If you want to backup your apps and data better than ever before, change the boot animation, add themes to Android or even modify the sound that comes out of the speakers, so it sounds better, you need to root the Android operating system. Rooting Android gives the user more control over the device and what it can do, and many developers work hard to bring root users the features that they love. Simply put, rooting is taking away any restrictions that were placed in the operating system that prevented people from making changes.
Now that your device is rooted, the options are only limited to what the developers have created for you. That means you can swap the stock Android ROM for a custom version like something made by the CyanogenMod team. Alternatively, you can browse the Google Play Store and start installing a bunch of apps that were not available to your device before. These apps usually say root required in the description, and if you were to try to download and install them it would download like any other app, but that is about as far it goes. The app would not run, and it would give you a message on the screen of the Android smartphone or tablet letting you know that it needs root to operate.
Now that you know a little bit about why people root the Android operating system that runs on heaps of Android tablets and smartphones just like the Samsung Galaxy Tab A 9.7, it is time to work out how we root the device. The first thing you should know is that there is no magic one way to root a device and often it just comes down to what is available. For some devices, that means installing a one-click rooting tool and for others, it means getting the bootloader unlocked and installing a custom recovery image followed by the SuperSU app. Other devices can skip all of that fuss and just get root access after they flash a new ROM because the ROM is developed to come with root access instead. Custom ROMs are great for many reasons like that where they give you features, so you don’t have to, but always remember the risk of flashing the ROM in itself is high.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab A 9.7 SM-T555C tablet can be rooted by using Chainfire’s CF-Auto-Root tool which is a one-click rooting tool that allows you to get root access without having to flash a custom recovery. With that said, you can also install a custom recovery on the Galaxy Tab A 9.7 after you have followed this guide and flashed the CF-Auto-Root tool. You could also have flashed the custom recovery before you came here. Either way, it does not make a difference, the Samsung Galaxy Tab A 9.7 is still going to get rooted, and it does not brick the device. If there is a custom recovery image made available for the Samsung Galaxy Tab A 9.7, then you can install it by follow the appropriate guide for that and then flash the SuperSU from the recovery, and it results in the same thing as this tutorial. It just depends on what way you want to go about the business.
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.
- Chainfire is always running on a firmware version when he creates the rooting files that arrive for each device. In the case of the Samsung Galaxy Tab A 9.7 tablet with the SM-T555C model number, Chainfire was running on the LRX22G.T555CZCU1AOF2 firmware build number. It does not mean other people need to be running on the same firmware build number as him. Chainfire makes the rooting tools with the assumption that it works on all Android 5.0.2 Lollipop software updates.
- The Odin flashing tool that we are using in this guide needs a Windows operating system for it to be able to run. That means it does not run if you are using a Mac OS X, MacOS, or Linux operating system on the computer. If you get desperate, you can install a Windows virtual machine on the Mac or Linux computer and try doing the rooting tutorial inside the virtual machine. The Odin flashing tool should run that way.
- You must have the Samsung Galaxy Tab A 9.7 tablet that has the SM-T555C model number to use this guide. The CF-Auto-Root tool is available for different model number versions of the Tab A and flashing the wrong one can brick the device.
Files We Need
- Download the CF-Auto-Root tool for the Samsung Galaxy Tab A 9.7 SM-T555C tablet running on the Android 5.0.2 Lollipop software updates.
- Download the Samsung USB Drivers on the Windows computer.
Rooting the Samsung Galaxy Tab A 9.7 SM-T555C running on the Android 5.0.2 Lollipop software updates
- Log into the Windows PC using the administrator’s account so you can run the Odin flashing tool.
- Unlock the Developer Options menu on the Samsung Galaxy Tab A tablet if it is hidden so we can use the set of options found within the menu.
- Turn on the USB Debugging Mode from inside the Developer Options menu so that when you connect the tablet to the computer it allows for us to make changes to the software.
- Extract the rooting package to the desktop of the computer and the Odin flashing application and the file you need to root the Samsung Galaxy Tab A are both visible.
- Run the Samsung USB Drivers on the computer so when you connect the tablet to the computer and execute the flashing tool it can detect the device and allow for the flashing to work.
- Boot the Samsung Galaxy Tab A 9.7 SM-T555C tablet into the download mode and then connect it to the computer with the USB cable.
- Double-click on the Odin flashing tool executable file that fell out after you extracted the rooting file in the fourth step of the guide.
- Check you can see a yellow or blue color coming from the ID: COM port which is part of the Odin flashing tool’s user interface.
- Do not make any changes to the default settings that you get from the Odin flashing tool and its buttons.
- Click the AP button and then browse through to the desktop and select the rooting file that has the CF-Auto-Root name in the file and the tar/.md5 file extension at the end.
- Click the Start button from Odin and the rooting begins.
- Pick up the Samsung Galaxy Tab A tablet and have a read of the text that CF-Auto-Root is programmed to show on the display which includes letting you know when it is flashing the SuperSU, cleaning up the cache partition and then reflashing the stock recovery.
- Now check the Odin app on the computer is showing a green box with a message that says pass inside it.
- You are now free to disconnect the Samsung Galaxy Tab A 9.7 SM-T555C from the computer as soon as it reboots back into the normal mode.
In conclusion, that is how to root the Samsung Galaxy Tab A 9.7 tablet with the SM-T555C model number when it is running on the Android 5.0.2 Lollipop updates. The guide has just finished installing and enabling the SuperSU application on the tablet which is visible to you as soon as the tablet reboots.
You can open up that SuperSU app and check out the options inside, or you can make use of the SuperSU application instead by heading over to the Google Play Store and then installing one of the root applications. There are thousands of rooting apps at your disposal now, and you can find out what some of the best ones are by reading out the dedicated post on the best root applications for the Android operating system that should all run well on the Samsung Galaxy Tab A 9.7 tablet.
CF-Auto-Root on XDA-Developers
Chainfire, the developer of the CF-Auto-Root tool available in this guide, has created a CF-Auto-Root tool thread on the XDA-Develoeprs website. You can use the CF-Auto-Root thread on the XDA-Developers site for requesting new root methods for devices that are not currently available.
Note that flashing a CF-Auto-Root file (regardless of the device) wipes the data if the device storage is encrypted. For everyone else, there should be no data loss when rooting with the CF-Auto-Root tool.
Samsung’s Knox security
Some smartphones and tablets in the Samsung range come with Samsung’s Knox security. The CF-Auto-Root tool trips Knox which prevents you from unrooting and using the warranty again.
Any device with a target flash counter is triggered when using the CF-Auto-Root tool. Chainfire’s Triangle Away supports many devices for this problem.