Just tweak it [Note20] - debloat, root, plugins, battery...

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doggydog2

Senior Member

Note20 stock setup​


model used: Note20 Ultra 5G SM-N986B and Note20 SM-N980F with low performance Exynos
another article in a flagshipfest ..->V30->Note9->6T->Mi9->S10->7T->Tab S6->Tab S4->8Pro->Note20Ultra, well, OnePlus doesn't need much setup. So easy to root, so easy to update, so little adware. But omg, this is Samsung, bloated as hell. Need to treat it like Xiaomi and write down some information. This time added links for everything, good for future reference.
We want
* better battery
* better privacy
* call recording
* disk encryption
* tweaks


Rooting


We want encryption. The era of TWRP encryption access is gone, but it's fine since we even have Magisk ROMs and literally all extras we need is provided in Magisk/Xposed modules.


i really hate reading too long guides, the steps are standard so let's add easy links into compact steps. The links come from here or official sources, so likely virus free (unlike here).
On yer new device in order to get root, lose warranty outside of EU, lose bit of Samsung functionality, wipe your data, abandon archaic Android 10, and get tons of benefits :
  1. [PC] grab your Android 11 firmware in Frija as you do the next step
  2. [mobile] unlock OEM in dev settings (need to be online for big brother to register your activation)
  3. [PC<->mobile] when turned off and nowadays rather plugged it to your Windows PC with drivers installed or Linux PC with no drivers needed, hold Vol+ & Vol- til you see download screen, long press Vol+
  4. [PC<->mobile] after you slap AP*tar file unpacked from step 1 on yer phone, patch it in Magisk 22+
  5. [PC<->mobile] back in download mode, in ODIN 3.14, slap patched AP into AP slot, BL to BL, CP to CP, CSC to CSC and flash
  6. [mobile] hold Power & Vol- to exit download mode
  7. [mobile] install and run Magisk to finalize rooting and reboot again
  8. [mobile] check Magisk status, enable USB debugging in dev settings like you always do, and continue the modulefest (below)
You can Magisk-hide few apps like Flow which moan about root. In case of update, we will perform similar steps with HOME_CSC added to CSC slot.


Modules


Magisk​

In Magisk, we can get stuff from its UI but you can still click on some links FYI:
* Riru - Core, LSPosed or EdExposed -> brings XPosed to Android11. For either XPosed, you need the manager APK. LSPosed seems more stable, both now want to preselect affected apps which is highly undesirable for many plugins like XPrivacy, XPosedEdge, 3C, etc.. anything working with all apps
* Bluetooth Library Patcher -> helps us keep the bluetooth pairings
* (optional) Sui -> to run AppOpps as an alternative to XPrivacy
* (optional) Move certificates -> to install certificate for AdGuard
* (optional) F-Droid Privilleged Extension -> to make F-Droid updates easy


XPosed​

in one of the managers, we can get some plugins:
* Xposed Edge Pro -> a fantastic plugin which can do lot of popup menus, edge gestures, control hardware keys, run scripts on triggers.. unbelievable value.
* XPrivacy Lua -> must have. Disabling analytics, tracking, telephony, network, identification for all visible apps and all Google and Samsung apps with some exceptions.
* AppOps -> this is closed source alternative to XPrivacy, not bad actually. You need "Riru - Sui" Magisk extension first.
* Firefds kit -> main customization app for Samsungs. Enables the very important call recording, which is beutifully integrated into call history. Bye bye external apps.
* (optional) Xposed Dex -> some tweaks, not using it just FYI
* (optional) afWall -> not needed in Oneplus because there's a firewall, but Samsung doesn't have one. Alternatively you can use Adguard for this task and avoid some issues and too much duplicit apps in memory. This extension should be disabled, just present.
* (optional) Exi for Swiftkey -> you can make Swiftkey great again, GBoard is still the best, Samsung keyboard is very good, but too tall and leaves gap in fullscreen mode

Apps​

Root apps you can get from the web, Google Play or F-Droid:
* 3C toolbox -> too helpful not to pay for the biggest package. It is a backup solution too. It's commercial.
* or TitaniumBackup -> a must since Android was born, however died infamously. Commercial.
* or OAndBackupX -> FYI new open source backup solution
* Adaway -> a must but with AdGuard? not so.. but i use both:)
* or AdGuard -> this is way more superior adblocker and firewall. Can filter more and can amend requests.. that's a game changer. You can have a efficient proxy when rooted thanks to "Move certificates" Magisk extension. Commercial, licences can be aquired very cheaply. With its paid VPN it can solve the problem of who's first "local VPN or VPN", but this is not needed in our root setup.
* Warden -> rips the guts of apps and removes tracking and logging
* YouTube Vanced -> YouTube without ads and sponsor blocks.. now you need manager APK to install it, might not alwasys work. And Google will be happy to overwrite it:)
* (optional) MiXplorer -> best file manager, replaces spyware ES File explorer you had before. Edits root files comfortably even when other editors don't. It's a great text editor or media player too! Commercial.
* (optional) FolderSync -> best sync tool. Commercial but works well as a free version.
* (optional) Root Essentials -> a multitool, have a look, it's not huge or useful as 3C
* F-Droid -> open source apps


Debloating


What the script does:
* choose 8 categories of app removal, in the beginning of the file
for each say 0=skip 1=remove 2=revert back
* use more switch to disable some questionable/helpful stuff
* disable up to 100 apps with possibility to revert back
* remove usage access for google (do manually)
* remove device admin backdoor "Find My Mobile", you won't recover stolen device this way lol, it doesn't work with Secure Startup! it's useful for Govt.
* revert DNS from Google if it's added at boot (minor, AdGuard can also change it btw)

Tested ok on March Android 11 firmware. Error messages will be there for non existing components, and it's ok. It's just a script.

Samsung has too much bloatware installed, and requires shocking permissions to run some basic services. We will further need to reclaim privacy. As for debloat list, i've cooked the list based on knowledge of each process, its current presence in the firmware, and what would fit the common usage. Also checked against 2 more knowledge bases. In this case, i'm leaving Samsung account, Galaxy shop, Bixby and few pen apps and we assume XPrivacy is sending these snitch services bogus personal details.

Download: (file attached)

Installation (omg! it's not an app!):
- run in su terminal once or add to any startup script (3C\Device mgr\Scheduler can assign scripts from (it needs to be /data now, and chmod +x it), or to magisk


Battery


Battery saving:
- the key is to disable background network activity:
  • enable Data Saver and make exceptions for individual apps (there's "Allow data usage with Data Saver" and also nice "Allow background activity" & "Optimize battery usage" choices)
  • enforce it with 3C (Device Mgr\Profiler) or Adguard (App Management), vendor make exception for adwares!
  • disable bluetooth, wifi, nearby scanning
  • choose your Power Saving mode, wakelocks like {AOD, fp icon, dt2wake, raise2wake} etc based on yer preference
- nearby scanning should be off, what a useless function of finding unknown devices - once you pair the known, what's the sense? or you keep connection 10 new bt devices each week? just a drain and endless beacon
- didn't test {LSpeed, Naptime, Servicely, FDE, LKT, Universal GMS Doze, Sysconfig patcher} here. Battery looks good even on Exynos, something between S10 (poor) and 1+ (excellent), but without permakilling of apps.


Other
- didn't change ugly boot warning yet
- for call recording make sure XPosed manager whitelists call components
- no boot keys needed like on S10 generation
- not using multidisabler as i'm on stock and i do want encryption on every device ever
- don't be afraid to use another device (mobile) as USB drive.. this way you can restore your apps directly without copying it first! also Smart Switch can be used from non-Samsung phones, but it is as weak as Google backup ever was - no data restore
 

Attachments

  • Note20_cleanup.sh.zip
    4.5 KB · Views: 113
Last edited:

doggydog2

Senior Member
v1.1 script
* removing Bixby main app by default, leaving useful Bixby Vision or routines
* debloat PrivateShare, privacy unfriendly "private" share
* debloat Blockchain app, won't work with root and who'd store crypto with a corporation really
* debloat more of SmartThings
* debloat EpdgTestapp, while leaving servicemodetest optional (sec.phone, sec.bcservice) -> trigger by *#0011#*
* debloat Digital Wellbeing but optional yet
 

Attachments

  • Note20_cleanup.sh.1.1.zip
    4.9 KB · Views: 37

doggydog2

Senior Member
Will this work for N9860 (Snapdragon) too?
it should be fine, the other sources of information also typically include your model, so i'm assuming it's same +- small vendor apps difference.
you even have the freedom version (non-US Snapdragon), and i wanted your hard-to-get model, thanksgod Exynos battery @ 96Hz is good for 2 days.
as i'm finding out after many flagships, i simply get battery life per battery size no matter what is the manufacturer, after rooting, and following steps in Battery section. Phone after phone, same setup and data.
 

dj24

Senior Member
Jun 23, 2018
384
144
Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
it should be fine, the other sources of information also typically include your model, so i'm assuming it's same +- small vendor apps difference.
you even have the freedom version (non-US Snapdragon), and i wanted your hard-to-get model, thanksgod Exynos battery @ 96Hz is good for 2 days.
as i'm finding out after many flagships, i simply get battery life per battery size no matter what is the manufacturer, after rooting, and following steps in Battery section. Phone after phone, same setup and data.
Could you expand by what you mean when you said "Battery Section"?
 

doggydog2

Senior Member
Could you expand by what you mean when you said "Battery Section"?
well the steps in the Battery section of the guide. mostly make sure low priority apps are included in Data Saver or have no background activity allowed. On Samsung you also have 2 more sleep categories to throw apps into. All games have to be in the deep sleep. Aliexpress, Facebook is a typical example of agressive app to block in background. Google app can be uninstalled for the same reason, you can use Google Go or Bing instead. Or Finder which is the best Samsung app. With further debloating, adblocking there's less and less connections to cause wakelocks, and the current connections make a very short list of important apps like Signal, GMS, home assistant app.. very short. Depends on your taste, some people love to be annoyed by popups,, ads, useless notifications and then charge twice a day:)
 
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elmor0

Senior Member
@doggydog2,
Does your Mod automatically select what to debloat when flashed via Magisk, or does it give options of what to debloat/ leave alone?

Thank you very much for the above substantial set-up guide.

(BTW, coming from 7T/ 7T Pro, I'm not sure if you have come across arter97 kernel? - it took battery-life to paranormal levels. If there was something similar available for the N20 serires...)
 

doggydog2

Senior Member
@doggydog2,
Does your Mod automatically select what to debloat when flashed via Magisk, or does it give options of what to debloat/ leave alone?

Thank you very much for the above substantial set-up guide.

(BTW, coming from 7T/ 7T Pro, I'm not sure if you have come across arter97 kernel? - it took battery-life to paranormal levels. If there was something similar available for the N20 serires...)
This is just a root script where you select yes or no for some categories. The 100 items are carefully thought out, but you can modify it. I set it to run at boot, to make sure it debloats atter ROM updates. Both Oneplus and Samsung will reintroduce bloatware each time, so it saves a lot of time later, while being little bit difficult to set up first (well, it's 1 minute for me).
i came from 7T and 8Pro:) battery was so good i didn't play with kernels. Now I have 2days every time on Note20 so there's nothing to improve. My expectation is to survive night when charge is skipped. I really hate phones which won't wake you up next day or die in case of emergency (long night out)!
 

elmor0

Senior Member
Thanks.

I just tried AdGuard, Warden, MiXplorer & 3c Tools.
One of these or there settings really messed up my device - Phone become very laggy & freezing, SystemUI crashes repeatedly, couldn't access launcher, & no connection to data/ networks/ reception! I'm not sure what went wrong.

Luckily, via TWRP I managed uninstall all things Magisk & started again. I've uninstalled the above apps besides MiXplorer. Will see how it goes for now....
 

doggydog2

Senior Member
AdGuard, Warden, MiXplorer & 3c Tools - lovely tools to start with. No problems with them! 3C toolbox is what I use to launch the script at boot. Incredible package which replaces also dead TitaniumBackup. MiXplorer is the best file manager, replacing the traditional ES file manager malware. AdGuard is the only relevant adblocker (thou you need to fight to get the automatic proxy via system certificates). I used Warden on every recent phone and no problem, but the Nuke operations hangs recently. But still no consequence.

3C toolbox is also the tool that will find the bottleneck in your case. You can check the logs and usually see who is throwing errors around. Magisk and Xposed usually don't show anything meaningful in logs. Usual suspect of lags is Xposed.

No idea about lock sounds, i'd like a slightly different thing: be aware of phone charging. Such simple expectation. Every device on the planet notifies about charging by notification light, except the "smart" phones. No way to find out phone is being charged except very tiny AOD icon. LED cover also shows the charging status for 2 seconds and that's it. I only remember Xperia and Z Flip permanently showing the charging status. I can't wait to replace Note20* with ZFlip 3 (which will come as a replacement of Note21), and stop caring about display protection:)
 

rolltide78

Senior Member
Nov 5, 2013
81
5
Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
Interesting read. I'm not interested in rooting but am interested in debloating/saving battery of the Note 20. How could you remove the Google app while not crippling the device entirely from a Google perspective? i.e. I still use Waze, Google Maps, Gmail. I'd love a good ad blocker that doesn't require the VPN item as well if that's possible without rooting.
 

doggydog2

Senior Member
how do you install Note20_cleanup.sh.zip ? I still don't understand, I have root and everything
it's a script, you unpack it and run .sh like in linux. I use 3C Toolbox to choose the file in U (Device Manager\Scheduler\<profile>\Start script). I and run it at each boot. Booting isn't frequent, meanwhile updates come (reinstalling adware), and this will keep the phone clean all the time. You can use any shell like Termux, ConnectBot, all will ask Magisk for permission when they run root commands (su).
 

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  • 4

    Note20 stock setup​


    model used: Note20 Ultra 5G SM-N986B and Note20 SM-N980F with low performance Exynos
    another article in a flagshipfest ..->V30->Note9->6T->Mi9->S10->7T->Tab S6->Tab S4->8Pro->Note20Ultra, well, OnePlus doesn't need much setup. So easy to root, so easy to update, so little adware. But omg, this is Samsung, bloated as hell. Need to treat it like Xiaomi and write down some information. This time added links for everything, good for future reference.
    We want
    * better battery
    * better privacy
    * call recording
    * disk encryption
    * tweaks


    Rooting


    We want encryption. The era of TWRP encryption access is gone, but it's fine since we even have Magisk ROMs and literally all extras we need is provided in Magisk/Xposed modules.


    i really hate reading too long guides, the steps are standard so let's add easy links into compact steps. The links come from here or official sources, so likely virus free (unlike here).
    On yer new device in order to get root, lose warranty outside of EU, lose bit of Samsung functionality, wipe your data, abandon archaic Android 10, and get tons of benefits :
    1. [PC] grab your Android 11 firmware in Frija as you do the next step
    2. [mobile] unlock OEM in dev settings (need to be online for big brother to register your activation)
    3. [PC<->mobile] when turned off and nowadays rather plugged it to your Windows PC with drivers installed or Linux PC with no drivers needed, hold Vol+ & Vol- til you see download screen, long press Vol+
    4. [PC<->mobile] after you slap AP*tar file unpacked from step 1 on yer phone, patch it in Magisk 22+
    5. [PC<->mobile] back in download mode, in ODIN 3.14, slap patched AP into AP slot, BL to BL, CP to CP, CSC to CSC and flash
    6. [mobile] hold Power & Vol- to exit download mode
    7. [mobile] install and run Magisk to finalize rooting and reboot again
    8. [mobile] check Magisk status, enable USB debugging in dev settings like you always do, and continue the modulefest (below)
    You can Magisk-hide few apps like Flow which moan about root. In case of update, we will perform similar steps with HOME_CSC added to CSC slot.


    Modules


    Magisk​

    In Magisk, we can get stuff from its UI but you can still click on some links FYI:
    * Riru - Core, LSPosed or EdExposed -> brings XPosed to Android11. For either XPosed, you need the manager APK. LSPosed seems more stable, both now want to preselect affected apps which is highly undesirable for many plugins like XPrivacy, XPosedEdge, 3C, etc.. anything working with all apps
    * Bluetooth Library Patcher -> helps us keep the bluetooth pairings
    * (optional) Sui -> to run AppOpps as an alternative to XPrivacy
    * (optional) Move certificates -> to install certificate for AdGuard
    * (optional) F-Droid Privilleged Extension -> to make F-Droid updates easy


    XPosed​

    in one of the managers, we can get some plugins:
    * Xposed Edge Pro -> a fantastic plugin which can do lot of popup menus, edge gestures, control hardware keys, run scripts on triggers.. unbelievable value.
    * XPrivacy Lua -> must have. Disabling analytics, tracking, telephony, network, identification for all visible apps and all Google and Samsung apps with some exceptions.
    * AppOps -> this is closed source alternative to XPrivacy, not bad actually. You need "Riru - Sui" Magisk extension first.
    * Firefds kit -> main customization app for Samsungs. Enables the very important call recording, which is beutifully integrated into call history. Bye bye external apps.
    * (optional) Xposed Dex -> some tweaks, not using it just FYI
    * (optional) afWall -> not needed in Oneplus because there's a firewall, but Samsung doesn't have one. Alternatively you can use Adguard for this task and avoid some issues and too much duplicit apps in memory. This extension should be disabled, just present.
    * (optional) Exi for Swiftkey -> you can make Swiftkey great again, GBoard is still the best, Samsung keyboard is very good, but too tall and leaves gap in fullscreen mode

    Apps​

    Root apps you can get from the web, Google Play or F-Droid:
    * 3C toolbox -> too helpful not to pay for the biggest package. It is a backup solution too. It's commercial.
    * or TitaniumBackup -> a must since Android was born, however died infamously. Commercial.
    * or OAndBackupX -> FYI new open source backup solution
    * Adaway -> a must but with AdGuard? not so.. but i use both:)
    * or AdGuard -> this is way more superior adblocker and firewall. Can filter more and can amend requests.. that's a game changer. You can have a efficient proxy when rooted thanks to "Move certificates" Magisk extension. Commercial, licences can be aquired very cheaply. With its paid VPN it can solve the problem of who's first "local VPN or VPN", but this is not needed in our root setup.
    * Warden -> rips the guts of apps and removes tracking and logging
    * YouTube Vanced -> YouTube without ads and sponsor blocks.. now you need manager APK to install it, might not alwasys work. And Google will be happy to overwrite it:)
    * (optional) MiXplorer -> best file manager, replaces spyware ES File explorer you had before. Edits root files comfortably even when other editors don't. It's a great text editor or media player too! Commercial.
    * (optional) FolderSync -> best sync tool. Commercial but works well as a free version.
    * (optional) Root Essentials -> a multitool, have a look, it's not huge or useful as 3C
    * F-Droid -> open source apps


    Debloating


    What the script does:
    * choose 8 categories of app removal, in the beginning of the file
    for each say 0=skip 1=remove 2=revert back
    * use more switch to disable some questionable/helpful stuff
    * disable up to 100 apps with possibility to revert back
    * remove usage access for google (do manually)
    * remove device admin backdoor "Find My Mobile", you won't recover stolen device this way lol, it doesn't work with Secure Startup! it's useful for Govt.
    * revert DNS from Google if it's added at boot (minor, AdGuard can also change it btw)

    Tested ok on March Android 11 firmware. Error messages will be there for non existing components, and it's ok. It's just a script.

    Samsung has too much bloatware installed, and requires shocking permissions to run some basic services. We will further need to reclaim privacy. As for debloat list, i've cooked the list based on knowledge of each process, its current presence in the firmware, and what would fit the common usage. Also checked against 2 more knowledge bases. In this case, i'm leaving Samsung account, Galaxy shop, Bixby and few pen apps and we assume XPrivacy is sending these snitch services bogus personal details.

    Download: (file attached)

    Installation (omg! it's not an app!):
    - run in su terminal once or add to any startup script (3C\Device mgr\Scheduler can assign scripts from (it needs to be /data now, and chmod +x it), or to magisk


    Battery


    Battery saving:
    - the key is to disable background network activity:
    • enable Data Saver and make exceptions for individual apps (there's "Allow data usage with Data Saver" and also nice "Allow background activity" & "Optimize battery usage" choices)
    • enforce it with 3C (Device Mgr\Profiler) or Adguard (App Management), vendor make exception for adwares!
    • disable bluetooth, wifi, nearby scanning
    • choose your Power Saving mode, wakelocks like {AOD, fp icon, dt2wake, raise2wake} etc based on yer preference
    - nearby scanning should be off, what a useless function of finding unknown devices - once you pair the known, what's the sense? or you keep connection 10 new bt devices each week? just a drain and endless beacon
    - didn't test {LSpeed, Naptime, Servicely, FDE, LKT, Universal GMS Doze, Sysconfig patcher} here. Battery looks good even on Exynos, something between S10 (poor) and 1+ (excellent), but without permakilling of apps.


    Other
    - didn't change ugly boot warning yet
    - for call recording make sure XPosed manager whitelists call components
    - no boot keys needed like on S10 generation
    - not using multidisabler as i'm on stock and i do want encryption on every device ever
    - don't be afraid to use another device (mobile) as USB drive.. this way you can restore your apps directly without copying it first! also Smart Switch can be used from non-Samsung phones, but it is as weak as Google backup ever was - no data restore
    1
    v1.2 script
    * new bonus: set display 48/60/96/120Hz mode for Ultra model

    Let's see if 96 is good for battery. BTW You can monitor the fps using the native GPUWatch app.
    1
    v1.2 script
    * new bonus: set display 48/60/96/120Hz mode for Ultra model

    Let's see if 96 is good for battery. BTW You can monitor the fps using the native GPUWatch app.
    Thanks gonna rock this bad boy!)
    1
    Could you expand by what you mean when you said "Battery Section"?
    well the steps in the Battery section of the guide. mostly make sure low priority apps are included in Data Saver or have no background activity allowed. On Samsung you also have 2 more sleep categories to throw apps into. All games have to be in the deep sleep. Aliexpress, Facebook is a typical example of agressive app to block in background. Google app can be uninstalled for the same reason, you can use Google Go or Bing instead. Or Finder which is the best Samsung app. With further debloating, adblocking there's less and less connections to cause wakelocks, and the current connections make a very short list of important apps like Signal, GMS, home assistant app.. very short. Depends on your taste, some people love to be annoyed by popups,, ads, useless notifications and then charge twice a day:)
    1
    Just want to say thank you 😊 I have used your script on my tab S7+