The Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 series of devices comes out of the box running a version of Android that comes locked down, so nobody is automatically a root user just like every other device in the Samsung range. A root user is someone who has access to the entire system and can roam the operating system without any restrictions. You could easily compare it to using the Windows operating system with an administrators account. If you have any experience with an administrators account in a Microsoft Windows environment, you would know that you can install any program you want, and even use apps without realizing they might not run if you were not viewing an administrator. Conversely, if you have every used Windows logged out of the administrators account and just using a regular users account, you would know how frustrating it can be because now you are using it based on the level of privileges you have been given. If the rights say you cannot install all apps, then you cannot run them, and that is what happens with Android.
Applications that require root access are all from the Google Play Store, and you can even download them like regular apps. The difference is when you attempt to open and run them they will say that this app cannot run because it requires root access. That is telling you that it needs you to be a root user. The root user account always exists in the Android operating system; it has just been taken away from you by the Android developers because having it can be a security risk. Since most people who buy these tablets like the Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 know microscopic about anything geeky, it only makes sense to give them the maximum security as possible, which is not using the device as a root user.
Using the Android operating system as a root user means you could accidentally install malware, and that malware could jump from its application to other applications and cause trouble. That is why if you are using a device as a root user the Android Pay app will not be available to use. It is just too risky for Google to want to play with that much risk. While being a root user requires a certain level of expertise and is risky, it is easily manageable for those in the know.
Installing the CF-Auto-Root one-click rooting tool on the Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 9.7 tablet is going to install a modified recovery partition and then flash the SuperSU, which grants the root access. Once that is done, it will enable the SuperSU and then reflash the stock recovery and get rid of the modified recovery that it needed to install the SuperSU. It is a smart app and in the end, it means that any apps that you install from the Google play Store that you wanted to install like the Titanium Backup app now runs. However, it also means you need to keep your wits about you because you will have only to grant root access to the apps you know and trust and consciously block anything that is malware.
The only downside with using the CF-Auto-Root tool is that it will trip the flash counter when it installs a modified recovery and then reflashes the stock recovery. If you are lucky, Chainfire’s Triangle Away app can return the flash counter back to zero on most Samsung devices that show a flash counter when you are running custom firmware or do any flashing. Furthermore, another downside is that CF-Auto-Root always trips the Samsung Knox security if you are using a Samsung smartphone that comes with Knox.
The CF-Auto-Root tool that Chainfire makes is always based on a particular build number. In this instance, the CF-Auto-Root tool that Chainfire made for the Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 9.7 with the SM-T815 model number is based on the MMB29K.T815XXU2BPD6 firmware build number. That is the build number he used while making the rooting method for your device, but you do not need to be running that same build number on the tablet when following the guide. In fact, the version of the CF-Auto-Root tool that you find in this guide is going to work on any version of Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow provided you have the Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 9.7 with the SM-T815 model number.
Files You Need
- Download the new CF-Auto-Root file for the Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 9.7 with the model number SM-T815 when it is running on the Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow software updates from here.
- Download the Samsung USB Drivers for the Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 9.7 on the Windows PC from here.
You will need to have the Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 9.7 tablet with the SM-T815 model number to use this guide or else it will not work. Not only will the device not be rooted, but flashing the file in this guide on any other model number will probably brick the device. You can find out the model number of your Samsung tablet by tapping on the Menu > Settings > About Device > Model Number.
You will need to have a computer for the Odin flashing tool, and it needs to be running a version of the Windows operating system for the flashing tool to be able to run. The Odin flashing application is made by Samsung developers to work on a Microsoft Windows-based computer not none of the other popular options like MacOS or Linux distributions.
There may be some Android updates that roll out over the air for the Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 9.7 tablet that is still based on Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow, and they bring new bootloaders with them. These cases will be very rare because usually, the new bootloaders come with the larger software updates that update the devices to new versions of Android entirely such as the jump from Android Marshmallow to Android Nougat. However, it is possible they do arrive for some version of Marshmallow still. When that happens, people know because the rooting file does not flash or the device will not boot up correctly after the flashing. The Galaxy Tab S2 9.7 is only temporarily bricked if that worst case scenario happens to you, and you will need to flash another software update manually to fix it. That is usually done by booting into the recovery mode and apply a factory reset or booting into download mode and flashing an official software update using the Odin flashing tool. You can find those firmware files from the Sam Mobile website. Moreover, Chainfire still relies on you guys to help fix the problem which is done by leaving a message on the official CF-Auto-Root thread associated with the XDA-Developers website that gives him the new recovery image file found in the new firmware that is causing the issues. You can also find that new firmware from the Sam Mobile website. Once Chainfire sees your messages, he applies the updates to the rooting tool, and they will be automatically reflected in our tutorials.
Rooting the Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 9.7 SM-T815 running on the Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow software updates
- Log into the Windows computer you are using for the flashing tool using an administrator account.
- Unlock the Developer Options menu on the Samsung Galaxy Tab s2 9.7 SM-T815 tablets so you can then use the options that are available within that same Developer Options menu.
- Enable the USB Debugging Mode from the Developer Options menu that you just unlocked so you can connect the Galaxy Tab S2 9.7 into the computer with the USB cable and the apps on the computer then allows you to do some developmental work with the device.
- Extract the rooting file to the desktop of the computer and then you see the rooting file by Chainfire and the Odin flashing application.
- Run the Samsung USB Drivers on the computer before getting started with the flashing tool so that your device can be connected and detected by the flashing tool which then allows for the rooting to work.
- Boot the Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 9.7 tablet into the download mode and then connect it to the computer with the USB cable.
- Double-click the Odin flashing application’s executable file that is on the desktop and the flashing tool opens so you can see the user interface you are working with along with all of the buttons available that are going to allow us to root the device.
- Do not make any changes from the default settings you get after you open the Odin flashing application.
- Check that you get a yellow or blue color coming from the ID: COM port after your Samsung tablet is connected to the computer, and you can see the “added” message. (No color lighting up the ID: COM port and no added message to go along with it means that your tablet is not yet connected to the computer and detected by the flashing tool correctly which means you cannot get the rooting file to flash. You need to install the Samsung USB Drivers properly. Those who cannot get the Samsung USB Drivers file to run on the computer can try installing the Universal Windows ADB Drivers instead and get the drivers working that way. Anyone else still having problems might want to try rebooting the computer and logging in and out again. It is also worth noting that you might not be logged in as an administrator who could be the problem you are having. You need to be using the Windows administrators account for the flashing tool to be willing to work).
- Click the AP button from the Odin user interface and then browse the desktop location for the rooting file for the Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 9.7 tablet which is ending in the tar.md5 file extension and contains the CF-Auto-Root string in the file name.
- Click the Start button from the Odin user interface and the rooting will officially begin.
- Pick up the Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 9.7 and check you can see text down the display stating that it is detecting the device, mounting the system/cache, and then resetting the SUperSU.
- Check you get more text indicating that it is now running the SuperSU Installer, followed by the Boot Image Patcher.
- Check that “important notices” now arrive on the display and had a read of them, so you understand what is happening. (It reads something along the lines of it is going to take several minutes to complete the rooting process; do not worry if it boot loops a few times and whatever you do, do not interrupt it. The boot loops you may see are a standard part of the rooting process).
- Check for more text that says it is unmounting the system, restoring the stock recovery. Cleaning up the mess is created and then rebooting in ten seconds.
In conclusion, that is how to root the Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 9.7 SM-T815 tablet when it is running the Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow update by using an updated version of Chainfire CF-Auto-Root which is a systemless root for the Marshmallow builds. Nobody knows quite what the future holds with regards to the systemless root or the more traditional method, but it is said that Google and Android have a similar security in place for the Android Nougat build so the systemless root is expected to remain. The systemless root and the standard root are not anything that you notice any difference with; both still allow you to run all the same root applications and go on to install a custom recovery. One of the differences is that your Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 9.7 now unroots when you apply a factory reset whereas before it would not have done that.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 9.7 now reboots back into the normal mode, and you can head to the Google Play Store and start installing your root applications. You should see the SuperSU app is now available from your app drawer, and the CF-Auto-Root tool has installed and enabled it on your system. That is the difference between the CF-Auto-Root tool or a custom recovery and just downloading the SuperSU application from the Google Play Store as a standard app. Those who want to check the root status of the Samsung tablet can install the root checker application from the Google Play Store instead of heading directly for the root apps. You can will a free version of the root checker app is available for you to install and willing to check the root status of your tablet.
Once you have confirmed the root status of your tablet and confirmed that it is in fact rooted properly, you can start checking out all the things you can do with a rooted Android operating system on your Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 9.7. Some of those things include installing a custom recovery followed by a custom ROM, overclocking the CPU, overclocking the GPU, underclocking them instead, increasing the battery life, increasing the performance, run much more apps that usual, and change the appearance of your software. We run into a lot more detail about those things in the article.
Furthermore, those of you who are unable to get the Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 9.7 rooted using the above steps can try a few things to get that fixed. The first thing is that the systemless root version of the CF-Auto-Root tool still requires you to get into recovery mode, and that might not be happening. You can always boot the device into the recovery mode as soon as it says your device is rebooting in ten seconds, and it then reboots so that it reboots into the recovery mode and not the normal mode. As usual, Chainfire states that each device must get into the recovery mode for the SuperSU to be installed and enabled, and it does not matter if that happens automatically or manually. It is just programmed to handle it automatically, but it does not always work.
Moreover, you can installing another version of the Odin flashing application that is different from the version you are using now. By default, Chainfire packages the Odin 3.10 in with the CF-Auto-Root tool versions that are based on Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow, but there are no guarantees that it is the best version for your device. There are many cases reported online where using one version of the Odin flashing application did not flash the rooting file, but when they tried another version all of a sudden it worked perfectly fine. You can check out Odin downloader page for any of the other version and install one of them instead. You can use any version of the Odin flashing application, and it will work just the same for the Galaxy Tab S2 tablet range.
In addition to getting into the recovery mode and trying another version of the Odin flashing app, users can also get the device SIM unlocked and install another firmware version. There are devices usually outside of the United States range that share the same model number between several phone carrier networks. If you are in that situation, you can SIM unlock the device and then flash a firmware from a different phone carrier network that is still made for the same model number. Note that this only works if you are unlocked otherwise it will brick the device. Additionally, the option is not available if there is only one phone carrier network assigned to the model number. However, if there are a few available, we recommend installing firmware from the most popular phone carrier network once you have SIM unlocked the device for a greater chance of having success with the rooting file.