Android is the most popular operating system for mobile with billions of user base which is growing by leaps and bound. The capabilities, features and flexibility of the platform, the variety of devices that suit every budget, and millions of apps that can help you do anything you can imagine on your smartphone— these are the things that have made it what it is today.
But there is another great thing about that infatuates people with the soul of a geek, and that is the Open Source and openness of Android. If you wish to envisage the true color of this beautiful operating system and make the most out of your phone or tablet, you must root it first. Now, rooting is a term that you must be aware of if you own an Android device. Often compared to jail-breaking in iOS sphere, rooting is despised by most Android users and also by OEMs.
Is Rooting a Crime?
I often wonder why the Google Play Store has those thousands of apps that require root permission, if rooting is considered so punishable an offense that it voids the warranty of the device! Being able to run the software one wants on devices one owns without losing hardware warranty should be a right by law. Root by itself is not a crime, nor a pointer that a device is broken in any way that should not fall under warranty. But in the eyes of the OEMs it seems we are criminals. One of the reasons for the popularity of Samsung devices over those by other OEMs is the very fact that they are easier to root and modify.
We have no problem if we lose hands off the warranty of the device in case we flash a custom ROM but rooting is so essential a thing for Android that makes our mobile experience better. It complements and expurgates the deficiencies or the OS.
The greatest reason why most people keep away from the rooting stuff is the loss of warranty and the fear of bricking the device, the former also being the most probable reason for the desire to unroot an Android device.
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If you have a rooted Samsung Galaxy S4 and want to take your phone to the state of an unrooted device so that you might reclaim the warranty, we have a little guide for you. In fact the steps described here can be used on any Galaxy device from Samsung to unroot it. The easiest way to unroot your Samsung Galaxy S4 is to install the official firmware and reset the flash counter to “0” (zero).
Compatibility and Downloading Official Firmware:
The following tutorial can be used to unroot any variant of the Galaxy S4, irrespective of model. Just careful about picking the correct firmware for your device model. You can check it from Settings> More tab> About.
- Galaxy S4 International GT-I9500 : Download
- China Unicom Galaxy S4 Duos GT-I9502 : Download
- Galaxy S4 International LTE GT-I9505 : Download
- AT&T Galaxy S4 SGH-I337 : Download
- Canadian Galaxy S4 GT-I337M : Download
- T-Mobile USA Galaxy S4 SGH-M919 : Download
- Verizon Galaxy S4 SCH-I545 : Download
- Sprint Galaxy S4 SPH-L720 : Download
- U.S. Cellular Galaxy S4 SCH-R970 : Download
Here is a more exhaustive guide that sheds light on all aspects of installing an official firmware to Samsung Galaxy S4. Read the following tutorial:
Gather the Tools and Resources:
- Download and install the Triangle Away app from the Play Store. This step is mandatory and applicable only if you want the warranty of your device back. The app currently does not support GT-I9500: Link
- Download the Odin3 tool and unzip it: Odin3_v3.04.zip
- Download and install Samsung USB Drivers on your computer: Download
- Download the suitable firmware according to your device model number, country/region or CSC and extract the zip file. If you do not know the CSC code for your country, refer to this article. Download the firmware from here: Link
- Backup your contacts, messages, call-log, apps, etc: Use these apps
- Enable USB Debugging on your phone. If you do not know how to do it, read this tutorial.
- Ensure more than 60% battery on your Galaxy S4.
How to Unroot the Galaxy S4:
- Open the app drawer and run Triangle Away and follow the on-screen instructions to reset the flash binary counter to zero.
- Triangle away is capable of making your phone system think that it is not rooted, despite the fact it is rooted. Thus you are able to claim warranty.
- You can also unroot your device from within the SuperSU app itself. Open the app, tap on Settings and scroll down to the Full Unroot option and select it.
- If you want to completely unroot your Galaxy phone, install the stock firmware on it using Odin. But before you do that, download the appropriate firmware for your Galaxy S4, boot the phone into Download Mode. To do this, press and hold Volume Down+Center+Power buttons together for 3-5 seconds till you see a warning screen. Now press Volume Up to continue to the Download mode.
- Now open Odin folder, launch the program by double-clicking and then connect the phone to PC using USB cable.
- Wait till the device drivers are installed and Odin detects the phone which is indicated by the ID:COM port turning to Blue and “Added!!” at the message box on Odin.
- Make sure that only “Auto Reboot” and “F Reset Time” options are selected.
- Now click on PDA and select the firmware file with .tar.md5 extension.
- Finally, hit Start button and wait till installation is complete and you see “PASS!!” signal followed by automatic reboot of the device.
The phone will finally boot and it will be unrooted.
Fixing Bootloop on Galaxy S4:
In case, your Galaxy S4 is stuck on the Samsung logo for more than 5 minutes and is caught into a bootloop, do this:
- Pull out the battery, wait for about 30 seconds and put the battery to its place again.
- Now boot the device into Stock Recovery mode: hold down Volume Up+Center+Power keys till the screen turns up and the Samsung logo blinks for two times. Then release the Power button but keep other keys pressed till you see a blue menu. Here you’ll have to use the volume and power keys to scroll up/down and select options respectively.
- Go to “wipe data/factory reset” option and wipe it.
- Now “wipe cache partition”
- Finally, “reboot system now”.
The bootloop should be fixed now. In case the device still doesn’t boot, install the firmware again. For more stuff and tutorials on Samsung Galaxy S4, click here.