How to Install Android 4.3 Custom ROM on Sprint Galaxy S4! [Android 4.3 MJA Stock ROM]

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For this week’s custom ROM of the week for Sprint Galaxy S4, check out the latest MJA stock rooted Android 4.3 ROM.  This is the official Android 4.3 Sprint firmware that Sprint pushed out and for those of you already rooted, you probably do not want to unroot and get this update as it will add Knox counter to your phone.

If you don’t know what Knox counter is, it is basically like binary counter that Samsung has put on starting with new phones like Note 3 and Android 4.3.  It may benefit just a few of you who are using your phone for business and need additional security features but for rest of us custom ROMers, this is simply bad news as it can tell Sprint whether you’ve rooted your phone or not.

So, here’s how to install the rooted Android 4.3 firmware so you can enjoy it without upgrading to the latest Knox bootloader.

You can use this method to also install any Android 4.3 TouchWiz-based custom ROMs.

Step 1. Power off your phone, then put it into ODIN Download mode by holding down Volume Down, Center Home, and Power button together for about 5 seconds.

howto-install-android4.3-custom-rom-sprintgalaxys4-1

Step 2. Hit Volume Up button to enter ODIN Download Mode then connect a micro-USB cable from your phone to your computer.

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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35 Responses

  1. Yoon says:

    Any way to TURN OFF or get rid of these days security notice crap!?!

  2. Alex says:

    but with this stock root will it notify sprint my phone is rooted and void my warranty?

  3. Jared says:

    Can I go back to TWRP after this?

  4. John says:

    My Phone doesnt boot up after Step 4 !!! Stuck with Samsung logo…

  5. Harley says:

    I could not get the modem to flash no matter how many times I tried, also once I flashed the rom I lost Wi-Fi, any ideas?

  6. Darren S says:

    Hi there. Thanks for the directions. Unfortunately, this kinda messed up my phone.

    I lost WiFi also after modem update. Step 4 took forever. Same report as above. Seems like this article is not such a good idea to follow…

  7. pOOterPuTz says:

    Hello, Max…

    Above in your tutorial you say to use the “philz_touch_5.18.2-jfltecan.tar.md5″ file… is that for the Canada/Bell S4’s or doesn’t it matter?

    According to Phil3759’s post, we should use the “philz_touch_5.18.2-jfltespr.tar.md5″ for Sprint S4’s (SPH-L720).

    Please clarify when you have time – thank you.

  8. AW says:

    Unfortunately the 4.3 update has a lot of glitches. A lot of other sites are reporting a list of issues with the update. I would recommend not updating until there is a fix for these issues.

  9. Joseph says:

    This worked for me, but now I have trouble with using Bluetooth, my headphones no longer show up. Could this be the MJA radio or the Android 4.3? I could probably revert back to the Android 4.2.2, but not sure how that would work with the MJA radio?

  10. DENTERA says:

    hey MAX..

    the hotspot mod should be deodex right?

  11. AW says:

    Do we know if any of the bugs have been fixed yet?

  12. Yoon says:

    HELP EHLPE HELP HELP………

    how can i unbrick my sprint MJA s4? Where can i find the tar file to unbrick?????

  13. ED says:

    I have a Sprint Samsung Galaxy S4. Did OTA download to android 4.3. Then tried to root my phone, according to your directions. Did this 10 times, and could not root phone. Any suggestions.

  14. Bobby Lee says:

    If you’re having trouble flashing the MJA modem, try getting rid of the .md5 extension so that it’s only .tar. This is how it should be: MJA-ModemOnly.tar

    After doing that, it worked for me on the first try.

  15. jadejaarjun says:

    can i use sprint stock rom in India? can it work well with sim support? pls suggest

  16. jason says:

    After installing 4.3 updated roms i noticed my phone became very laggy. Seems like everything is in slow motion. Reinstalled Antigen rom and still having issues with lag. Anyone else experience anything like this?

  17. TimH says:

    Everything suggested in these instructions went just fine with my SPH-720, up until I had the “jfltespr_mja_test2.zip” stock ROM up and running and it tried to update the ROM (to MK2 = 4.3.1?). As was explained to me by a nice man at Sprint, OTA updates will NOT work unless you have the stock recovery as well (he also told me my warranty was void, but I care about that about as much as I do all the yucky software they add to their system).

    Unfortunately, you cannot just ignore the “system upgrade” notification, because sooner or later you will have to reboot and when you do it tries to do the install. What actually happens then is anyone’s guess, but a short time later it tells you the upgrade is ready to be installed again. Lot’s of other little things are wrong as well, but I have no idea if they are connected to this problem or not, which is quite frustrating.

    In the course of digging around a good bit on the internet, I found all sorts of ways to supposedly stop the thing from trying to do OTA upgrades, tried a number of them, and the notification still kept appearing. I’m almost to the point where I’m just going to move on to another ROM (with no yucky software in the system), mainly because in one of the internet forums I found the emphatic statement that “no competent developer would put out a ROM without disabling OTA upgrades”. Or perhaps the developer of this one never meant it to be widely used (as implied by the word “test” in the zip filename), and the anonymous author of this set of instructions just put it out anyway? It’s cost me at least a full day by this point …

  18. Omar says:

    I used this method to root my phone but recently a new update came up mk2..will this take root away if I update it?

  19. shad272 says:

    I’ve had this rooted stock rom for a while now and everything has been supper glitchy the screen will flash sometimes, google Crome will be a black screen unless I scroll . If I am trying to use pandora it will freeze up every time I use my bluetooth. Should I whipe it and reinstall it or is there a newer updated version with out all the bugs?

  20. John says:

    what is the deal with a download taking 3-5 hours on this rooted rom, Really??

    • john says:

      I cannot believe it is taking SEVEN Hours to download 1.3 gb

      • For this week’s custom ROM of the week for Sprint Galaxy S4, check out the latest MJA stock rooted Android 4.3 ROM. This is the official Android 4.3 Sprint firmware that Sprint pushed out and for those of you already rooted, you probably do not want to unroot and get this update as it will add Knox counter to your phone.

  21. Randee says:

    Is this rom compatible with my galaxy gear ? Every time I try to unroot my phone it says fail. So I need to do something to connect my watch.

  22. Don says:

    When will wifi tethering come out for mk2? Or is it already out?

  23. Michael says:

    how do I get hotspot. I figured this rooted rom would have it!

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