There are two ways to root the Android software stacks. In no particular order, the first way is to install a one-click rooting tool that you know works for your device. One-click rooting tools are easy to use because they root your device in just one click. That is what they are designed to do (be incredibly easy for people to use). The thing with one-click rooting tools is that none of them root every device, so you need to make sure that the tool in question can root the device you have.
Also, you do not learn anything about the Android operating system by using a rooting tool that gets the job done with one click. Additionally, many people believe that just clicking one button takes the fun out of rooting. Lastly, a one-click rooting tool does not always give you everything you need, i.e. if you wanted to install a custom ROM, it might not have unlocked the bootloader yet. The other way to root Android is often by unlocking the bootloader, installing a custom recovery and then flashing the SuperSU application by Chainfire from the custom recovery image.
There are a couple of advantages that Samsung devices have over the rest of the competition with regards to the above methods for rooting the Android operating system. The first thing is that you do not need to unlock the bootloader–not if you plan on installing a custom recovery and not if you just root the device and install a custom recovery later. The other advantage is that they have the CF-Auto-Root tool available to use.
The CF-Auto-Root tool is a one-click rooting method just like we mentioned above, but it is, in my opinion at least, the best one of them all because you do end up with the SuperSU installed and enabled on the device once you flash it. That means you end up with the same device you would have if you installed the SuperSU from a custom recovery. The only difference is that you do not have a custom recovery–and for many people who do not want a custom recovery that is a good thing. It also leaves the door open for installing a custom recovery later if you do decide to install a custom ROM because you can just follow the guide for installing a custom recovery then and it works just the same.
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 We Should Know
- We must have the Samsung Galaxy Tab A 9.7 tablet that comes with the SM-T555 model number before we can use this guide. Using it on any other model number variant of the Samsung Galaxy Tab A gets bricked. We can find out the model number of our devices by pointing to the Menu > Settings > About Device > Model Number.
- Chainfire was running on the LRX22G.T555XXU1AOJ1 firmware build number when he created the rooting package that we are using in this guide. Chainfire tells us that it does not mean we need to be running the same version of the firmware. We just need to make sure we are running the Android 5.0.2 Lollipop software update and have the Samsung Galaxy tab A 9.7 tablet that comes with the SM-T555 model number.
- Rooting with the CF-Auto-Root tool by Chainfire is always going to trip Knox every time. There is nothing we can do about that. For those who do not understand the repercussions of rooting a device that comes with Samsung’s Knox security, it means that unrooting still works but it does not bring back the warranty. All it does is lock the operating system, Once we trip Knox, then it is “tripped” forever unless they find a solution to this problem sometime in the future.
- The Odin flashing tool that we are using to flash the CF-Auto-Root tool in this guide is only going to run if you have it running on a Windows operating system. There is no way to get the Odin flashing tool to operate from a Mac or Linux operating system. However, those who are desperate can set up a Windows virtual machine on the Mac or Linux computer and then run the Windows environment from there.
- If anyone notices that the CF-Auto-Root tool stops working it is likely because there is a new bootloader present in a new software update. Leave a message with the new recovery image found inside the firmware creating the problems on the official CF-Auto-Root tool thread made at XDA-Developers so Chainfire can see the message. Once he updates the rooting packages the updates are always automatically reflected in our guides.
Files We Need
- Download the CF-Auto-Root tool for the Samsung Galaxy Tab A 9.7 when it is running on the Android 5.0.2 Lollipop software updates.
- Download the Samsung USB Drivers for the Windows computer.
Rooting the Samsung Galaxy Tab A 9.7 SM-T555 tablets running on the Android 5.0.2 Lollipop software updates
- Log into the computer using the administrator account so we can run the Odin flashing tool and get it to work.
- Unlock the Developer Options menu on the Samsung Galaxy Tab A 9.7 tablet so we can enter it and the make a change to the settings.
- Enable the USB Debugging Mode from the Developer Options menu so we can connect it to the computer and the flashing tool can detect our device.
- Extract the rooting tool file to the desktop of the computer, so we have the Odin flashing tool executable and the rooting file on the desktop.
- Run the Samsung USB Drivers on the computer so when we do connect the tablet to the computer the flashing tool can pick it up.
- Boot the Samsung Galaxy Tab A 9.7 tablet into the download mode and then connect it to the Windows computer with the USB cable that we usually use to charge the battery.
- Double-click and run the Odin flashing tool executable file on the desktop and the flashing tool opens.
- Check we can see a yellow or blue ID: COM port color and the word “added” is making an appearance on the display of the computer also.
- Do not make any changes from the default settings of the Odin flashing tool or else we might hope some data we did not intend to.
- Click the AP button found on the Odin application user interface and the browse through to the desktop and select the rooting file that is there with the CF-Auto-Root in the file name and ending in the tar.md5 file extension.
- Click the Start button from the Odin flashing tool’s user interface and the rooting begins.
- Check the display of the Samsung Galaxy Tab A for some messages including it saying it is flashing the SuperSU app, cleaning up the cache partition and then flashing of the stock recovery again.
- Look back up at the computer screen now and check that it shows a green box coming from the Odin flashing tool’s user interface that has a pass message available inside.
In conclusion, that is how to root the Samsung Galaxy Tab A 9.7 SM-T555 tablet when it is running on the Android 5.0.2 Lollipop software updates using Chainfire’s SuperSU one-click rooting application.
Chainfire’s CF-Auto-Root tool changes overt the years, and this is the most traditional version that still requires modifying the /system partition. That means we can install run the same root applications on the device, but it requires flashing a stock ROM (likely from the Sam Mobile website) to help unroot the device. The other way people can unroot the Samsung Galaxy Tab A tablet is by entering the SuperSU application and following the guidelines from there. The new versions of the CF-Auto-Root tool are what we call a systemless root where they no longer require any access to the system partition. The main difference ist hat people can unroot that version by taking a hard reset from the recovery mode which saves the hassle of flashing the stock ROM.
Rooting the Samsung Galaxy Tab A 9.7 tablet is about installing root applications. These are the apps usually available from the Google Play Store that does not run unless they know they have the root permissions. That is what CF-Auto-Root does for us by installing and enabling the SuperSU application. There are heaps of root apps that can do many things for us, including help back up the data better, give us a total automation experience with more features, change the way we listen to music and even tweak the UI similar what a custom ROM can do. All users need to do is know the names of the root applications that we hope to install and the search for those names using the search bar from the Google Play Store. Any people who still need ideas for what applications to install can check out our best root applications for the Android operating system list and take it from there.