Galaxy Gear just not quite living up to the hype? Maybe it’s time you root it. Rooting it is the process of gaining root access, aka administrative rights. This allows us to then alter just about anything we want on the device to our liking. From removing unwanted apps, to turning the Gear into a full-fledged Android device complete with live wallpapers and Play Store to so much more. To get to all of that, though, we first need root access. Thanks to some developers on XDA (who you should definitely donate to if this procedure helps you) it’s quite easy. Here’s how.
Updated 12.03.13 to include new way to enable USB debugging when using the latest software on the Gear (not reflected in video but reflected in written procedure below).
I. Before You Begin
1. This only works on Windows.
2. You do need access to a Galaxy Gear approved device (i.e. a Galaxy Note 3). Either you must have one, or you must be sneaky enough to go into a Best Buy and use one of theirs really quickly.
II. Bypass Activation Screen on the Galaxy Gear
Unfortunately, we need to access the device’s settings screen but are not able to do that without connecting a device to it first. This means you need a device that is currently compatible with the Gear (at least for a few minutes) to pair with it first then you can finish the rest of the procedure with any device. If you don’t have access to one of these devices, it might be possible to go to a Best Buy store with your Galaxy Gear and simply pair to one of the demo Galaxy Note 3’s in there then walk out once it’s done, but the staff at the store might punch you in the face for that. Maybe.
1. Go to Settings and enable NFC on the Galaxy Gear approved phone (i.e. Galaxy Note 3).
2. Hold the Galaxy Gear Charging Dock to the back of the Galaxy Gear approved phone and wait for it to install Gear Manager.
3. Follow the prompts on the Gear approved phone to connect to the Gear until the Gear shows the time on it indicating it is past the activation process.
III. Enable USB Debugging on the Galaxy Gear and Install Drivers
Next, we need to enable USB Debugging on the Gear so we can connect to it from the computer.
1. Go to Settings > Gear Info > and Tap Software Version 10 times.
2. Go back.
3. Enable USB Debugging on the Galaxy Gear.
4. Download the Samsung USB Drivers to your Desktop.
5. Right-click the .zip file you downloaded and click extract all.
6. Double-click the .exe file inside to install the drivers.
7. Plug in the Galaxy Gear via USB by putting it in it’s charging dock and plugging in a USB cable from it to the computer. Let the drivers install.
IV. Root the Galaxy Gear
After installing enabling USB Debugging and installing the ADB drivers, we can connect to it via USB from our computer and gain root access.
1. Download Cydia Impactor and save it to your Desktop.
2. Right-click the .zip file and click Extract All.
3. Double-click the Impactor .exe file inside the newly extracted folder.
4. When it opens, it should show # drop SuperSU su to /system/xbin/su in the field. If it does, click Start. If it doesn’t, put it in there manually, then click Start.
5. When it pops an error about allowing the connection, click Always allow and click OK on your Galaxy Gear.
6. Close the error and click Start again. This time it should proceed with the process.
7. Download Wondershare Mobile Go (the Free Trial will work just fine), save it to your Desktop, and double-click the .exe file to install it.
8. Open Wondershare on your computer.
9. Once it opens, click on Google Play Apps.
10. Search for and install SuperSU (free version by Chainfire).
11. Open SuperSU on the Galaxy Gear by swiping over to Apps from the homescreen then swiping through that to find SuperSU and tapping it.
12. When prompted to update the SU Binary, tap yes.
After that, you are all set and rooted. Now the fun begins. Head to our Galaxy Gear Rooting How To’s section to see all the other how to’s you can do with root access. Enjoy!