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For those of you who just picked up a brand, new Verizon Galaxy S4 SCH-i545, there’s a root method out now.
Currently, Verizon Galaxy S4 bootloader is locked, meaning you cannot use CWM or TWRP root method.
Also, the VRUAMDK kernel on the Verizon Galaxy S4 comes with SU-co*k-block which makes it hard to root.
*UPDATE: There’s is a different root method for ME7, please see How to Root for Verizon Galaxy S4 on Build VRUAME7!
BUT, there is a way to do this by flashing a pre-release VRUAMD2 kernel using ODIN, then using Motochopper to root, then re-flashing the VRUAMDK stock kernel.
Here’s how to root your Verizon Galaxy S4 SCH-i545 step-by-step:
Step 1. First, go check your Build number under Settings->More->About Phone. If your build number ends in MDK you can follow this root method exactly, otherwise make sure you download the stock kernel for the build number you are on.
Step 2. Turn off your Verizon Galaxy S4. Then hold down Volume Down, Center Home, and Power buttons together.
Step 3. Let go of all buttons when you see the warning screen and hit Volume up button to enter ODIN download mode.
Step 4. Connect a micro-USB cable from your phone to the computer.
Step 5. Download VerizonGalaxyS4RootMDK.zip and unzip/extract. You will find everything you need including drivers, motochopper, and ODIN.
Double-click on “odin3 v1.85.exe” file to run ODIN program.
Step 6. You should see a yellow-highlighted box with a COM number.
If you don’t see this, run the Samsung USB EXE program to install drivers. Then unplug your USB and plug to your phone again.
Step 7. DO NOT TOUCH ANYTHING ELSE but hit the PDA button and choose the file with “MD2”.
Step 8. Hit Start button and this will flash a pre-release MD2 kernel and your Verizon S4 will reboot.
Step 9. Once rebooted, goto Settings->More->About phone.
Step 10. Click on “Build number” about 5 times until it says “Developer mode has been enabled”.
Step 11. Hit Back button and you can now see a new menu option called “Developer options”, hit it.
Step 12. Make sure “USB debugging” is checked ON.
Step 13. Run the “run.bat” program inside the motochopper directory, this will root your Verizon Galaxy S4 SCH-i545. Make sure to WATCH YOUR PHONE SCREEN as you will have to confirm couple alerts.
Step 14. If everything went well, you will see “Exploit complete”. Hit Enter key and your Verizon S4 will reboot.
Step 15. Once rebooted, you will find a new app called “Superuser”.
Step 16. Since Superuser app isn’t supported with MDK kernel, we need to switch to SuperSU app. Go to Play Store and download SuperSU app.
Step 17. Open up SuperSU and choose “Continue” when it asks you, “The SU binary needs to be updated. Continues?”.
Step 18. Choose “Normal”.
Step 19. Choose “Allow”.
Step 20. Choose “OK”.
Step 21. Now you should see SuperSU instead of SuperUser app.
Step 22. Power off your S4 and reboot into ODIN mode by holding down Volume Down, Center Home, and Power buttons together.
Step 23. Hit Volume Up and connect a micro-USB cable from your phone to the computer again.
Step 24. Choose PDA button in ODIN and choose the MDK kernel.
Step 25. Hit Start button and this will re-flash your stock MDK kernel and your phone will reboot.
Step 26. You can verify you have full root by downloading and opening Titanium Backup app. Congrats!
Step 27. Do you need CWM or TWRP recovery? For CWM recovery, simply install ROM Manager from Play Store and install it. For TWRP recovery, simply install Goo Manager from Play Store and install it. (Watch end of my video tutorial starting at 10:53 if you don’t know how to do this.)
Credits – XDA
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!