Most people are hoping to root the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 smartphone so they can install applications that require access to the root file system to run, or to install some custom ROMs or custom kernels. A custom kernel can overclock your internal hardware differently so it is running more at a frequency that suits your needs, though a kernel is the least favorite thing to do because it is usually reserved for experts since a custom kernel can do damage to your hardware if you do not have the right knowledge. A custom ROM is also risky but attractive since it can change the way your software looks. Many girls like to find custom ROMs that offer pink in the for example–something that you just wouldn’t find from your stock Android ROM.
Above all, the applications that need the root access to run is the number one reason as to why people choose to root the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 smartphone by installing and enabling the SuperSU to work on the phone. The reason being that there are many things people can do with the applications. Take the Device Control application that can change the color temperature of the screen, give you app management support, offer voltage control, kernel tweaks, the ability to alter the strength of the vibration, change the way your CPU and GPU is clocked and more.
The Device Control app is just one sample of what people can do with a rooted Android running on the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 smartphone. You can also checkout applications like the GL Tools, which is an app that can tweak your rendering and resolution so that your hardware can handle gaming better. The System App Remover is capable of completely uninstalling any of the system applications that you no longer want to run. The Titanium Backup application is the best way to backup your Samsung Galaxy Note 4 data and is way better than any apps available before you rooted the Android OS such as the likes of the Helium app. The Greenify application can help you identify the apps that are running in the background and make your battery last longer if you are not satisfied with the length of time your battery lasts. The System Tuner app can analyze what is happening behind the scenes of your hardware so you can tune the device, so it is running optimally.
Those are just some things you can do with applications that require access to the root file system to run after you follow this guide to root the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 smartphone which will install and enable Chainfire’s SuperSU application.
There is a new version of the CF-Auto-Root tool that is made for each Samsung device that is usually clear by checking the model number. The CF-Auto-Root tool version for each model number sometimes needs updating by Chainfire, and these times often come about when newer versions of Android arrive. That is the reason as to why we choose to write our rooting guides based on the software update that we know they work on and not just assume they work forever or that we will somehow be able to keep track of updating the file. True, these should start working again automatically over time, but there could be an extended period where many thousands of people are clicking on the article and following them when they do not work. The CF-Auto-Root tool that Chainfire has made in this guide was developed when he was running on the MMB29K.N910KKTU2DPD6 firmware build number on the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 smartphone that has the SM-N910K model number.
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 Samsung Galaxy Note 4 SM-N910K smartphone running on the Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow software updates from here.
- Download the Samsung USB Drivers for the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 SM-N910K smartphone on the Windows computer you plan on using from here.
You can only follow this guide if you have the SM-N910K model numbered versions of the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 smartphone and not any of the others. The Galaxy Note 4 smartphone comes in many model numbers as we have previously discussed, and each of those model numbers usually has its unique file for the CF-Auto-Root tool. Flashing the file found in this guide on any of the other model numbers result in that device being bricked so make sure you have the correct model number. You can find out the model number on your Samsung Galaxy Note 4 handset by pointing to the Menu > Settings > About Device > Model Number.
You can only use the Odin flashing application that is in this guide if you have a computer that is running on the Windows operating system. The Samsung developers have reportedly put the Odin flashing tool together, but it never saw an official release. That could part of the reason as to why it never got a release for other operating systems, or they might have just preferred keeping it on the Windows operating system. Whatever the reason, there is no official way anyone can run the Odin flashing tool from another operating system such as MacOS or any of the Linux distributions.
There could be some more Android software updates that roll out over the air to your devices that bring new bootloaders with them when you update. These cases are rare because usually the new bootloaders only come about when the updates are updating your device to completely newer versions of Android such as going from Android 6.0 Marshmallow to Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow. Nevertheless, it is possible that a new bootloader is present on another update that is based on Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow. If that happens, Chainfire needs to make a change to the CF-Auto-Root file so that it starts working again when people flash the file. For him to be able to do this, he relies on people who pick up on the issues to notify him about it. Leave the new recovery image files that are found inside the new firmware that are creating the problems in a new message left on the official CF-Auto-Root tool thread Chainfire has made on the XDA-Developers website forum page. Chainfire will see your notes and then apply the necessary changes on the server from his end, and they will be automatically reflected in our guides.
Rooting the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 SM-N910K smartphone running on the Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow software updates
- Log into the computer you plan on using that is running Windows using an administrator’s account or else you will not get the Odin flashing tool to root your smartphone.
- Unlock the Developer Options menu on the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 smartphone (Korean) so you can use the options that it presents to you inside.
- Turn on the USB Debugging Mode from the Korean Samsung Galaxy Note 4’s Developer Options menu set of choices that you just unlocked in the step above.
- Run the Samsung USB Drivers on the Windows computer before you proceed to the next step so that your smartphone can connect to the computer and then be detected by the flashing tool or else it does not work.
- Extract the rooting package to the desktop of the computer so that you can see the Odin flashing application and the rooting file you need available on the desktop.
- Boot the Korean Samsung Galaxy Note 4 smartphone into the download mode and then connect it to the computer with the USB cable that you usually use to charge the battery.
- Double-click and run the Odin executable file that is on the desktop of the computer and the flashing tool we are using opens and you see all the buttons available.
- Do not make any changes from the default settings that you get from the Odin flashing applications buttons or else you might lose some data on the phone.
- Click the AP button and then browse through to your desktop location and then choose to upload the rooting file for the Korean Samsung Galaxy Note 4 smartphone that is ending in the tar.md4 file extension.
- Click the Start button from the Odin flashing tool’s user interface and then wait for the flashing to begin.
- You get several strings of messages on the Samsung Galaxy Note 4’s display now that you have run the rooting tool, and this systemless root version is different from the last versions. Look out for the outstanding notes including letting you know that the rooting now takes longer that it once did, and it might also boot loop a few times during the process; this is not an issue, and it is to be expected so do not interrupt the process when you see it happening.
- Look out for some more white text rolling down the display which eventually says that your smartphone is now going to reboot in ten seconds.
In conclusion, that is how to root the Korean Samsung Galaxy Note 4 SM-N910K smartphone when it is running on any of the Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow software updates by using a newer version of the CF-Auto-Root tool by Chainfire which is now completely systemless. Chainfire calls these versions the systemless root versions because the rooting process no longer needs to make any changes to the /system partition which results in a cleaner and more stable rooting method for your device. If there is one potential downside for some it is that it is easier to unroot because applying a hard reset will now completely unroot the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 smartphone. Compare that to the older versions of the CF-Auto-Root tool and people needed to choose to unroot it from the SuperSU application or by flashing an official stock ROM from the Sam Mobile website using the same Odin flashing tool application.
Once the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 smartphone reboots, you can open up the Google Play Store applications and then download the basic root checker applications which check the root status of your smartphone. Most people prefer checking the root status of the phone before doing anything else because it then makes it easier to troubleshoot if you cannot get something working. Those who have checked the root status and they know it is rooted can then check out all the things people can do with a rooted Android operating system which includes installing heaps of more apps that need you being a root user for them to run, installing a custom ROM, flashing a custom kernel and loads more. It is what you can do with the apps now that is the main attraction, with options like increasing the hardware capabilities and the battery performance being two things that are now at your fingertips.
Anyone who is finding that the CF-Auto-Root tool does install the SuperSU application but is not finding it working are probably going to have to work out why the SuperSU is not enabled. There are a few things it could be, but most of the time it is a simple fix that either consists of downloading another version of the Odin flashing tool or getting the smartphone into the recovery mode after the flashing is complete.
Those of you who have tried getting the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 smartphone into the recovery mode and flashing with another version of the Odin flashing application can try heading over to the Sam Mobile website instead and clicking on the Firmware section. Here is where you get the chance to type in your model number, and it brings up all the available firmware that you can download and install using the same Odin flashing tool that you used to flash the rooting file. You do not need to make any changes to the settings from the Odin flashing tool’s user interface either; just click the Start button once you have uploaded the firmware file to the AP or the PDA button that you can see available from the user interface. The Sam Mobile website shows all firmware for the model number, and it can even show firmware for the model number across several phone carrier networks if there is more than one phone carrier network using the one model number. Be careful here as you need to make sure your device is SIM unlocked before you can flash firmware from another phone carrier network. To be clear, those of you who have the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 SM-N910K SIM unlocked can download the firmware and install it from any phone carrier network as long as it is still made for the SM-N910K model number. Those who do not have the device unlocked need to install the firmware for the same phone carrier network that you are a subscriber to, or else it bricks the device. You can always fix this brick by finding the correct firmware and flashing it again.