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Verizon’s Galaxy Note 3 Gets Root at the Cost of Completely Wiping Your Device

samsung galaxy note 3

The Galaxy Note 3 is one heck of a device (our review). For most there is not much to would change about Samsung’s new overisized phone, but for others, the lack of Android tinkering thus far has been annoying. Thankfully, tinkerers no longer have to worry because a root method has been found for the Galaxy Note 3 on Verizon. Over at XDA, designgears took the work that noted developer Chainfire had done and prepared it for the Note 3, giving users a way to reliably root their device. 

The process is fairly easy – download the needed files, flash them, wait for a few reboots, and your device will be rooted. The only downside is that it completely wipes your device. Everything that is on your phone’s data partition and internal storage will be wiped clean and reset during the process (like a factory reset). In other words, if you have been using your Note 3 for more than a day, you’ll want to backup everything to your external microSD card. Take that as a warning.

If you are willing to take that risk though, hit the link below for download and installation instructions. We have even got a nice video overview walking you through the whole process.

YouTube Preview Image

Via: XDA

Cheers Adam, zepfloyd, flosserelli, and Kyle!

  • J_Ransom2

    Question: Will this mess with KNOX or counter? I might still use this method regardless, I would just like to know ahead of time.

  • Glenn

    will this work with the new update?

  • mcdonsco

    Argh, I never like the idea of re-imaging a device completely to get root (where the file to root is gigs, as with this, 2gb’s).

    Any new methods?

    Only reason I root is for free hotspot. Any other way to do it on the note 3? I tried portable WiFi hotspot but it comes up with the Verizon provisioning screen instead of working.

  • mcdonsco

    Question…Once rooted, is there a “entitlement_check=” in the settings database so you can enable hotspot for free? I have no trouble finding it on Motorola devices, but last time I had a samsung (note 2) I couldn’t locate it for the life of me.

  • mrcorson

    If you do root it, has the custom logo, does it say tampered or anything in the bootloader? Also if it does will that go away if you flash the stock RUU? Just incase I would need to send in for insurance claim if I dropped it or something, it cant say tampered right?
    Cuz im still grandfathered in to unlimited data and need my phone for internet service out in middle of nowhere. So im about to buy this phone outright most likely. Need to upgrade my rezound…

    • mrcorson

      And I cant stand to go to the share everything plan, its pretty much the same amount of money. Cuz Between our 2 phone plan we use 8-14GB/mo and so far it seems to increase as time goes on. Cant stand to pay the $30/mo for hotspot either!!! RAPE

  • Bamboclot44

    when you say complete wipe do you mean all the apps will be gone? What about the Touchwiz launcher? Or is it only app data and user files like music, videos etc.? What about things like the Camera app, Gallery, messaging etc?

  • Bigsike

    Android Dev Designgears just said and I quote “Very possible I have the puzzle pieces to get the bootloader unlocked”. Holy God let this be true.

  • Jenkem Huffington

    This is legit. Wifi Tether Router app (1.95$) appears to be the only tethering solution right now. Needs a couple tweaks in setup. ..a quick search will find details.

  • http://gregorydean.net/ midimench

    Has anybody used Titanium Backup to remove Verizon bloatware on the Note 3 yet? I’d sure like to know if there were any problems and what got axed to leave.

  • http://gregorydean.net/ midimench

    The video works like a charm and I was happy to donate to TomSgt123 for his efforts in bringing this to us.

  • Armus

    To heck with bootloaders at this point (yes I wish we had them still). With Xposed, we’ve made our own roms. This thing is great!

    • flosserelli

      It would be nice to play with custom kernels, but I don’t think the retail Note 3 will get unlocked and I’m not holding my breath for Safestrap. So Xposed will become my best friend…until a Dev Edition is released.

  • Kree Terry

    In my opinion totally worth it. Im sure to most though its a major turn off.

  • VIphoneFan

    ok this might be a stupid question but will this get rid of all the bloatware?

    • flosserelli

      You must do that yourself. The best way is to freeze unwanted apps in Titanium Backup or ROM Toolbox. People are already trying to figure out what can & can’t be safely disabled. Keep an eye on xda forums for those threads.

  • Sporttster

    So does this set the Knox flag indicating the device has been rooted or is this bypassed???

  • Breach

    I have a T-mobile Note 3 and used the Knox friendly root method without a wipe. Still retained all my data.

  • Destroythanet

    I read that the flash counter can not be reset on the Note 3 for those who will be flashing custom ROMs in the near future.

  • jim

    anyway to remove permissions ( tether ) with just rooting ? or does that come only from custom roms ?

    • Mike Hilal

      That’s one of the main reasons to root. 1) Remove Bloat and 2) tether

      • jim

        So you can remove permissions for tether just from rooting? staying completly stock?

  • Greg Carter

    Is there a restore method incase it needs sent in for warranty purposes?

    • flosserelli

      designgears posted the stock firmware in another thread for that reason.

  • jmsbwmn

    I’ve never had to wipe my data to root any of my devices, but I have to admit that the benefits of rooting far outweigh the hassles of backing up and restoring lost data. It’s a no-brainer. Just be sure to take advantage of this exploit before Samsung and Verizon patch it OTA. Also, don’t accept any future OTA updates until a new exploit has been discovered. Yes, I’ve learned the hard way. :)

  • DealMasterXXL

    I rooted my Note 2 but I think I will hold off on rooting my Note 3 so I can give all the S Pen features a try. Also now that I don’t need to root to get free hot spot functionality I will definitely wait a while.

    • Shaunwin

      Why would rooting take away S pen features?

      • DealMasterXXL

        Rooting doesn’t remove the S pen features but I root so I can flash different roms and the majority of the roms I tried for my Note 2 did not support the S pen.

        • Bigwavedave25

          Haha, I see. So, more of a preventative measure on your part to keep the flash gremlins at bay. Agreed.

    • Bigwavedave25

      aquiring root [and unlocking/bypassing the bootloader] will NOT remove the stock TouchWiz Rom. All of s-pen and the Wacom digitized screen glory will still be there to enjoy. You’d have to flash a non-TW rom for that to happen.

      • DealMasterXXL

        You are correct.

        • Bigwavedave25

          Glad to see there is a work around for tethering! That is one of the first things I try to get going with a new phone.

          • Mike Hilal

            Im hoping that FoxFi will figure out how to tether w/o root on 4.3 touchwiz. They did a bangup job on 4.2.2

          • Bigwavedave25

            I think there is already a way… with the tether widget method.

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5QTv8s277Wk

          • Mike Hilal

            No charges from verizon yet for anyone using it? I dont trust any of their apps being open and them not charging.

          • Bigwavedave25

            I cannot speak to this just yet. Very true concern. I have always preferred 3rd party apps or Roms with the check and service app removed!
            Check with the guy at the top of this conversation, he mentioned having free hot spot w/o root.

          • mrcorson

            I despise FoxFi…. Just Root… I wasted so much time trying to get fox fi to work. No customer support either. Rooting was easier for tethering.

          • Mike Hilal

            Foxfi worked right away for me. I’m just not 100% sure that I wont be charged for tethering as verizon’s bloat app also opens (and stays open) even after you dismiss the warning.

  • Michael Mirabella

    my shiny new VZ Note 3 comes tomorrow! coincidentally on my birthday!! I’ll do the dumbphone trick to keep unlimited than root before I even have to worry about backking up data. Thanks for the tip DL!!!!

  • Trojanfan

    So will rooting have any effect on S-pen functionality? Or is that only going to be an issue as custom ROMs are installed?

    • http://www.droid-life.com Kellex B

      It shouldn’t at all. Only when you start dabbling in ROMs will you have to worry about that.

    • flosserelli

      Root has no effect on S-pen or Touchwiz features.

  • Benjamin Mackie

    Someones gonna be getting that $1k bounty on XDA i bet

  • IDLE0095

    I did this yesterday. Man DL is slow at reporting this. It was available Staurday night.

    • http://www.droid-life.com Kellex B

      It’s called a weekend, which we try to enjoy each and every week. :)

      • jmsbwmn

        I’ve noticed you guys deliberately take weekends off. I respect that!

        • http://www.droid-life.com Kellex B

          We really do try to for the most part, unless it’s something massive, like that 7-minute Nexus 5 video. We love Android as much as the rest of you, but definitely need some time to unplug each week.

          • Sporttster

            Or the crazy Verizon upgrade while keeping unlimited weekend, huh. That’s the busiest I’ve seen the place on a weekend. I’m glad I checked in that weekend. Saved me a lot of money upgrading!

      • MichaelFranz

        everyone needs to enjoy burgers and beer…..especially on weekends in October, isn’t that right kellex

        • http://www.droid-life.com Kellex B

          Damn right!

    • Nayners

      Looks like you should take a weekend off, too. DL isn’t a bunch of robots.

    • http://bane-tech.com/ Josh Bane

      I love it when people call others out and within the statement can’t correctly spell a word or make grammatical errors.

      Let DL enjoy their weekends. They owe us nothing.

  • EvanTheGamer

    And that’s EXACTLY what I was afraid of. When I got my Galaxy Note 3 on Thursday(it’s EPIC, btw! Love it! R.I.P. Galaxy Nexus) I knew I would want to root my phone eventually, and also knew that I’d probably have to wipe everything before root can be applied. But I was optimistic that maybe there will be a way to root my GN3 without having to wipe the phone.

    Well, guess that isn’t the case this time. But honestly though, will there ever be a way to root without wipe?

    Oh well, guess I’ll just have to stick with all the Verizon bloatcrap for now. Whatever though, this Optimus Prime of a device is still as awesome as I knew it would be, ten-fold!

    • http://www.droid-life.com Kellex B

      Hope so, just don’t know for sure. We see root method that don’t require wipes time and time again, but each phone is a new animal to conquer.

    • flosserelli

      You’ve had your Note 3 for all of four days, and you have stuff on it that you can’t live without (or can’t move to SD card)? Seriously?

      Someone will eventually have an easier method, but having root now is much more important to me than waiting until…whenever. To each his own ¯(ツ)/¯

      • EvanTheGamer

        I’ve been lazy lately. lol

        But yes, you’re right, there isn’t much on my GN3 that I couldn’t live without other than pictures and videos I’ve taken since Thursday. All can be backed up and returned once I wipe and root my phone. I’ll have to think about it though, since like I said, laziness.

        • Bigwavedave25

          DO IT!!! ;-)

        • flosserelli

          Then what are you waiting for?!? It’s not gonna root itself ;)

        • sk3litor

          That’s what I said with my note 2. Now im 6 months in with no root:( it was always ” well battery life is sick, and performance Iis a non issue ” now here I am looking at the same old UGLY ass tw with jelly bomb on one shoulder and jediX rom on the other, whispering in my ear “just do it dummy” but now im just gonna wait for my n3. Another couple weekd and theyll have a couple good roms anyway.

          • TenshiNo

            You know you don’t have to live with TW. Nova Launcher or Action Launcher both work great on the Note 2 (and 3, just got mine last night) and don’t even interfere with the stylus or anything.

          • sk3litor

            Yeah I know I use nova but status bar, notif pull down. And settings still have that gingerbread green. I hate green.

          • TenshiNo

            Actually, the launcher does not directly affect the notification bar, or pull down shade, so any “green” you’re seeing is likely part of the phone OS. I’m not seeing “green” on either of my Notes (except for the battery icon). What phone are you using? If you’re willing to root, there are mods out there that can help you change the colors in your notification bar.

          • TenshiNo

            And, I think it’s worth noting, that I used the chain fire method to root my phone, and it did not wipe anything. I fully expected to have to “start over” once the phone came back up, but all that was necessary was to disable the SELinux stuff so that it would quit notifying me that a “potentially dangerous action had bee detected.”

    • JoshGroff

      I rooted my T-Mobile Note 2 and nothing got wiped. Then again, I also believe the bootloader is unlocked out of the box. (Reason being I couldn’t find an unlock method for it.)

    • http://gregorydean.net/ midimench

      I shared the same upgrade path as you, going from my GNex to my GN3. The older phone looks so puny next to this new monster. Fortunately I was able to sell my Nexus to my house cleaner, so it will continue to have life after death.

    • Michael OBrien

      When have you ever rooted, and not done a complete wipe?

  • RW-1

    An AOSP ROM on this would have me reconsider the N5 off VZ … But I’d hate havign the HW Button

    • Stephen Cox

      Heck, AOSP on the GN2 is freakin awesome enough to keep me satisfied with not having the Nexus.

    • Bigwavedave25

      I totally agree with you. However that bottom chin is so small I’m starting to think I can get over it. I have been messing around with different Xposed framework modules on my GNex and there are are few that will control those keys to deactivate, etc. I think I’ll be alright with an unused button just to have the device :)

      • Stephen D

        On my N2, I have on screen key enabled and the hardware buttons disabled, but the home button still wakes the phone. It’s nice this way because then it isn’t a useless button, and I prefer using it to the power button.

        • Bigwavedave25

          Great point! Since the GN3′s home button is smaller this will be a nice mod to have.

      • Jason Parr

        OK. So, I thought that was going to be a problem, but honestly it’s not so bad. The thing that screws with me is when in the play store to get to my apps, the menu button is on the bottom left. … kinda annoying when you are used to it being on the top right. … But a very small problem on a really awesome phone!

        That said, my surprise is that I am actually enjoying touch wiz. (hangs head in shame) did I just say that????

        I owned a charge at one point.

  • anthony jones

    Good heads up for the newbies that are just coming on this site for the first time. Can’t assume that the entire world knows the possible consequences of rooting a phone.

    • http://www.droid-life.com Kellex B

      Shhh, don’t tell the serial ROM and root flashers that newbies exist!

      • JoshGroff

        We already know.

  • Bigsike

    Now for roms, roms roms everywhere!….as soon as we can get some sort of recovery.

  • in8skill

    Comon!!!! Any one who is interested in rooting a device is more than willing to have it wiped as a consequence of said root. Let’s pay proper respect to the developers of this exploit without the back handed compliment. That’s a shameful headline!!!!

    • Justin

      Eric is an iPhone fanboy.

      • EvanTheGamer

        No, that would be Ron.

        • Justin

          they both cant be? ¯(ツ)/¯

    • Stewie

      Too true, in addition even on the GNex, if you wanted to just unlock the bootloader you would have lost everything from day one, and that was without rooting it.

      • Butters619

        For bootloader unlock, the phone always performs a data wipe for security reasons. If not, you could take any phone you found or stole and unlock the bootloader and access all the user’s data regardless of pin/passcode.

    • http://www.droid-life.com/ Eric Rees

      Not true. There’s a huge swath of people out there who weigh all the data they have on their phone against rooting their phone. Also, we would be remiss as a news site if we didn’t make sure the risks of rooting were well explained.

      • theizzz

        Would totally root my Gnex, like I have before, but now since I have been using Google Music for over year I would hate to lose all that cached music on my device. STILL haven’t found or heard of a way to backup cache files from Google Play Music app. fml haha

    • http://www.droid-life.com Kellex B

      Not seeing a backhanded comment, simply a warning for those who may not wish to wipe their device completely for root.

      We always show appreciation for developers, even name-dropped two in this post alone.

      • Galen

        Plenty of unfounded vitriol directed your way in the many comments today. Who knew Christopher Columbus inspired such hate and general douchebaggery.

        • jaredgreenwald
        • Dominick White

          Well Christopher Columbus was a hateful douchebag

          • EvanTheGamer

            Did you know him personally? Yeah, exactly.

          • Dominick White

            Well if you take the time to study history and the things he did to the natives.

        • flosserelli

          In the end, Columbus got his reward. He died from syphillis bacteria slowly munching away his brain cells.

        • http://www.droid-life.com Kellex B

          We’ll give people a break. Mondays are Mondays. :)

      • MichaelFranz

        with that said….it might only be a matter of time until a method to do without data wipe comes out. Everything is done in baby steps….

        …as i patient wait for someone to crack the moto x/droid line bootloader :)

        • Pedro

          Or the Milestone.. or the D2, D3……

          • HarvesterX

            Lol all those poor phones with an encrypted bootloader won’t ever see the encryption key to unlock them unless a Motorola employee leaks them onto XDA/etc. The odds of a person successfully finding the right key in his/her lifetime are so ridiculous that I doubt there is any interest in bothering anymore.

            What we need here are quantum computers. Computers which take advantage of all the strange physics that take place when we shrink down under the size of a nucleus and smaller. It’d only take a 1 bit quantum computer to quickly crack the 256bit encryption keys on those.

      • Dave12308

        This. Better to mention that it wipes, than to have someone try it and then whine “Why didn’t D-L tell me it was gonna wipe my stuff?”

      • Trueblue711

        Agreed. I’ve never heard of a device root method that would wipe your phone, and it’s a good and truthful warning to those who want to root this phone.

    • Stephen D

      No it is not. I’ve seen many people root their phone without realizing the consequences, and after they do it, they blame the dev for their idiocy.

    • ArrowCool

      Sounds like someone has a case of…
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ChfIyHZqEd8

  • Guest

    This is what’s required for root on every Android device. Sounds like somebody doesn’t do their homework before writing.

    • j

      Not true.

    • Ray Gray

      Not true rooted my S4 with no wipe or data lose at all. You usually lose your data when installing a ROM not when rooting you need to do your homework.

    • Paul

      Not true. I’ve rooted several phones without having to wipe. Flashing a new ROM usually requires a full wipe, but rooting does not always require it. To note, my HTC Thunderbolt, the Samsung Charge, and my Samsung Galaxy S4 did not require a wipe to root.

      • Guest

        I realize that any time I’ve rooted my devices, that I had to unlock the bootloader. The actual act of rooting doesn’t require wiping. But to be able to root I had to Unlock the bootloader first, which that step required the device to be reset. So you can’t root with unlocking, and unlocking causes a wipe. That’s why I erroneously meant rooting causes wipe. At least that’s what happened with all my devices. Nexus S, Galaxy Nexus, Nexus 7, S3, Note 2.

        • sirmipsalot

          Notably all Samsung devices. First, you can root without unlocking the bootloader on many devices. Secondly, unlocking the bootloader on several other devices does not actually wipe your data.

          • Guest

            Nexus7 Is Asus. But I see everyone’s point. Hence my other comments of my erroneous posting.

        • jmsbwmn

          Sorry, but this is highly inaccurate.

        • Big_EZ

          I rooted my Note 2 before I unlocked the bootloader, so that’s also incorrect. I also rooted 4 other phones that weren’t unlocked either.

    • cg

      Definitely not true. I’ve rooted many a Droid Charge without wiping the phone.

    • Paul Hansen

      Only “legitimate” bootloader unlocking wipes a device. Hacking it often does not and rooting really never has. This is actually the only instance of it I’ve ever seen.

    • http://www.droid-life.com Kellex B

      This is an incorrect statement on a number of levels. Sounds like somebody doesn’t do their homework before commenting. :)

      • Guest

        Touche’

        • flosserelli

          “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and to remove all doubt.”
          – Abe Lincoln

          • 1bad69z28

            LOL I like that one :)

      • CHRIS42060

        With all the crap you’ve been getting in the comments section today I was happy to see this.

        • http://www.droid-life.com Kellex B

          Heh, we know if we write something with a little extra opinion behind it that we’ll hear it from the community (like the One Max post this morning). That’s part of why we love doing this, because people should keep us in check with their own opinions and thoughts.

          But with this post, there was nothing to it but information sharing and people attacked. So we correct them. Gently. :)

    • Guest

      Erroneous comment by me aside, I always root and do so immediately after purchase, so wiping is really a non issue. If I wipe later on, All my contacts and apps are reloaded with the google backup services. The only thing I loose is App specific data unless I’ve backed it up another way. Good article and glad the Note3 was able to be rooted this quickly. I have a Note2 and it’s great.

  • Shaunwin

    The cost of a completely wiping is well worth it!!!

  • HotRodJohnson

    I’m OK with that.

  • RaptorOO7

    I see it does not affect KNOX which is awesome :)

    • vwbeetlvr

      No it does not!

    • Bigwavedave25

      So after playing with a few GN3′s I noticed that KNOX is actually not “fully” installed on the device, the icon is a link to install. Are there other features of KNOX already running in the background and this install is just for a user interface of sorts?