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How To Guide [GUIDE] How To Flash Official Samsung Unlocked BloatFree Firmware

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bANONYMOUS

Senior Member
Dec 30, 2011
131
33
Canada, Earth.
Did you just get your shiny new S21 Ultra? And the first thing you noticed is tons of preloaded carrier apps that can't be deleted? This is how to fix that.
Convert your phone into the one that would come from Samsung directly with a simple firmware flash!

BACK UP YOUR PHONE! ALL DATA WILL LIKELY BE WIPED!
You will need an SM-G998U/U1/W
Computer running Windows
USB-C Cable for your PC to Phone

This is only for SM-G998U/U1/W

Step 1:

Download the ROM of your choice. The firmware number does NOT need to match your phone, as long as you have an SM-G998U/U1/W
From each link, click the latest firmware in the list (what ever the top one is) and on the page that loads, click the blue button that says "Download from website"
(You can only download one in a 24 hour period so choose U1 or W wisely)
SM-G998U1 (U1 is unlocked, no carrier bloat, US radio bands)
SM-G998W (W is unlocked, no carrier bloat, Canadian radio bands)

The only main difference between the two is the Canadian W Firmware supports all radio bands aside from (n260, n261), the file size is a little bigger and will take up a fractionally larger amount of space on your phone as a result of also including all CSC's, but will allow your device to connect to any tower frequency with the correct SIM.
The U1 Firmware supports all US bands and works across all Canadian carriers, but does not have any Carrier CSC's as a result of the smaller file size.
Thanks to @milan03 for the info

Best measure is to use the W Firmware as it will be supported, but if you are positive of your carrier will work and bands are the same as US carriers, use the U1 to save some space.

Step 2:
Download Odin 3.14.4 and Samsung USB Drivers

Step 3:
Extract all of the .zip files that you have downloaded, and install the Samsung USB Driver

Step 4:
On your S21 Ultra, enter download mode by turning the phone completely off.
Once the phone is off, hold the volume up AND down at the same time, and without letting go of those buttons, plug a USB cable in from the computer to the phone
Do not let go of the volume buttons until the Download Mode screen is displayed.

Step 5:
Open Odin and make sure the S21 Ultra comes up as one of the COM ports
If it doesn't try rebooting your computer, and then connect your phone again

Step 6:
Click the BL Button, and select the BL file you extracted from the Firmware .zip
Click the AP Button, and select the AP file (This will take awhile, do not touch anything, don't even click your mouse or try to do anything else on your computer, it can crash, just wait, make a coffee or something, because depending on your computer specs, it can take up to 5 minutes to load that file
Click CP and add the CP file
Now this last part here, you have a choice, however I strongly recommend you do not choose the second option at this time, however you CAN, but you might face stability issues.
When clicking CSC, you can EITHER add the CSC file, which is what I recommend, OR you can add the HOME_CSC file.

The differences between these files is that the CSC file will wipe your phone, but this is recommended, because when you are switching firmware's from a different carrier build, which we are right now, you want to delete anything left over that could conflict with the new firmware being flashed, however, you CAN flash HOME_CSC which will keep all of your user data on the phone, but this could leave old firmware files behind that could cause stability issues with your phone, crashes, force close apps, or even boot loops.
It's recommended to ONLY use HOME_CSC when you are UPGRADING on the same build (eg, if you are on SM-G998W and UPGRADING to another SM-G998W firmware)
So if you are going from U/U1 to W, it's recommended to use CSC, if you are going from W to W, Home_CSC should be fine, if you are going from W to U1, you should use CSC.

Step 7:
Once you have made your choice of either CSC or HOME_CSC, you can now click Start and it will start flashing the new firmware.
This process will take a fair amount of time, go relax and enjoy that coffee you made while the AP file was loading.
Once the flash is done, it will say Pass in green, and your phone will reboot automatically into your new official carrier bloat free firmware.
If you picked CSC, you can now setup your phone just like a new phone and restore your backup, if you picked HOME_CSC, you should be at your lock screen, and the phone is ready to use.

Congratulation, you are now on the Official Samsung Firmware with no carrier bloat as if you bought the phone directly from Samsung.

Troubleshooting:
If you used CSC and the phone did not pass and says FAIL, try the flash again with HOME_CSC, once the flash passes, you should be back at the lock screen, go to settings, search for reset, and do a factory reset, wipe all data because something did not flash correctly the first time so you need to wipe the phone after the successful flash to guarantee no stability issues.

If you used HOME_CSC and the phone did not pass, use CSC and the phone will be wiped when it flashes, and you need to set up your phone like new and restore your backup during the setup screen.

If it still fails to flash both CSC and HOME_CSC, Download Mode probably timed out from your computer taking too long, at which point, you can try doing Step 6 BEFORE Step 5.
Turn your phone off completely, load all of the files into Odin, THEN enter Download Mode and immediately click Start to start the flash. This will give you a little more time for your computer to make the flash and hopefully download mode will not timeout, if it still fails, try a faster computer or a different/shorter USB cable.

If you are with Bell in Canada and you did not get the pre-order bundle promo E-voucher prompt from Samsung Members App, flashing the SM-G998W firmware linked above will fix this and you can redeem your e-voucher and get your headphones and smart tag.

This is a video I made on the S20 Ultra for flashing One UI 3.0 Beta/Stable, however the process is identical, just use the files from here instead of the ones linked in the video description
I will be replacing this video with a dedicated S21 tutorial once I have have finishing editing the new video, but for now this will give you an idea of how it works until 5:30 in the video, after that it's mostly related to One UI 3.0 Beta/Stable for the S20 so there's no need to watch further than that as the S21 would be done by that point in the video.
 
Last edited:
Feb 2, 2021
8
5
So will this trip KNOX? My phone should get here next week (AT&T), and one of the first things I always want to do is get rid of the bloat.
No problem with KNOX.

But majority of bloatwares are issued of CSC carrier brand and it is impossible to change csc without root or using samkey...
So this firmware will be like other versions with same samsung apps unless I'm wrong.
 

milan03

Senior Member
Feb 22, 2011
1,439
378
New York City
Thanks for the guide.

If I may, I'd like to post a correction on the state of the supported frequency bands on Canadian and the US firmware:

- The U1 firmware doesn't only support T-Mobile bands, it also fully supports AT&T and Verizon frequency bands, which includes their unique LTE carrier aggregation combinations as well as the 5G non-standalone combinations with n5 and mmWave. That's in addition to T-Mobile's combos with n71 and n41, in both non-standalone and standalone environment.

- At the same time the Canadian W firmware doesn't support all 5G bands, it completely disables mmWave (n260, n261), which means the US devices with this firmware won't be able to access this super-fast flavor of 5G on any US network. It also doesn't fully support all US 5G non-standalone combinations in FR1 (Sub-6 GHz) range.

Thanks again.
 
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bANONYMOUS

Senior Member
Dec 30, 2011
131
33
Canada, Earth.
it is impossible to change csc without root or using samkey...

If you're running a multi csc firmware (the one's linked above) you can change your csc by opening the phone app and dialing *#272*YOUR IMEI NUMBER# and from there you can pick the firmware CSC and carrier CSC to be whatever preinstalled apps you want. The W firmware has all of the preinstalled which is why the file size is larger.

As for the Samsung bloat, they all come with it, but a lot of these should be able to be removed using ADB without root.

There are some ADB scripts around that some skilled people wrote for removing bloat apps in bulk through ADB without root.
 
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Reactions: Chcolat-tiède
Feb 2, 2021
8
5
If you're running a multi csc firmware (the one's linked above) you can change your csc by opening the phone app and dialing *#272*YOUR IMEI NUMBER# and from there you can pick the firmware CSC and carrier CSC to be whatever preinstalled apps you want. The W firmware has all of the preinstalled which is why the file size is larger.

As for the Samsung bloat, they all come with it, but a lot of these should be able to be removed using ADB without root.

There are some ADB scripts around that some skilled people wrote for removing bloat apps in bulk through ADB without root.
Thanks for the info I will check.
I have a B/DS version, this manipulation unfortunately does not work on mine :(
 

thecool07

Senior Member
Nov 30, 2009
57
8
Hello!

Thank for you posting this @bANONYMOUS. Question if I buy the the U1 model can I flash the W firmware? My father is in Canada and I'm getting an early Bday present for him. Making sure when he gets it, that it will have the correct bands for Rogers!
 

kenchar

New member
Aug 2, 2011
3
0
I purchased from the US and flashed the XAC firmware. The final result was XAC/XAC/XAA is that correct? I thought all blocs would be XAC.

Also, I wasn't sure if repartition should be checked or not so I unchecked it.

No VOLTE or WIFI calling on koodo.
 

mati11233

Senior Member
Jan 9, 2017
68
11
I bricked my device today so I'm trying to flash stock OS.

I started flashing it in odin, but it seems it gets stuck on "<ID:0/010> vbmeta.img" for few minutes.

Not sure what is causing it, does anyone have any ideas?
 

tjsooley

Senior Member
Oct 15, 2006
2,638
407
38
West Milford, NJ
www.timsooley.com
Last edited:

tjsooley

Senior Member
Oct 15, 2006
2,638
407
38
West Milford, NJ
www.timsooley.com

tjsooley

Senior Member
Oct 15, 2006
2,638
407
38
West Milford, NJ
www.timsooley.com
I got a VZW S21 ultra and was thinking of doing this. Do all of the Verizon features work, like wifi calling, hd voice, rcs? and unlocked features like caller id, samsung cloud, call and text on other devices?
Wi-Fi calling in volte work. Samsung caller id it there and I was able to configure it. Cloud was as well. Call and text is and I configured it but my tablet does not support it yet.
 
Last edited:
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krylon27

Member
May 7, 2019
6
1
Wi-Fi calling in volte work. Don't know how to test the other stuff
Well, based on what my unlocked note 9 has:
Under the phone app settings there should be a setting for caller id and spam protection
Under system settings in the accounts and backup section there is should be samsung cloud,
Under system settings in the connections section there should be call and messages continuity.

These are all options I have on my unlocked note 9, but not on VZW FW S21 Ultra
 

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tjsooley

Senior Member
Oct 15, 2006
2,638
407
38
West Milford, NJ
www.timsooley.com
Well, based on what my unlocked note 9 has:
Under the phone app settings there should be a setting for caller id and spam protection
Under system settings in the accounts and backup section there is should be samsung cloud,
Under system settings in the connections section there should be call and messages continuity.

These are all options I have on my unlocked note 9, but not on VZW FW S21 Ultra
Wi-Fi calling in volte work. Samsung caller id it there and I was able to configure it. Cloud was as well. Call and text is and I configured it but my tablet does not support it yet.
 
Last edited:
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  • 11
    Did you just get your shiny new S21 Ultra? And the first thing you noticed is tons of preloaded carrier apps that can't be deleted? This is how to fix that.
    Convert your phone into the one that would come from Samsung directly with a simple firmware flash!

    BACK UP YOUR PHONE! ALL DATA WILL LIKELY BE WIPED!
    You will need an SM-G998U/U1/W
    Computer running Windows
    USB-C Cable for your PC to Phone

    This is only for SM-G998U/U1/W

    Step 1:

    Download the ROM of your choice. The firmware number does NOT need to match your phone, as long as you have an SM-G998U/U1/W
    From each link, click the latest firmware in the list (what ever the top one is) and on the page that loads, click the blue button that says "Download from website"
    (You can only download one in a 24 hour period so choose U1 or W wisely)
    SM-G998U1 (U1 is unlocked, no carrier bloat, US radio bands)
    SM-G998W (W is unlocked, no carrier bloat, Canadian radio bands)

    The only main difference between the two is the Canadian W Firmware supports all radio bands aside from (n260, n261), the file size is a little bigger and will take up a fractionally larger amount of space on your phone as a result of also including all CSC's, but will allow your device to connect to any tower frequency with the correct SIM.
    The U1 Firmware supports all US bands and works across all Canadian carriers, but does not have any Carrier CSC's as a result of the smaller file size.
    Thanks to @milan03 for the info

    Best measure is to use the W Firmware as it will be supported, but if you are positive of your carrier will work and bands are the same as US carriers, use the U1 to save some space.

    Step 2:
    Download Odin 3.14.4 and Samsung USB Drivers

    Step 3:
    Extract all of the .zip files that you have downloaded, and install the Samsung USB Driver

    Step 4:
    On your S21 Ultra, enter download mode by turning the phone completely off.
    Once the phone is off, hold the volume up AND down at the same time, and without letting go of those buttons, plug a USB cable in from the computer to the phone
    Do not let go of the volume buttons until the Download Mode screen is displayed.

    Step 5:
    Open Odin and make sure the S21 Ultra comes up as one of the COM ports
    If it doesn't try rebooting your computer, and then connect your phone again

    Step 6:
    Click the BL Button, and select the BL file you extracted from the Firmware .zip
    Click the AP Button, and select the AP file (This will take awhile, do not touch anything, don't even click your mouse or try to do anything else on your computer, it can crash, just wait, make a coffee or something, because depending on your computer specs, it can take up to 5 minutes to load that file
    Click CP and add the CP file
    Now this last part here, you have a choice, however I strongly recommend you do not choose the second option at this time, however you CAN, but you might face stability issues.
    When clicking CSC, you can EITHER add the CSC file, which is what I recommend, OR you can add the HOME_CSC file.

    The differences between these files is that the CSC file will wipe your phone, but this is recommended, because when you are switching firmware's from a different carrier build, which we are right now, you want to delete anything left over that could conflict with the new firmware being flashed, however, you CAN flash HOME_CSC which will keep all of your user data on the phone, but this could leave old firmware files behind that could cause stability issues with your phone, crashes, force close apps, or even boot loops.
    It's recommended to ONLY use HOME_CSC when you are UPGRADING on the same build (eg, if you are on SM-G998W and UPGRADING to another SM-G998W firmware)
    So if you are going from U/U1 to W, it's recommended to use CSC, if you are going from W to W, Home_CSC should be fine, if you are going from W to U1, you should use CSC.

    Step 7:
    Once you have made your choice of either CSC or HOME_CSC, you can now click Start and it will start flashing the new firmware.
    This process will take a fair amount of time, go relax and enjoy that coffee you made while the AP file was loading.
    Once the flash is done, it will say Pass in green, and your phone will reboot automatically into your new official carrier bloat free firmware.
    If you picked CSC, you can now setup your phone just like a new phone and restore your backup, if you picked HOME_CSC, you should be at your lock screen, and the phone is ready to use.

    Congratulation, you are now on the Official Samsung Firmware with no carrier bloat as if you bought the phone directly from Samsung.

    Troubleshooting:
    If you used CSC and the phone did not pass and says FAIL, try the flash again with HOME_CSC, once the flash passes, you should be back at the lock screen, go to settings, search for reset, and do a factory reset, wipe all data because something did not flash correctly the first time so you need to wipe the phone after the successful flash to guarantee no stability issues.

    If you used HOME_CSC and the phone did not pass, use CSC and the phone will be wiped when it flashes, and you need to set up your phone like new and restore your backup during the setup screen.

    If it still fails to flash both CSC and HOME_CSC, Download Mode probably timed out from your computer taking too long, at which point, you can try doing Step 6 BEFORE Step 5.
    Turn your phone off completely, load all of the files into Odin, THEN enter Download Mode and immediately click Start to start the flash. This will give you a little more time for your computer to make the flash and hopefully download mode will not timeout, if it still fails, try a faster computer or a different/shorter USB cable.

    If you are with Bell in Canada and you did not get the pre-order bundle promo E-voucher prompt from Samsung Members App, flashing the SM-G998W firmware linked above will fix this and you can redeem your e-voucher and get your headphones and smart tag.

    This is a video I made on the S20 Ultra for flashing One UI 3.0 Beta/Stable, however the process is identical, just use the files from here instead of the ones linked in the video description
    I will be replacing this video with a dedicated S21 tutorial once I have have finishing editing the new video, but for now this will give you an idea of how it works until 5:30 in the video, after that it's mostly related to One UI 3.0 Beta/Stable for the S20 so there's no need to watch further than that as the S21 would be done by that point in the video.
    2
    So will this trip KNOX? My phone should get here next week (AT&T), and one of the first things I always want to do is get rid of the bloat.
    No problem with KNOX.

    But majority of bloatwares are issued of CSC carrier brand and it is impossible to change csc without root or using samkey...
    So this firmware will be like other versions with same samsung apps unless I'm wrong.
    1
    Thanks for the guide.

    If I may, I'd like to post a correction on the state of the supported frequency bands on Canadian and the US firmware:

    - The U1 firmware doesn't only support T-Mobile bands, it also fully supports AT&T and Verizon frequency bands, which includes their unique LTE carrier aggregation combinations as well as the 5G non-standalone combinations with n5 and mmWave. That's in addition to T-Mobile's combos with n71 and n41, in both non-standalone and standalone environment.

    - At the same time the Canadian W firmware doesn't support all 5G bands, it completely disables mmWave (n260, n261), which means the US devices with this firmware won't be able to access this super-fast flavor of 5G on any US network. It also doesn't fully support all US 5G non-standalone combinations in FR1 (Sub-6 GHz) range.

    Thanks again.
    1
    it is impossible to change csc without root or using samkey...

    If you're running a multi csc firmware (the one's linked above) you can change your csc by opening the phone app and dialing *#272*YOUR IMEI NUMBER# and from there you can pick the firmware CSC and carrier CSC to be whatever preinstalled apps you want. The W firmware has all of the preinstalled which is why the file size is larger.

    As for the Samsung bloat, they all come with it, but a lot of these should be able to be removed using ADB without root.

    There are some ADB scripts around that some skilled people wrote for removing bloat apps in bulk through ADB without root.
    1
    I got a VZW S21 ultra and was thinking of doing this. Do all of the Verizon features work, like wifi calling, hd voice, rcs? and unlocked features like caller id, samsung cloud, call and text on other devices?
    Wi-Fi calling in volte work. Samsung caller id it there and I was able to configure it. Cloud was as well. Call and text is and I configured it but my tablet does not support it yet.