How To Root Galaxy S4

Recently, news went around the internet that Samsung Galaxy S 4,  had been rooted prior to its release. Obviously that was a great news, but in this case the person who did the “rooting” didn’t have the device to test the process. In many cases, like previous versions of the Galaxy series, that is OK because the way to root Samsung devices has been the same via repacking Samsung’s firmware package with su and then flashing via ODIN. But that old way didn't work on the new S4 and it was proved by XDA Recognized Developer Odia in a thread similar to the original “root” thread.

The main problem is that the S 4 utilizes a new security feature to enable BYOD to make the S 4 more palatable for the Enterprise customers, and that feature is Samsung Knox. Without going into a lot of detail, Knox effectively isolates your personal side of the device from your companies private side.

XDA Elite Recognized Developer, Chainfire began toying with the Qualcomm version of the Galaxy S 4 (GT-I9505) back in early March, and immediately began to have issues with the “tried and true” process for rooting previous Galaxy devices. He noticed that while you could “inject” the su binary into the firmware, the device would immediately reboot when that same binary was executed. 

After much testing, Chainfire figured out a way to root the device using his tried-and-true CF-Auto-Root process. Be warned that this currently only works on the GT-I9505 (Qualcomm LTE) version of the S4, with Odia finding that there are issues with the Exynos 5 Octa version. As is always the case, be warned that there is a risk in performing any procedure such as this on your device.

What will be installed:

  • SuperSU binary and APK
  • Stock recovery


  1. Check your device model ! Settings -> About device -> Model number. If your device is a totally different model, it will not work (may even brick) ! Your device model should be GT-I9505 i.e. Qualcomm-based Galaxy S4 LTE.
  2. Download and Unzip this File (Odin 1.85)
  3. Download and Unzip this File (CF-Auto-Root-jflte-jfltexx-gti9505)
  4. If you end up with a recovery.img and cache.img file, you've extracted twice. You need to end up with a .tar.md5 file - don't extract that one
  5. (USB) Disconnect your phone from your computer
  6. Start Odin3-vX.X.exe
  7. Click the PDA button, and select CF-Auto-Root-....tar.md5
  8. Put your phone in download mode (Turn off the Galaxy S4 and enter Download Mode. Press and hold Volume Down + Home buttons together and then press the Power button until the construction Android robot and a triangle are seen. Press the Power button again to enter Download Mode)
  9. (USB) Connect the phone to your computer
  10. Make sure Repartition is NOT checked
  11. Click the Start button
  12. Wait for Android to boot
  13. Done (if it took you more than 30 seconds, you need practise!)
  14. If the device boots normally without the red Android, reboot into recovery manually to trigger the process.
  15. It will install SuperSU for you and restore the stock recovery, and reboot back into Android.


  • If you don't get to the red Android logo, boot into recovery manually ("adb reboot recovery", or boot while holding Power+VolUp+Home).
  • Did you see the red Android logo during rooting, but SuperSU does not appear? This may sometimes occur due to left-over files and settings, however, you can usually install SuperSU from Google Play at this stage and it'll just work.


Sometimes the device does *not* boot into recovery mode and root your device. Just do the entire procedure again if this happens. If it still will not install root and such, make sure that in Odin "Auto Reboot" is not checked. Then after flashing, pull the battery, and boot with VolUp+Home+Power button to boot into recovery manually. This will start the install process.

New to Samsung? Unfamiliar with Odin? Think all the above is a hassle? Get used to it. It's very simple, and we Samsung folk use Odin (or Mobile ODIN ) for everything! It's so very very convenient once you get used to it. Notice the 30 second comment above? For experienced users, the entire process indeed takes only 30 seconds!

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