Android ROMs are wonderful things. You can check out custom ROMs to install on your device, or if you prefer you can keep flashing the stock ROMs instead.

ROM stands for “Read Only Memory.” When you change stock ROMs, you are essentially changing the operating system version. When you change custom ROMs, you are still using the same Android foundation, but the operating system will be significantly different.

A lot of the time people are searching for stock ROMs to flash because they’ve currently got custom software, aka a custom ROM, running on their devices and they want to go back to using the stock Android the way Android developers, manufacturers, and carriers collectively intended it to be used. If that includes you, then you should be careful if you have changed the system partition in some way. Installing a custom ROM from a custom recovery image straight up won’t affect the system partition, but if you were to get root access, install BusyBox, or remove the system applications by using a root app, etc., then you would be changing the system partition, which can lead to unexpected behavior when you go back to using a stock ROM again.

Installing an official version of Android usually removes root access and any custom recover images that were installed. If you have either of those two things, it might be a better idea to wait for a custom ROM that is based on the version of Android that you want to install. Usually, the ROM developers focussing on custom software will come up with a new ROM within a few days of the official version being released.

Apart from the folk out there making system partition changes, there’s not much you need to worry about when flashing. You can flash stock ROMs as often as you like and it won’t do any harm. The stock ROMs that you flash are always going to be the same versions of Android that you would have received as over-the-air updates, only you’re choosing to flash it manually, using a flashing tool that is made to work for your manufacturer, instead.

Note: You can only install the firmware that is for your phone carrier network if your device is still locked into one particular carrier. If your device is unlocked, however, then you are free to try installing firmware that is branded by other carrier networks. Likewise, you can only install unbranded firmware if your device is not locked into a carrier network.

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-N950U Firmware Flash File Download Links

File Name: N950USQU1AQH7_N950UOYN1AQH7_SPR_7.1.1_4file

Country: Sprint (USA)

Android Version: Android 7.1.1 (Nougat)

Firmware FileDownload flash file


File Name: N950USQU1AQI5_N950UOYN1AQI5_TMB_7.1.1_4file

Country: T-Mobile (USA)

Android Version: Android 7.1.1 (Nougat)

Firmware FileDownload flash file


File Name: N950USQU1AQI5_N950UOYN1AQI5_VZW_7.1.1_4file

Country: Verizon (USA)

Android Version: Android 7.1.1 (Nougat)

Firmware FileDownload flash file


File Name: N950USQU1AQI9_N950UOYN1AQI9_USC_7.1.1_4file

Country: USA

Android Version: Android 7.1.1 (Nougat)

Firmware FileDownload flash file

How to Install Samsung SM-N950U Flash File Using Odin

To install the Samsung SM-N950U 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-N950U 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-N950U 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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