downgrade Samsung Galaxy S4

How To Downgrade Samsung Galaxy S4: Get the Comfort Back

A new operating system update notification is one of the things that gets all of us really excited. Personally, whenever I receive an update, I don’t even go through the changelog and update my phone directly. However, I’ve had problems finding out that a feature I like has been removed from the upgrade. Therefore, it’s a good idea to make sure that the update will make your experience better.

If you’ve had a habit of updating your phone, but just found out that you were better off with a previous firmware version, then you can easily downgrade Samsung Galaxy S4. I’m sure a lot of users are happy after updating their devices, but if you’re not then continue reading to find out how you can downgrade Samsung Galaxy S4 in just several minutes.

Why Would You Want To Downgrade?

Updates are good. At least that’s what we’re supposed to think whenever we see that sweet update notification. However, there are several reasons why you might want to downgrade after updating your phone:

  • Bugs are possibly the most common problem for most users and from software glitches to lags, an unstable update can really mess up your phone
  • Battery life is another common problem and while the features are usually improved after updating, this affects the battery life of the phone.
  • You might be missing your favorite feature that was removed in the latest update.

Some Tips Before Downgrading

Downgrading the device is a risky process and you’ll lose all your data so you should make sure that you try all other alternatives before going through with the downgrading process.

  • Try a factory reset to overcome lags, glitches and battery issues. A factory reset can eliminate some of the minor bugs and it might just save you from downgrading your device.
  • If you’re missing a feature or app, try to look for alternatives on the Google Play Store and you’re likely to come across something similar.
  • Make sure that the problem was a result of the update. You might just have a faulty battery or some other hardware issue that won’t be fixed by downgrading.

Prerequisite

If you’ve made your decision, then make sure that you follow these tips before proceeding with the downgrading process. Charge your phone at least 70% because you don’t want the phone to run out of battery during the downgrading process. Make sure that  you create a backup of all your important files. It is important that you keep in mind that this is a risky process and you might end up having problems. Make sure you do this at your own responsibility.

That being said, the methods mentioned in this post have been extensively tested and should work fine with most devices. You can use the default Android backup app or alternatives from the Google Play Store and make sure that you transfer the backup file to your PC. Also, keep your Google account synced with your phone because you’ll get some of the stuff back after downgrading when you sign in with your Google account. In order to downgrade, you’ll need a Windows PC and micro USB cable.


Method 1: Odin

Odin is the most popular name when it comes to installing firmwares on Samsung Galaxy smartphones. The software has helped users upgrade and downgrade phones easily in just several minutes. The method for downgrading has been tested for the international GT-I9500 model.

Step 1

Download the Odin package and extract the folder on your PC. You can download the latest Odin version here.

Step 2

Download the firmware version for your specific model and carrier. You can download your specific firmware from sammobile.com. If you want to downgrade from KitKat to Jelly Bean, then you can also use this direct firmware link for the GT-I9500 model.

s4 firmware

Step 3

Download and install the Samsung USB drivers on your PC if you don’t already have them installed. You can get the drivers here. If you already have the Samsung Kies software installed, then you don’t need to install the drivers.

Step 4

Open the Settings app, tap on Developer options and enable the USB debugging option. If you can’t see Developer options, go to About device and keep tapping on Build number until you see a You are now a developer popup message. You’ll now see Developer options in the Settings app.

usb debugging

Step 5

Open the Odin app from the folder that you extracted earlier.

Step 6

Switch off your Galaxy S4. Press and hold the Volume Down, Power and Home buttons simultaneously until your phone boots into Download mode. Press the Volume Up button to continue.

s4 download mode

Step 7

While in Download mode, connect your Galaxy S4 to your PC’ using a micro USB cable. The box below ID:COM should turn blue if your phone is successfully connected.

odin blue

Step 8

Click on the AP button in Odin and select the firmware file that you downloaded earlier. The file should have a .tar.md5 extension. If your firmware is in a zip file, extract it to get the .tar.md5 file.

odin ap

Step 9

Make sure that the Auto Reboot and F. Reset Time options are checked and the other options are unchecked.

Step 10

Click on the Start button to begin the downgrading process. This might take a while. Once the process is completed, you’ll see a PASS! message in Odin. That’s it! You have successfully downgraded your Galaxy S4.

odin start odin pass


Method 2: Mobile ODIN Pro

If Method 1 didn’t work with your device or if you don’t have a Windows PC, then this is possibly the next best alternative. Mobile ODIN Pro basically lets you flash firmwares directly from your phone. Because this app makes the process easier, it costs $4.99. You’ll also need root access on your Galaxy S4 in order  to use the app.

Step 1

Download and install the Mobile ODIN Pro app on your Samsung Galaxy S4. You can purchase the app through the Google Play button below.

Download-on-Google-Play

Step 2

Download the firmware for your Galaxy S4 by following Step 2 from Method 1. Once downloaded, transfer the firmware file to your phone’s root directory. The file will have a .tar.md5 file extension.

Step 3

Open the ODIN app, tap on Open file and select the firmware file that you transferred to your phone earlier.

odin pro

Step 4

Check the Wipe data and Wipe Dalvik cache options.

Step 5

Tap on Flash firmware to start the downgrading process. This might take a while and once completed, your phone will automatically reboot. That’s it! You have successfully learned how to downgrade Samsung Galaxy S4.

odin pro flash


Conclusion

There have been several updates from Samsung since the Galaxy S4 was released and the company has tried to fix most of the bugs and issues that users have been complaining about. The latest KitKat firmware was highly anticipated and most users are satisfied with the update and the features that it brings. However, if you’re having problems with the update and you’re certain the the problems are due to the update or you just like the previous firmware better, you can easily downgrade Samsung Galaxy S4 using one of the methods mentioned above.

Downgrading is a risky process and we take no responsibility if you end up bricking your device. Method 1 is possibly the most reliable and effective method for flashing firmwares on various Samsung Galaxy devices.  If you don’t have a Windows PC and would like to downgrade directly from your phone, then Method 2 is the next best alternative. Make sure you follow the tips before going through with the downgrading process. If you decide to go through with the process, follow the instructions correctly  on how to downgrade Samsung Galaxy S4 and feel  free to shoot any questions below!

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4 Comments

  1. I tried downgrading from Lollipop to Kit Kat using Odin, but it always says “FAIL”
    In the top left corner it reads:
    ODIN MODE
    PRODUCT NAME: SCH-I545
    CURRENT BINARY: Samsung Official
    SYSTEM STATUS: Official
    REACTIVATION LOCK: Off
    CSB-CONFIG-LSB: 0x30
    SECURE DOWNLOAD: ENABLE
    WRITE PROTECTION: ENABLE
    eMMC BURST MODE: enabled

    The Odin response I get is:
    Odin engine v(ID:3.1005)..
    File analysis..
    SetupConnection..
    Initialzation..
    Get PIT for mapping..
    Firmware update start..
    SingleDownload.
    aboot.mbn
    NAND Write Start!!
    FAIL! (Auth)

    Complete(Write) operation failed.
    All threads completed. (succeed 0 / failed 1)

    What is this all about?

      1. Did u ever get this working? I HATE the newer version, and want desperately to get rid of it, but i want to make sure this will work. I am no developer, just a person who hates the firmware on her new S4.

    1. Did u ever get this working? I HATE the newer version, and want desperately to get rid of it, but i want to make sure this will work. I am no developer, just a person who hates the firmware on her new S4.

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