If there’s one thing I’m not a fan of on Samsung devices generally speaking, it’s the user interface. TouchWiz, the UI that Samsung puts on all of their devices, has a special place in one of the inner circles of hell in my opinion. But, for what Samsung lacks in the software department, they make up for in some pretty spectacular hardware and, well, that causes a bit of a dilemma. How do you get all that Samsung hardware magic without the painfully over-complicated TouchWiz? The solution? Rooting.
Rooting, aka gaining administrative rights on a device allows you to change aspects of a device’s software that you normally wouldn’t be able to. Once rooted you can do things like remove the bloatware on the phone (goodbye, AT&T Family Map!), flash a custom ROM (an entirely new operating system with possibly a newer version of Android and a different UI on top), to oh so much more. First though, we need to gain that all-important root access.
Thankfully for the Galaxy S6 and the Galaxy S6 Edge the procedure isn’t too difficult (at least for some versions of the device) and involves using Odin – Samsung’s own flashing tool – to flash the device with a modified image that allows us to root it. If you’re up to it and ready to give it a try, check it out below.
How to Root the Samsung Galaxy S6 or Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
I. Before You Begin
1. This only works on Windows as the tool we’re using is a Windows program that Samsung uses to flash their devices.
2. Perform a backup of your device (saving any photos to your computer, syncing with Google, etc.) before beginning.
3. Install the Samsung Drivers from here if you don’t already have them installed.
4. This will void your warranty.
II. Root the Galaxy S6 / Root the Galaxy S6 Edge
1. Go to Settings > About Device and look for your model number.
This method only works on specific models at the moment so you need to make sure your model matches or you should NOT attempt this.
2. Head to Chainfire’s AutoRoot page and scroll down until you find your model number. Click download to download the version of AutoRoot specific to that model to your desktop. Again, if it is not your model or your model isn’t listed, do not attempt to use a different model.
3. Extract the zip file to your desktop.
4. Right-click the Odin.exe file and select Run As Administrator.
5. Go to Settings > About Phone and tap Build Number until it says you are a developer.
6. Hit back and then tap Developer Options.
7. Turn on USB Debugging.
8. Plug the device in via USB and let the drivers install.
9. Unplug the device.
10. Power off your phone.
11. Put your device into Odin mode by holding down Volume Down, Power, and Home at the same time until it shows download on the screen.
12. Plug the device in via USB cable to the computer.
13. In Odin, click AP and choose the .md5.tar file that is in the folder where Odin is.
14. Click Start and wait for it to flash the device.
15. When it boots back up, tap Grant in the superuser dialog box that pops up.
If Your Device Gets Stuck on the Samsung Logo on Reboot
If the device gets stuck on the Samsung logo after you flash the AutoRoot file, simply do the following.
1. Put the phone back into download mode by holding down Volume Down, Power and Home at the same time until it shows download on the screen.
2. Head back to Chainfire’s AutoRoot page and scroll down until you find the non-Edge version of your device, download that version of AutoRoot and save it to your desktop (if you have the T-Mobile S6 Edge for example, download the T-Mobile S6 (non-Edge instead this time).
3. Extract the new AutoRoot zip file to your desktop.
4. In Odin, click AP and choose the .md5.tar file that is in the folder where Odin is.
5. Click Start and wait for it to flash the device.
6. When it boots back up, tap Grant in the superuser dialog box that pops up.
There you have it. Hopefully it all worked out and you can now begin removing bloatware from the device and as soon as a custom recovery is released, you can flash that and head over to how to flash a custom ROM to get even more out of your phone.
Let me know how it went!