Why did you choose Android over the ever-so-popular iPhone?
Is it because the entire open-source philosophy affords you more freedom, more versatility, and the opportunity to make your phone truly your own?
Maybe, in your quest for the perfect smartphone, you decided that you aren’t mass-produced, so why should your phone be?
On the other hand, perhaps it’s because everything that iPhone users accomplish by “jail breaking” their device, such as using third-party apps, is already present in an Android.
Nonetheless, you will probably find your Samsung Galaxy S6 loaded with bloatware, not only from Samsung but also from your carrier. How many useless apps are hogging your system memory? Conversely, have you come across a tantalizing app you are dying to download only to see it “requires root access?”
You and your carrier might disagree about wireless tethering functionality, or maybe you’d like a custom ROM. Maybe, you’d like to customize everything. Hey, shouldn’t it be your choice to turn off annoying ads within apps? Don’t you deserve a chance to enhance battery life and speed?
Are you ready to break free?
To fully unleash your undeniably gorgeous and powerful Samsung Galaxy S6’s potential, you should consider rooting your device. For more on rooting, read, “Everything you should know About Android Rooting.”
A Few Words of Caution Though…
Rooting is not without its potential perils. One downside is that you will, with great certainty (at least using the first two methods); void any warranty you might have on your phone. All warranties end eventually, but you could end it sooner by rooting. There are ways to unroot your phone, but they are not without risk either.
Also, imagine if someone replaced your phone with a brick. You know, the kind you might use to build a house. You can “brick” your phone during the rooting process, rendering it dead and useless as the building material.
Perhaps some of the things mentioned above are restricted for a reason besides “keeping you down.” Recovering after tweaking the wrong setting or being a little too adventurous with your CPU clocking can wind up being nothing short of disastrous.
So you know the risks, but still feel that the benefits outweigh the disadvantages, right? What do you need to do beforehand to get your phone ready to be rooted?
- Download and install appropriate USB drivers on your computer.
- Check the battery level of your Samsung. An 80 to 90% charge may be necessary.
- It’s never a bad idea to perform a backup prior to any significant change, or at the very least, sync your Google account with your Samsung S6.
- From “Security” (in the “Settings” menu, enable “Unknown Sources” so you download and install apps outside of those in the Google-Play store.
- Ensure that the bootloader is unlocked, at least for Methods 1 and 2.
Method 1: Odin 3/CF-Auto-Root
Odin3 is a software created and used by Samsung for many procedures, and not just rooting. It can be used in conjunction with CF-Auto-Root, and they will enable your phone to boot into a customized recovery image and cache. CF-Auto-Root handles providing Chainfire’s SuperSU. It is this installation that effectively roots your Samsung. It then recovers your OS and cleans your cache.
This method can trip a security mechanism called KNOX. An e-fuse is burned that allows the rooting attempt to be detected. As a result, some users have reported difficulty using mobile payment options. See Method 3 if this is of concern to you. If you don’t care, let’s get started.
Step 1: Determine the appropriate root package for your device. This website can make it a lot easier for you.
If you do not know the model number for your phone, go to “Device Information” under the “Settings” menu. Using an incorrect model can brick your Samsung!
Step 2: Download and extract these files to your PC desktop.
Right-click on the zip folder and select “Extract All.” Alternatively, left-click and press the “Extract All” button from the “Compressed Folder Tools.”
Step 3: Enter download mode.
Simultaneously hold the Home, Power, and Volume Down buttons for a few seconds when your Samsung is turned off.
Step 4: Run Odin on your PC.
Get used to running things as the administrator, because that’s what rooting is all about.
Step 5: Attain Developer Status (to access internal memory).
Return to “Device Information” from the Settings menu. Tap “Build Number” several times (approximately seven times). A window should appear, verifying that the “Developer Mode (is) enabled.”
Step 6: Enable USB debugging.
Go back to the Settings menu. There you will find “Developer options” to the left of “Device Information.” Check the “USB debugging” option.
Step 7: Connect your S6 to your computer using a USB cable.
The USB cable that came with your phone is perfect.
Step 8: Click on the “PDA” button (Or, in some cases, “AP”) and select the .tar.md5 file you extracted in Step 2.
Odin should recognize your device and show an “Added” message in the lower-left panel. Also, the box under ID:COM should be blue. Otherwise, you may need to try to reconnect your Samsung. Ensure that “Re-Partition” is deselected.
Step 9: Press the “Start” button to being rooting.
You will soon be able to confirm that you have gained root access when you see “SuperSU” in your app drawer.
Step 10: Within a moment or two, your S6 should reboot.
If this doesn’t happen automatically, perform a manual reboot. Only after the reboot is it safe to unplug your phone.
Method 2: TWRP Recovery
TWRP stands for “Team Win Recovery Project,” and with a name like that, how could you go wrong?
If you prefer a more modernized GUI to conduct your operations with you will appreciate the TWRP Recovery method. It provides large, touch-based buttons to select its many available features such as easy installations, rebooting options, wipe operations, the ability to fine-tune settings, as well as many others. This method instructs on how to use it to root your Samsung Galaxy S6.
Be advised that it’s still possible for things to go awry, which is why you will definitely not want to skip Step 1. You are taking a risk with any of these methods, no matter how great they are.
Step 1: Visit TWRP’s website here.
In the upper-right of the website, you should see some options where you can get more information. Don’t ignore the “Devices” section. This will inform you whether you should proceed and will supply your download. Note the specific options for carriers and countries.
Step 2: Download and unzip Odin3.
Some of the latest versions can be found here. No preexisting root is required when you use Odin.
Step 3: Now you can use the download link that TWRP provides.
If you haven’t already, click on your model. Locate the section called “Download Links” and use the “Primary (Recommended)” link.
Step 4: Download SuperSU from Chainfire.
This is still necessary to perform your rooting. This download needs to be saved to your Galaxy. Don’t extract or unzip it on your computer. You can transfer it from your computer to your phone via USB.
Step 5: Go into download mode on your Galaxy.
Turn your phone off. Hold down the Volume Down, Center Home, and Power buttons together. If you encounter a warning, you did it correctly.
Step 6: Double-click on Odin to launch the program.
Step 7: Press Volume Up to and connect your phone to your PC.
The Odin window should acknowledge your phone with an “Added” message. You should also see a blue box with a random COM number.
Step 8: Choose AP or PDA to select the TWRP TAR file you downloaded.
Click the “Options” tab and deselect “Auto Reboot.” The reason we are doing this is because some devices replace TWRP with the stock ROM during the automatic reboot, and this defeats our purpose. Rather than risk it, we’ll enter recovery mode instead. One of the most common ways to do so is listed in Step 9, but TWRP does recommend Googling the most appropriate way for your device.
Step 9: Hit “Start” and immediately hold the Volume Down, Center Home, and Power buttons all at once.
Now press the Volume Up, Center Home, and Power button to boot into recovery mode.
Step 10: From TWRP’s main menu, press “Install” and locate the SuperSU zip file.
When installation is complete, touch the “Reboot” button from TWRP’s menu. Now you are not only rooted, but you have TWRP Recovery to take advantage of your root!
Method 3: Ping Pong Root
If voiding your warranty or missing out on the option to make mobile payments doesn’t sound like a great idea to you, using the Ping Pong root method might be the way to go. Do you recall our discussion from Method 1 about tripping Knox? The Ping Pong root doesn’t require Odin, and is therefore considered a workaround for that problem.
The downside is that the Ping Pong does not play well with the Android 5.1.1 update, especially if you have already taken the over the air update or flashed the firmware through Odin. Chainfire does offer its FlashFire app to circumvent the bootloader for those who have not yet updated to 5.1.1 and whose phones are currently rooted, but this app is not for the inexperienced.
The life of a rooter is never easy, but the Ping Pong root may help. Just keep in mind that you might have future issues to resolve with Android 5.1.1.
Step 1: Download Ping Pong Root APK for your S6.
Several sites offer the download in addition to this one.
If you previously installed KingerUser, you will need to uninstall.
Step 2: Install the Ping Pong apk file.
If you downloaded the file to your phone, look in the “Download” folder to find it.
Step 3: After the installation is complete, open your app drawer and run the file once to activate it.
Step 4: Install the SuperSU app.
Step 5: Click the “Download Data” button to update device data.
You must have an Internet connection in order to complete this step.
Step 6: Hit “Get Root.”
If you are prompted for your permission, grant it.
Step 7: Reboot your phone.
Step 8: Try running the SuperSU app after your phone finishes rebooting.
There you have it! The CF-Auto-Root option is a classic, tried and true, option. The TWRP Recovery is a two-for-one deal, because not only do you root your phone, but you also acquire some spiffy software in the process. The Ping Pong Root is a newer, but far simpler rooting method that overcomes some of the primary disadvantages of rooting.
After all the work you put into this process, it might seem a little anti-climactic at this point. You might be thinking, “OK, now what?” Actually, you have really just started. You can now perform backups using the Titanium Backup app, or if you used Method 2, you could simply use TWRP for this. You might be reminded of your need for an app like Adaway when you start playing “Whac-a-Mole” with advertisements instead of playing your favorite game.
Apps like Device Control will definitely cater to your inner phone micromanager, but you will still want to use caution. If one of your tweaks goes a little too far, it may render your phone useless. If you don’t feel that you know what you are doing, don’t do it!
Also, now that you’ve made it easier for yourself to access the kernel, you also just made it easier for viruses to do the same. Be careful about what you download.
Do you have any post-root apps you would like to recommend? Do you prefer other rooting methods? Post your comments in the section below.