Rooting the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 SM-N910S running the Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow software updates will give you one of the best root apps of all: the SuperSU. People do not usually consider SuperSU as part of their best root apps for Android lists because it is the same app that we use to grant the rooting permissions most of the time. When rooting Android using anything from Chainfire, you either install the SuperSU application as a zip file from a custom recovery such as Team Win’s TWRP Recovery or you flash the CF-Auto-Root file that is made for your model number using the Odin flashing tool. For the most part, you end up with the same thing which is SuperSU installed and enabled.
Often we do not get the choice between flashing a CF-Auto-Root or installing the SuperSU from a custom recovery outside of Samsung devices because most handsets outside of the Sammy range do not give us the option to install CF-Auto-Root. However should you ever find the option to install CF-Auto-Root root or install the SuperSU from a custom recovery like TWRP or ClockworkMod Recovery, your choice to depend on what it is you plan on doing with your smartphone. Anyone who is wanting to install a custom ROM or custom kernel needs to install a custom recovery anyhow, so it pays just to do them both at once and use one of the guides that are going to give you root access by installing the SuperSU app from a custom recovery. However, if you are rooting just for the sake of installing the root apps, then you will prefer to flash something like CF-Auto-Root or even another one of the one-click rooting tools if your device does not have CF-Auto-Root available.
The CF-Auto-Root tool version that is available inside this guide is based on the MMB29K.N910SKSU2DPD6 firmware build number which is a firmware that is part of the Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow software updates. That software update rolled out officially to at least one area in the world, but it does not matter if it is running on your device or not because you do not need to have it running before you flash the rooting file. Chainfire just gives us the information there for when we want to use the rough period of the rooting since it is possible that some of the old Samsung images do not boot.
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 smartphone with the SM-N910S model number when it is running on the Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow software updates from here.
- Download the Samsung USB Drivers on the Windows computer from here.
Note that the CF-Auto-Root tool by Chainfire does always trip Knox security of your Samsung Galaxy Note 4 smartphone comes with Knox security. Knox is there so that Samsung can keep a watchful eye on people who are flashing custom firmware or root the device because once you trip it cannot be untripped sp to speak. That means after rooting the device it always has the warranty void whereas a device without Knox can be unrooted again and the warranty works.
You must have a computer that is running a version of the Windows operating system ranging from the Windows XP version and up. The Odin flashing application that we are using to flash the rooting package on your smartphone does not work from a MacOS or Linux Distribution.
You must have the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 smartphone that comes with the SM-N910S model number if you flash the rooting file that is available in this guide. The CF-Auto-Root tools are usually only available for one model number and flashing the file on the wrong model number will result in the device getting bricked. You can check out the model number of your Samsung Galaxy Note 4 smartphone by pointing to the Menu > Settings > About Device > Model Number.
There could be some more Android software updates that roll out for the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 smartphone that is still based on Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow that bring new bootloaders with them. The new software updates that bring new bootloaders with them can stop the CF-Auto-Root tool from working. You know if you get into one of these problems because the device does not flash the rooting file, or the device does not boot at all after flashing the rooting file. The problems to your device are only temporary, and you can fix it by booting into the recovery mode and applying a factory reset or booting into the download mode and flashing a new firmware from the Odin flashing tool. For Chainfire to update the rooting package so that it starts working again, he relies on you guys to post the new recovery image files found in the new firmware creating the problems to the official CF-Auto-Root tool thread found over at the XDA-Developers web forum. Chainfire notice’s when you leave the message, read it and then apply the necessary changes to the rooting package on his end. Those changes are automatically reflected in our guides, so you know you always see the latest possible version of the CF-Auto-Root tool when you click the link in our tutorials. The reason for that is because we link our files directly back to the Chainfire CF-Auto-Root repository page.
Rooting the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 SM-N910S running on the Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow software updates
- You need to log into a Windows administrator’s account when you tun on the computer to follow this guide or else the flashing tool will not work.
- Unlock the Developer Options menu on the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 smartphone so you can then use the buttons on the Developer Options menu and change some of the settings.
- Enable the USB Debugging Mode options from inside the Galaxy Note 4’s Developer Options menu that you just unlocked so that you can connect it to the computer and then do some developments to the software.
- Extract the rooting file to the desktop of the computer so that you can see the rooting exploit file and the Odin flashing application on the desktop.
- Run the Samsung USB Drivers on the computer so that when you connect the Note 4 smartphone it can be detected by the flashing application otherwise the rooting does not work.
- Boot the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 smartphone into the download mode and then connect it to the computer with the USB cable.
- Double-click on the Odin flashing application executable file that is on the desktop and the user interface with all its buttons are available.
- Do not make any changes from the default settings that you get from the Odin flashing tool’s user interface.
- Check that you can see a yellow or a blue color coming from the ID: COM port found from the Odin flashing tool’s user interface.
- Check that you can see an “Added” message. (The color coming from the Odin user interface’s ID: COM port–whether it is yellow or blue–is letting you know that the Samsung USB Drivers that you installed earlier are working. If you forgot to install the Samsung USB Drivers and cannot see any color, now is the time to install them. Those who did install the Samsung USB Drivers and don’t see a color should try installing the Universal Windows ADB Drivers instead. If all else fails, check that you have logged into an administrator’s account on the Windows computer that you are using because the Odin flashing application does not run unless you are logged in as an administrator).
- Click the AP button and then search the desktop location for the CF-Auto-Root file that ends in the tar.md5 file extension.
- Once you can see the file is uploaded from your Odin user interface, click on the Start buttons, and the rooting begins.
- Check that the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 smartphone shows text on the screen that says it is detecting the devices, mounting the system, mounting the cache, resetting the SuperSU, running the boot image patcher and the SuperSU Installer.
- Check that you get the necessary notices messages on the screen stating that it might boot loop a few times during the rooting process and that you are not to be alarmed by this; also that you cannot interrupt it during this time.
- Look for the last bit of text stating that it is unmounting the system, restoring the stock recovery, cleaning up and then rebooting in ten seconds.
In conclusion, that is how to Samsung Galaxy Note 4 SM-N910S smartphones when they are running on the Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow software updates by using a new systemless root version of Chainfire’s CF-Auto-Root tool. The systemless root version of the CF-Auto-Root package no longer requires any modification of the /system partition and everything is much cleaner. It was brought in because Google changed the way they do the security. In fact, the changes arrived before Marshmallow and were initially introduced by Android Lollipop updates, but Chainfire later found a way to continue rooting the devices using the most traditional method. For the most part, these finer details are kept a secret because nothing changes on your end–you are still able to install all of the same root applications that you could before and you can install a custom recovery either before or after the rooting takes place. Moreover, all of the same custom ROMs are going to run much the same way that they did before. One of the only differences that you notice is your device working better because this is a cleaner rooting experience according to the developer. It is also worth mentioning that your device now unroots easier than it did before because each time people apply a hard reset now, it results in a full unroot whereas in the older versions of the CF-Auto-Root it did not. Back in the old version of the rooting package, you would have to unroot from the SuperSU application itself, or you would have to flash one of the stock ROMs that is made for your model number using the Odin flashing application. Those days are no longer.
Checking the results of the systemless root is much the same as it were in the old days where you need to open the Google Play Store application after the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 smartphone reboots and then search for the basic root checker app–a free root checker that will gladly help you check the root status of your phone without you having to pay. However, there is a paid version of the same root checker app available which can unlock some additional features if you find them interesting enough.
Once you have checked the root status of your Samsung Galaxy Note 4 smartphone, you are ready to go either one of two ways: check out all the things one can do when the Android operating system is rooted or see what people can do to solve the problems you are facing. Those of you checking out everything the root user on the Android operating system can do will be pleased to learn that it is mostly about installing the root requiring applications that are excellent but not available to be installed before. Often it is the most powerful apps out there available to install which cannot run unless people are root users. That is the fundamental reason as to why the best solutions for backing up come in the form of applications that require root access to run, and there is no comparison between the apps available for backing up for rooted and non-rooted users. The clear winner here is the Titanium backup application which can only run on a rooted Android operating system like you have now.
Those of you who did not manage to root the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 correctly can try a few things before giving up. Chainfire states that each device needs to get into the recovery mode during the flashing of the CF-Auto-Root tool or else the device did not end up with the SuperSU installed and enabled correctly. So, that also equals one of the most common reasons as to why people find the SuperSU is installed, but it is not granting the root access as it should. You can fix this by pressing the hardware button combination for the recovery mode as soon as the device reboots for the last time during the rooting so that it boots into the recovery mode and not the normal mode. The key here lies in the timing as it is quite hard to nail given that the systemless root version now boots loops a few times during the rooting process. However, it can still be easily identified by observing the text on the Samsung Galaxy Note 4’s display that lets you know when it is going to reboot in ten seconds–that is the last time and the official time when you want to look out for to hold your button combination.
Those who have tested to see if the device is getting into the recovery mode and that does not appear to be the reason as to why the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 smartphone is rooted can try installing another version of the Odin flashing application. Chainfire kindly bundles a version of Odin in with his rooting package, so you do not have to go and find it, and that version of the Odin flashing tool for the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 smartphone when it is running on the Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow software up[dates is usually the Odin 3.10. However, that Odin 3.10 does not necessarily always manage to root each device as intended. There are people posting videos on YouTube where they have used a version of Odin; it did not work so they tried using another version, and it did work. That could also be the case with you too if you try one of the other versions of the Odin flashing application from our Odin downloaded page that hosts the whole collection. Note that each version of the Odin flashing application works for flashing this root file just fine, and none of them can cause you any harm.
Moreover, there are some Samsung smartphones out there that have several phone carrier networks all using the same model number. That is not always the case, and often the devices from the United States have a dedicated model number. However, in the cases where you have a device that has multiple phone carrier networks using the one model number, you can unlock the SIM on that smartphone, and it makes you free to flash the firmware from other phone carrier networks that use the same model number. Note that I did say continue to use the same model number. Even if you are SIM unlocked, it does not mean you can flash firmware across the model numbers. However, if you are SIM unlocked and the phone carrier network you are using is not one of the larger ones available, try flashing the firmware from the phone carrier network that has the most subscribers and uses the same model number. You find those firmware files available to download from the Sam Mobile website.