How to Root T-Mobile and Sprint Samsung Galaxy S3

We already have a guide covering how to root International Galaxy S3, but there seems to be a different process for the T-Mobile and Sprint Galaxy S3. No problem, here’s a guide for you to root your smartphone on the said careers. Once you have rooted your smartphone, you can install the root-only apps as well as you will be able to modify the system files to tweak your phone. Follow the steps given below to begin rooting your phone.

I. Before You Begin:

1. Rooting your phone will void its warranty. However, the stock firmware or unrooting your phone will help you get back your lost warranty.

2. The following root procedure works on T-Mobile and Sprint Samsung Galaxy S3 only. You can find the rooting guide for the International Galaxy S3 here.

3. Make sure your phone has at least 60% of battery life left to go through the process without any issues.

II. Downloading Required Files:

1. Download the Galaxy S3 Drivers from here. (Official Samsung Website)

2. Download the CWM Superuser from here. (File is attached there in the post)

3. Download the clockworkmod.TAR from here. (It’s also attached there)

4. Download the Odin Tool from here. (Download it from Attached Files section)

III. Rooting T-Mobile and Sprint Galaxy S3:

1. Place all the downloaded files on the Desktop of your PC.

2. Install the Drivers for your Galaxy S3 that you downloaded from the official Samsung website.

3. Enable USB debugging on your smartphone by navigating to Menu>>Settings>>Developer options.

4. Connect your smartphone to your PC using the USB cable that came with it.

5. Transfer the CWM Superuser file to the Root folder of your phone’s SD card.

6. Disconnect your phone from the PC after you have successfully transferred the file.

7. Turn OFF your smartphone using the Power button.

8. Reboot your phone into the download mode. To do that, press and hold Volume DOWN+Home+Power buttons together.

9. Press the Volume UP key when you are asked.

10. On your PC, extract files from the Odin archive onto your Desktop.

11. Double-click the Odin executable file to launch the tool.

12. Connect your phone to your PC using the USB cable.

13. In the Odin tool, select PDA tab and then choose the clockworkmod.TAR file you downloaded earlier to your PC.

14. Make sure that Auto Reboot is UNchecked and F. Reset Time is checked in the Odin, leave rest as unchecked.

15. Click on the Start button to begin flashing the file to your phone.

16. As soon as the flashing completes, your phone will reboot.

17. When your phone boots up, turn it OFF by pressing the Power button.

18. Reboot your phone into the Recovery mode. To do so, press and hold Volume UP+Home+Power buttons together.

19. Now, in the recovery menu, select install zip from sdcard followed by choose zip from sdcard option.

20. Browse to the CWM Superuser file you transferred to your phone and select it for flashing.

21. Choose Yes when you are prompted for flashing process.

22. When it has finished flashing the file, simply select reboot system now from the recovery menu.

23. When your phone restarts, head over to the Google Play and download the BusyBox app. Install it on your phone.

24. Open up the BusyBox app and follow all the instructions displayed on your screen.

25. Open the Superuser app and navigate to Settings>>Su binary>>Update. Update the binaries to latest ones.

Congratulations ! Your smartphone has now been rooted and you can install any root-only app right now on your phone.

If this procedure helped you, then please head to the official thread over at XDA Forum to thank/donate to the original developer of this root method !

If this procedure helped you, please consider donating to the original developer or at least sending them a thank you.

Now that you are rooted, head here to learn some of the fun things you can do!

For all the devices we have rooting procedures for, head here.


Something Wrong? If you notice an issue with the procedure (broken link, steps out of date, etc.), use this form to let us know! Otherwise, if you just are having trouble with the procedure, reach out to us on Twitter, Facebook, or Google+.

  • Gulliver

    i was wondering if there is an unroot for the galaxy s3 for sprint because i rooted my phone but its asking me for an update fix but since i have the phone rooted i keep dismissing the msg…please help

    • http://theunlockr.com David Cogen

      I’d load a custom ROM (they usually have the update notification message disabled so you don’t have to see it anymore).

  • John

    Everything works great for me until step 18. After Odin when I reboot via volume up, home, and power at the same time I boot into Android System Recovery and not Clock Work. Can anyone help with what I might be doing wrong?

    • Mahesh Makvana

      Either the ClockworkMod Recovery isn’t successfully installed on your phone or you didn’t press the key combination correctly.
      Turn OFF your phone, remove the battery, re-insert it and then boot into the recovery mode.

  • jesse

    I got a message when flashing the super user zip. It said e: signature verification failed. Can someone please help

    • Mahesh Makvana

      In the Step-19, after choosing “install zip from sdcard”, choose “toggle signature verification” to OFF.

      It will solve the problem.

  • jesse

    Also please let me know if there is a way to root using mac

    • Mahesh Makvana

      You can head to the XDA Forum to find if there’s a way to root using Mac.

  • Dan

    I got to step 16, but my phone never resets. Odin says it completed and succeeded, but my phone doesn’t do anything. I saw on youtube there’s supposed to be a blue bar going across my phone’s screen, but that doesn’t happen either. Any ideas? Thanks

    • Mahesh Makvana

      Did you checkmark the option labeled “Auto Reboot” in Odin? If you didn’t, then restart your phone manually. It should solve your problem.

      Thanks !

      • Dan

        I have tried it with auto reboot checked and unchecked. it does restart when its checked, but afterwords I still can’t my phone to launch Clockwork, so I don’t think it worked. I’ve tried multiple Clockwork files, in case I had the wrong one, and none have worked. It always goes to android system recovery

        • Dan

          Ok I figured it out. For some reason, the Clockwork file you linked wasn’t working for me. I found one called “CWM-Recovery-LTE-SGS3-v5.tar” and it worked perfectly now. Heres the link, in case other people have trouble. You don’t want the zip, you want the tar thats right under the youtube video.

          http://www.epiccm.org/2012/06/cwm-recovery-on-all-sgs3-lte-variants.html

        • Mahesh Makvana

          Well, some of the users have gotten success to enter into CWM Recovery while others haven’t. Discussion about this issue is going on on several forums, we’ll let you know if we find something that can fix your particular problem.

          Thank you !

  • Jared Wilmoth

    Is it possible to do the firmware update on a rooted phone? I did the above method to root, with no problems, but now I’m getting constant firmware update notices, the one time I tried it, it kind of looked like the CWM killed the update.

    • Mahesh Makvana

      As far as I know, you can update your firmware even if you are rooted. But, when you do so, the root access will be lost and you’ll have to re-root your smartphone.

  • Gabe Roman

    I updated my firmare I have the uvlh2 on my galaxys 3 T-999 T-Mobile and this root method doesn’t work anymore do you guys have the new root file 2 flash in odin?

  • Rodrigo

    And how do I unroot the phone?

    • Mahesh Makvana

      We’ll have a separate procedure on how you can unroot your device very soon. Stay tuned with us!

  • dave

    Can’t navigate on this screen. Couldn’t even when count was 1, so I repeated the flash and got 2 counts. Where do I go from here? I can still boot normally if I want. Thanks. S3, T-mobile

    ODIN MODE
    PRODUCT NAME: SGH-T999
    CUSTOM BINARY DOWNLOAD: Yes (2 counts)
    CURRENT BINARY: Custom
    SYSTEM STATUS: Custom
    QUALCOM SECUREBOOT: ENABLE

  • Ken

    Any ideas on how to do this with Linux (ie, without Odin)?

    • Mahesh Makvana

      At the moment, we have the procedure for Windows PCs only. We’ll let you know when we’ve something for your Linux PC.

      Thanks Ken!

  • kyniii

    i cant move the superuser.zip over to my sd card

    • Mahesh Makvana

      What error are you getting while moving the file?

  • SarahJane23

    I have verizon now and use a tether to make hotspots with my rooted phone but am thinking of switching to sprint but have heard that they do something to block you from tethering, does anyone know if ic an still use a tether to make hot spots and use the internet under my unlimited data instead of paying for their separate hotspots?

    • http://www.facebook.com/therealdjque.williams Therealdjque Williams

      I have sprint and my galaxy is rooted. Wifi tether works perfect. No issues but one that i can only run 1 device. Been tethering for years on sprint. And when you root make sure the baseband version is the same as yours. Ie. T999UVDLJC. that has to match with the one your installing or it won’t work.this is the newest build on ics

  • Klaas Nauta

    Help needed: I rooted my SGS3 according to the above, simply because I want PPP-EO installed. (in my house I have point to point broadband)
    Installation worked fine, but the ppp widget still does not work. It seems the kernel does not support async ppp. The effect is that PPPOE logs in but directly goes offline
    Now how to solve? Anyone knows?
    (btw, Im not an expert, so I really need help/ detailed help……)

  • scott murray

    says signature verification failed when i clicked the file form my sd card…..it did not give me the same options as said in the description….it used the word “external storage” and not sd card…and when i selected the file it gsve me the error,…..tried a dozen times, any ideas on what i can do now?

    • Mahesh Makvana

      After you select “install zip from sdcard”, you’ll see an option called “toggle signature verification”. Just turn it OFF and you should be fine.

      Thanks!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1555151219 Brian Richards

    Doesn’t work with 4.1.1 Jelly Bean rom. Can’t boot into recovery after installing CWM with odin.

  • tmpname

    Note that in Odin the AutoReboot SHOULD be checked according to the original xda post

  • Paul

    Followed the instructions and everything went smooth…so I downloaded root checker just to verify and it says “Sorry! This device does not have proper root access” even though I have the su icon now…any thoughts

  • brad lemaster

    when i do the busy box i get a message that says something about the shell not being there or something and when i click on the red X, the app closes all the way out. downloaded root checker and it said my phone isnt rooted and i did this same method. thank you if you can get back to me asap.