Do you want to root your Snapdragon Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus? Here’s a quick and efficient tutorial to help you root Galaxy S8/S8 Plus Snapdragon using the new EDL method, provided by XDA developer jrkruse. The method works for SM-G950U/U1 and SM-G955U/U1 models sold in the US, and SM-G950W and SM-G955W models sold in Canada.
Samsung has been consistently releasing its flagship devices in two different variants – Exynos and Snapdragon since the S7 era. The trend continued with the Galaxy S8/Note 8 series and the current S9/Note 9 lineup. We have already seen root for the Exynos S8, and it is based on the standard rooting method involving TWRP and SuperSU/Magisk. But things tend to get a bit complicated when it comes to Snapdragon-equipped Samsung devices and rooting, largely due to the locked bootloader on the Snapdragon variants.
Root has been available for the Snapdragon models on earlier firmware builds via the SamFAIL exploit, which we also used to root Galaxy Note 8 N950U. But later revisions to the firmware and more importantly, the Bootloader version rendered the exploit useless. However, thanks to XDA’s Recognized Contributor jrkruse, we now have a working method to root Galaxy S8/S8 Plus Snapdragon with V5 and V6 Bootloaders.
Rooting Snapdragon Variants of the Samsung Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus
Like I said earlier, rooting the Snapdragon variants of Samsung devices has always been a struggle for the community because of locked bootloaders. Unlike the Exynos variants, the bootloaders on the Snapdragon variants are not unlock-able. And hence, the generic method of flashing TWRP via ODIN and then rooting through Magisk would fail rigorously.
But it seems like the Galaxy S8/S8 Plus Snapdragon users are finally getting the desired attention from the root community. The Root for Galaxy S8/S8 Plus Snapdragon variant has been brought to the users by XDA RC and developer – jrkruse (Along with contributions from various other developers and XDA community members) through the new EDL Method. It will help you easily root your Galaxy S8/S8 Plus Snapdragon and install Safestrap recovery on it at the same time.
We have already covered a guide to root Galaxy Note 8 Snapdragon using the same method. The only difference between both the guides is the files used during the process.
Now before you go ahead and follow the instructions, take a look at the following pointers to debrief yourself with the method that will follow.
- This method will only work if your phone is using version 5 (V5) and version 6 (V6) bootloaders.
- Root on Android Pie is not possible. The procedure involves installing the Android Pie Safestrap ROM. Once that is installed, you can use Safestrap to apply modifications to your phone by flashing zips or making modifications to the system partition.
- If you really need root, you will further need to flash a pre-rooted Nougat system image on your Snapdragon Galaxy S8/S8 Plus. This means you will be forced to use the Android Nougat OS for root, so no Pie or Oreo.
- The supplied Nougat system image is pre-rooted with SuperSU and has Flashfire and Safestrap recovery pre-installed.
With that information at hand, head over to the instructions to root Galaxy S8/S8 Plus Snapdragon.
The following devices with the corresponding model numbers are supported. If your device has a model number other than the ones mentioned below, then this method will not work on it.
- Samsung Galaxy S8 with model number SM-G950U, SM-G950U1, and SM-G950W are supported.
- Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus with model number SM-G955U, SM-G955U1, and SM-G955W are supported.
This process will work regardless of whether you are running Android 9 Pie, Android 8.0 Oreo or Android 7.1.1 Nougat. What’s important is that your Bootloader version/revision must be V5 or V6.
To find out your phone’s bootloader version, go to Settings → About phone → Software information and check the information under the ‘Baseband version‘ section. For example, if it says “G955U1UEU6DSJ4”. The “U6” here denotes the bootloader version, which is V6.
A word of caution & disclaimer
Make sure that you go through the instructions beforehand and understand what they exactly tell you to do. Do not deviate from them at any point or disconnect/power off your phone during the process until you’re asked to do so.
Rooting is a risky process and TheCustomDroid.com, or any of its members shall not be held responsible for any damage caused to your device during or after following the process.
- Your device’s internal storage and all data will be wiped (Possibly more than a few times) during this process. So make sure that you take a complete backup of all your data stored on the phone. We suggest you follow our guide on how to backup Android phones.
- Charge your Galaxy S8’s battery to a sufficient battery level. The whole process is a bit long and you wouldn’t want your device to suddenly switch off during it.
- Install the latest Samsung Mobile USB drivers and Qualcomm HS-USB QDLoader USB Drivers on your PC.
- Also, download the latest Android Platform-tools package, extract it, and add it to your Windows PC PATH (Environment Variable). Alternatively, you can also use Minimal ADB and Fastboot that automates the whole process for you.
- Lastly, download Modded Odin3 3.13.1 by Raymonf from here and extract it on the PC. Do not use the normal version of the Odin tool for this method!
Once you have everything set up, you can easily root Galaxy S8/S8 Plus Snapdragon. If you’re new to the whole rooting scene, make sure to take your time and understand each and every step before you execute.
Make sure to download the files according to the bootloader version your Galaxy S8/S8 Plus has.
Galaxy S8 (SM-G950U/U1/W)
- V5 Bootloader
- V6 Bootloader
Galaxy S8 Plus (SM-G955U/U1/W)
- V5 Bootloader
- V6 Bootloader
Steps to Root Samsung Galaxy S8/S8 Plus Snapdragon Variant
For your convenience and better understanding, I have split the instructions into six (6) major steps. Make sure that you follow each and every step in the mentioned order and do not deviate from them at any point.
Step 1: Flash Combination Firmware File
The first step in the process is to flash the Combination Firmware on your Galaxy S8/S8 Plus corresponding to the bootloader version. To do so, follow the steps listed below.
- Download the Combination Firmware package (COMBINATION_FA70_***********.rar), corresponding to the bootloader version of your Galaxy S8/S8 Plus.
- Extract the downloaded RAR file to a suitable location on your PC.
- Launch the Odin Flash Tool on the PC by double-clicking on the ‘Modded Odin v3.13.1 Raymonf.exe’ executable file.
- Click on the ‘AP’ button in Odin and select the extracted Combination Firmware file (COMBINATION_FA70_G95********.tar.md5).
- Ensure that ‘F.Reset Time’ and ‘Auto Reboot’ is checked in the ‘Options’ tab of Odin.
- Now power off your Galaxy S8/S8 Plus completely.
- Boot your device into Download Mode. To do so, hold the Volume Down + Bixby + Power button simultaneously until you see the warning screen. Then tap the Volume Up button to enter Download Mode.
- While your S8/S8 Plus is in Download Mode, connect it to the PC using the USB cable.
- The ID:COM port in the Odin window should light up.
- Finally, click on the “Start” button in Odin to flash the Combination Firmware file on Galaxy S8/S8 Plus Snapdragon.
As soon as the flashing process finishes, your device will boot into the test OS (See the image below).
Step 2: Boot Samsung Galaxy S8/S8 Plus Snapdragon into EDL Mode
The next step is to reboot your Galaxy S8/S8 Plus into EDL mode correctly.
- With your Galaxy S8/S8 Plus booted into the test OS, swipe down from the notification panel and tap on the settings icon.
- Then enable USB debugging on your device.
- Connect your device to the PC (with USB debugging enabled) using the USB cable.
- Download ‘G95*U_Full_EDL_V*_Pie_Safestrap.rar’ file according to your Galaxy S8/S8 Plus’ model number and bootloader version.
- Extract the downloaded file on the PC.
- Double-click on the ‘Reboot_EDL.bat’ file to boot your Galaxy S8/S8 Plus Snapdragon into EDL mode.
- If you see the “Allow USB debugging” prompt on the device’s screen. Simply tap on “OK”.
Your phone should now reboot and enter the EDL Mode. The device’s screen will turn black and this is what EDL mode looks like. So, do not disconnect the device and head over to the next 3rd step below.
Step 3: Install Android Pie Safestrap ROM (System image) using ‘G95*U_Recovery.bat’ File
- Go to ‘Control Panel’ > ‘Device Manager’ on the PC and ensure that your Galaxy S8/S8 Plus is being detected as ‘Qualcomm HS-USB QDLoader 9008’.
- In case your device is recognized as ‘QHUSB_BULK’, make sure that you install the required drivers on the PC.
- Now, open the previously extracted ‘G95*U_Full_EDL_V*_Pie_Safestrap’ folder and double-click on the ‘G95*U*_Recovery.bat’ file.
- A console window will open on your PC.
- Simply enter the COM# (where “#” is the number) port number for your Galaxy S8 as shown in the console window.
- The Android Pie Safestrap ROM (System.img) will be installed on your device.
The flashing/installation process can take some time and the console window may appear to be hanged. This is normal behavior, simply wait for it until finished. Once the Android Pie system image has been successfully installed, head over to the next step below.
Step 4: Install Android Pie BL and CSC using Odin
- Force-reboot your Galaxy S8/S8 Plus Snapdragon into Download Mode.
- To do so, hold the Volume Down, Bixby, and Power buttons. Once the warning screen appears, press the Volume Up key to enter Download Mode.
- Make sure that your phone is connected to the PC while it is in Download Mode.
- Double-click the “Modded Odin v3.13.1 Raymonf.exe” file to launch the Odin Flash Tool.
- The COM port in the Odin window should light up.
- Ensure that “F.Reset Time” and “Auto Reboot” are selected under the “Options” tab in Odin.
- Click on the “BL” button and select the Android Pie BL file (BL_G95*U******.tar.md5).
- Next, click on the “CSC” button and select the Android Pie CSC file (HOME_CSC_OYN_G95*U_CACHE_V*.tar.md5).
- Finally, click on the “Start” button to install the Android Pie BL and CSC files on your device.
- Once the flashing process finishes, your Galaxy S8/S8 Plus will boot directly into the stock recovery mode.
- Now, it is important to perform a factory reset. To do so, use the Volume keys of your device to highlight the ‘Wipe data/factory reset’ option and press the Power button to select it.
The first boot might take some time, but that is normal. When your phone boots, it should be running the Android Pie ROM.
Step 5: Boot Galaxy S8/S8 Plus Snapdragon into Safestrap Recovery
Now, it is worth noting that unlike the stock recovery, the Safestrap recovery is not installed on your device’s /recovery partition. It is rather loaded directly from the bootloader. This means you will need to flash the Safestrap Recovery file to the Galaxy S8’s BL slot using Odin, every time that you want to boot your device into it.
To boot your Galaxy S8/S8 Plus Snapdragon into Safestrap Recovery, follow the instructions below.
- Power off your device completely.
- Hold the Volume Down, Bixby, and Power buttons together until you see a blue-colored warning screen.
- Simply tap the Volume Up button to enter Download Mode on your Galaxy S8.
- Connect your device to the PC while it is in Download Mode.
- Launch the modded Odin Flash Tool by Raymonf on your PC.
- Click on the “BL” button and select the “BL_ENG_BOOTLOADERS_SAFESTRAP_G95*U_V*.tar.md5” file.
- Ensure that “F.Reset Time” and “Auto Reboot” are selected in Odin’s “Options” tab.
- Finally, click on the “Start” button to flash the file.
Your Snapdragon Galaxy S8/S8 Plus should now boot into Safestrap recovery, which is based on TWRP v3.3.1-0 and offers the same UI. You can now use Safestrap it to flash mods, backup/restore a NANDroid backup, flash firmware image files, and more.
To exit Safestrap, go to ‘Reboot’ > ‘Download’ to reboot your device into Download mode and re-flash the Android Pie BL file (BL_G955*USQU****.tar.md5) using Odin.
From here on, you have two options:
- First, either stick with the current Android Pie setup and make desired modifications to the phone’s software using Safestrap recovery. This will allow you to enjoy Android Pie and One UI features, along with a more recent security patch.
- Or, proceed with the instructions to Step #6 below and flash Pre-rooted Nougat System Image to root Snapdragon Galaxy S8/S8 Plus. Choose this option if you really want to gain root access to use root-enabled apps or install audio mods like ViPER4Android, etc. The two major disadvantages with this option are that you will be forced to use Android Nougat-based Samsung Experience OS (instead of One UI) and will be stuck with an even older security patch.
The decision is solely yours to make as per your requirements.
Step 6: Install Pre-Rooted Nougat System Image to Root Galaxy S8/S8 Plus Snapdragon
To root, you will first need to download the pre-rooted Nougat ROM, extract the ‘system.img’ file from it, and then flash the system image using Safestrap recovery. You will further also need to flash the Nougat-compatible Safestrap recovery (via Safestrap itself) and then flash the fingerprint and face unlock fix (via Odin).
- Download the following files on your PC:
- Extract the “system.img” file from the downloaded “Rooted_G95*USQS2BRB1.rar” file using an archive utility (like 7Zip, WinRAR, etc).
- Transfer the extracted “system.img” and “Safestrap-4.10-B03-DREAMQLTE-NOUGAT.zip” files to your Snapdragon Galaxy S8’s storage.
- Now boot your device into Safestrap recovery by following the instructions in Step 5 above.
- In Safestrap, tap on the “Install” button and then on “Install Image”.
- Navigate to your phone’s internal storage and select the “system.img” file. When prompted to select the partition, select “System Image”.
- Swipe the button on the bottom to flash the pre-rooted Nougat System Image on your Galaxy S8/S8 Plus Snapdragon.
- Now go back to the recovery’s main menu and press the “Install” button again.
- Select the “Safestrap-4.10-B03-DREAMQLTE-NOUGAT.zip” file and flash it.
- Once both the files have been flashed, go to the “Reboot” menu in Safestrap and tap on “Download” to reboot your device into Download Mode.
- Connect your phone to the PC while it is in Download Mode.
- Launch the modded Odin Flash Tool by Raymonf and select the “BL_G95*_FINGERPRINT_FIX_V6.tar.md5” file in the “BL” slot.
- Finally, click on the “Start” button to flash the file.
As soon as the process finishes, your Galaxy S8 device will reboot into the OS (system).
Important: Now, it is very important that you boot your Snapdragon Galaxy S8/S8 Plus into recovery mode and perform a factory reset. Or else, the booting process will be stuck on optimizing apps.
To do so, power off your phone first, and hold the Volume Up, Bixby, and Power buttons together to enter recovery mode. Then use the Volume buttons to select the “Wipe data/factory reset” option and press the power button to confirm.
Great! You have just been able to root Galaxy S8/S8 Plus Snapdragon using the new EDL method. If you come across any roadblocks during the process, drop a comment below, and we will be more than happy to help you out.
We couldn’t end this post without thanking XDA RC jrkruse and all other members of the community who contributed towards this root solution for the Snapdragon variants of Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus.
This tutorial was originally meant for the Galaxy S8+ only. But it has now been re-written from the ground up and now supports both the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus Snapdragon variants. You can still access the old tutorial by visiting an old archived copy here.