Don’t update to latest Verizon or AT&T Galaxy S4 updates if you want root & unlocked bootloader

samsung galaxy s4 airview

The latest Samsung Galaxy S4 update for Verizon and AT&T are a tad bitter-sweet. On one hand, it brings a much-needed feature in Apps2SD, improved performance and the base for Samsung KNOX security features. On the other hand, it will break root and the exploits which allowed users to unlock their bootloaders. That said, it’s best to steer well clear of this update if you value root and a phone freed from chains more than Apps2SD.

For Verizon, you’ll be looking to avoid firmware VRUAME7. For AT&T, it’s I337UCUAMF3. That said, the updates are perfectly fine if you’re not one to root your phones and flash custom ROMs. If you want to proceed, you can check the software update menu on your AT&T Galaxy S4 to grab it over-the-air (might want to be on WiFi as it’s a hefty 360MB), and Verizon users can follow the instructions here to apply the update over Kies. Let’s hope the community can find new exploits before too long.

[via XDA, thanks to everyone who sent this in!]

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  • Toilet Seat Wipe

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!

    • Sean Royce

      What a waste of a comment. Nice username faggot.

    • http://androidforums.com/members/kwest12.html kwest12

      Thanks for weighing in, Toilet Seat Wipe.

  • Shane Rambo

    So the sprint one is ok then?

    • yankeesusa

      I saw in other forums that the sprint version will also break root but then saw others say that it didn’t. Best thing to do is wait no matter what update you have. In a week or 2 this will be available without any issues of losing root

      • troyintn

        It will break root, but bootloader is still “unlocked” and root can me gained once again after taking the update. Sprint is still developer friendly.

    • http://www.phandroid.com Quentyn Kennemer

      Haven’t been able to confirm one way or the other.

    • bmg314

      No, because you’re still on Sprint.

      I keed, I keed…
      :-P

      • Landon Clements

        Haha yes. My day is made.

  • tomn1ce

    I’m pretty sure that the devs will root this build in no time…You have to have faith in them…

    • http://robert.aitchison.org raitchison

      Great to have faith but caution is always prudent, not all phones get root or their bootloaders unlocked.

      • tomn1ce

        I’m not saying to go ahead and take the carrier update right away. Those who are used to installing custom roms on their device should know that an update can always lock the bootloader back up.

      • Kyle Lewis Simpson

        This is the freaking S4. A freaking quad-core 1.9GHz. Loaded with epic hardware. XDA-Devs will find a way. What software does, software can always undo.

  • http://www.vgbetas.com/ Pace

    I used to root my phones to get extra features and wireless tethering but the latest phones added a ton of features and Verizon the wireless tethering is included in all new plans. There isn’t much of a reason for me to root any more.

    • Cierra Butler

      Thats is good for you peoplke still do like to over clock and try diffrent ui and rom still

      • http://www.vgbetas.com/ Pace

        …then don’t update

      • Sean Royce

        I take it English isn’t your first language.

        • techgui

          For most people it isnt. I know, it can be difficult imagining that…

          • Sean Royce

            As an American site, You expect more American people. Or people who can speak the English language fluently. I’m not American, but English is my first language.

          • http://robert.aitchison.org raitchison

            I wouldn’t call this an “American” site, and I wouldn’t remotely expect that everyone participating to be a fluent English speaker. (and that’s coming from an American who speaks English)

          • No_Nickname90

            Thank you. People here cannot talk. LoL!!

          • Sean Royce

            I wasn’t attacking relax. Man you guys love to downvote.

    • http://robert.aitchison.org raitchison

      Actually more of a reason to root IMO is to remove bloatware (which also increases battery life) even with the ability to “disable” apps in JB some of the obvious carrier or manufacturer bloatware can’t be disabled.

      Also if you are rooted (and have an unlocked/unlockable or hackable bootloader) you can install custom ROMs to keep your phone up to date with new versions of Android after your carrier and manufacturer have stopped providing updates.

      • Rdfry

        that and use all the great apps that require root

      • http://www.vgbetas.com/ Pace

        I am aware of what you can do with root I used to root my phones for the past 4 years also bloatware doesnt bother me to much I just hide it in the app drawer. Custom roms were great for awhile and there are some really talented people that work on them. The thing that took its toll was waiting for stable builds and not being able to just do an official ota with out worrying about losing root. I dont know why people down vote me for saying why I choose not to root.

        • http://robert.aitchison.org raitchison

          No down vote from me, your reasoning is perfectly valid. Of course I would humbly offer that in nearly all cases whenever there is an update to a stock ROM released it is very quickly re-packaged into a pre-rooted version for people who want to run the stock ROM but keep root. For example this update for AT&T was just released yesterday and by last night someone had already packaged it for flashing for people who wanted it.

        • Roaduardo

          The voting is just folks agreeing or disagreeing with your opinion. Nothing to take personally, we’re just talking about tech stuff. We have civil discussions and we either agree or disagree with each others views on a tech subject. Bit of fun, bit of fun…

    • uniquename72

      I rooted the S4 just to disable having the Home button turn it on. It was CONSTANTLY turning on in my pocket, and battery life was terrible as a results. I also got tired of being warned about using headphones at high volume every time I turned up the volume, particularly since I rarely use headphones.

      Oh, and to get a decent lock screen. Samsung really did a terrible job with the S4 lock screen — it’s the least configurable one I’ve ever used.

      • SuperGayMuslim

        I just got an S4 and was wondering why it is always on when I take it out of my pocket. But I have the latest ota update so I can’t root.

    • No_Nickname90

      I root for the root apps. Also custom kernels seems to add some cool features. Like using the HTC logo button as menu.

      Once I updated my ROM to 4.2.2 and the kernel wasn’t ready yet so I didn’t have the feature. I had hold home for menu. Oh my gosh!! The experience was so horrible. I didn’t realize how used I got to Logo as Menu. LoL!!

  • Billy Nichols

    So, is the update coming to Verizon over the air soon? I am not a fan of Klies..

    • troyintn

      No. The Verizon update is over 1 gig, so it’s Kies or a rom from XDA to get it.

      • Landon Clements

        I got mine ota today from verizon. It took about 4 minutes in the boot loader it wasn’t a gig

    • Landon Clements

      Yeah keep checking man! I got mine today! It handles the ram much better a few new wallpapers, transparent notifications, and you can tell it’s alot smoother!

  • Don

    Does this also break the GSM unlock which apparently was quite easy and free for Galaxy s4?

    • http://robert.aitchison.org raitchison

      I’m hearing yes

  • http://bamaredwingsfan.blogspot.com/ JH

    so can you oden back if you screw up an take the update

    • http://robert.aitchison.org raitchison

      Except you can’t at least in the case of the AT&T update, it’s been confirmed that you cannot use ODIN to revert back from this update.

  • Landon Clements

    Got it ota on verizon when I woke up! :)

  • gloriousnumber1

    Should we FDR after we install it?

  • No_Nickname90

    Well if you were already rooted, I’m sure the devs would have told you about it. If you’re going to root, then yea. This would be kinda important news. LoL!!

  • Cyrus

    So if I go ahead and let the Att update run, root will be lost… Does that mean that any of my system data will be lost as well? And is there a way that I can get root back? If so how? Please don’tuse geeky talk, iI’m not all that pro with these things. Thanks. I was updating via Att software update and came across this page. Right now, I have used titanium backup to freeze Att software update. I’m rooted obviously.

  • trparky

    I did root and loaded a third-party kernel on my AT&T Galaxy S4 for a little while but I eventually, after six days, decided to go back to complete stock. No root, stock kernel, stock everything. The third-party kernels were nice, it did help performance, but overall they were buggy. So I went back to stock.

    That and the fact that there were a number of people who were saying that they ended up bricking their phones for no reason at all. They rooted it, loaded a kernel, etc. Ran fine for a couple of days and then… bricked; for no good reason. That scared the crap out of me so I went back to stock.

    I took the OTA update. I don’t care if I won’t be able to root it again. The phone runs fine with the stock OS and after the update it runs even better. I don’t need root.

    And this is from a person who used to root and ROM his Galaxy Nexus just for the heck of it. I don’t see the need for that kind of stuff with my Galaxy S4. It runs great as it is.

  • Michael McCall

    I just updated ota on verizon and used voodoo and can confirm I did keep root privileges. Just an fyi.

  • Leon Malinofsky

    Today is the day I was going to root my phone, a 32GB Galaxy S4 from Verizon. I just got it yesterday via FedEx. As I slept it did the stealth update, over the air, that moved me to the unrootable ROM. I’m wildly angry, but what can I do? Maybe warn others to block that f****** update if they try to stick it in.

  • Troy Finley

    Well the Verizon update for the s4 is downloaded but not installed on my rooted phone but I’m not sure how to get rid of it there is an SDM app trying to install it need help please I want to keep root

  • Kyle Daniels

    If you backed up root with voodoo, you can restore root.

  • Lupillo

    I managed to keep root on my Verizon GS4 I545 after the update. I used OtA Root keeper to protect Root and then just restore it back. … Bu the the only thing is that It wont let me flush custom recovery… Hope there is a fix soon for that!….

  • Kyle Lewis Simpson

    They said the Bionic was locked up. And look what they did. Go XDA-Devs! You can do it!