gnote 3 thumb

AT&T might be steadfastly refusing its customers full access to the devices they "own," but it's still plenty possible to get root access on most new phones, especially if they're popular. The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 certainly qualifies for the latter, and the fellas at XDA have come through once again. XDA Recognized Developer "designgears" (with a little help from the reliable Jorrit "Chainfire" Jongma) has released a working root method for AT&T's model of the Note 3 (SM-900A).


Screenshot by XDA member jokesonme.

Unfortunately the steps to getting root are not altogether straightforward. You'll need a Windows PC, Samsung's Odin software, and a basic understanding of the tools of the trade (bootloader mode, download mode, and some ADB skills wouldn't hurt). The root package is a whopping 2.2 GB, and it will both downgrade your AT&T Note 3 to a slightly older firmware version and completely wipe personal files. It might be prudent to wait for a root solution on the latest firmware unless you really, really need it.

All that said, early users are reporting no problems with designgears' solution. And he's called it "Root De La Vega," a not-so subtle dig at the AT&T Wireless CEO. AT&T's version of the Note 3 still doesn't have an unlocked bootloader or access to custom ROMs, but this is a step in the right direction. Check the XDA forum post for full and detailed rooting instructions.  

Source: XDA Developers

Jeremiah Rice
Jeremiah is a US-based blogger who bought a Nexus One the day it came out and never looked back. In his spare time he watches Star Trek, cooks eggs, and completely fails to write novels.
  • RH

    I'm seriously thinking of getting a nexus 5 this time around just because, although I love my Note1 (I don't use the stylus), I buy my devices off contract, full price. I expect them to be unlocked, no restrictions. My international note (used in the U.S.) came from Germany and has been flawless. Other than root, it's pure stock, but all of these restrictions that are being placed on users is ridiculous. If you are under contract, I can understand it until the contract is up, but when we are paying full retail for something, it should have no restrictions. My guess is the carriers are the ones that ask the manufacturers to place all the restrictions on them, so, I think it will be a N5 for me this time around. Sorry Samsung.

    • spydie

      A Note 1? Are you in the 21st century? Those are like, what? 3 years old now? Don't you know that phones/electronics makes major strides every month... and a phone that old is ANCIENT? (and I had the Note 1... terribly "laggy"... way beyond useable). How is it you "expect them to be unlocked, no restrictions" just because you bought them off contract? No carrier does that, never has. I'm betting you've never even experienced a Nexus (I have, twice) and like most Nexus users, "basic" is a little boring and gets tiring. They lack so many features (good features) that the manufactures put on the normal phones. They are more like an iPhone.. simple phones for simple people.

      • http://404err0r.com/ Henry Park

        Hey my sister is still rocking Samsung Exhibit 4G which I believe it at least 4 years old.... if its functional you really don't need to upgrade, unless of course you are me then I want the latest and greatest every year.... or month, but I'm broke... :/

      • Goldenpins

        He busy off contract. He knows the value of money. There is no need to jump to the latest and greatest every year. If you read what he said. He has an international version. Get as much use from your smartphone till the next one.

      • GraveUypo

        wow it's thanks to people like you i sometimes think the human race doesn't deserve to exist.

      • RL010

        @spydie:disqus Maybe in the States you get carrier bullshit on your phone buying it off contract. But here in the Netherlands you buy a phone off contract , let's say at a big market (mediamarkt) or something like that and your phone isn't branded.

        If you go and buy your phone off contract at a Vodafone or T-Mobile store then there's a chance (not always) that you get a lot of crapp on it from the provider. What i think is weird, because you bought it off contract so it should be clean.

        Second.... Why are you bitching about how old his phone is. Not everytbody has the money to buy a 750 phone every year. And not everybody wants to buy a new phone every year. If i buy a car for 20,.000 and i have it a week it's allready old, so you say that i have to buy a new one a year later because it's no good anymore ???

        Thirth ... All the extra's you think you miss,. you can download the most of them in the Play store (apps then) and not every cares about those extra's, most of them you use only ones or twice to showoff to your friends and then never use them.

        i had a Galaxy tab 2 10,1 and now i have a Nexus 7 tablet and i don't miss any of the Samsung extra's on my tablet. i really love my clean and fast N7

        I apologize for my bad English. it's not my native language.

      • evil-doer

        the note JUST turned 2 years old. thus how the note 3 just came out.. a lot of peoples 2 year contracts just ended and are now upgrading from it.

        dont be such a dick

      • John E.

        Either you are clueless or you are on Samsung's payroll (the $2 billion marketing budget buys a truck load of lesser integrity Internet posters).
        I just got the Note 3 and I have turn off every single gimmick Samsung has installed on the phone. They always interfere with something. For example turning on the triple-tap-zoom make the entire phone laggy. None of the gimmicks works consistently. They require all the patience in the world and the will to keep on trying. Can't wait to replace the OS with a cleaner one. In fact, this couple with the uninspiring sound quality makes me want to return it and stay with my old jailbroken iPhone 4S.

        • ckh1414

          I agree for the most part...alot of of the features are novelty gimmicks on the note 3. I just got my n900a note 3 last Friday on us release day and am considering returning it. It overheats and dims the screen doing even the most menial tasks, has the worst voice and speaker quality of any phone I've ever had including the note 1 I still have, and the speed is identical to my mega 6.3 and note 2 even with all the new hardware and quad core a 15 a 800 chipset. I mean my note 3 lags and stutters on games that my note 1 can handle, to the point I've only carried the phone twice since I paid nearly 800 dollars for it. To the poster who ripped the note 1 owner, your an asshole who thinks owning a new device is some kind of accomplisent, I happen to own 10 samsung flagship devices, 3 mega 6.3 i9205s, all 5 note series products and just got note 10.1 2014 today so and it means nothing to me...just toys, so stop being a bitch talking down to a dude rocking a note 1 which compared to my note 3 has far better call quality, better look and nearly identical functionality dick.

  • bungadudu

    Thing is, if you root, etc. the new knox enabled firmwares you'll void the warranty.
    On a device costing 750 euros, predisposed to various problems, this is not an option anymore. :-(

    • designgears

      Read the QA, my rooting method won't trip the KNOX flags.

      • Kristian Shellman

        This is a pretty newb question, too.

        Does "downgrading the firmware" translate, at all, into not having some of the features that come stock with the Note 3? (ie, Action Memo, Screenwrite, Scrap Booker, etc.)

        • designgears

          There is no downgrade now, MI9 is available and rooted ;)

  • cocoabean772

    rooted this morning. The downgrade was simple so far no problems, i'm staying away from restoring my back ups from TB because of reports of huge problems even with the fix.

  • 72goojman72

    Designgears, ur are da man!! Thanks bro!!

  • RL010

    Just wondering, because the law / rules in America are different then here in the Netherlands.

    If i by accident buy a phone here which is from a provider (vodafone / t-moblie) then the first thing i do is flash a non provider rom over it. Here in the Netherlands it's no problem. Most of the time your warranty stays in tack.

    Is it the same in America. I heard a long time ago that they wanted a law against flashing rom on provider roms. Is that still the case ?

    • Kristian Shellman

      ... did you read anything on this page? .. Follow any of the links in the article? O.o Or are you being facetious?

      • RL010

        Can you point me to the official law part in this article that's not there.

        So can you please not be an asshole if som eone wants to know something.

        • Kristian Shellman

          Right back at you (minus the foul language). I asked if the mode of your inquiry was sincere or if you were being facetious. I would recommend Google'ing for something along the lines of "law against jailbreak" since, to the best of my knowledge Apple is the only to have taken a serious in-court route against the modding community. I'm not sure what they ultimate decided, though.

          • Superkev

            Kristian it's sad when you are totally unaware that you really are being a complete prick. The posters question was simple and you could have placed the same amount of effort with a simple answer rather than in effect calling him ignorant. You should be ashamed of yourself. RL010 the answer to your question is it WAS completely legal to root your phone and mod it by order of the Library of Congress but they reversed this recently placing these mods here generally on shaky ground. However, the current administration has petitioned the library of congress to allow these mods unfettered which is what will likely happen.

  • faslane

    personally I'm going to wait for an actual root for the current firmware. The note 3 is so packed with features that if you simply install a third party launcher like 8 packs or Nova can get most features that would keep you happy and tell it is released. I paid out right for my note 3 and not going to risk screwing it up just to get root access. Its not that important to me personally

  • designgears

    @Jeremiah downgrading isn't needed anymore.

  • greyhulk

    FYI: The Downgraded firmware seems to remove Night Shot from the camera. I'm not sure what else is different yet. Otherwise, it works great and it's nice to have root.