How to root a Samsung S5 Mini

I needed to root my Samsung S5 Mini so I could have a play with an app called “Intelli3G”, but as usual when searching the net I came across various forum posts that stretched to numerous pages without giving any concrete info. I get fed up of wading through pages and pages of posts, I just want a page that tells me what I need to do! So hopefully my blog will help others who are also trying to do this.

Anyway, I have used my laptop for rooting Android devices before, so unfortunately don’t have a clean system with which to start with, but I can give you some tips about how I rooted my device. I used a Windows app called “Kingoroot” (not the similarly titled Kingroot) to root my Samsung S5 Mini – you can download it from here. Note that there is also an Android app that you can download to try and root it without connecting to a PC, but it did not work for me. My Samsung is running Android 4.4.2 – I’m not sure if this will work if you are running a different version.

Before you can use Kingoroot you will need to make sure you can talk to your phone via USB. Probably the easiest way to do this is get hold of the Samsung Kies software – I used Kies 3 which you can get here.

Once you have verified that you can talk to the phone with Kies via USB, you will need to enable USB debugging. Go to your “Settings” menu and select “About Device”. Scroll to the bottom and tap “Build number” enough times until debug mode becomes available. Go back up to the settings menu and the “Developer options” menu should now be available. Select USB Debugging.

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If your PC can see the phone at this point, a message should pop up on the phone asking you to authorise your PC for USB debugging. It will show an RSA key, so just click “OK” to allow it.

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You may not get this USB debugging authorisation prompt. This is where things get a little flaky due to my PC having been used before for rooting. Go to device manager on your PC (you can find it in Computer->Properties) and see if you have a device called Samsung Android ADB Interface displayed under Android Phone.

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If your device manager doesn’t show this, it’s possible Kingoroot may still work, but I couldn’t say. Because I already have the ADB software installed from the Android SDK, I can run ADB commands to query the phone – I suspect Kingoroot does the same under the covers, they just don’t show you how they do it!

So, let me know in the comments if Kingoroot can talk to your phone at this point or not and I will update this post accordingly.

If it can’t, then you may need to try installing the Samsung USB drivers. I also have these loaded, in fact I installed them before I installed Kies, so again I am not entirely sure whether these are required or not. But if you want to try them you can download them from here.

Don’t forget you need to allow your PC to do debugging, if you missed the RSA Key message, click on “Revoke USB debugging authorization”, untick “USB Debugging” and try ticking it again. Now hopefully, with all the drivers installed, you should get prompted to authorise debugging.

On my PC, when I use ADB I get the following message before authorising debugging:

C:\adb>adb devices
List of devices attached
3204df9e465fa15f        unauthorized

After authorising debugging on the phone, I get this:

C:\adb>adb devices
List of devices attached
3204df9e465fa15f        device

Don’t worry if you don’t understand all this ADB stuff, you don’t need it.

Now you should be able to run Kingoroot. It takes a little time to run, probably 5-10 minutes whilst it analyses the phone for a rooting method. Eventually it will show a screen saying it is ready to root and give you the usual warning about it possibly bricking your device. It’s quite scary, and again it does take a little time, about 10-15 minutes, during which time the Android robot comes up on the phone and it warns you not to turn it off! Give it time and eventually the phone will reboot.

I installed an app from Google Play called “Root Checker” – this will confirm if you have rooted your phone or not.

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You don’t need to install “SuperSU” or any “su” apps, Kingoroot installs one for you, so every time an app requests root access you can grant or deny it and it maintains a list of apps that have requested root access.

I didn’t realise this so went and installed “SuperSU”, which buggered up my root access, so I had to re-run Kingoroot again! But it still remembers I installed it so guess it’s still hanging around in the phone somewhere:

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Good luck, let me know in the comments how you get on.

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