The Samsung Galaxy S6 Active is without a doubt a great phone from the start, but what if you could make it even better? I’m not just talking about installing great apps for it, but about going one step beyond and rooting it to unlock its full potential. There are two main ways to root the S6 active, and I’ll go over both.
The first method is very traditional and uses Odin to flash the necessary files onto your phone to root it successfully. The second is easier to do but has a slightly smaller success rate. Either of the methods will work if you follow all the instructions below, but don’t always expect it to work the first go around.
Method 1: Traditional Root Using Odin
Before I go any further, this method only works for the S6 Active SM G-920. If you’re using any other model, this will not work, and will harm your device. If you’re serious about rooting your device, make sure to read through everything beforehand.
Once you understand the risk and dangers of rooting, and are willing to accept any consequences, then proceed at your own risk.
I repeat, do not proceed without familiarizing yourself with rooting, and what to do before attempting it.
Attempting this method means you need a few things:
- The S6 Active SM G-920
- A USB data cable
- A working PC
- Working Samsung USB drivers
- A recent copy of Odin
- An applicable version of CF Auto-root
Everything on that list that isn’t physical I’ll provide as we get to the point where we need it in the method, so if you don’t have those programs or files yet, don’t worry, you’ll get a chance to download them soon.
1. Make Sure Your Drivers are Working and Enable USB Debugging
First and foremost, you need to make sure your PC will recognize the Samsung Galaxy S6 Active as a phone, and not extra USB storage, or a camera. The easiest way to check this is to plug your phone into your PC using a USB data cable, or a micro USB cable you have handy.
If your phone shows up and you’re able to interact with it, and browse through its folders, you’re ready. If not, use the download button below to download Samsung USB drivers, and install them before trying again.
If your phone doesn’t show up as anything, make sure you have USB debugging enabled in your settings. None of the steps after this one will work otherwise.
2. Secure a Copy of Odin
Searching for an Odin EXE on its own is difficult, but it’s actually included in the next file you need to download. If you have your own older or newer version of Odin you have that you want to use, please use that. Otherwise, continue to the next step to get a copy of Odin, and CF Auto-root for your device.
3. Download the Appropriate Auto-root Package
I explained before that this method only works with the S6 Active G-920, but depending on your version you need to download the appropriate package. Using the wrong package will damage important and sensitive data on your phone, so proceed with caution.
The auto-root package, and Odin EXE bundled with it are graciously provided by Chainfire.
4. Extract and Place Files
Unzip the file and extract it to a new folder. You’ll know everything is correct if you see something like this:
Leave the folder open for now so you can start prepping your S6 Active
5. Enable USB Debugging
For this process to work, USB debugging needs to be enabled. This option is under Developer Options in your Settings.
If you don’t have developer access:
- Go to your Settings.
- Scroll to About device.
- Find your build number on this page, and tap it at least seven times.
- You now have developer access.
6. Step 6: Power Down After Charging
Make sure your phone has more than a 60% charge left in your battery, and power down your phone completely. Trust me, you don’t want your phone to die during this, it probably won’t come back on after that.
7. Enter Download Mode
Download Mode is a special mode you can only get to from startup. To enter Download Mode, hold down these three buttons until your phone vibrates: Power + Volume Down + Home. You’ll see a screen asking you to continue, or restart, but ignore that for now and set your phone down.
8. Start Odin and Connect the Pieces
It’s time to put that folder you set aside to use. Double click the Odin EXE and wait for the program to respond. You’ll see something like this:
Now connect your phone, while in Download Mode, to your PC with Odin currently open. Once you’ve connected your S6 Active, you’ll see a message or blue bar underneath the text ID:COM. What each user sees here isn’t always the same, but as long as you see something you’re ready to continue.
9. Find the File
We’re close to being able to flash your S6 Active. Click the AP button (PDA button on other versions), and click the MD5 file that you extracted earlier. If the Odin EXE and the MD5 are in the same folder, you’ll see it immediately.
Now click open to load the file, and you’ll automatically go back to the Odin screen.
10. Last Double Check
Before we hit the big Start button at the bottom to finally root your S6 Active, let’s look over the settings in your Options box off to the left.
If you don’t have all the options I have here, don’t worry, just make sure that Re-Partition is not checked, and is left blank.
11. Hit Start and Wait
Now that everything is set, you’ve backed up all of your important data, your S6 Active is securely connected to your PC, and your MD5 file is loaded, finally hit the Start button. This begins the flashing process which starts rooting your phone, and it’ll take a maximum of five minutes to finish.
Until it’s done, just kick back and wait. Once it’s done, Odin will display a green Pass button, and your phone will reboot. Look for SuperSU in your app drawer. If you see it there, the root was successful.
Method 2: Auto Rooting Apps
Next up, and last one the list, are auto rooting apps. These are programs that don’t need the help of a PC, or at least don’t need extra files to root your S6 Active. We’ve covered all of the most highly rated rooting apps, but not all of them work for every phone. What rooting apps lose in reliability, they make up for in ease of use.
Rooting the S6 Active with a single tap sounds almost too good to be true, but it isn’t as long as you’re willing to give it a shot.
Read about the best rooting apps: How To Root Android Without Computer Like A Seasoned Techie
If this doesn’t work, there’s always the first method, if your S6 Active is compatible with Chainfire’s files.
The Samsung Galaxy S6 Active won’t take more than fifteen minutes to root, and thankfully has a reliable method to get it done. After rooting, the S6 Active is even more active than it was before, so enjoy your brand new rooted experience, and finally get the most out of your Android phone.
If you have any problems rooting your S6 Active or need any help understanding something else, please leave a comment below for assistance.