The Android stock ROM is now considered to be as safe as the competition, according to the head of Android security.

It’s always been a rock solid operating system, being based on the same Linux kernel that centers the Linux distros that are so popular for security on desktop computers. A lot of computer servers, for example, choose to run Linux as the core operating system when security is of the utmost importance.

Android’s basic principle is to arrive on devices as a locked operating system so the user doesn’t have access to the account that holds the administrative permissions (known as root access aka access to the root file system). On the Windows operating system, it is when people use the administrators account that results in most malware being installed, and the situation is no different when it comes to Android as well. The reason, in the case of Android, is because if you were to install an application that was in fact riddled with malware, it wouldn’t be able to go anywhere, i.e., move out of its apps’ sandbox, to cause any havoc around the operating system.

That being said, there are always some Apple fans quick to point out Android’s weaknesses, such as the inability to properly protect the Google Play Store from malware, even though users are always far better off installing apps from Google Play than other sources around the Web, where the chances of installing malware are far greater due to even less security monitoring them. Scrutiny coming from Apple users also focusses on the fact that all versions of Android are yet to ship with full disk encryption, a feature that iOS software has had for a while now.

As we mentioned earlier, installing malware on an Android stock ROM that doesn’t have root access isn’t the end of the world, and there are also valid reasons for not wanting to have full disk encryption no matter your operating system as well, so it’s not just like Android doesn’t have the ability not offer it. But if you were experiencing bugs, or wanted to remove the custom software and go back to using an official Android version, you can do that by flashing the stock ROM.

Before you do go ahead with the flashing though, there are some caveats that you should know about if you have been using custom software. The act of flashing custom software in itself doesn’t prevent you from safely going back to using the stock ROM, and neither does just installing a custom recovery image to get the custom software flashed. But if you got root access, installed an application such as BusyBox, removed the system apps, or did anything else that modified the system partition, you should think twice before installing the stock ROM again because it can result in unexpected behavior if you do. Rooted users with system partition changes should instead turn their attention to future custom software builds, which generally arrive within a few days of the release of the official Android versions.

Note: You should only install the firmware flash file that is for your phone carrier network if your device is still locked to a carrier. Those with unlocked devices are always able to install firmware from other carriers, provided it’s still developed for the same model number. At times there is only one carrier for the model number, in which case it doesn’t matter what file you choose.

What Is Android Firmware?

Firmware is the operating system and its applications that control how the smartphone or tablet that runs on Android operates. While you may see the words “software update available” on your device’s display, we call it firmware to highlight its close relationship with the device manufacturers hardware.

If you prefer technical jargon, firmware is the specific programming that gets written to a device’s non-volatile memory. The firmware gets added to the device during the manufacturing process and is the middleman in helping software run on the hardware. Firmware can be written as read-only memory (ROM), erasable programmable read-only memory (EPROM), or flash memory.

The Android operating system is more open than much of its competitors in iOS, Windows 10 Mobile, and Tizen. You always get firmware running on your device out of the box, but if you do not like it, you can swap it over with custom firmware or other firmware versions that were made for your device. This flexibility helps with troubleshooting, or if you know you would prefer a different Android version that was made available.

Why Reinstall Stock Firmware?

Here are some of the things that you can achieve with stock firmware files:

  • Upgrade or downgrade the version of Android on your device
  • Fix common mobile device-related problems, such as unbearable bugs in the software
  • Remove custom recovery images such as TWRP
  • Unroot the Android operating system, regardless of what method/tool you may have used to get root access
  • Unbrick your smartphone or tablet
  • Reinstall the operating system
  • Fix invalid IMEI problems

Samsung SM-N920A Firmware Flash File Download Links

File Name: N920AUCS4EQF1_7.0_USA_4file

Country: USA

Android Version: Android 7.0 (Nougat)

Firmware FileDownload flash file


File Name: N920AUCS4EQF1_ATT_7.0_USA_4file

Country: USA

Android Version: Android 7.0 (Nougat)

Firmware FileDownload flash file


File Name: N920AUCU4EQC6_7.0_USA_4file

Country: USA

Android Version: Android 7.0 (Nougat)

Firmware FileDownload flash file

How to Install Samsung SM-N920A Flash File Using Odin

To install the Samsung SM-N920A firmware, you need to use a flashing tool that works for your manufacturer and run it on a computer. One flashing tool that works for this smartphone is the Odin Flash Tool. Here is how to use it:

Notes:

  • Back Up Your Data. You should always back up your data before you begin flashing new firmware files to your smartphone or tablet. All your pictures, music, videos, documents, etc. should be still on your device after you have updated the firmware, but you may need to restore the contacts and applications from a backup.
  • Wipe Cache and Factory Reset. Some people claim that taking a factory reset isn’t necessary after updates, but at the very least you should wipe the system cache after installing new firmware. This way you can help eliminate any performance issues and battery draining bugs. Taking a factory reset is the best way of avoiding common problems many users face after applying software updates.
  • The Odin flashing tool is straightforward to use, but it only works on the Windows operating system. You won’t get the flashing tool to load on a Mac or Linux computer. It doesn’t matter what version of the Windows operating system that you’re using as long as it is something above Windows XP.
  • The guide below works if your firmware file contains the tar.md5 file. If you ever need to flash Samsung firmware using the full stock ROM files individually instead, you can learn how to flash Samsung stock firmware using all four files. (Check your firmware file after you download it to see if it is a tar.md5 or comes as 4 individual files.)

Before We Begin

  • Make sure you have:
    • A desktop computer or laptop that is running on a version of the Windows operating system (ideally Windows 10 but at least Windows 7).
    • A USB data cable that allows you to connect your smartphone or tablet to the computer.
    • The tar.md5 file/files you want to flash to the smartphone or tablet.
  • You need to install USB drivers on the computer that allows for your smartphone or tablet to connect with the flashing tool. Several drivers can achieve this. If the drivers in the tutorial do not work for your device, try getting in contact with your smartphone’s manufacturer via an official website or phone number.
  • We recommend backing up the smartphone or tablet before getting started. The Odin Flashing Tool is a reliable tool, but whenever you are installing firmware—regardless of the tool—it is possible you may want to restore the old version of your device. You can only do that from a backup.
  • You need to download a version of the Odin Flash Tool during the tutorial. You should always download the latest version of the tool. If that version does not work, try using an older version. Latest versions of tools have the best chance of being compatible.

1. Download the Samsung USB drivers and install them on the computer if you don’t have them already.

2. Download the stock firmware package from the links above directly to the computer. Extract the file by right-clicking on it and choosing the option to extract.

When you do, you’ll see the tar.md5 file inside. That’s the file you’ll be using to do the flashing.

3. Download the Odin Flashing Tool. Any version should work, but the latest is the most up to date so grab that one. Extract the Odin file and then double-click on the Odin executable file (.exe) that is found from within the Odin folder after extraction.

You should now have the Odin interface open on the computer and waiting for you to connect to it.

4. Boot the mobile device into the Download Mode by first powering it down and then rebooting by holding the Volume Down + Home + Power keys at the same time.

5. A yellow warning triangle will come up on the device’s display. At this time you need to press the Volume Up button. You’ll then see the device getting into the download mode. It’s then ready for the flashing.

6. When in download mode, connect the Samsung mobile device to the computer with the USB cable.

7. If you have installed the USB drivers correctly, the Odin flashing tool should detect your device. You can tell this by observing the ID: COM port lighting up with a color, usually yellow or blue.

It doesn’t matter what color, it’s the lighting up that counts. Some version of Odin will light up Blue while others will show yellow instead. But the both signify the same thing which is your device is connected properly and ready for flashing.

8. After the device is picked up by Odin, click on the PDA or AP button, depending on what button your version of the Odin flashing tool has.

9. Navigate to the firmware folder and upload the tar.md5 file to this location in Odin.

10. Without changing any of the default settings, click on the Start button in Odin, and the flashing then begins.

11. Wait until Odin shows a Pass message before disconnecting your device.

12. Your smartphone may now be in a boot loop, which will be fixed by booting the device into its stock Recovery mode.

13. Press and Hold the Volume Up + Home + Power buttons simultaneously. When you can feel the smartphone vibrate, release the Power button while continuing to hold down the Volume Up and Home buttons.

14. You should now be in recovery mode. From the Recovery menu, select Wipe data/factory reset.

15. Wait for the cache to be cleared and then choose the Reboot system now option from the Recovery menu.

16. The smartphone will reboot, and you’ll see the Android operating system ready to go.

That’s all.

FAQ

There are some common questions people have before installing firmware files. Here are the ones we are regularly asked:

How to Unroot Samsung SM-N920A When Installing New Firmware

There can often be a variety of ways to unroot a device that runs Android, and they depend on what method you used to get root access. If you installed SuperSU for root access, then you can open the app and find the option to unroot directly from SuperSU’s settings. On the other hand, if you do not have SuperSU, and you do have a Samsung smartphone or tablet, then you can always unroot by installing the stock firmware. Once you have followed the guide above, your device will automatically be unrooted. You can verify that is the case by installing one of the many applications from Google Play that checks for root access. As long as you are using a reliable app, then typically it will not lie about the root status of your mobile device.

How to Restore Stock Recovery on Samsung SM-N920A When Installing New Firmware

One of the most common reasons for installing the stock firmware is to remove a custom recovery image and revert to the stock recovery. There is nothing you need to do extra to reinstall the stock recovery on your device; when you install the stock firmware, it will automatically install the stock recovery partition on the device once again.

Additional Firmware

You can download Android firmware for other Android devices if you have another smartphone or tablet from a different manufacturer.

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