There are plenty of reasons to root an Android device, from OS updates, de-skinning, getting rid of bloatware, customization, etc. But it can be a scary path to travel if you have no clue what you’re doing. We’ve gone through and outlined how to root your Samsung Galaxy S4 I9505 as well as install Android 4.3 Google Play Edition.

Warning: Rooting voids the warranty of your device. We and the developers of these files shall not be held responsible if anything happens to your device. Use this rooting guide at your own risk!

Pre-requisites:

  1. You must do this tutorial on a Windows XP/Vista/7/8 PC.
  2. This WILL erase everything on your phone, so make a backup!
  3. The Galaxy S4 I9505 should be factory unlocked.
  4. Ensure the battery of the phone is charged to more than 50%.
  5. This CF-Auto-Root file only works on the Samsung Galaxy S4 I9505. Applying this file to any other version of the S4 can “brick” your device. Please make sure you model number matches “I9505″ before continuing with this tutorial. Or download the correct files for your device!

Downloads:

Rooting the S4:

  1. Enable Developer Mode on the S4 by going to Settings – More – About Device and tapping on “Build Number” a couple times.
    Developer Mode
  2. Enable Unknown Sources under Settings – More – Security.
  3. Plug the S4 into your computer and make sure all drivers are installed correctly. If you run into problems, try a different USB cable or port. Then turn your device off.
  4. Put the S4 into Download Mode by holding in the Power, Home, and Volume Down buttons at the same time. Then push the Volume Up button once this screen pops up.
    Rooting Galaxy S4 - Download Screen
  5. Unzip and open the CF-Auto-Root folder and right click on Odin.exe, then click on “Run as Administrator”.
    Rooting Galaxy S4 - Administrator
  6. Make sure there is a yellow box in the screen, if not then the USB drivers did not install correctly and you should try a different USB cable/port.
    Rooting Galaxy S4 - Odin
  7. Once you have the yellow box, click on PDA and then browse for the file that was downloaded with Odin, (CF-Auto-Root-jflte-jfltexx-gti9505.tar.md5). Then click Start.
    Rooting Galaxy S4 - Root Firmware
  8. Once that finishes and you get a green “PASS!” on the screen, your phone should re-boot to your normal home screen. Go into your applications and check to see if there is an app called “SuperSU” installed. If there is, then congrats! You’ve officially rooted your S4. If not, then go back through these steps and make sure your follow everything correctly.
    Rooting Galaxy S4 - PASS #1

Installing TWRP:

  1. Put your device back into “Download Mode” (up above, Step 4).
  2. Make sure your phone is plugged in through USB.
  3. Go back to the Odin window, make sure the yellow box shows up, and click on PDA again.
  4. Browse for the custom TWRP file (openrecovery-twrp-2.5.0.2-jfltexx.tar) and click “Start”.
    Rooting Galaxy S4 - TWRP
  5. If you get a green “PASS!” then you’ve successfully installed TWRP on your S4! If not then make sure your device is connected properly to the computer through USB.
  6. Make sure your device is recognized under “My Computer” and double click on it.
  7. Make a folder called “ROMS” where all the other folders are.
    Rooting Galaxy S4 - ROMS Folder
  8. Drag and drop the 4.3 Google Play Edition .zip file that you downloaded earlier into the ROMS folder you just created. Then disconnect your device.

Installing Google Play Edition ROM

  1. Turn off your S4 and boot into Recovery Mode.
  2. Hold in the Power, Volume Up, and Home buttons until “Recovery Booting” appears in the top left corner. Then release the power button but keep holding the Volume Up and the Home button until “TeamWin” appears on the screen.
    Rooting Galaxy S4 - TWRP Home Screen
  3. If you boot into regular recovery mode, then you did not install TWRP correctly. If you see a group of 8 buttons, then you’re in TWRP.
  4. Click on Wipe – Advanced Wipe and select “Dalvik Cache”, “System”, and “Cache”. Then move the slider to complete the wipe.
    Rooting Galaxy S4 - Wiping DCache
  5. Go back and click on Install and scroll down to the ROMS folder you created earlier. Click on the Google Play Edition .zip file and then slide to install the ROM.
    Rooting Galaxy S4 - Installing GPE ROM
  6. Once completed, click on “Home” again then click on “Wipe”. This time just move the slider over to do a factory reset, this will make sure everything is brand new for the ROM you just installed. After that finishes, just reboot your device and you should be on Android 4.3 Google Play Edition!
    Rooting Galaxy S4 - Factory Reset Swipe