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How to Disable KNOX Security on Galaxy S3/ S4/ Note 2/ Note 3

posted by Rakesh Shukla

disable knox security

The are various instances of exploits bringing out the security vulnerabilities of Samsung’s flagship Galaxy devices. To arouse the trust of business class customers, Samsung also launched an ad campaign. However, it was with the launch of the Galaxy S4 that the company introduced a dedicated security service trademarked as Samsung KNOX.

Previously, the service was only available for people in enterprise and in government institutions. Later during IFA event in Berlin, Samsung  showcased some new devices like the Note 3, Note 10.1 2014 Edition, Galaxy Gear and also revealed the commercial availability of a its Knox mobile security system that helps better protect device data against unauthorized use.

 

What is Samsung KNOX?

In this way, if you have Knox installed on your device which you use as a personal and as a workplace phone both, Knox lets you store enterprise applications (corporate email, contacts, calendar, etc.) securely using an Exchange ActiveSync Server. The service is capable of separating personal and work data and thus it makes it possible for both types of data to coexist on a Knox-enabled device. You just have to press an icon to switch from personal to business mode.

Here’s an official video that reveals what KNOX does:

Actually, Samsung came with KNOX when it realized that security-lovers and corporate class tended to  abstain from its smartphones due to security vulnerabilities. By integrating KNOX in the TouchWiz UX, Samsung provided a second version of a smartphone as KNOX mode that is protected with password and restricts unauthorized access. KNOX mode includes apps like Camera, Gallery, Downloads, Email, S Planner, My files, Phone, Contacts and S Browser by default. Besides these, there are about 75 KNOX-apps that you can download additionally.

 

Why Disable Samsung KNOX?

There’s no doubt that Samsung Knox service is really a good security solution for those who got a financial and business reason to protect their data, but there are still many others who might not like to have it on their device. If you are not a fan of the kind of security Knox provides and love to root your device and install custom ROMs on it without caring about the security warnings, we have come with some tips to disable Samsung Knox security shield on your device. Knox might also be responsible for FC (force close) error with some of your root perm apps, and so this is another sound reason to disable it.

 

Unable to Get Root Access Due to KNOX?

If you have KNOX on your Galaxy device and you have rooted it, you’ll see a verification message that pops up every time SuperSU is called for action by some apps on your device. The message runs like this:

“SuperSU tried to access system in your device without authorization. This action was blocked.”

OR

“An application attempted to access system on your device without authorization.”

OR

“Unauthorized access to a secured area has been blocked.”

You can get rid of this annoying thing easily by disabling Knox service and its agent apps. Remember, once KNOX is aware of SuperUser on your phone, it’ll block its functioning and you might not be able to use any root app. In case you are unable to get root access (after rooting your device) because KNOX prevents SuperSU in doing so, do this:

  1. Download the latest SuperSU zip package: UPDATE-SuperSU-vx.xx.zip
  2. Extract the zip and open the folder.disable knox security 2
  3. Go the folder named “common” and copy the Superuser.apk to your phone.
  4. Install the APK manually (do not forget to tick Unknown Sources option under Security settings of your device).
  5. Now launch the SuperSU app on your phone and it will ask you whether or not you want to disable KNOX: “Samsung Knox has been detected. This might limit root capabilities and cause annoying popups. Try to disable KNOX.”
  6. Select OK. It will then tell you that KNOX has been successfully disabled.disable-knox-security-2

You should now be able to enjoy root access on your Samsung Galaxy device. If you want to remove KNOX from the device, use the method given below. If the above method does not work for you, you phone might not be rooted properly. Verify the root with Root Checker app.

If root is not verified, root the device again and then try this method.

 

List of Galaxy Devices that Feature KNOX:

Our tutorial on removing/ disabling/ uninstalling KNOX might be used to get rid of KNOX on all Samsung devices with Android 4.2 or above. The following Galaxy phones and tablets support Samsung KNOX:

  • Galaxy Note 3 (LTE, Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, Rogers, Bell and other variants)
  • Galaxy Mega 6.3
  • Galaxy S4 (all variants)
  • Galaxy S4 Mini
  • Galaxy S3 (all variants)
  • Galaxy Note 2 (all variants)
  • Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition
  • Galaxy Round

 

Removing/Uninstalling KNOX Without Root:

Samsung KNOX can be removed from a Galaxy device without root access. Just follow the steps given below:

  1. Open the app drawer on your phone or tablet device.
  2. Then tap on Samsung> Samsung KNOX.
  3. When you enter the KNOX Homescreen, tap the Menu button android_Menu
  4. From the available options, select KNOX Settings.knox-menu-disable knox security
  5. Then select touch About KNOX> Uninstall.
  6. While uninstalling KNOX, you’ll be asked if you want to backup your KNOX data.
  7. To back up your KNOX data, select Backup now, else touch OK button. Make your choice.
  8. Now enter your KNOX password and then select Continue> Next.knox-backup
  9. All backed up data that does not include your email and app data will be save as Zip to My Files> All> Knox.
  10. KNOX will then be uninstalled from your Samsung Galaxy device.

Done and enjoy! Now your phone or tablet is KNOX-free.

 

Disable KNOX Security Using Terminal Emulator

  1. This method requires root access on your device.
  2. Download and install the Terminal Emulator app on your phone or tablet.
  3. Launch the app on your device and grant it root permission when prompted.
  4. When you see the command box, type the following command:
    su pm disable com.sec.knox.seandroid
  5. Doing this will disable Samsung Knox on your device

 

Alternative Method To Disable KNOX:

Download and install an app that is capable of freezing system apps on Android devices. Titanium Backup is a good option. This method requires root access too.

 

Uninstalling KNOX Apps on Rooted Devices:

  1. Download and install System App Remover app from the Google Play Store.
  2. Open it and do not forget to allow root permission to this app when you are asked to do so.
  3. Find all KNOX agent and all associated apps by typing “knox” in the search box (see below):Uninstalling-KNOX-on-Note-3
  4. Then check/select the boxes before these apps and tap the Uninstall button.

All the KNOX apps will be uninstalled. You should now get rid of it. Enjoy!   Open Titanium Backup when it is installed, grant SuperUser permission to it when prompted and freeze the following apps:

  • com.sec.enterprise.knox.attestation
  • com.sec.knox.eventsmanager
  • KLMS Agent
  • KNOX
  • KNOX Notification Manager
  • KNOX Store

Removing Samsung KNOX Using Root Explorer:

If you have root privileges over your Samsung Galaxy S3/S /Note 2/Note 3, there is yet another method using which you can get rid of this irritating KNOX thing.

  1. Install either Root Explorer or Root Browser app on your device:  
  2. Now open Root Explorer/Browser and navigate to system/app directory.
  3. Tap on the Search icon and type “knox”.
  4. Doing this will give you a list of KNOX and its related apps.
  5. Mark all item by checking the box and then tap on the Delete icon.uninstall-knox-security-apps
  6. Select Yes when you are asked if you want to delete the selected apps.

Having deleted these apps, there will still be some KNOX apps left on your phone. Let’s now eliminate them too. Go back to the  system/app folder and find the following apps:

  • Container Agent.apk
  • Container Agent.odex
  • KLMSAgent.apk
  • KLMSAgent.odex

If you do not find KLMSAgent app in system/app directory, look for it in system/priv-app folder. Either mark these items together and delete them or find and remove them one by one.

Disabling KNOX Notifications:

Method 1:

If you just want to disable Knox notifications on your Samsung Galaxy device, there is a good app available at the Google Play Store that requires root access and makes the job pretty easier:

Download APK: KNOXDisablerFree_v1.0.1.apk knox-disabler-app Here ends our easy-to-follow tips tip on turning all Samsung Knox services off on Samsung Galaxy devices. If you have a question or problem related to the topic, you can share with us via comments. Also, do not forget to give us your feedback on how it  worked for. Cheers!

Method 2:

If you keep getting the annoying KNOX notification on your Samsung Galaxy phone or tablet, there is another way you can disable it very easily. This method requires root access on your device and uses the well-known Xposed Framework and its module named Wanam Xposed. Here is how you can do it.

  1. Download the latest Xposed Installer and Wanam Xposed Module on your device: Download Here
  2. After activating the module, launch the Wanam Xposed app from the app drawer.
  3. Scroll down to Security Hacks option and tap it.
  4. Then check the Disable KNOX notifications option.disable-knox-notifications
  5. Exit the app and reboot your Galaxy device.
  6. Done!

Want More Tips on Galaxy Note 3?

Galaxy Note 3 Tips and Tricks

About the Author

Rakesh Shukla

A multi-faceted person with his heart and mind in English literature and technology, Rakesh is a teacher by profession and Android lover by vocation. He has penned down numerous books and is a theme-maker, modder, small-time developer and also a political activist. He enjoys learning, discovering, growing and sharing the newest and latest trends in the world of Android.   Current Devices: Nexus 5 Galaxy Note 3 , HTC One, Galaxy Note 10.1, Xperia Z1, and iPhone 4S.

Published by: Rakesh Shukla
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  • Singha Kendiiz

    I hold the logo on note2 samsung.

  • http://www.droidviews.com/ Rakesh

    Thanks for sharing your feedback.

  • Bad

    It worked like a charm for galaxy note 2. The procedure of downloading a zip file and extracting super user APK file .. Worked like a charm!!! Thanks a million

  • kamlesh soni

    For note2 just update supersu and your problem gone

    Thanksssssssss

  • James Santos

    hi Jimbob, i tried this workaround a few days ago, i just renamed the nfc files to all small letters and it worked. :) but i installed titanium backup first since the system doesnt allow me to install root explorer. after freezing knox modules with titanium backup, i was able to install root explorer without a glitch. after that i got to delete the nasty knox files hehe. only thing with this workaround is that after you decide to flash again with Odin, the same problem comes up. Anyway im happy with this temporary solution and just will be waiting till the next 4.3 or 4.4 update and see if it will permanently fix the issue. Thanks dude!

  • jimbob

    I’m no expert but this might help.
    I had the same issue with nfc and bad size error… unable to resolve fully..
    After running the OTA update you now have knox on your device.. The only firmware you can flash is I9195XXUBMJ7 (knox secured).

    This still gives the issues with NFC though… the only way round it is to do with one file.. nfc_nci.MSM8960.so

    Read And download the required files from here.
    http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=2562485&page=6

  • James Santos

    Hi Rakesh, i tried flashing this one and got my device soft bricked…:( while flashing from Odin, write failed after message telling to connect to samsung kies…what i did was to flash pit file with this pda file..after that my phone was up and running but still NO NFC, button is still greyed out…:( what else can i do???….

  • http://www.droidviews.com/ Rakesh
  • James Santos

    Hi, Rakesh, the link for the file was broken…any other links to this file? thanks

  • http://www.droidviews.com/ Rakesh

    Hi James, I gave you the same firmware version for XSG CSC. Anyway, here is another shot which I belive will work: http://terafile.co/694449dc6056/LUX-I9195XXUBMJ7-20131122215902.zip

    Download and install it.

  • James Santos

    Hi Rakesh, i followed these steps and this is what i got…cannot go into recovery mode but able to go to download mode. if i try entering into recovery mode, my device just vibrates and shows the below message..

  • http://www.droidviews.com/ Rakesh

    I know too that it is not a hardware issue. Download this firmware: http://terafile.co/5f0981574920/XSG-I9195XXUAMG9-20131002145347.zip

    and install using this guide: http://www.droidviews.com/how-to-downgrade-firmware-on-samsung-galaxy-devices/

    And yes, do not accept the OTA next time or you have the same issue. After installing the firmware, go to Settings> More> About> software update and disable it. I believe it will fix the problem. Let me know.

  • James Santos

    I’m from the UAE. I have an unlocked mobile running CSC XSG. Firmware I9195XXUBML4 android 4.2.2. Unbranded. It was running fine before the update and after the ota it got messed up. I was able to flash cm10.2 and 11 just to see if it was hardware related but I think it was not because on both cm versions I was able to use NFC perfectly fine..I’m just worried because it won’t work on stock ROM..I have the utmost faith in ur advice coz I always come here for tips and it always works fine :) I hope you could help me on my dilemma this time. Thank u very much. Any other info u need just ask me.

  • http://www.droidviews.com/ Rakesh

    Okay, is your device carrier branded, and from which country you are?

  • James Santos

    Hi, I already tried that method, but still it did not work. And i found something strange…after wiping the cache data…my device suddenly rebooted. i dont know if it wiped the cache or not. i have done several data factory resets on my other samsung phones but this one is different. data wipe is ok but after wiping cache it reboots instantly..also i tried to flash the same firmware using odin, but still the same result…no nfc…

  • http://www.droidviews.com/ Rakesh

    Hi James, try to perform a data factory reset via recovery. Follow the steps 10-14 from this guide: http://www.droidviews.com/how-to-downgrade-firmware-on-samsung-galaxy-devices/

    Do not forget to backup the data present on your device before doing that. Try it and let me know.

  • James Santos

    Hi Rakesh, iknow this is out of topic but i want to ask something. After receiving OTA updates for my i9195 4.2.2, suddenly my NFC stopped working…Any ideas how to resolve this? Thanks

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  • http://www.droidviews.com/ Rakesh

    Which device and model do you have?

  • nyteravyn

    Do we have a root method that does not trip the Knox counter

  • http://www.droidviews.com/ Rakesh

    All possible methods already given above.

  • Pingback: [Q] Verizon I545 SuperSu Update Error – Failed to Disable Knox | Developed

  • husni

    How can i uninstall knox without tripping it? I still have my warranty…

  • Shahid Khan

    Dude, perfect, thank you. Disabled KNOX on Android 4.3 freshly rooted.

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  • http://www.droidviews.com/ Rakesh

    On some US variants, KNOX is interwoven in the bootloader and therefore it cannot be deleted unless you install a modified firmware.

    Also look into the system/priv-app folder.

  • wes wade

    my device is an sch-535 running 4.3…
    it is rooted…
    supersu disabled knox…
    i’ve attempted to find these extra files that are supposed to be left on the device, yet neither browser or root explorer can find any of these files…
    System App Remover only found the knox notification manager and removed it…
    any suggestions???

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  • http://droidviews.com/ Rakesh

    Hmm, you’ll have to flash the modem file via Odin to fix Wi-Fi.

  • Eric

    Galaxy S4. On Sprint.

  • http://droidviews.com/ Rakesh

    Hmm. Do you have Note 2?

  • Eric

    I’ve rooted my phone successfully and uninstalled all Knox apps with System app remover, but my wifi still won’t turn on. There is no security warning anymore, but no wifi either.

  • http://droidviews.com/ Rakesh

    Hi Eric, try our new trick. It should work for you.

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  • LeTronique

    Ivan wins!!!! I noticed that once you installed the SUperSU apk NOT THE GOOGLE PLAY VERSION (By CHainfire) it gives you one chance to open and use the app ( if you close it, KNOX makes sure you can’t run it again, unless you re-install the apk) it then automatically detects KNOX and asks you whether or not you want to disable it. I did and it worked! I’m rooted!

  • Ivan Cruz

    I was havin the same problem Le tronique! This is how I solved it go to xda and download the last version of “superSU”(1.89), unzip the folder and copy it to you phone, install the superSU apk located in the common folder. Once installed open it and it will give you the option to disable KNOX.

  • http://droidviews.com/ Rakesh

    Thanks for showing your appreciation but we do not accept donations as we are already getting paid by our sponsors. When I have some workaround for the KNOX issue, I’ll let you know. :)

  • LeTronique

    Thanks man, do you have a donation paypal or something. I’d like to buy you a coffee or something for your trouble…

  • http://droidviews.com/ Rakesh

    It’s because KNOX in interwoven in the secure bootloader. I’ll have to look for a solution…..

  • LeTronique

    “Turn off” is grayed out. “Clear cache” says “security policy restricts clearing of application data and the same goes for app cache.

  • http://droidviews.com/ Rakesh

    Try this: go to settings> more> application manager> all, find KNOX and disable it. Then try again.

  • LeTronique

    Ran the script, everything went well until it said “Trying to disable knox”. MY phone then tells me that superSU has stopped and that’s it. The script freezes there.

  • http://droidviews.com/ Rakesh
  • LeTronique

    AT&T Samsung Note 2 sgh-I317 on 4.3

  • http://droidviews.com/ Rakesh

    Which phone and firmware version do you have?

  • LeTronique

    I can’t root the phone if Knox stops me from having superuser status. Anytime I try to get root access, Knox denies me access

  • http://droidviews.com/ Rakesh

    Try the root method then.

  • LeTronique

    THere is no knox button on my phone. Its hidden.

  • Eric Denney

    I don’t have root. I found this page after googling the msg that constantly pops up. Saw the instructions for non rooted devices, but as I mentioned, I can’t find Knox anywhere except by long pressing the security msg, but that only lets me see the running service, which doesn’t even show up if I open up the app manager.

  • http://droidviews.com/ Rakesh

    I have just added another method. Try that too.

  • http://droidviews.com/ Rakesh

    You got root? I guess you have. Do this: install Root Browser, go to system/apps directory and delete all apps that have KNOX in their names. You can also find the names in the article above. I have done this on my Note 3 LTE.

  • Eric Denney

    None of the above info helps me, nor any of the comments that say “just go to Knox….”. I have a new Galaxy S4 with Android 4.3, but Knox doesn’t show up anywhere in my apps, running services, or anywhere else I can find, except when I get one of those CONSTANT security warnings. Then and only then I can long press the warning, and it shows me the offending/reporting app is Knox. That’s the only time/way I can find it on my phone, and my only option is to stop the service, clear the cache, or clear the data. I’ve done all of the above to no avail, I still get the warnings.

  • avior

    l3l2yanare you sure you are rooted  check with this app
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.joeykrim.rootcheck&hl=en
    when i first did on mine i thought it was rooted then i used this app and it said not rooted

  • l3l2yan

    yes, I get ‘permission denied’

  • l3l2yan

    Yeah, I tried that too. I still get permission denied & no acknowledgement that I am rooted (other than in Superuser, but this is all I can do in there) vvvvvv(below)vvvvvv

  • l3l2yan

    Yeah, I did that already too. I still get permission denied & no acknowledgement that I am rooted (other than in Superuser, but this is all I can do in there) vvvvvv(below)vvvvvv

  • l3l2yan

    DroidViews avior  I have access to update binary through SuperUser & have updated binary, but still have no access to disable KNOX, I have unchecked it in Admin. settings, but can’t uninstall it. I still have no access to any other ‘root’ apps & permissions are still being blocked or not acknowledging my device is rooted.
    SU Binary Updater:
    Downloading manifest… okay!
    Parsing manifest… okay!
    Latest version = 3.1.1
    Checking installed version = legacy
    Fixing database… okay!
    Unpacking sutools… okay!
    Checking current install path… /system/xbin/su
    Downloading new binary… okay
    Gaining root access…
    Remounting /system as rw… legacy
    Copying su to /system… okay

  • DroidViews

    l3l2yan DroidViews avior Then try to disable KNOX from Application Manager.

  • l3l2yan

    DroidViews l3l2yan avior Couldn’t uninstall, security policy restricted, grrr. I wish I never updated to 4.3 now, fml

  • DroidViews

    l3l2yan avior Okay, try this to: go to settings> general> security> device administrators and uncheck KNOX. Then try to uninstall KNOX.

  • l3l2yan

    Still can’t access this or any ‘root’ apps due to security block. I have tried all aforementioned was to disable KNOX, (terminal emulator: Permission Denied – KNOX Disabler: Force close “Unfortunately, has stopped” – Titanium Backup: Sorry, could not acquire root privileges – Triangle away: SuperUser access is needed, but could not be acquired.

    I am rooted: legacy 3.1.1 running android 4.3 on Sprint (SPH-L710) Galaxy S3, if there is any further assistance that will get KNOX the H**L OFF my phone, please & thank you

  • l3l2yan

    avior  
    Still can’t access this or any ‘root’ apps due to security block. I have tried all aforementioned was to disable KNOX, (terminal emulator: Permission Denied – KNOX Disabler: Force close “Unfortunately, has stopped” – Titanium Backup: Sorry, could not acquire root privileges – Triangle away: SuperUser access is needed, but could not be acquired.

    I am rooted: legacy 3.1.1 running android 4.3 on Sprint (SPH-L710) Galaxy S3, if there is any further assistance that will get KNOX the H**L OFF my phone, please & thank you

  • avior

    the easiest way to do it is Suchain    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=eu.chainfire.supersu&hl=en

    as long as you are rooted   just reboot your phone then go into suchain  and it will do it  then jsut reboot you phone and it gone forever

  • DroidViews

    EricLuke1 What issue are you having?

  • EricLuke1

    I’ve tried method 1 and 2
    But It still block freedom app
    Pls tell me What do I need to do?
    thx

  • MattyMatt

    @Aman Singh thank you!!!!

  • NoahFebak

    @Aman Singh It doesn’t help. Even when it’s not installed, or hasn’t been installed at all, the Knox notification manager is still installed and delivering the spam notifications :(

    And Samsung support team is apparently among the worst, no help from those people.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04621475892023144524 Mentiroso

    On I9505 Snapdragon, if it has not been installed after tapping on the icon and then on the *Install* button, it simply is not present, and so it cannot be disabled because there is nothing yet to enable or disable..

  • Rodrigo Stücker

    you sir, deserves a medal for looking for it and not being a lazy ass like me…thanks!

  • Aman Singh

    You can uninstall Knox. Press the “Knox” button, go to the homescreen (if it don’t happen automatically), press the “menu” touch button on your phone, press “Knox Settings”, and then press “About Knox”, aaaand “Uninstall”. I you have been using Knox actively you should make a backup, if not just press “uninstall” or something. :)

    Edit: Done on my S4, not rooted.

  • http://droidviews.com/ Rakesh

    Thanks for sharing!

  • Jon Barchi

    Actually, current Titanium Backup seems to be able to uninstall most of the Knox components on a properly rooted ROM (I’m using stock + the “Root de la Vega” method, which uses a su daemon spawned by init). What it doesn’t do, at least yet, is get around all of the SEAndroid restrictions which are really separate from Knox – not that Samsung makes the distinction. I think this may be tractable to some degree, but it’s still active development in that regard.

  • Jon Barchi

    try, instead of one command, separating the ‘su’ and ‘pm …’ commands in terminal, like so (don’t type the $ or #, they indicate the prompt):

    (enter terminal emulator, grant root if not persistent)

    $su

    #pm disable com.sec.knox.seandroid

    #

    See if this does anything different for you. If not, try typing ‘which su’ to see which su command is being used… it might not be right due to search path issues.

  • Aaarodell

    I figured out how to disable it, basically go to knox and press the menu button to get knox settings then unchecked the option to switch between knox and phone via notification and this will remove the notification from both phones :)
    Spread the word, aaarodell

  • http://droidviews.com/ Rakesh

    It is not normal but if you do not see any notification, it might be disabled already.

  • Vinícius Souza

    Great article! Thanks! I’m rooted and tried to do the Terminal Emulator method, but after granting root access I type “su pm disable com.sec.knox.seandroid” and press Enter. After this I get a “su-mksh: disable: not found” message. Is this normal? And different from Elliot, I don’t get any security notification.

  • http://droidviews.com/ Rakesh

    You will not be able to uninstall Knox. Root your Note 3 and find a custom ROM that is Knox free.

  • Katie Dev

    I want to uninstall Knox as well, but it gives me the option to back up my files to Knox. Should I? And if I do not will I lose all my files? Help! I’m confused, I don’t want to lose my files but I want to uninstall Knox.

  • http://droidviews.com/ Rakesh

    You can force stop Knox agent apps from Settings> General> Applications> All but doing that is not that much effective.

  • sketaful

    KNOX stop rooting from working making it really hard to use these…

  • Haggie

    Is there a solution for non-root users?

  • http://droidviews.com/ Rakesh

    Did you try Titanium Backup?

  • Elliot Bridgewater

    I installed and opened Android Terminal Emulator and even though the device is rooted, there was no box asking for permissions.

    When I entered su pm disable com.sec.knox.seandroid, I got the following message as a notification:

    “An application attempted to access system on your device without authorisation. This attempt has been blocked. Deleting applications obtained from unauthorised sources may improve security.”

    The KNOX Disabler also did not work :(

    i9505 running 4.3.

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