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Galaxy S5 on AT&T and Verizon Rooted, Potentially Many Other Phones as Well

Famed developer, geohot (with help from some friends), has done it. The Samsung Galaxy S5 on AT&T and Verizon has been rooted. So before we dive into this, I’ll just note that the bounty for achieving this task was well over $18,000. If you pledged some cash, it is time to pay up.

With that said, yep, root has come, my friends. The long wait is over. Freedom on some level is now a part of your Galaxy S5. Flip the bird to whoever you would like to at this point, because the good guys have won again. I should say, the guys who paid hundreds of dollars for a phone who want to feel like they actually own that phone, have won. 

The root method is an .apk file that when run, gives you root within about 15 seconds (following a reboot). There is a single button to press and you have root. I don’t think I have seen a root process this easy in…I truthfully cannot remember.


So, how do you root your phone? Download the towelroot.apk file from the towelroot site below. Open that file, install the app, open the app, press the “make it ra1n” button and then sit back and wait. Your phone should reboot within 15 seconds, root included.

What phones are supported? The official phone list includes the AT&T Galaxy S5, Verizon Galaxy S5, and AT&T Galaxy S4 Active. However, the root method may work for almost any Android phone with a kernel build date earlier than June 3. Many Galaxy Note 3 owners, along with RAZR HD and RAZR M owners seem to be having plenty of luck (with a bootloader unlock too).

Ready? Be sure to donate if you can.

TowelRoot Site | XDA Thread

Cheers Mike, Daniel, Ben, Aaron, Tim, William, and the other couple of dozen people!
  • Javier Mejia Sanmartin
  • ninja73583

    It worked on my AT&T Samsung Galaxy S4 running NC1!

  • ninja73583

    Will this Work on the AT&T Galaxy S4? My current build is NC1.

  • jrgray27

    Ok I need more information about these Note 3 users and there success with unlock bootloader tools. More info please. I love Safestrap and not complaining but if I can truly unlock it for a possible Cynaogenmod Rom that’ll be great. ^_^

  • jim

    So what is every one raking off first ?

  • Vanja Dolas

    Just rooted my S4, however SuperSU claims the bineries need to be updated and it fails to update them! help!

  • Guest

    This works on the AT&T Galaxy Note III too.

  • Tony Esposito

    Tried it on my Verizon Galaxy S4 4.4.2 and it won’t let me install. Trying to click the install button and nothing happen……

    • HarvesterX

      You have an app installed that’s using an overlay of some type such as a screen dimmer. I can probably guess the cause though. Recently DL ran an article on the Echo Lockscreen I’m betting you installed it. This is a security measure so that malicious stuff can’t trick you info installing unwanted apps. Even if you aren’t using Echo the service is probably still running. Uninstall Echo and you’ll be able to manually install apps again.

      Then again it could be a screen dimmer app who knives what you have installed. LUX does NOT cause this problem though.

      • Tony Esposito

        You’re absolutely right, it was Echo. Thanks for the help.

  • AndrewScottRox

    Really hoping we can see an untethered root for non-developer Verizon Motox soon.

  • Van Hicks

    Worked on my razr m and the kids Virgin Mobile Zte Awe’s

  • Eric Sorensen

    Worked on my Verizon Note 3 with Kit Kat. But it puts a big unlock icon and the word “CUSTOM” on your Note 3 bootloader screen. Not sure what that is all about, but I don’t like it – especially since the phone’s bootloader is still locked down tight. Also, ISIS wont work now because of root. I kink of miss that, actually. But at least now I can use Titanium to do true backups. Since FoxFi works great, I haven’t needed to root for tethering.

  • Kelly OBrien

    Has anyone tried the Verizon Samsung Galaxy Note 2 yet ?

  • Godzilla

    Works on Verizon S4. Easiest root method EVER!!!!

  • Joe J

    Damn Geohot is Legendary. His old iphone unlocking days made me some good extra money. He’s done it again. Is he working for sony now lol? I’m suprised he doesn’t have some half million a year paying job at a tech giant

    • Jeremy Wray

      he is never allowed to tinker with sony device again as well as i dont think he is allowed to own or touch one either lol

  • MikeCiggy

    Hmm, so after install. I installed supersu. It asked if I wanted to disable KNOX. Well why the hell not. So not my bootloader shows the unlock icon. No big deal. Don’t really care about the warranty. SuperSu is saying it’s binaries didn’t install successfully however it let the app Greenify I already have root access by requesting it from supersu. Not sure why SuperSu doesn’t think it’s installed correctly. Seems to be working, just cant edit any settings without the binaries updating correctly. I’m thinking chainfire just needs to catch up.

    • jrgray27

      Not sure you did this or not…but the supersu via the Play Store is an older version and you would need the new version that is available on chainfire website.

      • MikeCiggy

        ah huge help, thank you sir ill go download the newest

      • MikeCiggy

        I’m having trouble finding the download. I looked on his thread on XDA which links to the play store. Can you point me to the download?

      • Mrstarzan

        THANK YOU!!!

    • Godzilla

      you cant use the play store version

  • MikeCiggy

    Now that I have root how do i go about never seeing all these status bar icons (alarm icon, NFC, icon, 4G icon) I would enjoy a cleaner status bar with only important icons displayed and notifications. Does anyone know of a root app that can do this for me?

    • jrgray27

      I THINK Xposed Installer has some modules you can download that will/can clean up your status bar icons.

      • MikeCiggy

        Yea, i’ve been looking into them. All of the Xposed stuff is meant for an s4 hoping some it can help me out easily though. My only real gripe with the OS rite now (running GELauncher, and SwiftKey of course) is that my status bar is almost filled with icons instead of notifications like it should be.

        • Aooga

          It’ll still work even if it’s for the S4. Usually. No harm in trying it out.

          • MikeCiggy

            I figured that. Haven’t started to test anything as of yet. Hoping it will be easy though. Rooting was fun when I had my HTC Eric now it just feels like work. 1-click + Xposed modules that do what I need will make me very happy.

  • ScoobySnack

    Can towelroot unroot?

    • HarvesterX

      Just use a file explorer and delete the su binary. I think there’s also another su file in a directory in /system/xbin but not sure.

  • melvin colvin

    Has anyone checked to see if it unlocks the boot loader for Verizon GS4

    • Jeremy Wray

      this is a root method so no, 2 different things

  • Mike Aurin

    Now that we are rooted can anyone recommend some good Xposed mods for my S4?

    • jrgray27

      GravityBox [KK] and NoSafeVolumeWarning…I can’t stand having to acknowledge that notification so in order to increase my volume.

  • Mrstarzan

    This works on VZW LG G2 (VS980). (Please do not tell me that there already has been a way to root the G2. I KNOW!)

    • HarvesterX

      Ain’t it awesome… I just tested it out and voilà!! Been waiting for root forger since I don’t have access to a computer with admin

  • HarvesterX

    Would be nice to have this kind of root for the G2 as I DON’T HAVE ACCESS to a computer with Admin access lol

    • Mrstarzan

      I didn’t use my computer except to move the .apk to the phone via box.com

      • HarvesterX

        No I was talking about the old ioroot method. This worked flawlessly 🙂 Now just gotta update SU binaries but everything here out should be a breeze now that I have busy box and a command line back…

        By the way, don’t need a computer to download the link. Just gotta long press the link and choose “save link”. Now I can continue my G2 development again on XDA again finally.

        • Mrstarzan

          “Just gotta long press the link and choose “save link”.” Of course, LOL. Thanks.

  • keith

    Droid Eris had one click root back in the day. I even downloaded it from the Android market.

    • MikeCiggy

      Ha, really can’t remember that. I do remember spending a few hours to root and rom my eris.

      • Simon Belmont

        Yep. It was Z4Root.

        Same root solution as my old Sprint HTC Hero used. Ah, those were the good old days when bootloaders weren’t cryptographically signed and locked up.

    • Jeremy Wray

      z4 root

  • imrf

    Looks like it works on the T-Mobile G2 with stock KitKat. Root Checker says it’s rooted, though Super SU won’t update via the normal method, and I haven’t tried to install a custom recovery yet, will later.

  • jwildman16

    Verizon Moto G?

  • wallmartkiller76

    If you want to return the phone to stock, will this apk also do that?

  • Christian Wagner Jr

    No custom roms.. No custom recovery.. No custom kernels.. No unlocked bootloader.. Still though simple root is a start!!

  • DJyoSNOW

    Ran it then root checker!! (note 3 4.4.2 vzw)

  • 213ninja

    note 3 rooted. this is pretty f’in awesome.

  • Justin Kos

    Will this work on note 3 4.4.2?

    • 213ninja


      • Justin Kos

        That’s great I might upgrade from 4.3

  • mcdonsco

    Any word on root for moto x on Verizon running 4.4.2?

  • yummy

    Dang, dude is into the core.
    Send supplies

  • BoFiS

    This worked to Root (and then separately, unlock the bootloader of) my wife’s Motorola Droid Razr M which was fully updated to the most-recent 4.4.2 moto-rom from Verizon, so yay!!!!!!!

  • JBartcaps

    So wait….I can remove the bloat now? Buying the S5 was the worst decision of my life, but now I may regret it just a little bit less 🙂

  • I cant press the install button to install this apk. Using S5 on VZW

    • HarvesterX

      Do you have Echo Lockscreen installed? For security purposes Android prevents the install button from being pressed when apps are installed that use screen dimmers or overlays. This happened recently and I was clueless for a while cause I didn’t think I used any apps like this. I went into running programs and took a look and saw Echo service was still running even though I stopped using it. Also remembered that that’s when the problem began. Uninstalled Echo and was able to install again.

      If it’s not Echo then you’re probably using a screen dimmer app or something of the sorts…

  • Paul

    Jackpot – Verizon GS4

  • chico

    Does this wrk on the Verizon Note 3?

    • Chris

      Yes, it works for Verizon Note 3

    • Muddy B00ts

      Yes I did it last night no problem. There is however, an issue with the play store version of supersu not having the correct binaries. But you can find the newest version by googling it.

      • 213ninja

        i googled and searched chainfire’s site, but couldn’t locate anything from June. would you be able to provide a link or more detailed instructions to obtain the updated binaries?

        thank you.

        • Muddy B00ts

          http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=2783157&page=157 post 1566 has what you’re looking for. Good luck!

          • 213ninja

            Thank you very much. I followed the thread and installed the 1.99 version they linked to, but still get the binary installation failed. i’m not running a custom recovery and always choose the normal install option, and that’s when it bombs….if you did anything differently please let me know. i’m running a Verizon Note 3 on 4.4.2. thanks again!

  • mjmellin

    Worked on my Verizon S4

  • bmos18

    Does anyone know if this works for the lg g2?

    • Paul D

      LG G2 already is easily rootable. Instructions are on XDa

      • HarvesterX

        G2 isn’t easily rootable if you don’t have access to a computer with Admin which believe it or not some people do. I use my phone as my computer even for development (AIDE) so when I got a replacement g2 after breaking the screen I’ve been out of luck ’til now.

        After rooting the g2 using this method I suggest immediately downloading the latest lokified TWRP img (I’d use he Flashify app as I’ve been getting iffy md5 results from the main download site) then either flash from within the app or at command line


        dd if=/sdcard/recoveryfilename.img of=/dev/block/platform/msm_sdcc.1/by-name/recovery

        Then you can use the TWRP method for updating SuperSU binaries. I’d also install busy box…. (and oh boot into recovery and make sure recovery works and make a backup)

        • Paul D

          used ioRoot, done.

    • Mrstarzan

      Yes! Just did it on VZW LG G2. Too stupid easy.

  • Any security implications from this? Just curious. I read somewhere that apparently a shady developer could in theory throw this code into an update of an app and have it also install malicious code, which means you need to be aware of auto updates. Is that true?

    • Jeremy Wray

      first off even without root when installing the app it shows what the app has permissions for. secondly while it is possible, you’d have to grant that app superuser permissions so when that calculator app you downloaded asks for superuser permissions, it would be your own dumb fault for agreeing

      • Oh trust me I always am checking permissions before downloading. It’s people like my parents or other less tech-oriented people I’m worried about. It’s analogous to just breezing through any iTunes Terms and Conditions statement and clicking “accept”. Thanks for the reply!

  • Morris

    The question I have is can we easily unroot and does it trip your counter?

    • Jeremy Wray

      could always wipe back to stock and according to other comments no, though who cares? they never check it or do anything about it

  • Supraman21

    Doesn’t work for the Verizon HTC One

    • MichaelFranz

      will not work for M7 or M8 i believe

  • JSo

    Man, that Geohot can root anything.

    • Adam Elghor

      He is amazing! I remember his work back when I had a second Gen ipod touch, which got me into jailbreaking and rooting.

      • JSo

        Yeah, I’m more familiar with his PS3 work.

        • KB Smoka

          ^^^^ This

      • nate

        Same here! Although, he did try to sell the iOS 7 jailbreak exploit to the chinese for like $350,000 lol. But I guess everyone wants money. It was always funny that all of the other main Jailbreakers would work for months on a jailbreak, and then with no warning at all, geohot would release a one click method.

        Either way, its great to see him back, and on the right side this time lol

        • regkilla

          iOS is the right side.

    • regkilla

      Made in iOS 🙂

  • Detonation

    Curious to see how much of that $18,000 actually gets paid out. I’d be surprised if it was more than just a couple thousand dollars.

    • John

      I’d be surprised it was more than just a couple hundred dollars.

      • MichaelFranz

        it’s well over that. People have been paying. I doubt we will ever get a $ amount form geohot, but i know people have confirmed and he has got well over a couple thousand. Also remember even though there was a bounty, how many people who didnt pledge are now going to finally donate, i know i am one of those. Plus its barely been 24 hours. I doubt all of the 18,000 bounty pledge-ers know about it just yet. Sure word travels fast, but who knows

        • MistaButters

          That’s good to hear that people are paying up!

    • nosedive94

      If you pledge a bounty and then don’t pay the dev who sweated and worked so that you could tether your dumbass phone to watch some stupid Netflix, you are the worst kind of person.

  • martyjones100

    Does this mean you can get wifi tether again? Or is wifi tether only possible on jellybean, ice cream, gingerbread, froyo?

  • evilfatcow


    • T4rd

      M8 has had root and unlock (Firewater/Weaksauce) methods available since launch. I rooted and unlocked the bootloader on my (Verizon) M8 as soon as I got it. This was one of the main reasons I chose the M8 over the GS5 even though I was sure an exploit for the GS5 would be found eventually, I doubt the bootloader will be unlocked though.

  • BetterLateThenNever

    Thank goodness for OEM’s not updating their phones promptly.

  • Rodeojones000

    Wondering if the G3, once released, might be rooted via this method.

    • Kenneth B.

      G3 already has a Root Method. Check Xda-forums under the LG G3 section.

      • Rodeojones000

        Thanks. Haven’t checked that forum in a while.

  • Silky Johnson

    What about the t-mobile galaxy s5?

  • russwc2

    Droid Maxx?

    • John

      Worked great for my Verizon Galaxy S4 (4.4.2)

      • Jeremy Gentry

        is there still no way to unlock the bootloader and install custom roms?

        • MichaelFranz

          No, not as of now, S4 or S5, or any of these devices. This was just root. Safestrap recovery is a possiblity

          • Jeremy Gentry

            ah, thanks, I hate the limitedness of SS recovery, but at least it gives us something…. 🙂

        • Bigsike

          We SO need a bootloader unlock method on the later Samsung devices I’ve been patiently waiting and hoping.

          • Jeremy Gentry

            i know, i curse the day i updated my phone ;(

        • flosserelli

          Nope. This is only root.
          Root =/= unlocked bootloader

      • Jason13L

        Anything special need to be done with VZ S4?

        • John

          Nope. Just install – click the button. Reboot. Voila.

      • Bionic_Pags

        Any idea why root checker says I’m rooted on VS4 but rooted apps such as WiFi tether don’t work? SU granted permission..

        • John

          Nope. I haven’t encountered any of those strange issues yet.Try Installing Superuser instead of SuperSU?

    • XvierX

      I tried it on my droid maxx. No luck.

    • MichaelFranz

      Droid maxx 4.4 has root, check XDA thread. Jcase posted root about 2 weeks ago.

      • Lucky Armpit

        Really? Can you post a link to the XDA thread, please?

        • MichaelFranz

          meh….normally i’d say go search because it takes 2 seconds, but im in a good mood.


          • Lucky Armpit

            Thanks for posting. As you know, there are hundreds of sub-forums and things can be difficult to find, as just because something works for the Droid Maxx doesn’t mean it’s in the Droid Maxx sub-forum. The original root for the Maxx/Mini/Ultra was in the Ultra sub-forum if I remember correctly and therefore was confusing… at least for a simpleton like me. Searching a forum as large as XDA can be a little intimidating so I appreciate you posting the direct link.

  • Simon Belmont

    Hmm. Anyone have any luck with the Verizon Galaxy S3?

    My friend hasn’t been able to root his since the Android 4.3 update. Bootloader locked and so forth.

    • Mudokon83

      yeah same here, very curious…..

      • Simon Belmont

        Well, here’s an answer: it DOES root the SGS3 on VZW, but it doesn’t get rid of that pesky locked bootloader. 🙁

        A friend of mine tried it on his VZW SGS3 and root checker confirmed it was rooted. But, he sort of jumped the gun and tried flashing ClockworkMod Recovery which hosed his regular recovery and it wouldn’t boot into Android, thanks for that stupid locked bootloader. He ended up having to ODIN the tar file of the NC1 update back onto his SGS3 to get back to normal (after an hour or so with a red face and frantically searching XDA for answers). 🙂

        • Mudokon83

          yup, gotta flash 4.3 tar with odin to get back to it.

          Man I wish we could just unlock the bootloader and be free again.

          Can’t wait to get an LG G3 or MOTOX+1 soon…

  • MichaelFranz

    @Kellex, might want to add that this doesnt trip the Knox counter that voids warranty 🙂

    • Ray

      why do ppl even care about that? show me something where someone sent their phone in for a warranty replacement and Samsung didn’t take it because of Knox being tripped. I’ve even sent my phone in with a custom rom and those idiots never said a word.

    • michael arazan

      I was curious to what this all does to the whole Knox thing. And now that this has happened, will Samsung close the loophole to make it secure again, because they want the government contracts on these phones.

      • MichaelFranz

        Its already in the upstream, meaning the issue is known and public and fixed, so im sure it will be patched quickly. As for any device, you shouldnt accept OTA’s or they will re-lock the device potentially.

  • Kevin V

    Works on Amazon FireTv also!

  • Travis Shepherd

    I rooted VZW GS3 (though it won’t let me update the binaries) and the LG Spectrum. I tried a previous root method on the Spectrum and soft bricked it, but I had no problems with this!

    • MichaelFranz

      Binary updates are fixed, go to Chainfires site and download the latest update.zip, extract the zip and install the APK. Update will be pushed to play store at some point

      • 213ninja

        i was just all over his site and didn’t see anything from June. could you tell me what to click, or link it?

        thank you.

  • MichaelFranz

    Wont work on HTC or Moto phones only because of the way they partition their devices. You can try but i had heard its for not.

    • Aidan

      Not true to some degree. I just used it on my mom’s RAZR HD.

  • hyperbeatser

    Moto X?

    • Snowbo13

      It says on the site that the xda moto’s newest phones have a extra security on the written permissions or something. I want to try though.

    • MichaelFranz

      Negative. However jcase released a 4.4.2 root method already for Moto X

    • Akhenax

      Yes, I’d like to know if this works on the Verizon Moto X, with 4.4 installed. I never updated to 4.4.2 or 4.4.3 and I am rooted.

  • Steve DeBellis

    It works!

  • Rolando Marrero

    Does it trip Knox?, efuse?

    • MichaelFranz

      Knox isnt tripped, you can disable it afterwards

  • morgan boyle

    i would love to get my tethering back on my Moto X verizon…

    • Jaxon Wright

      towelroot doesn’t work on the moto x. HOWEVER, you can use pie by jcase. It works great, but is a tethered root (unroots on every hard reboot)

    • terrorist96

      You can pay $45 to the Chinaman to get a bootloader unlock code, then easily root. That’s what I did. 🙂

      • morgan boyle

        this might be the first time i take a chance on trusting a Chinaman….

        • terrorist96

          You pay via PayPal so you can always get a refund if it doesn’t work. Find the thread called China middleman for details. Also, you should probably use a disposable email to contact him.

          • morgan boyle

            just found a thread and it looks like it hasnt worked in a while :/ oh well. maybe i’ll just tetherboot for a while…

          • terrorist96

            People reported it working as recently as a few days ago.

          • morgan boyle

            does the “Pie by Jcase” method have to be run from adb every time or just once then re-root can be commanded when needed from the phone alone.

          • terrorist96

            Not sure. But pie is useless because you still have write protection, which means you’re very limited with what you can do with root. It’s honestly very worth it to just shell out the $45 and unlock your bootloader. I have xposed + gravity box + Moto tether + some other miscellaneous modules and I haven’t even thought about trying a custom rom. The phone is perfect.

  • Jprime

    So this should work on the moto x?

    • Jaxon Wright

      it doesn’t

  • 2001400ex

    LG G2???

    • jackabood

      yes works on lg g2 d802 🙂

      • picaso86

        Not the Verizon version???

        • Detonation

          Verizon version can easily be rooted with ioroot25 on 4.4.2

          • picaso86

            Thanks for the tip!

          • Mrstarzan

            True, but this took 30 seconds. ioroot25 isn’t an apk. Sorry, I’m lazy I guess. Worth the donation IMO!

        • jackabood

          i don’t think d802 is the international lte

        • Mrstarzan

          Yes. Works on VZW!

    • Rodeojones000

      There’s been a root method for the G2 since it was released in the fall.

      • 2001400ex

        Oh I know, I just don’t like the method of connecting it to a computer and all that it entails. Then mite important, the method of unrooting it.

        • HarvesterX

          Not to mention the headaches of getting the drivers working properly with whatever version of Windows you have Admin access too. XP is fairly painless but I’ve had headaches on Windows 7 machines having to write custom .imf files..

    • gambit07

      Unlock methods have been available on the G2 for a while!

  • I’m confused, I thought this phone was already rooted but the bootloader was just locked. Because they already have safestrap for this …

    Edit: Nevermind I’m thinking of the Note 3

  • jrgray27

    I’ve already used this method on a couple of friends phones. Which made them grateful to have there tethering back. I’m wondering if it is successful on any S3 owners out there?

    • This did not work on my S3 with the NC1 update.

      • Simon Belmont

        Damn. I think that’s the version my friend’s SGS3 is on.

        Oh well. Thanks for the information.

      • jrgray27

        That sucks, thanks for the info though. My friends mainly need this so to update to KitKat because of there dreaded battery drain that KitKat supposedly fixes (amongst other issues). I’ve had a great percentage of them to do the (I believe it was) the Data Cache Wipe and worked for quite a few but some of them it did not (that are on 4.3). And this Data Cache Wipe suggestion was given by a Samsung online tech.

        • John Cantrell

          what does the data cache wipe do (I don’t think I have ever heard of that)? and how do you do it?

          • jrgray27

            “Supposedly” it erases system data that maybe left over from previous versions of Android. “Wipe cache partition” And if you need to verify it just Google S3 wipe cache partition to improve battery life.

          • Simon Belmont

            It wipes the /cache partition on your internal storage. Generally an updater script will do this automatically, but sometimes it needs to be done manually. 🙂

            I actually just wiped the cache on my Nexus 5 after the Android 4.4.3 update and it seems to have leveled out the battery performance a little bit. It’s still not as consistent as Android 4.4.2 was, though. 🙁

          • jrgray27

            Oh, didn’t answer your full question but you just boot into recovery and do it…just choose the right one and you won’t lose any data.

      • Simon Belmont

        It actually did root my friend’s VZW SGS3 on NC1. Root checker confirmed it. 🙂

        It doesn’t, however, remove that locked up bootloader. So, still no custom ROMs or recoveries. 🙁

    • fillyo75

      Which tethering method did you use, I have a VZW S5 and want to unlock my tethering

      • jrgray27

        My friend verified on his S4 with AT&T (I have a Verizon Note 3) that after I showed him how to use this root method and install the Xposed Installer he added the X Tether module and so far so good for him.

        • Juan Nicolas

          So that mean it works on the SGH-I337 with NC1 Baseband?

          • jrgray27

            Verifying for you now, I know that he accidentally got the KitKat update hence lost his tethering (he had never been rooted before everything was stock). He used the tool last night and was going to go safestrap but I suggested the Xposed Installer and X Tether and he texted me this morning that he was working. He liked to tether his phone to his Nexus 10 at work…so…soon as I get a response back I’ll let you know.

          • jrgray27

            I got a verified “YES” this is for the AT&T Galaxy S4 with NC1 baseband. He of course as someone mentioned above had to go to Chainfire site to get the updated SU because the one via Play Store had not been updated.