The highly rated Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini is a great Android device. In fact, it was the second-best selling handset in Germany in 2013; but to access its true potential you might need to gain root access. Who wants the standard Samsung setup when you could have so much more?
The process to root the Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini phone may seem like a scary one, but it’s relatively easy thanks to Odin and CM Mod. It’s also unlikely to damage your device as long as you follow the steps correctly.
However unlikely, there’s still a chance that the process could damage your phone, so consider yourself warned.You can find out more by checking our guide to rooting the Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini below.
Warning: Rooting your device may delete all data, make sure to make a backup if necessary.
There is a wide variety of reasons why rooting your Android phone makes sense.
Rooting your device will give you greater administration rights when using the phone. Having access to these rights will give you options for many things.
- Uninstalling Bloatware
- Unlocking hidden features.
- Giving your battery life a boost.
All of which are common complaints by many Android users.
Once rooted, you can change many features you couldn’t before.
- Change the layout of your phone.
- You will be able to install apps that require root access.
- You can change the theme of your phone
- Download ROMs
- Or you could even use the hardware for something completely different, such as turning your phone camera into a webcam or a CCTV camera.
Rooting gives you the ability to customize your phone to your specifications. A couple of popular customizations are recording your phone calls, and changing the sound it makes when it boots up.
What can go wrong when rooting a Galaxy S3 Mini?
Rooting your device incorrectly can lead to data loss, and in extreme cases, it can brick your phone. This is reasonably rare, and it’s often because there was a mistake made during the installation process, such as using Odin incorrectly or using outdated files. As long as you’re careful, there should be no issues with rooting.
The root installation can damage your phone if it runs out of battery during the process, so make sure your phone has a sufficient charge of at least 70% before you begin.
You shouldn’t lose any of the data on your device by rooting, but it’s still advisable to make a backup just in case you run into any issues. Once you have everything downloaded, the process won’t take long to complete.
Oh, and if you ever want to Unroot your Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini, you can do so by navigating to the SuperSU app (which will be downloaded when you root your device), going into the settings, and tapping Full Unroot.
It’s as simple as that.
Method 1: Root With PC
(This rooting method will work for the Samsung Galaxy S3 and the Galaxy S3 Mini GT-I8190 model on the Android OS versions 4.4, 4.3 and 4.1.2.)
Warning: Rooting your device may delete all data, make sure to make a backup.
Step 1: Backup the data on your phone
This is the best way to ensure that there will be no loss of data. You can do this by going to Settings and selecting; Backup and reset. You can also use Samsung’s Kies tool to manage your media, and to transfer your calendar and contact data to your computer in case of any issues.
(It’s always good to have a backup of your data just in case something happens to your device.)
Step 2: Download CF-Auto-Root and Odin desktop edition to your PC
- Download the applicable CF file for your device, (from here) and extract it to your computer.
- After extraction, you should have a .tar file.
- Save, and remember the location of the .tar file because you will need it.
- Download the latest version of Odin to your computer
- Unzip and launch the Odin executable. (You may have to run the .exe as administrator if you’re using a Windows 7 OS computer.)
- Click PDA after Odin launches.
- Find the tar file from CF-Root and select it when prompted to do so.
Step 3: Connect your phone via USB
- Use your data cable to connect your device to the computer.
- Set your phone to Download mode. You can do this by holding; Volume Down, Home, and Power at the same time when the phone is off.
- You will receive a notification asking if you want to enable Download Mode. Enable the mode by pressing Volume Up when prompted to continue the rooting process.
Step 4: Follow the Instructions in the program downloaded onto your PC
The program will take you through a few steps that are easy to follow. A yellow box should appear in Odin if it’s working properly, signaling that the root process is ready to begin.
Ensure that the ‘Repartition’ box is un-ticked before continuing.
Odin will then flash the phone, installing SuperSU and CWM Manager onto the device.
- SuperSU(SuperUser) is an access management tool for your device—this allows you to modify access rights for apps on your device.
- CWM Manager (ClockworkMod) is a recovery tool for your device—this can be used to install custom ROMs, along with other utility based options.
The phone will restart a few times before it’s finished rooting. You can disconnect the phone from the PC when it’s complete.
Step 5: Wait for the phone to restart
Voila! You should now have a fully functional rooted Galaxy S3 Mini after the phone restarts for the final time, and you should now be able to customize your device.
You can see if it worked by checking if you have the icons for SuperSU and CWM Manager in your list of apps. If they aren’t there, repeat the process again or try one of the different methods listed in this guide.
Method 2: Root Without PC (Towelroot Method)
Again, it’s worth noting that attempting to root your device can lead to issues, but this particular method won’t damage your phone, and it’s relatively easy.
(This method will work for most KitKat devices.)
Warning: Rooting your device may delete all data, make sure to make a backup. Ways to do so are listed in Method 1, step 1.
Be sure to back up your data in case of any issues.See Method 1 for backup options.
- Go to Settings,
- tap Security
- and tap Unknown Sources.
This will allow your device to install apps from sources other than the Google Play Store. You need this activated to download and install Towelroot, which will be used to root your phone.
- Go to towelroot.com and tap the large red icon in the middle of the screen.
- Save the tr.apk file
- Navigate to your downloads, and tap install.
- Once installed, open the app and tap Make it Ra1n.
- Wait for it to finish, and you should now be rooted.
You can now install SuperSU from the Google Play Store, as it requires a rooted device to run. This will stop unauthorized access to your phone from applications.
Method 3: The S3 Mini Value Edition
The value edition of the Galaxy S3 is known to be hard to root, but a user on the XDA forums managed to find the following solution that uses the Chinese version of VRoot.
- Download the latest version of VRoot and install it on your computer.
This can be done by going to the official page for VRoot. Any version after 184.108.40.20699 should work.
- Activate Debug Mode in Developer Options. To access developer options:
Go to Settings, then About Phone. If you tap your Build Number several times, you will be notified that you can now access Developer Options. The Developer Options are found in the main Settings menu after they have been enabled.
- Change the settings to allow installations from external sources.
Go to Settings, tap Security and tap Unknown Sources.
- Connect your phone to the computer.
Connect your phone to your computer via the USB cable.
- Open VRoot and wait for your device to be recognized.
Once your device has been recognized, press Next in VRoot. The rooting process will now start, downloading two Applications.When completed, the phone will reboot and you will have root access.
The two applications will be Chinese. If you want the normal version of SuperSU, complete the following optional steps.
Optional: For SuperSU
- Download SuperSU from the Google Play Store.
- Open SuperSU and install the binaries.
- Download Link2SD and make SuperSU a system application.
- Reboot the phone and open SuperSU.
- Update the binaries if the app asks you to.
- Open Link2SD and uninstall the Chinese apps that came with the original root.
Just like that, the value edition of the Galaxy S3 Mini should now be rooted in the correct language. The value edition is notoriously hard to root, and there’s still a chance that it might not work even if you followed the steps properly. But, it’s definitely worth a try, though.
Rooting your S3 Mini can be hard work, (especially the Value edition) but it’s definitely worth it. Aside from more superficial perks, the boost to battery life would be handy for any user, as well as the chance to fully personalize your device to your specifications.
If you can get your device rooted, it’s unlikely that you’ll regret it. And if you want to update your phone to a new firmware in the future, you can use SuperSU to unroot your phone with a single tap.
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