Google may be slowly releasing features like app data sync and backups that make you less likely to need to root your phone, but in the mean time there’s still plenty that your Samsung Galaxy S4 could be doing with a Super User account. Here’s our tutorial on making your rooting your GS4, thus making it capable of running apps that require root access.
It seems like every Android phone is just a little different when it comes to rooting, and Samsung phones add the extra difficulty of varying based on what carrier and hardware version your Galaxy S4 happens to be. For the purposes of this tutorial we will be demonstrating the auto-root file on the Sprint variant of the Galaxy S4. Very similar techniques exist for other carriers, but you will need the file that directly corresponds to your specific model in order to be successful. Make sure that you have the correct file before moving forward, you could brick your phone.
Unlike other Android phones, Samsung uses a special piece of software called ODIN to interact with the phone from a PC. While you can still use the Android Debug Bridge to make changes to a Samsung phone, ODIN is significantly more efficient for tasks like the one we are about to complete. (What is Android Debug Bridge?)
Head here and download the ZIP file in this thread, which will contain the most recent version of ODIN as well as the most recent version of the file needed to make the internal changes so that you can install the SuperSU app on your Galaxy S4.
After you have ODIN and the install file extracted from the ZIP, open ODIN, and click the PDA button. You’ll be asked to pick a file to stick here, and unless you’ve done this before the install file from the ZIP will be the only file that applies. Select that file and you’ll be ready to connect your phone to your PC.
Now, make sure your phone is recognized by ODIN, and confirm your the app does not have a checkmark next to the box that says “Repartition”. Click the start button and watch as ODIN gives you a pass or fail for moving the file to the phone and installing it. If you get a pass in the top left corner of the app, your phone will reboot and the root process will begin. If this process takes any longer than 30 seconds to a minute, you need to check your USB cable and make sure you have followed the instructions carefully. The actual root process is very quick.
When the phone reboots, everything will look exactly the same. You’ll simply have a new app in your drawer, which will be used to allow root access on apps that require it. Apps in the Play Store that require root access will cause a new pop up now, requesting confirmation that you want SuperSU to grant root access to these apps. Otherwise, your rooted Galaxy S4 will continue to run just as it did before you performed this procedure.
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