15
Jun
towel

AT&T and Verizon, with their insistence on locked bootloaders for Android devices, are the scourge of the Android customization scene. Unfortunately they're also the largest carriers in the United States, which leaves a lot of Android power users in a pickle. If you're on either carrier and rocking a branded Galaxy S5, today is your lucky day: someone's gone and made a near-universal and amazingly simple root method that should work for the S5 (and more) on both carriers.

towelroot

"Towelroot" comes from noted XDA developer Geohot, and according to him, the simple one-click APK root will absolutely work on the AT&T and Verizon Galaxy S5, the AT&T Galaxy S4 Active, and the Nexus 5. Just install the downloadable app, tap "make it ra1n," and wait. Support for the AT&T and Verizon variants of the Galaxy Note 3 has not been verified, but might be possible. [Editor's note: we tried it on a stock AT&T Note 3 with no success.] In fact, Geohot claims that any Android device with a kernel built before June 3rd (anything running 4.4.2 or lower, basically) should theoretically be rooted by Towelroot.

Definitely invited: AT&T GS5, Verizon GS5, GS4 Active, Nexus 5
May have some troubles at the door but invited: AT&T/Verizon Note 3
Possibly invited: Every Android phone with a kernel build date < Jun 3

Geohot notes that applying this root to a Samsung device with the Knox security system in place will almost certainly void your warranty, but if you want root that bad, you probably don't care. Anyone having issues can contact the creator directly at geohot@gmail.com, and he is gracefully accepting PayPal donations at the Towelroot website.

Source: Towelroot

Update: AT&T Note 3 with kernel version 3.4.0-722276 is confirmed as incompatible with Towelroot, at least in the current release.

Update again: It looks like he worked out the kinks. Yup, it works with the AT&T Note 3 now.

Killed bugs:
Note 3 with kernel 3.4.0-722276 is FIXED! Redownload.

Known bugs:
su binaries don't seem to update. This may not be the root's fault.
Moto and HTC don't currently work because /system is write protected.
Michael Crider
Michael is a native Texan and a former graphic designer. He's been covering technology in general and Android in particular since 2011. His interests include folk music, football, science fiction, and salsa verde, in no particular order.

  • Gman30

    After
    annoying reading all of the comments, here’s a compilation of the intelligent
    answers that new comments are going to ask…

    Q: Why won’t
    this download/install?

    A: Download
    from computer browser and sideload

    Q: Will this
    work for my phone?

    A: Run the
    app, there is no harm if it fails

    Q: How to
    unroot?

    A: Search
    google for “Unroot”, or factory reset

    Q: Will this
    unlock my bootloader?

    A: No

    Q: Why is
    SuperSU not updating binary?

    A1: Install
    zip from Chainfire, unzip and install

    A2: Use ES
    or Root explorer to mount /system as rw, move apk to /system/app

    *Credit to
    Artem R. for most of the good short answers, just wanted them in one place

  • gsagunner

    so, odes anyone know if this is compatible with Verizon note 3? it is with ATT

  • Charles Glenn

    will this work on Verizon Galaxy s3, android 4.3 I535VRUCNC1, Kernel date april 7,2014?

  • Rooter@1

    What if the moto g had an unlocked bootloader?

  • GeoffZoref

    no dice on the Verizon HTC DNA unfortunately.

  • netsendjoe

    Hi everyone. I used this root my SCH-I535 (Galaxy S3) and it worked, but now there is a firmware update for KitKat available OTA and its failing because my bootloader is still unlocked. I used TowelRoot and uninstalled it. I'm looking to relock my bootloader without having to flash my current stock rom. EZ-Unlock does not run on my Android 4.3. And I can never get those programs utilizing ADB to work over the USB connection. Any ideas?

    • Michael Geer

      Did you get this to work? My wife towelrooted her device but wants to accept the ota and the ota fails. Any help?

      • netsendjoe

        Use the Verizon software repair on the pc to recover to stock and then update ota. The repair will backup files and settings, though you'll need to use play to reinstall apps.

  • kk

    i can confirm i cant root my galaxy note 2 official 4.3 MK4 rom with this.

  • Michael Vieux

    Just to confirm this worked on my Verizon Galaxy S3, running KitKat 4.4.2.
    Allowed me to reclaim complete use of my SD card.
    Thank you

  • ng4

    So does this unlock the boot loader or not?

  • Damian Darling

    Did not work on ZTE Z750C Straight Talk.

  • Charles Glenn

    Im having some problems with this. can't reboot into recovery. Verizon Galaxy s3

  • Jonathan Campbell

    I tried this on the Verizon N2, but it just restarts the phone with no root upon reboot. Has anyone had any luck with this phone? TIA

  • Mitchell Harper

    does this work for verizon version of galaxy s4 mini sch-1435?

  • joshiie

    works on note 3 4.4.2 verizon knox 0x0

  • teknoplasma

    Amazing how easy root can be when designed by someone who knows what they are doing. Asus tf701t ROOTED on first try and totally successful. Nice job Geohot !!!!!

  • John Hancock

    This root on my moto x running 4.4.2 on republic wireless doesn't work

  • Dustin

    Will this work on a verizon s3 with 4.4.2

  • Matt Snap

    just used this on 4.4.4

  • Tepplin

    Wow, so fiddling around with odin and flashing my 4.4.2 galaxy S3 got me nowhere except a few soft bricks in two hours, and this took a total of two minutes to root my phone, two minutes spent trying to figure out WHERE I put the .apk file to begin with. I don't know if I should be angry or impressed...

  • Joey Alessi

    Did not work on my AT&T Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 running 4.4.2. I'm a little sad, but I have other phones I can try this out on. Let the testing begin! Also, if any of you know what I did wrong, please let me know. I might be able to do this after all!!!

  • Smee

    The apk didn't work for MotoG on Verizon prepaid.

  • Steve

    Does not work on the verizon galaxy note 2 with the 4.4.2 update

  • Saurabh

    How to unroot and revert back to stock on Att note 3 running kitkat

  • Roman Rock

    When I root my device . my grand 2 did not get update for 4.4.2 kit kat

    .

  • rose sutton

    I used the older superuser ( green and grey ) with the update fixer ... Just install both ruin update fixer first ... Then enjoy root on note 3 any kernel

  • Doug Sutter

    Worked for Verizon LG G2

  • heathalan

    just tried this and it WORKED on a galaxy s3 verizon 4.3 nothing else would work thank you so much

    • Michael Geer

      Did you manage to unlock bootloader?

  • mmims24

    It works with sprint galaxy tab 3 am t217s. You have to take the OTA 4.4.2 update first then root with towelroot v1. Did it today, success.

  • Jazz the cat

    towelroot no longer works on Samsung Galaxy S3 SGH-I747M running 4.4.2 version I747MVLUFNF2.

    It reports the device as unsupported.

  • xRepinsSporx

    seems to have broke mms on both my s5 actives. Not sure if anyone else noticed the same thing.

    • djfxprogressive

      It broke my mms too. I've re-created APNs, but still have issues.

  • Jamie Carranza

    Any luck with the sprint galaxy s3 running 4.4.2 ?

  • http://zexxesthemercurian.blogspot.com/ Zexxes Mercurian

    Towelroot won't root Dell Venue 8 non 3G

  • rob damiani

    will towelroot root the One Plus One?

  • mybollsareonfire

    Note 3 vzw r works now how to unroot or and be able to return to the stock and be able to return for a warranty

  • Lynn Kelly

    Worked perfectly on my Verizon Samsung Galaxy s4.

  • Gregveee

    Does anyone know of any effort to get a the Verizon Stock 4.4.2 on the Note II rooted? Everyone including myself is upset that the upgrade to Verizon Note II to 4.4.2 locked the boot loader, and now we cannot down grade and none of the known rooting tools work. I am not seeing any official posts so I thought I would ask on this forum.

  • Michael

    INTEL Processor , Any possible support for ASUS FonePad 7 ? Fe170cg

  • Robert Garcia

    for some reason as of now on verizon note 3 there seems to be no fix for the supersu not updating binary on the new kitkat 4.4.2 im rooted using towelroot i let it update the binary once and i never opened it again to avoid it asking me to update again then failing ... so to avoid uninstall and reinstall i just let it do its magic once and never touch it again... it will update the first run but once you reboot .. youre f you also want to make sure you delete the file su in system/xbin/su then uninstall and install fresh to get this to update you binary .. but you can never open it again or it will ask to update and fail ... however all apps asking to grant permisson will be granted so apon screen pop up and your prompt to allow ....

  • SteveC

    Doesn't work on Galaxy S2 or anything else I tried it on!

  • SteveC

    On the TowerRoot page where it has the link to "v3 is live with modstrings fix your phone yourself", can someone explain in plain English what modstrings is and how you use it?

  • Michael

    Asus Fonepad 7 still an issue here

  • Paul James

    Does not work on Samsung galaxy mega at&t 6.3in plz plz plz plz help thanks

  • Marlou Infante

    i update my S5 to new software update. and this not work.. my s5 is running 4.3 now.. do you have an update for this??

  • Rick

    My vzw g3 is not supported apparently?

  • https://rswfire.com/ rswfire

    Worked on my Sprint Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 SM-T217S. This, after several failed attempts at flashing root packages, universal and otherwise. I was able to flash a recovery but not root. I just today upgraded the device to the stock version of Android 4.4.2, so I didn't want to flash a custom ROM. I really didn't expect this app to work! xD

  • Carlos

    I got a forced update that killed root, it updated my kernel to July 25 and TR does not work anymore. Now my phone is unrooted... :-

  • cfcgasman

    anyone having issues rooting Samsung S5 Verizon with towelroot.. When I run the app on the phone, I get a message "this device not supported"!

    • http://zexxesthemercurian.blogspot.com/ Zexxes Mercurian

      same on S5 T-Mobile

      JWM/IV

  • Ratko Suzic

    OK PPL. Hear Geohot's musical authors work! The man is quite into hip hop and as so young we could say he's multitalented person!!! Link Below:
    https://soundcloud.com/tomcr00se

  • jakeeby

    this didn't work for my gs5, it opened a bunch of the "download APK" tab. i tried multiple times, multiple ways