Samsung rolled out a new software update for the Galaxy S4 Mini that upgrades the operating system to a new version of Android 4.4.2 KitKat. The build number is XXUCNK1. Providing you’ve already followed the OTA update installation steps by choosing to “install now” and “download,” then you are able to open up the internal hardware away from the restrictions in place by the manufacturer. Those unwilling to wait for the over the air signals will find the file available to download manually. Usually Sam Mobile is the reliable source for the latest files for your Sammy smartphone or tablet.

Don’t start anything until you’ve read through our list of essentials. Once you are satisfied that rooting is the way to go for you then you may follow the steps. You must be an advanced Android user to use the guide, as it’s not something to be taken lightly. You run considerable risks by customizing the OS. One of the risks is soft-bricking the device. Another is getting stuck in boot loops and having to find your way out. If you don’t have experience with stock recovery, custom recovery, the Odin application or modifying a smartphone, it’s time to step away and find some experience fro ma friend who does. As always, if you feel confident enough to try it out, but would prefer asking a couple of question beforehand, you may leave comments in the box below and we’ll read them and reply.

S4 Mini

The pictures are not necessarily a fair representation of what you find in the guide.

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.

Details of Note

  • The following is for the LTE variant of the Mini with the Qualcomm Snapdragon system chip. Do not try to install the file on any other version of the galaxy S4. The files are sensitive and each device with a different model number requires a new file.
  • Backup your i9195 data which is stored on the ROM and transfer it over to the internal memory. The internal memory is never wiped when we factory reset; therefore , you know the data is safe here. However, if you wish to add extra space, you can by buying expansion SD card for more storage. You can back up the data using the external SD card too. Use Easy backup to make copies of the call logs and the calendar. Use Helium to make copies of the phone contacts, SMS texts and market applications on your mobile. You can use Google Drive for extra space, as they offer a limited amount for free. SMS backup+ is another application wort checking out if you want a dedicated SMS app for the text messages. or, you may follow through with your own preference and store the data however you see fit.
  • Install the USB Drivers from Samsung Kies. Remember to disable Kies before starting the steps as it interfere with the Odin app. You can download the drivers other ways such as third-party links or by visiting the official website.
  • Check the battery reads over 505 from the status bar. We know the status bar changes its appearance in 4.4.2 KitKat to be all white and transparent when the battery drains. The battery isn’t a huge concern since we are connecting to the computer for most of the time. That means the USB charging feature will take over and look after the battery.
  • Enable USB debugging by going to Settings > applications > development or Developer options > USB debugging.
  • You must use a Windows PC, notebook or laptop. The app doesn’t work on Mac’s or Linux. The file will not continue flashing and you risk harming the device.
  • Backup the EFS folder for when you get stuck in a logo loop. If the EFS folder becomes corrupt it’s a headache.

How to root the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini i9195 with XXUCNK1 Android 4.4.2

  1. Download the file from this page.
  2. Download Odin direct here.
  3. Boot the S4 Mini up in download mode.
    – press Volume Down + Power + Home at the same time.
  4. Connect the mini smartphone to the computer using the USB wire.
  5. Wait until Odin says “added” and the ID: COM port turns blue or yellow.
  6. Click the AP button and upload the tar.md5 file.
  7. Do not touch the re-partition box.
  8. Leave on the Auto reboot
  9. Leave on the F reset Time option.
  10. Click the start button when you are ready for the flashing.
  11. The ID: COM port changes color and the phone reboots after the flashing finishes.
  12. Disconnect the mobile safely from the computer by stopping the USB mass Storage device.

If you are getting stuck in what we know as a boot loop, it’s requiring you to enter the recovery mode. From there you ought to select “wipe data factory reset” and “wipe cache partition.” finally don’t forget to wipe the Dalvik cache.  If that doesn’t work you may want to try the full factory reset. If applying the factory reset and wiping the cache both don’t work, you want to try flashing CyanogenMod on it, or any other custom ROM. Furthermore, you should download the Root checker and Unroot Pro. Unrooting using a Play Store application such as this one is the easiest way to return the phone back to stock.