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How-to: Root and Unlock your Verizon Samsung Galaxy S4

How-to: Root and Unlock your Verizon Samsung Galaxy S4
With the Verizon version of the Samsung Galaxy S4 out for a week now, it should come as no surprise that the folks over at XDA have found a way to root and unlock the device. This shouldn't come as a shocker, since the international version of the Galaxy S4 was cracked last month.

The method for rooting the phone is pretty straight forward (with the steps listed below) and has to be done prior to unlocking the bootloader.

There is also a new All-in-One method listed at the end of this article, if you are looking for a more simplified process.

But as always, take caution doing this, as you may brick your phone if you don't follow the instructions exactly. If you happen to brick your phone, or if something just doesn't work right, you can obtain the original stock ROM from here and flash it in the ODIN program under the PDA section, which should restore your phone back to working order.

Now with that in mind, here are the steps for rooting the Verizon Samsung Galaxy S4 as provided by "open1your1eyes0".

Description: This is a simple guide that will allow you to easily root your Verizon Galaxy S4 device without having to wipe your device or flash a full prerooted factory image. This method works using a leaked prerelease kernel (provided by user sextape) and root method (provided by user djrbliss). Only change is I have modified the Motochopper root method to use the latest SuperSU instead.

Step 1 - Preparation

  1. Download and Install Samsung Official USB Drivers - Link
  2. Download and extract ODIN v3.07 - Link
  3. Download the VRUAMD2 Prerelease Kernel - Link
  4. Download the VRUAMDK Stock Kernel - Link
  5. Download and extract the Motochopper Root Exploit Tool - Link

Step 2 - Flashing VRUAMD2 Prerelease Kernel to remove Root block

  • Boot phone into ODIN mode (See here for how-to)
  • Flash the VRUAMD2 Prerelease Kernel using ODIN v3.07 ***in PDA section only*** (See here for guide on flashing)
  • Boot back to Android and verifying everything is still working and kernel has flashed successfully

Step 3 - Rooting Your Device

  • Go into Settings > More > About phone > tap "Build number" about 7 times until it unlocks Developer options
  • Verify in Developer options setting on your device that you have "USB debugging" checked
  • Verify in Developer options setting on your device that you have "Verify apps via USB" unchecked
  • Verify in Security setting on your device that you have "Unknown sources" checked
  • Verify in Security setting on your device that you have "Verify apps" unchecked
  • Connect your phone to your computer and open "Run.bat" file from the location you have extracted motochopper to
  • You will see a message on the phone asking you to accept the new computer connection (select to always allow and select OK)
  • After motochopper runs and your phone reboots on its own, check if SuperSU has any update in the Play Store
  • Open SuperSU app and let the binary update itself to the latest ***VERY IMPORTANT OR YOU WILL LOSE ROOT ON STEP 4***
  • Once complete, just open a root application and verify that is able to access root properly

Step 4 - Restoring VRUAMDK Stock Kernel

  • Boot phone into ODIN mode (See here for how-to)
  • Flash the VRUAMDK Stock Kernel using ODIN v3.07 ***in PDA section only*** (See here for guide on flashing)
  • Boot back to Android and verifying everything is still working and kernel has flashed successfully
  • After your phone boots back to Android, you should now be fully rooted and on the fully original stock firmware as the device came

After you have completed the above steps, your device will be rooted.
Here is a YouTube video that shows the rooting process:

Now if you want to unlock the bootloader and have ClockWorkMod installed on your Galaxy S4, you'll need to be comfortable using the ADB program, which will be in the "motochopper-supersu" folder on your PC, that was downloaded and used in the Step 3 Rooting process listed above.

Download the file SCH-I545_CWM_LOKI_v1.1.zip and extract the zip.
Place the two files "recovery.lok" and "loki_flash" on your phone in the "/data/local/temp" directory. You can do this using a program called Root Explorer.

With your Galaxy S4 connected to your PC, you'll need to open a Command Prompt and change to the directory (motochopper-supersu) where the "adb.exe" file is located, and type the following commands:

adb shell
chmod 755 /data/local/tmp/loki_flash
/data/local/tmp/loki_flash recovery /data/local/tmp/recovery.lok

If you are successful, you should see the following message

[+] Loki validation passed, flashing image.
2253+1 records in
2253+1 records out
9230848 bytes transferred in 0.656 secs (14071414 bytes/sec)
[+] Loki flashing complete!

You can now power your phone off. Once it has shut down, you can get to ClockWorkMod Recovery by pressing and holding the Volume UP & Power key at the same time. When you see small blue text in on the top of the screen that says Recovery, release the Power key and the Volume Up key. It will now boot into ClockWorkMod Recovery.

With your Galaxy S4 rooted and unlocked, you now have full control over the device. You can install custom kernels that allow you to overclock the CPU, and can even flash custom ROMs if you don't care for Samsung's TouchWiz user interface. Just remember, if you ever want to revert back to factory-stock, you'll need to flash the stock ROM using the ODIN program.

***Updated with All-in-One Root and Unlocking Method***
If you are not comfortable with the above steps for rooting and unlocking the phone, you can try the new All-in-One method, which bhp090808 has posted on XDA.

***Google Wallet Hack***
After the Galaxy S4 is rooted and unlocked, you can get Google Wallet working by following the steps listed here.

source: XDA (1), (2), (3) and YouTube

Story timeline

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posted on 31 May 2013, 00:03

1. mydi.maus (unregistered)

Now I can root vzn wireless gs4

posted on 17 Jun 2016, 19:04

21. jastiff (Posts: 2; Member since: 17 Jun 2016)

If anyone is looking for another way or place place to help them root their Samsung Galaxy S4, I would highly recommend that you give root4phones.com a go. You can find guides according to your phone's model to ensure that it works for your phone and they are all so easy to follow. You don't have to pay anyone to do it for you anymore! I used it before and I can definitely say it works. You just have to fill out a short survey, but the benefits afterwards are a lot so it's worth trying out. Hope this helps!

posted on 31 May 2013, 00:28

2. freebee269 (Posts: 539; Member since: 10 Aug 2012)

I didn't realize the Verizon gs4 had this many steps to get to an unlocked boot loader. My at&t gs4 didn't seem like it took this much work when the boot loader unlock came out. And now there's a program that automates the whole thing called casual, developed by Adam outlier.

posted on 31 May 2013, 00:35

3. FAUguy (Posts: 78; Member since: 09 Apr 2008)

There is a new all-in-one method listed at the end, which can make the process easier if a person isn't comfortable with doing all the steps in the instructions.

posted on 06 Oct 2013, 23:09

14. enegreiros (Posts: 1; Member since: 06 Oct 2013)

I could not because as soon as I installed the VRUAMD2 in the gadjet restarted but came back with a black screen not being possible to see instructions. this also happened with the file all in one. can someone help me? GT-I9505 - I9505XXUEMI8

posted on 31 May 2013, 01:12

5. true1984 (Posts: 830; Member since: 23 May 2012)

that's because verizon puts their own lock on all their phones to prevent people from rooting their phones to eliminate things like wifi hotspot hacks so they can charge extra for it

posted on 31 May 2013, 00:47 1

4. velazkid (Posts: 1; Member since: 31 May 2013)

Can somebody tell my why somebody would want to "root" their phone? I've heard it talked about so much over the years, but never having a smartphone until now (or rather, soon) I never payed much attention. What does it do? What are the advantages?

posted on 31 May 2013, 09:20

6. Daftama (Posts: 619; Member since: 03 Nov 2012)

Someone help me how to root Note 2vzw

posted on 31 May 2013, 09:46

7. cybervlad81 (Posts: 89; Member since: 04 Apr 2011)

Replace the thread number of the above xda link with the following one for the note II vzw: "2024207"

posted on 02 Jun 2013, 03:36

8. FAUguy (Posts: 78; Member since: 09 Apr 2008)


posted on 08 Jun 2013, 01:33

9. bilster (Posts: 1; Member since: 08 Jun 2013)

HELP! I did the steps till the point of successfully installing the ClockWorkMod without testing my international SIM. I just found out that the phone is giving me the "Non-Verizon SIM" message. How do I fully unlock the phone? Please help me. Any comments will be appreciated. Thank you.

posted on 11 Jun 2013, 02:41

10. FAUguy (Posts: 78; Member since: 09 Apr 2008)

I'm sorry to hear you're having trouble using an international SIM after rooting and unlocking. It would probably be best to ask the question on the XDA forums, since that is where the devs would most likely be able to help.

posted on 16 Jun 2013, 22:16

11. Zenik (Posts: 5; Member since: 16 Jun 2013)

I got the unlock code from safeunlockcode.com but you can check also on cellunlocker.net to see where is a better price for your network.

posted on 13 Aug 2013, 06:21

12. marktrott (Posts: 1; Member since: 06 Aug 2013)

I have successfully unlocked my two handsets from unlockgalaxys.com so don’t forget to check out and review the unlocking websites before you proceed for unlocking

posted on 15 Sep 2013, 18:56

13. fingaflip12 (Posts: 1; Member since: 15 Sep 2013)

all those files after i downloaded it wont open, i did unzip still wont let me open can anyone help me my email is boyzinthehood801@gmail.com

posted on 16 Jan 2014, 15:18

15. jalanderos (Posts: 1; Member since: 16 Jan 2014)

When I open Odin I see that you have the ID: COM in green I think that means that your phone is connected to the computer, mine is not getting connected or Odin is not working please give me heads up thanks

posted on 31 Jan 2014, 05:38

16. nitneuq8 (Posts: 1; Member since: 31 Jan 2014)

Hello, it doesn't work with my galaxy S4 sch i545 verizon.
Someone can help me ?
I'm from belgium and speak french but understand english

posted on 11 Aug 2014, 19:33

17. sammy123 (Posts: 11; Member since: 06 Aug 2014)

Very informative but I am pretty impressed with these guys:
Nice video This site explains all this in very easy to order format

posted on 28 Jul 2015, 09:34

18. BROWN (Posts: 24; Member since: 08 Aug 2014)

Hello unlock any mobile phone has lower cost with a remote IMEI number.
You have a cell phone no matter the model and brand smartphones even lock onto an operator that you want to make universal use any sim card contact us 48 hours time to the maximum release model.
Mail: Support@jailbreakwizz.(com)

posted on 26 May 2016, 01:21

19. msandid (Posts: 2; Member since: 26 May 2016)

FAUguy, question from a complete and total noob. Trying to root VZW S4 prepaid i545PP. Can I use the steps in this article or is it a different version?

posted on 26 May 2016, 01:26

20. msandid (Posts: 2; Member since: 26 May 2016)

I forgot to add that my sole purpose is to add French system language (not just keyboard). So if there is an easier way to do it than rooting, I'm all for it.

And thanks again for the article/video.

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