normally use to charge the battery on any given day.
- Double-click on the Odin executable file that is on the desktop and wait for the flashing tool user interface to one on the computer.
- Click the AP button from the Odin user interface and then browse the desktop for the rooting file that you are going to use to root the Note 3 smartphone.
- Leave all buttons on the default settings from the Odin user interface,
- Click the Start button from the Odin user interface and then look over at the display of the smartphone.
- Check out the display of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 smartphone and wait until you get some text rolling down the screen that tells you the file is installing the SuperSU application on your smartphone, cleaning up the cache partition and then reflashing the stock recovery on your device.
- Check out the Odin user interface on the computer screen and make sure there is a green box giving you the pass message inside and not a failed box. Once you see the pass box, you can unplug from the computer and start using your rooted Note 3 smartphone.
In conclusion, that is how to root the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 with the SM-N900P model number running on the Android 5.0 Lollipop software updates by using an updated version of the CF-Auto-Root tool developed by the same famous developer, Chainfire. Your Note 3 device will now reboot by itself, and you will find the SuperSU application that the CF-Auto-Root tool just installed is now available from the app drawer.
Anyone who would like to check that the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 smartphone is rooted can now do that by installing the basic root checker application from the Google Play Store. You will find the basic version of the app is available free of charge, but you can also choose to invest in a more advanced version if you would prefer coughing up the money. The more advanced root checker comes under the same name but with the “Pro” labeled at the end.
What is more, there will be times when you can expect the above method not to work for your device and those problems can be fixed most of the time by putting the following into action. The first thing to try is to install another version of the Odin flashing tool because the flashing tool for Samsung comes in several unique versions and not every device is known to flash perfectly with each version of the flashing tool. With that said, there is not one case online that I can find where everyone did not get at least one version of the Odin flashing tool to work for their device, so just try another version and keep trying them until one works. The other thing you need to check is that your device is getting into the required recovery mode after the flashing completes. The developer, Chainfire, specifically states that each device must get into the recovery mode, or else the guide will not work.