Disclaimer: I cannot be held responsible for any damage this may cause to your phone. Rooting a Galaxy S4 Mini may also void your warranty.
Welcome to my series of articles on rooting the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini. I am going to break this guide down into a few parts. In this first part, I will be talking about what rooting is, what you will need and how to backup your device.
So, what is rooting? Well, rooting is a process which gives you full control over your phone. You are able to delete anything you want from your phone. In fact, if you root your phone then you will be able to gain superuser/administrator/root privileges and completely delete everything on your phone. Not that you would ever do that, but I would suggest being careful. Remember: with great power comes great responsibility. Simply put, it’s like running an app on a Windows PC as an administrator(right-clicking on an app and selecting run as Administrator).
So, why would you even root a phone in the first place? First of all, you will be able install different versions of the Android operating system(I will cover this topic in a future article) so you can get a newer version of Android on your phone or tablet. Another reason is that some apps require your phone to be rooted.
To do this process, you will need the following resources:
- Odin 3.09
- ClockworkMod Recovery 126.96.36.199 for the Galaxy S4 Mini (GT-I9195/LTE Version)
- The S4 Mini Root Kit
- A Micro SD card (4GB or bigger)
- An SD card reader/SD card slot (most laptops have an SD card slot built right in)
- A Windows desktop PC or Windows laptop
I would start by downloading all of the above right now to a folder on your desktop.
All of the above downloads(apart from the Micro SD Card and the SD card reader) are also available from the XDA Developers Forum. In particular, a user who goes by the name of arco68 has released all the downloadable resources mentioned above. So, I would like to give huge props to arco68 for releasing these tools and the tutorial.
Before I go any further, there is a small chance that you could brick your phone. Basically, this means you are going to damage your phone in such a way that you cannot use it at all. However, if you follow the instructions word for word, then you will be just fine. I can confirm that this process does not wipe any of the data on your phone, but you should backup your data just in case the worst does happen and you do brick your phone.
First of all, you will need to backup all your data on your phone.
Let’s start off by doing a backup of your contacts. Thankfully, the Galaxy S4 mini has a dead simple method to export all your contacts to a Micro SD card. From the home screen, go to Contacts -> select the contacts tab and press the menu button immediately to the left of the home button. From the menu that appears, select “import/export” and select “export to SD card”.
Whilst we are on the topic of backing up stuff, you might also want to backup your SMS messages/text messages. Thankfully, there is an app called SMS Backup and Restore which is a free download from the Google Play Store. This will allow you to export your text messages to a file that can be stored on your Micro SD card. Don’t worry, I have tested this and I can confirm that there are no viruses in this app.
That brings us to the end of this first part. In the next part of this series, I will cover the actual rooting process. Until then, stay tuned.