Rooting is the process by which you can gain full control of your Android smartphone. This is basically done to achieve very heavy customizations for a phone. The access level is known as root access and hence the name. Since Android is a Linux-based operating system, rooting the device will give you similar administrative privileges as obtained in Linux or other Unix operating systems like OS X or FreeBSD.
Your Android smartphone is limited in terms of control because manufacturers design it that way. Advanced users often want to tweak and use more options and also customize their phone to their liking. This is where rooting the device helps them. Certain privileges are gained after rooting that is not available when you first buy the phone. Through rooting, one may completely uninstall the operating system and replace it with another one. This is especially applicable for Android smartphones.
This can be compared to jailbreaking of Apple’s iOS-based phones. Rooting can allow you to access the subsystem of your Android Smartphone. The restriction imposed by the manufacturer can be bypassed easily. What is even better is that you may overclock or underclock your phone to improve its performance, battery life and handle heating issues etc. Even the phone’s firmware can be replaced with a new one that is even better and customizable to a great extent.
Advantages with rooting your Galaxy S5
Following are the advantages of rooting your Galaxy S5:
- Bloatware can be removed. This is impossible to remove without rooting your device.
- In case wireless tethering is disabled by default, you may enable and use it after rooting
- Certain specialized apps are forbidden and cannot be installed unless you root your device
- The look of the phone can be customized completely
- App permissions can be accepted or denied manually
- CPU can be over-clocked or under-clocked to optimize performance and treat overheating issues
Disadvantages of rooting your Galaxy S5
Before you try to root your Galaxy S5, you should be aware of all the disadvantages and the potentially threat that it poses to your phone. They are as follows:
- Termination of Warranty: In case your S5 is within the warranty period of 1 year mostly, do not try to root it. In case you do, your warranty will be void and any malfunctioning will not be serviced by the manufacturer for free. However, unrooting your Galaxy S5 by flashing the original firmware can fool the service engineers into thinking that it was never rooted.
- Security issues: Rooting your Galaxy S5 without proper knowledge could open many security loopholes that malware can take advantage of. The Google wallet service cannot be used for rooted devices because of potential security issues.
- Permanent damage to software: You can permanently damage your Galaxy S5 by rooting it. This often happens due to over-tampering of the device after rooting. Overclocking to great extent or under-clocking could damage the CPU.
Prepare your Galaxy S5 for rooting
Before you put your Galaxy S5 under the knife, you must prepare for operation “Rooting you S5”. Some of the most popular rooting software available currently are Towelroot and Kingo Root. These apps will root your S5 in a flash. However, it is of utmost importance to make sure that you are sure of what you are doing.
- Before you root your S5, make sure that you back up all data and existing ROM. This is so that you may restore the original firmware along with the data in case of un-rooting. Also, you would want to recover your data in case it becomes corrupted by this process.
- Make sure that you S5 has 100% battery level before you begin the process.
- Turn on USB debugging before commencing.
- Unlock your S5’s bootloader and choose the apps that will start during the device’s booting.
Best method to root your device
Using a computer
Step 1: Turn off your Galaxy S5 and press the following keys together for 3-5 seconds: Home key, volume up key and power key. If the timing is just right then a warning screen will appear.
Step2: After the warning screen a[[ears, press volume up key to trigger another screen that displays the word “Downloading”.
Step3: Download the following files on your computer hard drive: ODIN, Philz Touch CWM recovery, Super SU. Unzip the ODIN files.
Step4: Connect your Galaxy S5 to the computer via the USB cable.
Step 5: Open the ODIN program and you can see a COM port number in a yellow highlighted box. In case this port number is not visible, you need to install Samsung USB driver on your computer first.
Step 6: Click on the PDA button in the ODIn interface and chose the Philz Touch CWM recovery file. This will then be flashed to your Galaxy S5.
Step 7: After the process is successfully completed, a green text box with PASS written will appear. After this copy, the Super Su files to your S5’s internal storage.
Step 8: Turn off your S5. Press the volume up, power and home buttons together again for 3-5 seconds. This time, a recovery booting procedure starts. Let go of the buttons. Choose the “Install ZIP” option.
Step 9: Choose the SuperSU zip file. This is the actual file that roots your S5. After the process completes, simply reboot your S5.
Step 10: Open the Super SU app and disable the very annoying Samsung security app called Knox. After Knox has been disabled, your phone is completely rooted.
Step 11: You may use the Titanium backup app to see the Superuser window.
Step 1: Switch off your Galaxy S5. Press the home key, power button and volume up key just like the last method to open the “Downloading…” screen
Step 2: Connect your S5 to the computer via USB cable.
Step 3: Go to this page and download a suitable zip file to your computer.
Step 4: Unzip the files and open ODIN interface. This time too you should see a similar kind of Port number on the screen.
Step 5: Click on the PDA button and choose the file “tar.md5”.
Step 6: The new firmware start flashing your phone and after completion shows “RESET”. Your galaxy S5 is now rooted though CF Auto Root
Step 7: Reboot your S5 and open the SuperSU app. Disable KNOX and you are ready to go.
To unroot your device you can use the SuperSU APP AND SELECT “FULL UNROOT” in the settings tab.
Step 1: Download Kingo on your computer
Step 2: Connect your computer with your S5 via USB cable.
Step 3: Kingo detects your Galaxy S5 and asks you whether you want to root it or not. Click yes and enjoy.
Withour a computer
Step 1: Enable “Install apps from unknown sources” in the settings tab of your Galaxy S5. After you do this, download and install the Towelroot app.
Step 2: Open your phone’s browser and go to Towelroot. Touch the lambda symbol to root your device.
Common questions and problems when rooting your Samsung Galaxy S5
Only stock recovery is seen after flashing CWM via ODIN
This problem arises in some S5 variants. This is because the phone tries to overwrite the flashed recovery. In this case, you flash your phone again and pull the battery out just before it can reboot. This will do the trick most of the time. Make sure you remove the battery after the flashing is done and before the device reboots. Put in your battery and go into CWM recovery mode. Disable recovery script and you are raring to go.
Can rooting disable KNOX?
I understand that KNOX (Samsung’s default security app) can be quite a pain. KNOX can be used by Samsung to terminate warranty. The first thing you do after your reboot will be disabling KNOX via SuperSU settings tab. Having phone insurance can help you get your phone replaced in case anything goes wrong. Keep in mind that the same thing does not apply for normal warranty.
Will rooting erase all my data?
The methods described above will allow you to retain your data. This might not be applicable to all the methods for rooting.
Things to do after rooting your Samsung Galaxy S5
After rooting your S5, you will be granted full access to the device’s firmware. You will be able to customize the phone completely to suit your taste and needs. But to make sure whether your phone has been successfully rooted, you need to install Root Checker from PlayStore to double check. If it tells you that you have super-user permissions, then your S5 has been successfully rooted.
After you have made sure that your S5 is rooted, you should focus on covering up the security loopholes that arise as an unwanted by-product of rooting. Root management Apps like SuperSU can really help you in this regard. Certain sites illegally request for super user permission. This can be stopped by SuperSU. Only the permitted apps will be granted access.
After doing this, you should backup the ROMs in case data gets lost. A great benefit of rooting, especially for US phone users, can be that tethering can be made free of cost which is otherwise charged for by operators.Wifi tethering can be enabled after getting Superuser privileges. Certain apps are root only. This means that they can be used only when the device is rooted. These apps can be installed. A very cool app can be the DSLR controller which remotely controls your Canon 7D DSLR camera and also acts as its remote view. Android apps can be moved from one device to the other including the data files.
Apart from this, custom ROMs can be installed to customize your Galaxy S5 to your liking. Overclocking CPU to increase performance and enhancing battery life by tweaking software can be some of the greatest benefits of rooting your S5. The User Interface can also be customized to a great extent. By tweaking around some more, you can even increase the usable RAM size to quite a bit. This also speeds up your S5 and increases its performance.
You must always be careful about overclocking your phone. Even though it increases your phone’s processing speed and its performance in turn but it could also lead to heating issues if you do not know what you are actually attempting. Always consult experts before overclocking your S5.
Un-Rooting your Galaxy S5
It may be the case that you did not enjoy or are having problems after rooting your S5. It might also be that you feel nostalgic about how things were before. In any case, it is definitely possible to revert back to how things were original. The Super Su app is the solution to all your problems. Simply select FULL UNROOT and it’s done. It is as simple as that.
It would be a very wise decision to try and root your galaxy S5 after its warranty period is over. Rooting has innumerable benefits as discussed already. It can enhance your phone’s performance, increase Ram and battery life etc. You can customize your phone’s interface to a great degree. However, all said and done, rooting requires expert guidance and mistakes could end up damaging the phone permanently. This is especially true for hardware changes made after rooting like overclocking. Always keep a backup of your phone and use apps that allow un-rooting in case you want to go back someday, which is pretty unlikely. Another important thing that you should remember is that you must always keep the security loopholes covered. These loopholes often arise after rooting and make allow third party software to take full control of your phone. The implications could be very dangerous for you.