How to Root Samsung Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus (Exynos)

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Valery Aloyants
@valeryaloyants

Do you want to root your Galaxy S9 / S9 Plus flagship? Well, you've just come to the right place for the job. This tutorial will help you install TWRP recovery and root of Samsung Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus. This is compatible and will work on any Exynos Galaxy S9 / S9 + running Android 10 (One UI 2.0), Android Pie (One UI 1.1 / 1.0) and Android Oreo.


Samsung is counted among one of the best manufacturers and is well known for its Galaxy flagship phones. In 2018, the company did another outstanding job with the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus by adapting the latest trends in the smartphone market. The phones launched in March 2018 and have certainly proved to be the best Galaxy flagships to date. Following a very similar design to its predecessor, the hardware and software are where the aforementioned phones excel.



Despite all the latest features, users may often want to further customize the software beyond what the manufacturer has to offer. And if you're feeling the same, rooting your Galaxy S9 or S9 + will provide you with a plethora of options / ways to customize your phone's software.

Important informationInstalling custom binaries like TWRP and rooting the Galaxy S9 / S9 + will trigger the KNOX counter. Apps that rely on KNOX, such as Samsung Pass, Secure Folder, etc. They won't work anymore. Make sure you are comfortable and fully understand the rooting process before you start running it.

Supported variants and models

Currently only the Exynos variant of the Galaxy S9 / S9 Plus is supported. Although TWRP recovery for Snapdragon Galaxy S9 and S9 + is available, we have chosen to keep this specific post for Exynos devices only. Be sure to check the list of supported devices below before proceeding with the instructions.



  • Samsung Galaxy S9
    • Compatible: Exynos variants (codename: starlte) with model number SM-G960F / FD / N / X are supported.
    • Not compatible: le Snapdragon variants (codename: starqlte) with model number SM-G960U / U1 / W / 0/2/8 / SC are not supported.
  • Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus
    • Compatible: Exynos variants (codename: star2lte) with model number SM-G965F / FD / N / X are supported.
    • Not compatible: le Snapdragon variants (codename: star2qlte) with model number SM-G965U / U1 / W / 0/2/8 / SC are not supported.

Prerequisites

  • Make a complete backup of all your data on the device. Anything including apps, contacts, messages, logs, internal storage, etc. It will be deleted during the process. You can also follow our guide on how to backup Android devices for this purpose.
  • Charge the Galaxy S9 / S9 + to at least 60% of the battery level. This will help avoid any sudden crashes during the rooting process.
  • Download and install Samsung USB drivers on your PC.
  • Download the Odin v3.14.4 zip package and extract the file to an easily accessible location on your PC.

Make sure you meet all the above requirements before proceeding with the instructions to root Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus.

Download

Below you will find all the files you will need as you follow the instructions.



  • TWRP Recovery for Galaxy S9 (starlte): twrp-3.4.0-0-starlte.img.tar (Check the latest build here)
  • TWRP Recovery for Galaxy S9 Plus (star2lte): twrp-3.4.0-0-star2lte.img.tar (check the latest build here)
  • Samsung Encryption e Disk Quota Disabler: Disable_Dm-Verity_ForceEncrypt_10.28.2020.zip
  • Zip RMM State Bypass (Android Pie / Oreo only, not required for Android 10): RMM__Bypass_v3_corsicanu.zip (Thanks BlackMesa123 and corsicanu!)
  • SuperSU 2.82 SR5 (discontinued): SR5-SuperSU-v2.82-SR5-20171001224502.zip
  • Latest Stable Magisk Installer ZIP: Magisk-v21.0.zip and check the latest version here

Instructions to root Samsung Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus

To make the rooting process easier to understand, we have broken down the instructions into four main steps.


The first step is to enable “OEM unlock” to allow flashing of custom rails. Once done, the second step is to install TWRP recovery on your Galaxy S9 / Galaxy S9 Plus. Then the third step is to disable the forced encryption and prevent Prenormal KG / RMM State (only on Android Pie and Oreo) by flashing the zip files respectively no-verity and RMM State Bypass. Finally, when all is done, the fourth and final step is to install Magisk ZIP using TWRP to root the Galaxy S9 / Galaxy S9 Plus.

While the process may not be as straightforward as that on devices like the Google Pixel, it's still pretty easy. Even if you are new to the scene, you will easily be able to go through the whole procedure. Just make sure you follow each step as mentioned.



Step 1: Enable Developer Options and OEM Unlock in Settings

To install TWRP and root, you must first enable OEM unlock in the Settings menu of your Galaxy S9. To do this, go to Settings -> About phone -> Software information and tap the “Build number” 7 times. You will then see a toast notification: "Developer mode has been enabled".

Once done, go back to the main Settings screen and tap "Developer Options". Scroll down until you find the "OEM Unlock" switch and turn it on. If the option is still not visible on your device, it means that your phone has entered a buffer period of 7 days. After this time (or you can try to bypass it by following the instructions here), the “OEM Unlock” option will be available. If it's still not available, it means your phone can't be rooted.

With the option enabled, you can now go ahead and install TWRP on your Galaxy S9 / S9 Plus. The next section will walk you through the whole process in detail.

Step 2: Install TWRP Recovery on Samsung Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus

The second step is to flash TWRP on your Galaxy S9 / S9 + via Odin Flash Tool. To do it:


  1. First, download TWRP Recovery for Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus.
  2. Double click on the “Odin3 v3.14.4.exe” executable file to start the Odin flash tool on your PC.
  3. Turn off your phone completely.
  4. Press and hold the Volume Down, Bixby and Power buttons at the same time.
  5. On the warning screen, press the Volume Up button to enter Download Mode on Galaxy S9 / S9 Plus.
  6. As the Odin window loads, you will see "Added !!" in the message box and the ID: COM port should also light up.
  7. Now make sure that the “Automatic restart” box is not checked in the “Options” tab of the Odin tool.
  8. Then, click on the “AP” button in the “File” section of Odin and select the TWRP recovery file (.tar) for your device.
  9. Finally, click on the “Start” button to install TWRP recovery on Samsung Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus.

The flashing process would take a few seconds to complete. Once finished, the phone will remain in download mode.

Now it is very important to boot into TWRP mode directly, if by any chance the phone boots into OS, prenormal RMM state will be set. This will force you to wait another 7 day period before you can actually flash. To do it:

  1. Press and hold the Volume Down, Bixby and Power buttons at the same time until the phone turns off.
  2. Important: as soon as the screen turns off, release the Volume Down key and hold the Volume Up button while holding the Bixby and Power buttons.
  3. Your Galaxy S9 / S9 + should boot into TWRP recovery.
  4. On the "System Partition Not Modified" screen, slide the "Scroll to Allow Changes" button.

With your phone now in TWRP recovery, follow the next step to disable encryption on Samsung Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus.

Step 3: Disabling KG / RMM Bypass Flash and ZIP Encryption Using TWRP

Now, in order for TWRP to successfully decrypt the phone memory, you need to format the data partition and update the Encryption Disabler zip file.

Final report: you need to flash KG / RMM bypass zip only if your phone is running Android Pie or Oreo. It is not compatible with Android 10.

  1. Go to the 'Wipe' menu in TWRP and tap 'Format Data'.
  2. Enter “Yes” in the field provided to fully format the data partition (including internal memory).
  3. Once done, go to the “Reboot” menu in TWRP and press the “Reset” button to reboot your phone in TWRP. This will ensure that TWRP can decrypt the storage.
  4. When the phone reboots into TWRP, go to the “Mount” menu.
  5. Now select “Enable MTP” and connect the Galaxy S9 / S9 Plus to the PC using the USB cable.
  6. Download the DM-Verity disabler and KG / RMM State Bypass zip files (only for Android Pie / Oreo) from the “Download” section above.
  7. Transfer the files to the phone's internal storage, then disconnect the phone from the PC.
  8. Go to the 'Install' menu in TWRP and select the Encryption Disabler zip file (eg Disable_Dm-Verity_ForceEncrypt_02.24.2020.zip).
  9. Swipe the button to flash the file e disable encryption on Samsung Galaxy S9 / S9 +.
  10. If your phone is running Android Pie / Oreo, repeat the installation method and flash the KG / RMM status bypass zip to prevent your phone from being locked again (Prenormal KG / RMM State).

If an error message appears stating " Cannot mount / odm (no such files or directories) “, You can safely Ignore It.

Now, with everything set up, follow the instructions in the fourth and final step below to finally root the Samsung Galaxy S9 / S9 Plus.

Also Read: Download Samsung Good Lock 2021 and Install Add-ons

Step 4: Flash Magisk to root Samsung Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus

The last and final step in the process is to flash the Magisk ZIP file via TWRP and root your phone.

  1. First, download the latest ZIP file of the Magisk installer to your PC.
  2. Connect your Galaxy S9 to the PC using the USB cable.
  3. Go to the “Mount” menu in TWRP and press the “Enable MTP” button.
  4. Transfer the ZIP file of the Magisk installer (for example Magisk-v21.0.zip) to the internal storage of your phone.
  5. Now unplug your Galaxy S9 / S9 Plus and go back to the TWRP main screen.
  6. Press the “Install” button and select the Magisk installer ZIP file from the phone's internal memory.
  7. Finally, slide the button on the screen to flash the file and root your Samsung Galaxy S9 / S9 +.

Once the flashing process is complete, tap the “Reboot System” button to boot the phone into the rooted operating system. Note that the first start may take a few minutes, so there is nothing to worry about.

Once S9 / S9 + is booted, it should be rooted with Magisk. To check the same, go to the app drawer and launch the Magisk Manager application.

You can go ahead and start using your favorite root apps. With Magisk you can also hide the root from some apps like Pokemon Go, Google Pay, etc. Which would normally stop working if root is detected. It also gives you the ability to install modules for inserting additional features and customizing the operating system. The things you can do on a rooted phone are far more than we can list here.

So, this was our tutorial on how to install TWRP and root Samsung Galaxy S9 / S9 Plus running Android 10, Android Pie or Android Oreo. If you have any questions about the instructions or the rooting procedure as a whole, please don't hesitate to contact us.

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