Rooting the Samsung Galaxy S5 smartphone is like giving yourself full administrator rights over your operating system. Like any computer without administrator permissions, there will be certain restrictions in place and consequences to not having those permissions. These restrictions are usually reserved for advanced Android users who want to tinker with the operating system in some way. Thanks to the wonderful freedom we have in many countries in the world, being able to do what you want with your device are perfectly legal.

Anyone who plans on rooting the Samsung Galaxy S5 smartphone using Chainfire’s CF-Auto-Root tool might be interested in checking out the Triangle Away application made by the same developer. The Triangle Away app was developed with the intention of helping out those who root to flash custom firmware on a Samsung device. Now root access won’t usually allow you to run custom firmware alone, but it is a requirement to run custom firmware which is how it directly related to Chainfire’s work. Furthermore, installing a custom ROM or custom firmware is one of the most popular reasons to root a smartphone or tablet running Android, so there should be a few of you out there interested in using the Triangle Away app.

Android 6.0 Marshmallow

The rooting package in this guide is based on the MMB29M.G900FXXU1CPD3 firmware. The firmware build ID just mentioned never rolled out to all regions and probably will not be available for all languages. That doesn’t matter to you though because you do not need to be running that same firmware on your smartphone. All you need to understand is that some of the older images will not boot on some of the Samsung smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy S5, and that’s why Chainfire gives that information.

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 S5 with the model number SM-G900F running the Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow software update from here.
  • Download the Samsung USB Drivers for the Samsung Galaxy S5 smartphone to the computer from here.
  • Using the CF-Auto-Root to gain administrator permissions over the Android operating system will void the Samsung warranty. Further, it always trips Knox security if your device is one of those that comes pre-loaded with Samsung’s Knox software. We can tell you that every flagship under the Samsung name — as well as anything remotely close to a premium device from Samsung — does come with Knox security. Tripping Knox means that your device cannot be unrooted to get the warranty working again. You can unroot like usual, but the warranty remains out of action.
  • New firmware updates — usually reserved for the large updates that jump up to a new number — can bring new bootloaders with them. When that happens, you need Chainfire to update the files before you attempt to root the device or else you could get a device that does not boot or flash. It has not bricked your device, and these problems can be fixed by flashing the stock ROM. Check forums for more details. Anyone experiencing a device that does not boot and thinks it might be because of the same problem can let the developer know by posting the issue at the official XDA-Developers thread created for the CF-Auto-Root tool.

Rooting the Samsung Galaxy S5 SM-G900F smartphone running the Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow update

  1. Enable the USB Debugging Mode for the Galaxy S5 with the SM-G900F model number before you connect it to the computer.
  2. Extract the rooting file to the desktop of the computer.
  3. Install the Samsung USB Drivers on the computer.
  4. Double-click the Odin executable file that is on the desktop of the computer.
  5. Boot the Samsung Galaxy S5 smartphone into the download mode and then connect it to the computer with the USB cable.
  6. Check you can see the yellow or blue color coming from the ID: COM port available from the Odin user interface.
  7. Do not adjust any of the default settings you get from the Odin app.
  8. Click the AP button and browse the desktop for the S5’s rooting file that is ending in the tar.md5 extension.
  9. Click the Start button.
  10. Wait until you can see the display of your S5 says that it is about to install the SuperSU application, followed by clean up the cache and then flash your stock recovery back on the device.
  11. Now look up at the computer again and check that you can see a green box with a message inside letting you know that your device has passed.

In conclusion, that is how to root the Samsung Galaxy S5 SM-G900F smartphone running on the Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow software updates. You should find this guide works for every version of Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow, but we recommend finding a new guide when the next major update arrives over the air for your device. You can easily confirm your S5 smartphone is now rooted by installing the root checker application from the Google Play Store.

Anyone who is not getting the guide to work should try installing a different version of the Odin application because it comes in a few versions and sometimes one version might not work for any given device. You can counteract that problem by just trying a different version instead. Eventually, one of them will work for your Galaxy S5 smartphone.

Furthermore, the developer of the rooting tool states that your Samsung Galaxy S5 smartphone must get into the recovery mode for the rooting to work. As someone who has used the CF-Auto-Root tool myself, I can tell you that picking up on the recovery mode isn’t easy. However, if your device is not rooted, then that might be why. You can fix that problem by booting the S5 up into recovery mode manually by pressing the hardware button combination for the recovery mode after your CF-Auto-Root file is flashed.

Now that you have rooted the Samsung Galaxy S5 smartphone using Chainfire’s CF-Auto-Root tool, you can start doing everything that everyone keeps on talking about doing with a rooted Android operating system. We are talking about installing a custom recovery and then getting a custom ROM or kernel running, overclocking the CPU or GPU for better performance, making the battery last longer, install any root apps you have ever read about, removing the bloatware and a bunch more cool stuff. You can read about it in more details by reading our dedicated post on everything you can do after your Android operating system is rooted.

Rooting smartphones and tablets that run on the Android operating system allow us to do things like getting full file system access. Rooting is the only way we can get full access to the system, so it should be no surprise that people who need full read/write permissions need to get root access. The way we enhance this is by using better file manager apps. Applications are what rooting is all about, and users can find some of the best file managers available for root users, as well as just the best root apps in general from our best root application for Android article that goes into more details about what apps are available. The list does not show every app that is out there. In fact, there are thousands of more root applications than one our list, but we show some of the better ones that many people love to use.