How To Root The Samsung Galaxy S4 (I9500 International Version)

Erez Zukerman 09-05-2013

root samsung galaxy s i9000


So, the brand-new Galaxy S4 has just started retailing! And as most early adopters, one of the first things I wanted to do with my new Galaxy S4 was of course to root it. This post shows exactly how I’ve done it. The root exploit I used was released by XDA developer cofface  in this thread. It is not a foolproof procedure, and it does involve some trial and error. The exploit itself offers two rooting methods, only one of which actually worked for me. So, caveat emptor! The good news is that I did end up with a rooted phone, and so can you.

Initial Requirements and Caveats

First things first: As I write this, the Samsung Galaxy S4 is a very recent arrival. This procedure should be regarded as experimental, and we are in no way responsible if you somehow mess up your phone trying to root it. That said, I did test this on my own Galaxy S4 and can confirm the procedure worked for me. This procedure requires some familiarity with Android and rooting. It’s not as easy as SuperOneClick How To Root Your Android Phone With SuperOneClick Read More , but it is possible. If you’re looking for a more general introduction to rooting, check out 3 Cool Things You Can Do With A Rooted Android Phone 3 Cool Things You Can Do With A Rooted Android Phone By now you will know that there are a bunch of us here at MakeUseOf that love Android phones. Paul's article on writing an Android app is a good example of how thoroughly we dig... Read More .

This procedure works with the Galaxy S4 international version (I9500), with a build number that ends with XXUAMDE, Android version 4.2.2. To see if your device qualifies, go to Settings > More > About device:

How To Root The Samsung Galaxy S4 (I9500 International Version) aboutphone2

Note Android version and Build number above. If you see the same thing on your device, you can proceed.


Setting Up USB Debugging Mode

To make this work, you may need to switch on USB Debugging Mode on your Galaxy S4. Note the “may”: It might work if you skip this step. But at any rate, USB debugging is useful for tinkering with the device, so we might as well go ahead and enable it. Samsung made this trickier than necessary. Here’s how:

1. Go to Settings > More > About device (you should already be there if you did the previous step).

2. Scroll down to Build number, and tap it seven times. Yup, just tap-tap-tap, seven times. I know there’s no button there. Keep tapping.

3. You will eventually get a toast (notification) saying “Developer mode has been enabled”.


4. You will now have a Developer options menu (before-last in this screeenshot):

how to root samsung galaxy

5. Tap into Developer options, and enable USB debugging.

Getting The Files You Need

We’re going to need the Samsung USB driver, Odin (the tool we’ll use to flash the device), and of course, the actual binary we’re going to use to flash the phone.


1. Download the Samsung USB driver from here, and install it. Be sure you have an up-to-date antivirus installed (such as MS Security Essentials) since this is not an official Samsung download.

2. Download the latest cofface root file. Here’s a direct link to the file at the time of this writing (filename is SamsungI9500_cwm_Recovery_by, and yes, the site is in Chinese). Ideally, take a moment to dig through the original thread and get the latest binary (it may well change after this post is published). This zip already contains both the binary we will flash and Odin.

Flashing The File: This Is The Risky Bit

So we now have all of our basic ingredients.

1. Extract the file from Cofface somewhere. The folder should look like this:


how to root samsung galaxy

2. Turn your phone off.

3. Press and hold the volume down and Home buttons together or a few seconds, then press the Power button. A screen would now show asking if you want to proceed. Press volume up to confirm. Congratulations, you’re in Download Mode.

4. Plug in your phone. This should trigger a driver install:

how to root samsung galaxy

5. Start Odin:

how to root samsung galaxy s

Note the text under ID:COM above, and the Added message.

4. Click the PDA button on Odin, and browse for cofface_samsungI9500_recovery_en_0503.tar. Note the en in the filename – that stands for English, so you really do want that file and not the one with cn (Chinese) in the filename.

how to root samsung galaxy s

5. Now’s the scary part: Time to flash the file. Click Start, and wait. Do not disconnect the phone, obviously. This will take just a moment, and will then show:

how to root samsung galaxy s

Booting To Recovery and Rooting

You thought we were done, right? Not so. When Odin completed flashing the device, it should have restarted it. Let it finish booting, then shut it off again. Now:

1. Turn the device back on, this time in Recovery mode. To do this, hold volume up + Home, and press the power button.

2. You should find yourself in CWM recovery after a moment. (It does take a moment, don’t worry.)

3. Navigate to “root your phone.”

4. Pick “Root your phone (Old method)”. Yes, we’re using the so-called old method (this is for a phone less than a month old, mind you). The new method didn’t work.

5. CWM will now show “Root Done, Please Reboot.”

6. Reboot the phone.

7. You will get a brief prompt saying “Android is upgrading”.  And you should have a new app, SuperSU:

How To Root The Samsung Galaxy S4 (I9500 International Version) supersu2


To make sure the phone is indeed rooted, install Titanium Backup How to Back Up Your Android Device Properly Here's how to completely back up your Android device by protecting your photos, SMS, contacts, and everything else. Read More . Once it starts, it should prompt for root access. When you grant it, you should get this:

root samsung galaxy s i9000

(Very) Limited Tech Support

I will finish this post as I’ve started it, with a disclaimer and a warning: This method worked for me. These are my own screenshots, on my own phone. So it did work. But I cannot guarantee it is going to work for you. It’s finicky and tricky. While I welcome any and all comments, I will not be able to provide tech support and help you troubleshoot issues with rooting your Galaxy S4 — there are just too many variables involved.

That said, good luck! Rooting your Galaxy S4 is definitely doable.

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  1. Dan Bax
    August 23, 2013 at 5:10 pm

    Would these instructions work if my build number ended in XXUBMG9? Thank you.

    • Erez Zukerman
      August 25, 2013 at 8:11 am

      I believe they would. However, since this piece was published, simpler ways of rooting the S4 have become available (this was written when the device was very very new). You may want to check XDA Developers for the most current and simple ways to root.

  2. prajune kv
    July 5, 2013 at 3:32 pm

    Here is a simple guide about how to galaxy S4 with android 4,3
    [Broken Link Removed]

  3. Steven Kuny
    June 9, 2013 at 7:44 pm

    This never worked for me

  4. ktl
    May 23, 2013 at 8:03 pm

    OK, I installed it the way you instructed. Sorry Im a newbie, so how can i delete the factory apps? when i open SuperSU, it takes a long time to load. how did you delete your factory apps?

  5. Anton
    May 21, 2013 at 6:44 am

    Using Motochopper I rooted my Samsung S4 without any problems. It was a lot easier than the method described here.

    • Erez Zukerman
      May 22, 2013 at 2:33 pm

      Good tip, Anton! Thank you.

  6. sumith harshan
    May 16, 2013 at 1:13 pm

    I have a question.That is biggest problem I have. I have a Samsung galaxy ace plus phone.I downloaded apk file of the need for speed game. But sd card data of this game is about 1GB.I downloaded it from my pc. But my phone internal memory is 1GB. So I placed game data to the external memory card(16GB) of that game folder. Then I run the apk file. But it not getting that data. It start to download data again.
    So is there any error or if exist some application like , to connect sd card data.
    Please can you help me. Have you any idea about that. Appreciate you help.

    Thank you

  7. Reds4
    May 15, 2013 at 1:04 pm

    Hi. Thanks for the tutorial. I just get my s4 for 2 weeks and thinking to root it as well. I did the official upgrades and i realized that my phone's haptic feedback is not working anymore. Did anyone face this problem? And when i launch camera, the phone freeze for a moment and reboot. I wonder if root can solve this issue.

    • Erez Zukerman
      May 15, 2013 at 4:24 pm

      Wow, that's annoying. I don't think rooting the phone's going to solve that. Actually, I'd go the other way: How about trying to flash a stock ROM from a version that didn't have this issue?

      • Reds4
        May 16, 2013 at 3:31 am

        How can i get the stock rom? Do i need to use odin to flash the rom? Yea its annoying whenever i tried to launch the camera and it will randomly reboot once a while. I found a temporary solutions on it which i need to set the limit background processes in developer options. Once i do that, it stop reboot. Until now atleast. But i still cant fix my haptic feedback. My back button have no vibration at all. Sigh.

        • Erez Zukerman
          May 17, 2013 at 1:19 pm

          Hey Reds,

          Check this link:

          This has a bunch of stock firmware for various S4 models. It is VERY important that you pick the one that's correct for your phone! If you don't have one of those models, then you can try on

          Good luck!

        • Reds4
          May 19, 2013 at 4:39 am

          Hi. Thanks for your reply. I revert to the stock firmware but still my haptic feedback is not functioning well. My back buttton not vibrating as it should be. Do you have any idea how to get back the haptic feedback? Yea its an minor issue but i really hope that i can fix it.

        • Erez Zukerman
          May 19, 2013 at 3:07 pm

          That's really weird... Does the phone vibrate other times? It's starting to sound a bit like a hardware issue - what do you think?

        • karsch
          June 2, 2013 at 8:20 am

          go to SETTINGS>>tap on "my device" >>sound>>vibration intensity.
          here set the intensity for haptic feedback as desires.
          enable haptic feedback on "sound" setting, if your haptic feedback is disabled.

          try this!!

  8. Yaz
    May 12, 2013 at 7:43 pm

    I think I will wait for something a bit more stable.

    Thanks for the info!!

  9. Hugo Crespi
    May 10, 2013 at 9:52 pm

    The build number of my ends in XXUAMDK.
    No good at all for him?
    Thanks for the information and for sharing your knowledge.

    • Nimalen
      May 11, 2013 at 1:02 pm

      Please download the official firmware (XXUAMDE) from sammobile and flash it using odin first.. then follow these steps.. ensure that ur phone is running 4.2.2 with XXUAMDE.. (y)

  10. fabain
    May 10, 2013 at 2:47 am

    Check it out if you'd like.

  11. Rajaa Chowdhury
    May 10, 2013 at 1:16 am

    I am a bit surprised, that this article is published in MakeUseOf. MakeUseOf followers are mostly simple users of gadgets like me and of various age bracket. Some of them may not be too tech savvy also. Sammy S4 is the most premium and flagship product of the company and cost a bomb. A 16GB model costs something around US $680. Besides at the start or the article, you have written that the method is not foolproof. Most S4 are costly, recent purchases and one of the prized possession of the owners, and they may even run the risk of bricking it and certainly going to void the warranty on the device. So is it worth it? Followers will argue the advantages of rooting, but everything considered, when I weigh the advantages against voiding the warranty of such a costly device, I personally feel it is a foolish idea to do so. Besides, let such articles be the domain of forums like XDA developers, where most users are hardcore android fanboys, and may still go ahead and take a risk. I would also like to draw your attention to an article published by your fellow colleague Kannon Yamada sometime back in MakeUseOf, suggesting not to root the device as a best practice, for exactly the reason cited by me. Refer // . Therefore, contradictory articles on MakeUseOf would only confuse it's layman users like me on what should be done. At least, even if I support you on rooting, probably on a entry level unlocked android phone, certainly not on a contract phone or a flagship product like S4, all of which are currently certainly on a warranty. Probably, this article came out a bit early, should be published after a year at the earliest, when at least some of the S4s would be out of warranty. :D

    • Erez Zukerman
      May 10, 2013 at 11:02 am

      Hi Rajaa,

      Thank you for your feedback. Indeed, if you're not a hardcore Android user, there's no reason to root your device. The fact is, most people who drop $680 on a Galaxy S4 this early after it was released, are early adopters. That's a community that's very interested in how to root the device, and so we've provided this info. I do agree that it's definitely not for everyone.

      • Russell Vaughn
        May 12, 2013 at 3:27 am

        Yea, my s4 is about 3 weeks old and i will root it as soon as the process matures a bit. I just came from an OG EVO that was rooted and I want those options back, especially with apps like titanium backup. I own it but i can't use it. Which will probably be here before you know it. MUO rocks!