How to Root Sprint Galaxy S4 on MF9 Firmware!

For those of you having trouble rooting your Sprint Galaxy S4 on latest MF9 firmware, there’s an easy way by using CF Root by XDA user ChainFire.

Step 1. First, you will need to install either CWM or TWRP recovery.  Follow a or b below:

a. For installing CWM, follow steps 1 through 6 here.

b. For installing TWRP, follow steps 1 through 9 here.

Step 2. Download the latest CFRoot on your phone (or download on your computer and copy to your phone.)

Step 3. Using CWM or TWRP, find the CFRoot zip file and install it then reboot.

You should have a fully rooted Sprint Galaxy S4 on MF9 firmware.

Credits – ChainFire

What is a Custom ROM?

A custom ROM is a custom, modified operating system that you can install on your Android device. Basically it's like installing Windows OS on a Macbook. By installing a custom ROM, you can bypass stock factory settings like locked hotspot tether, install new Android versions early, or even convert your phone into another OS.

With a custom ROM, you can really maximize the capabilities of your smartphone by adding custom features that have been developed by open source developers.

How to Install Custom ROMs

First, you will need to root your device, if it is not rooted yet, follow our root tutorial and root your phone.

Once rooted, you should have TWRP installed on your phone. Installation of a custom ROM is easy if you learn the basic of it. If you don't know how to install custom ROMs using TWRP recovery, see our tutorial on How to Install Custom ROM using TWRP!

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28 Responses

  1. Jaleesa says:

    I followed all of the steps exactly, but when I try to install the CF rooter, it fails. Any ideas?

  2. Alex says:

    Is there an alternative yet for OSX?

  3. ed says:

    I had the same problem, CFRoot would not work. I followed these instructions instead http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=2291827

    It worked great!

    • Derek says:

      I tried the instructions you provided and it worked like a chram. Thanks! The above (XDA Developers) made it super easy for me (a first timer) to root my phone. I was nervous about doing this on my 2-day old S4, and I’m happy nothing went wrong. +1 on the above.

    • Chris says:

      XDA instructions worked like a charm! Use ODIN to install the CF-Auto-Root-jfltespr-jfltespr-sphl720.tar.md5 file. you will get a red android in the end, reboot and you are now rooted! Dont be a leech and donate to the developer! 2 thumbs up!

    • DaShocker says:

      any help is greatly appreciated.. I had root then did the ota update like a bone-head and now have mf9/mdl.. since the update a prevention message appears on the notification bar this blocks my wifi from turning on. I was able to root again but the notification stays on.. then I installed a fix for the prevention notification which worked to remove the notification and allows my wifi to turn on but it does not allow my phone to connect to mobile data.. gonna try and install a new rom and see if that fixes it… man this is frustrating.. any ideas?? thanks..

  4. Scott says:

    I figure out a way to get the S4 rooted using OSX and the MF9 rom.

    Install Heimdall from http://www.glassechidna.com.au/products/heimdall/

    Download the latest TWRP recovery .img file from http://teamw.in/project/twrp2/178

    Open a Terminal prompt on the Mac and sudo su – to root. Cd to where you downloaded twrp.

    On the phone power off, then hold down-volume, power and home until the warning screen appears. Press vol-up and the plug the phone into the computer.

    at the terminal prompt type:

    heimdall flash –RECOVERY –no-reboot

    (replace with the actual filename.)

    Watch the pretty blue bar go across the phone’s screen. If heimdall returns “RECOVERY upload successful” then you have flashed twrp successfully.

    Now disconnect the usb cable on the phone and press and hold the power button until the screen goes black, then quickly press vol-up, home and power. When the Samsung logo appears and you see “Recovery booting…” in tiny tiny letters at the top of the screen let go of power until TWRP appears, then let go of the other buttons.

    From the main TWRP screen select reboot then System. TWRP will notice that you are not rooted and offer to root the phone. Slide the bar across to say ok and let TWRP install superSU. After a minute or two the phone will reboot normally and you will see SuperSU installed.

    Open SuperSU and follow the prompts and the phone will be rooted.

    YMMV, though. That’s what worked for me so I thought I’d share.

    • aaron says:

      dude. i love you. i dont have time to do this now. but can you please elaborate on the “Open a Terminal prompt on the Mac and sudo su – to root. Cd to where you downloaded twrp.” step
      you seriously might be my savior.

  5. Taylor says:

    Can you elaborate on the terminal command line entries? Such as which part do we replace with the actual file name of our recovery image? You have that part in parenthesis but there are no parenthesis in your command line example. Amy help would be greatly appreciated, as I’ve been patiently waiting for a solution to root my Sprint Galaxy S4 with MF9 firmware. I mistakenly did the OTA update before realizing it was keeping any previously known root methods from working. So furious with Samsung and SPRINT for crippling such a potentially potent device. But super thankful to all in the Android development community for your time and efforts to allow us users to actually “use” our devices as designed and as “we”see fit.
    Thanks much.

  6. Giga says:

    I am trying to install CF Root, but it keeps telling me “installation aborted”. Am I doing something wrong? I am using CWM Recovery (because I could not get TWRP to work. It kept getting stuck at the team twrp logo screen)

  7. mike says:

    I just got my S4 and am ready to root it. I use a Mac, but have Windows 7 running as a virtual machine. Can i use the Windows methods to root my phone or do I need to use OSX methods (which always seem much more complex)

    • jg3 says:

      Yes, (with VMware Flash, at least) you’ll get prompted which machine you want to connect the USB device to, just select Windows. Make sure the VM is configured to use USB devices. Then you can follow the typical windows-based instructions as written.

  8. Jumper says:

    I was finally able to flash CWM on my phone after a few tries… now im running into a problem tryin to flash the SU zip file. Keep gettin a signature failure. Im assuming a corrupted file? If so, anyone got a link or mind emailing me a file that works?

  9. Derek says:

    I just recently bought a Sprint Galaxy S4 (MF9 Firmware / Android 4.2.2). Literally, yesterday. I found this post, but after searching around XDA’s forums/wiki, I can’t find a straight answer to the following…

    If I use the above method (let’s say the CWM route), will I still be able to hold down the Volume/Home/Power buttons -> Factory Reset to revert to the non-rooted / un-touched “OS” on my phone. I’m sure that anyone that knows anything about modding these phones will give me crap for not understanding this, but I am just worried that I may not have that safety net if I screw something up while attempting to root my phone (or change the ROM). This being my first attempt at rooting, or modding at all for that matter on an android, I am still unclear on what the above mentioned does exactly. I have heard I can use Titanium backup to save my current config, but it sounds like you have to be rooted to backup the system itself…

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated 🙂 Thanks

    • DaShocker says:

      Just go for it ..apps I use frequently when modifying are.. sms backup and restore, callog backup and restore and appbak … once you root and install cwm you should creat a full backup.. then you can start downloading roms and have a safety backup..

    • DGreenMann says:

      You have to unzip the cfroot file on your pc do not move it and try to flash on your phone. Once you unzip it use odin to flash tar file and to flash your recovery tar file you chose

  10. Rico says:

    Worked like a charm, but it is saying I have insufficient storage for my apps from the get go. Haven’t even tried to restore from titanium or play store. It just started up, started updating by itself, and insufficient storarage. Ideas?

  11. ty63 says:

    After fiddling around with heimdall this is the command to run. I can’t take credit really, just read a bunch of other sites and determined the command:

    sudo heimdall flash –RECOVERY recovery.img –no-reboot

    Useful reads:

    You can download the recovery

  12. Wayne Remines says:

    For the Sprint S4 (L720VPUEMK2) I used “SAFEROOT”. Look it up. It worked GREAT.

  13. geordy says:

    If I root my phone, can I replace the android software with iOS 7?

  14. Bill Roney says:

    Just followed the instructions exactly and SuperSU won’t load. It keeps closing.

  15. adam hurley says:

    I cant figure out how to get to were I can download odin or super su can u help me

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