You might not know it, but Chainfire’s CF-Auto-Root has changed a lot over the years. Gone are the days when the CF-Auto-Root tool modifies the system partition, and now everything is done as a systemless root since the Samsung range is updated to Android 6.0 Marshmallow. The outlook is cloudy given that the systemless root method was developed quite a while ago, but Chainfire reverted to the older method of modifying the system partition due to some complications. Now though Google has firmly decided they would increase the security on Android 6.0 Marshmallow software updates and that has lead to the old method for becoming a root user no longer working and Chainfire having to make the official switch to the systemless root method.
The systemless root method is not something you need to be concerned about; you can still do things the same way you were doing them before. However, you can take some advantages away from it if you want to know. For example, if your device is rooted with the systemless rooting method, you no longer have to flash the stock ROM using the Odin flashing tool to unroot the device. Instead, we can get it done by just applying a factory reset. That could also prove to be a downside too if you are one of the people who just wanted to implement a hard reset and keep the root access, so it just depends on what side of the fence you are on. There is more to it than just that, though: you also can keep root access after OTA updates easier than you could before. Chainfire has released a new application called FlashFire. In fact, it has been in beta testing for a while now, but it is now an official app available from the Google Play Store for people to download. Even though it is still fresh and won’t work for everyone, there are over a hundred thousand downloads so far and plenty of enjoying the perks of the FlashFire app.
The FlashFire application has come about because of the way the Android security has changed which then allowed for the systemless root and for the ability to keep OTA updates, but nobody knows what the future holds. It is possible that Google changes the Android security once again, and people need to find the nearest rooting guides again. One thing we do know is for sure: gone are the days when you can look for a rooting guide on a Samsung device that is not based on a software version and automatically assume that it is going to work. We firmly recommend including the software versions in your searches, and that is why we have this guide that allows you to root the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 smartphone on the Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow software updates.
Each version of the CF-Auto-Root tool by Chainfire is always based on a particular firmware version. In this case, that is the MMB29K.N920SKSU2BPAF firmware build number. That means Chainfire was running the MMB29K.N920SKSU2BPAF firmware on his Samsung Galaxy Note 5 smartphone when he created the rooting method for the SM-N920S model number. That is about all you need to know about it though because you do not need to be running that same firmware on your smartphones. Chainfire just includes the information about the firmware build number because sometimes a Samsung smartphone like the Galaxy Note 5 can be stubborn and refuse to boot old images. That when the build number can be used as guidelines to the time frame that he created the rooting method, and you might use that to flash something similar. Chainfire has told us that he expects this version of the CF-Auto-Root tool to work on the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 SM-N920S when it is running any version of the Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow software updates.
Files You Need
- Download the CF-Auto-Root tool for the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 SM-N920S phone when it is running on the Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow updates from here.
- Download the Samsung USB Drivers for the computer running the Windows operating system from here.
You will need the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 smartphone that comes with the SM-N920S model number to use this guide. Any another model number likely gets bricked if you flash the CF-Auto-Root tool found in this tutorial.
You must be running a version of the Windows operating system to use the CF-Auto-Root package that is in this guide. The flashing tool is the Odin app and it only runs if you have it running on a computer with a Windows operating system. The Odin application in this guide does not run on a MacOS or Linux computer. There are other ways to flash the files using a Mac or Linux computer, but you need to follow another guide as nothing in them relates to what we are doing here.
There may be some software updates based on Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow that roll out over the air which brings new bootloaders with them. A new bootloader can present a problem for the CF-Auto-Root tool in the sense that Chainfire may need to update the files with the new recovery images for them to start working again. You can submit the new recovery images that are part of the new firmware package causing the problems to the official CF-Auto-Root tool thread made over at the XDA-Developers forum website so Chainfire can see the message you left. Once he gets your message, he then applies the necessary changes to the CF-Auto-Root tool. You can start using this guide again right away because we link directly to the official CF-Auto-Root repository page, so the updates he applies are real time.
Rooting the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 SM-N920S running on the Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow
- Unlock the Developer Options menu on the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 smartphone so you can use the set of options found inside.
- Turn on the USB Debugging Mode from within the Developer Options menu that you just unlocked so that you can open the device up to some developments.
- Extract the CF-Auto-Root package to the desktop of the computer and you will see the Odin flashing application and the rooting file that you need to flash soon.
- Run the Samsung USB Drivers on the Windows computer so that your Samsung Galaxy Note 5 smartphone can be connected to the computer and detected by the Odin flashing application when it is running.
- Double-click on the Odin flashing app and wait for the flashing tool’s user interface to open.
- Boot the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 smartphone into the download mode and then connect it to the computer yo are using the USB cable.
- Check that you can see a yellow or blue ID: COM port coming from the Odin user interface and the added message also available. (The added message from Odin and the color coming from the ID: COM post is letting you know that your Samsung Galaxy Note 5 smartphone is added correctly and the Samsung USB Drivers are working. Anyone who does not see the ID: COM port light up with a color needs to work out why that is because it does not function until the device is connected. You can try logging out and back in or even turning off the computer and starting it up again, but the drivers should start working as soon as you install them).
- Do not make any changes from the default settings people get with the Odin flashing application and its buttons. (You can always download a fresh copy of the Odin flashing application if you have already played with the buttons, and you are unable to remember what the default settings are for the app).
- Click the AP button from the Odin app and then browse the desktop location for the rooting file that you see ends in the tar.md5 file extension.
- Click the Start button from the Odin app and then your device gets a systemless root flashed.
- Check that you get a pass message inside a green box from the Odin user interface on the computer.
In conclusion, that is how to root the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 smartphone with the SM-N920S model number when it is running on the Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow software updates by using the systemless root version of the CF-Auto-Root tool. You can now unplug from the computer once you see the device reboot.
Most people enjoy installing the root checker application from the Google Play Store if you are somebody who doesn’t have it on the device at the moment. The root checker app will check the root status of your Android operating system so you can start installing the root requiring applications from the Google Play Store and know that any problems that arise will not be due to your root status.
Once you have confirmed that your Samsung Galaxy Note 5 smartphone is, in fact, rooted correctly, you can start installing any of the applications like the Titanium Backup app that need you to be a root user before the will run. Some other names you might also like to check out include the Dumpster app to bring old pictures back to life, the ROM Toolbox for your ROM needs, Xposed Framework if you want to skip the ROMs and just make some tweaks from the apps, and Tasker is ideal for adding some more useful features that are not included in the stock ROM. Moreover, you can just install a custom recovery now if you want one and then check out the custom ROMs that are available.Some of the custom ROMs are available to you already (the ones that come pre-rooted) while others need you to be rooted before they will run.
Those who would like some future reading on what to do with a rooted Android operating system can check out our post on that which goes into a lot more detail about things like overclocking the GPU, overclocking the CPU, removing the bloatware via apps like System App Remover and Titanium backup, increasing the RAM, increasing the battery life and much more.
Furthermore, if you have checked the root status of your phone and it is saying that you are not a root user yet, then you can try checking whether or not your device is getting into the recovery mode. Chainfire states that one of the main reasons for a device not getting rooted is the fact that recovery mode did not happen, and you can fix it by booting it into recovery mode as soon as it reboots after flashing the CF-Auto-Root tool.
Moreover, there are other versions of the Odin flashing application available for you to check out if you need to try another version. There are plenty of reports online from people not being able to figure out why the files do not flash in Odin, so they download another version of the Odin flashing application, and it works perfectly. Hopefully, the same thing can happen with your device. All other potential problems usually come down the drivers not running, but you know when they are not running because the ID: COM port does not light up a blue or yellow color.
Lastly, if you have a smartphone that shares a model number across several phone carrier networks, then you might find several firmware downloads available for the one model number from the Sam Mobile website. Provided that your smartphone is SIM unlocked, you can install firmware from another phone carrier network based on the same model number and then try rooting it again with the CF-AUto-Root tool that is made for the same model number. Sometimes running one of the more popular firmware versions can be more successful.