Before we start.
Disclaimer: Please note that this is a guide only and I am not and will not be responsible for any issues you have with your device by following this guide.
Click here for video tutorial of this post.
While the steps may work for other versions of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 variants this guide is specifically intended for the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 SM-N9006 model ONLY.
Also Clones of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 have completely different hardware and these instructions will in no way be compatible.
This article assumes that you are running Android 4.4.2 kitkat on your Note 3. Before you attempt this please check your version
- Settings -> General -> About Device -> Android Version -> this must be 4.4.x
Let’s start by downloading all the required files.
The files we’ll need to successfully achieve root, install a custom recovery (in this case Team Win Recovery Project or TWRP) then install Google Apps are the following:
- CF-Auto-Root -> this app does exactly what it says it will automatically root your phone. Please read this forum and you will find the links to download on the 3rd post. Make sure to download the SM-N9005 (International Qualcomm) version as this version will work for KitKat. The other link for the SM-N9006 will only work for Android 4.3 Jelly Bean.
TWRP -> TWRP is an alternative to CWM which is a custom recovery program that will replace the stock android one and will allow us to have much more freedom to install applications onto the phone BUT won’t work unless you have successfully rooted the phone first
- Gapps -> this is Google’s propriety application to allow you to access the Play Store. The reason we have to do this on this particular phone is that the SM-N9006 is specifically made for the Chinese market and there’s no Play Store in china.
- Odin 3.x -> this is a program that allows us to manually install applications and ROMS onto the phone. You’ll find it inside the CF-Auto-root zip file.
- Root checker App for phone -> optional app that allows us to check the status of root on the phone
Before we start if you haven’t already done so make sure the phone is ready by checking or doing the following steps:
- Make sure reactivation lock is off
- Settings > General > Security
- Turn USB Debugging on
- Setting Option -> General -> About Device -> Scroll down and tap Build Number seven times and you see a message that says -> “Developer mode has been enabled“
Rooting the phone
If you prefer video guides then here’s one I prepared earlier otherwise keep reading!
This video will go through the root process as well as install TWRP and then Gapps.
Start up Odin
- Click the AP button and browse to the cf-auto-root.zip file – in this case even though this phone is SM-N9006 we will use the cf-auto-root file designed for the SM-N9005 as this is particular for Android 4.4 KitKat
- With the phone in the off state put the phone into download mode by simultaneously pressing Vol down, Power and Home until you feel the phone vibrate
- The next screen you see will be a warning which we can bypass by pressing the Vol Up button to accept
- In Odin in the little box titled ID:COM should light up and have a number with COM in it. If it is then you are ready to start the process otherwise check your drivers.
- Leave everything default and press start. NOTE it’s important to make sure that the re-partition is NOT ticked. The default should be ok to use but always check this anyway.
- You should see a green bar run across the top left box in Odin and also on the phone as well
- It will automatically restart the phone and show some writing at the top of the phone in blue, red and yellow this is normal.
- Then you should see a large red android with an eye patch and white writing run up the screen then it will reboot again automatically
- This time it should boot normally and run through an update
- Now run the root checker app to verify that the phone is rooted
- You will also get errors popping up which you can ignore for now it will be Gapps because it’s incompatible with the new 4.4 android
Now that we have rooted our phone we can install TWRP which will then allow us to install the correct version of Gapps.
Team Win Recovery Project (TWRP)
and Google Apps (Gapps)
- start with the phone off and put it into download mode by as before by simultaneously pressing the Vol Down, Power and Home key until it vibrates
- Now press Vol up to continue bypass the warning
- In Odin click on the AP button and browse to the TWRP.tar file NOTE make sure the extension is tar. If it’s not then you’ve possibly extracted one time too many.
- Click start and again you’ll see the bar running across both the phone and Odin then the phone will automatically restart
- Once it’s booted up now is a good time to copy Gapps onto the phone itself as that is where we will install it from
- Turn the phone off
- This time when we turn it on we’ll put it into custom recovery mode to install Gapps. To do this we simultaneously press the Vol Up, Power and Home button. NOTE the Vol Up NOT Vol Down. You should see the TWRP start screen and its GUI
- Click install on the top left then scroll down until you see the Gapps file and select it then swipe across in the bar to start the process
- Once done click the reboot system
- Once booted up log into the Google Play store and off you go!