Let’s face it; Android phones were made to be rooted. These beautiful pieces of technology were not ever meant to be tied down by manufacturer skins and loaded with bloatware. The entire Android operating system is built on the foundation of open-sourcing and freedom for all.
iPhones are like a frat party that only a select few are invited too, whereas Android is the rocking house party down the street that lets anyone in. Rooting your phone is like finding your way into the VIP section of the party, with all the cake and ice cream you could ever hope to eat.
Rooting your Galaxy S4 Mini will give you unlimited levels of customizability and near-unfettered access to the inner workings of your device. It’s Android the way Android was meant to be experienced.
In this guide, we will show the easiest and most foolproof way to root Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini and variants. Consider this your invite to the VIP section.
Rooting an Android phone is an inherently risky endeavor! No matter how sound the advice or how fool-proof the process seems, there are ALWAYS risks associated with it. Back up your information, follow each step exactly as detailed, and if you are unsure about anything ASK QUESTIONS! DO RESEARCH!
I cannot be held responsible for a failed root process. Joy of Android cannot be held liable if something goes wrong, and you brick your phone. Enter at your own risk, and proceed with caution… And remember: rooting your phone will void your warranty!
(Disclaimer: Seriously though, I, the writer, and Joy of Android, the website, are not responsible for any issues that arise with your phone while attempting to root it. By proceeding, you understand the consequences and assume responsibility for the inherent risks in the process.)
I’m glad we got that out of the way.
To root your Galaxy S4 Mini, we will be using the CFAutoRoot method with Odin. Odin is a Samsung-developed software that runs on your PC and is used to install files onto your Samsung devices. This method is meant for devices running Android 4.4.2 KitKat (which most S4 Minis should be running at this point, but make sure your OS is up to date!).
What You Will Need
- Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini
- Windows Computer
- USB Cable
Yes, this will require access to a computer running Windows. There are various methods available not requiring the use of a Windows computer, but they have varying levels of success as well.
Feel free to take a stab at those, but if you want the best method possible, find a Windows computer and follow this guide. Oh and don’t forget your handy-dandy USB cable; this is a must.
Credit for the process and the files used go to ChainFire. ChainFire is a developer over on the Android XDA Developers forum. He custom-built the files that make this process so quick and painless. If you’re going to thank anybody, thank him. He did the real work. I am simply here to walk you through it.
Step 1: Back Up Your Stuff
BACK UP YOUR INFORMATION!
The importance of this step cannot be overstated. As previously mentioned, there are inherent risks involved with rooting a phone, so it is always good to back your phone up first. Pictures, contacts, messages, app, information; anything you could not stand to lose needs to be backed up.
I don’t care if you back it up to the cloud, your laptop, a portable hard drive, or a series of thumb drives. Back. It. Up. Not sure where to turn for backup information? Don’t worry; we’ve got you covered:
Step 2: Charge Your Phone!
There are many different methods and walk-throughs on rooting a Galaxy S4 Mini, and they all state to charge your phone to various percentages. As far as I’m concerned, better safe than sorry. Charge your phone to 100% battery! (Fine, I can deal with 80% battery, but no less!) If your phone shuts off during this process, there is a decent chance it will be bricked. Minimize the risks and charge your phone before you embark upon this journey.
Step 3: Download Samsung USB Drivers
These are freely available for download from the Samsung website. Download and install the drivers onto your computer here. Follow the link and click on the file to begin the download.
Extract the program from the zipped file and install it on your computer.
Step 4: Enable USB Debugging
If you do not already have Developer Options enabled, you need to do this first. Go into Settings>More>About Device and find the section that says Build Number. Tap that area of the phone 7 times in quick succession to enable Developer Options.
To access the Developer Options go back to Settings>More and this should appear right above About Device. Check the box next to USB Debugging.
Step 5: Determine Your Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini Variant/Model Number
Before you proceed, it is important that you know which model/variant of the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini you are working with. It’s the most important step in the process.
Downloading the wrong files and trying to root your phone will result in bricking the phone.
To check this, go into Settings>More>About Device. The model number will be listed here, and can be different depending on your service provider (Sprint, AT&T, T-Mobile, etc.) or the country your phone was purchased in.
The majority of Samsung Galaxy S4 Minis have a model number in the fashion of “GT-Ix1xx” such as GT-I9190 or GT-I9195, however the Verizon LTE version is SCH-I435.
If you are still unsure, pop open the back of the device, remove the battery, and check the white sticker underneath. It will be listed here as well. Hooray for removable batteries!
Step 6: Download CFAutoRoot and Odin
Using the information from Step 5, head on over ChainFire’s Auto-Root Repository.
- Scroll down to the bottom of the page, find your model number, and click the corresponding download link on the right.
- The next page gives you the chance to donate to the ChainFire cause if you so choose to. (Always support your developers, people!)
- Scroll to the very bottom of the page to find the link to download the files.
- Once the folder is downloaded, extract the files from the zipped folder.
Step 7: Put Phone into Download/Odin Mode
Turn your phone off as you normally would. Once the device shuts down, hold the Volume Down, Home, and Power buttons at the same time for a few seconds. A warning screen will pop up. Press Volume Up to continue. Your phone should now be displaying a yellow Android guy, and the screen should say, “Downloading… Do not turn off target!!”
Step 8: Run Odin and Root Your Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini!
- Open Odin (the Application, not the Configuration Settings).
- Make sure the boxes next to Auto Reboot and F. Reset Time are checked.
Now the magic starts.
- Plug the phone in with the USB cord. The phone should list as detected in the Messages screen in Odin.
- Check the box next to PDA.
- Click the PDA button.
- Select the MD5 file type, which should be labeled as “CF-Auto-Root” and end in “tar.md5”.
- Click Open.
(This would be a good time to stop, go back through the guide one more time, and make sure you have followed the directions exactly as stated. Consider this the point of no return.)
- Click Start.
Now stand back and let Odin do all the work! The entire process should take no more than a few minutes. When you get the “Pass” message from Odin, you should be good to go.
You can disconnect your phone, and it should automatically reboot itself. Once the phone comes back to life, you should now have an app called SuperSU installed. This should indicate that you have successfully rooted your phone. You can always download a root checking app from the Google Play Store if you require further confirmation.
Now is the time to take a deep breath and a quick moment to enjoy your victorious endeavor… Good. Now go ahead and dive on into your newly rooted Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini!
If you’re looking for a little inspiration for what you should do next, check out our guide for a list of must-have apps with a rooted Android.
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Did you find success in your mission to root your Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini?
If you have any questions, comments, or methods you would like to suggest, leave them below.