[Q&A] No Root? Why? What do you miss about root? Let's find workarounds!

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Senior Member
Mar 18, 2013
Nope, no way to get rid of the key. I use nova launcher, which auto hides the notification bar anyway so its no big deal to me. I think Nova is also significantly faster than touchwiz anyway, and I really prefer have scrollable app folders at the bottom of my home screens instead of 4 app shortcuts.

They also respond to reports about ads not being blocked pretty quickly, so if you see anything getting through, send a report. its pretty easy to do.
Yeah I know I'm a nova prime user. Did not know about the hide notification bar option. Thanks ima go check that out


Senior Member
Apr 14, 2009
It shouldn't be. It's creating a firewall, blocking ad data to get through. You should actually see less data useage, I think.

Btw, I found some odd firewall settings I had to change. It was blocking chrome and chrome beta from wifi use. You can change settings a case by case in the firewall section.

For a beta, it's pretty reliable, and I can live without root if I can block all the ad crap on my phone. I couldn't believe 18000 ads in one week, but I checked and some Web pages have 50 ads on them, some spaces rotating new unique ads on a timed basis, so I'm frankly not that surprised, I guess.

Is it the beta version that works well for all ads or does the stock version work well? I didn't see anything about joining the beta, they just had the apk available on XDA.

Sent from my SM-N910V using XDA Free mobile app


Senior Member
Jun 25, 2015
Internet speed meter!

First of all thanks for this nice thread!

I rooted all the devices i have/had from the first android os way back :p
But my note 4 feels pretty balanced so the need for rooting hasn't come yet, just got mine yesterday ;)

Well okay i wanted to share a very good app for viewing actual down & up-load speeds in your status bar & notification,
that's all in realtime;

Internet Speed Meter

from the developers at DynamicApps
the lite version works perfect just with less cosmetic tweaks!

Sorry i can't post outside links yet, lost my account :(



Senior Member
Apr 20, 2012

I am still unrooted, since I need knox, and my computers run linux only, so it was difficult to block/hide apps by using the software by Gatesjunior which this thread itself suggests.

So I googled a little bit and I discovered that the command 'adb pm hide package name' allows to silently disable the chosen app, but still I am on linux and adb via usb does not work (maybe there is a little chance via wifi even without root, but I am not sure).

So I tried with terminal emulator and saw that the command is there, but does not work, since it requires the permission to manage the single users and, since permissions in android must be necessarily declared/required with the manifest xml file, there was no straight way to add that permission for an already installed app (I mean the terminal emulator).

So I was going to download the latest apk tool in order to hack the manifest of terminal emulator and add such permissions, when I saw this app https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.ospolice.packagedisabler which isn't well known, but does the exact thing I was looking for.. It silently disables any app just like the windows software by Gatesjunior. The standard version has some limits (e.g. you can disable only a certain number of apps) while the paid one is a bit more powerful.

I bought the latter, mainly to support the dev.
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Thanks for this lovely thread. Getting Adblock without root feels like an early Christmas. Would like to add that "My Backup" backs up SMS and much more without root. It also now backs up to Dropbox which is lovely (at least the Pro version does).

What is the storage location for the external sd card? There appears to have been an update since last used that asks for the location string.
Aug 14, 2015
Khon Kaen
My phone was rooted as recently as yesterday (13 August 2015). I flashed the CM12.1 ROM based on Lollipop 5.1.1. However, when I rooted my phone at the time, my firmware was based on 5.0.1. So, every now and then my phone would just lose signal temporarily. The only way to (temporarily) fix this was to do the "*#*#4636#*#*" method or turn airplane mode on and off + reboot. It annoyed me just enough where I wanted to try and match the firmware with the nightlies build. Also, the GPS would fail to lock so I could not use it.

Flashed the stock 5.1.1 firmware for Sprint's variant from the Sammobile website which meant I lost my rooting privileges. Been trying all day to try to reflash an older firmware build but can't seem to do so.

So in conclusion, I have no root because I couldn't stand the firmware not matching with the CM nightlies build which was based on a different firmware that caused weak signals every now and then. I'll probably just wait till Android M comes out and there's a sufficient rooting method for it.

What I miss about root:

-The CM custom ROM
-Adaway/Youtube Adaway
-Massively toned down bloatware
-Regular updates from CM (unlike your carrier's)
-Greenify (rooted version)
-Pandora One 5.8 apk (Pandora One without having to actually pay the $4.99 fee)
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New member
Sep 30, 2015
hi, can you please help me resole my problem. my note 4 has a greyout wifi, the icon cannot be clicked or when in wifi settings, it cannot find/scan wifi. i already tried to reset my phone, but the problem still exists. can anyone help me sole this issue. thankyou


Senior Member
Jan 19, 2011
Hello everyone! I always had rooted all my devices and now just upgraded my note3 to note 4 and I really can't find a safe way to root the note 4n910f with the latest official updates on him (5.1.1 COI3 ). Any advice for a safe root method? Thank you all!


Senior Member
Jan 15, 2015
Xiaomi Mi 11
Xiaomi Poco F3
Fabulous thread!
I too have note 4 unrooted
Guys, you can disable (Freeze) most Google and Samsung crap with Ghost Commander (at play store).
Just "Manage" the app you want with Ghost, you can also uninstall some.
I have successefuly frozen all Gapps and some Samsung (still trying...)


Senior Member
Oct 15, 2015
I think Both root and not root have their own positive and negative parts.With root you can use your android at its best and with out root you will get manufacturer support and your warranty will not void.:good:

---------- Post added at 08:29 AM ---------- Previous post was at 08:25 AM ----------

Yeah right, you can find loads of safe tutorials on Xda or other sites like androidxda.com, rootmygalaxy.net,GalaxyNote4Root.com etc
But unrooted phones also have their own benefits
Manufacture support??? We still don't have 5.1.1 5 months later.

I really wish providers would get their noses out of updates, and just let hardware producers push updates out faster. Marshmallow is already out for some devices, and we are still awaiting the older release, which is just nuts.

Apple owners get all their updates on day one, period.


Senior Member
Dec 12, 2011
looking for a back up

I'm looking for a free non-rooted backup app that is able to completely backup all my paid apps. I did use an app which I forgotten, it creates the backup as apk, the app which I backup was Nova launcher paid version.

Problem is I am unable to access that email that bought the Launcher(license). Any other ways to do so? Thanks in advance.


Senior Member
Jan 15, 2015
Xiaomi Mi 11
Xiaomi Poco F3
Unrooted Note 4 here, and somehow happy with it like that.
My best move was to buy Greenify and be able to disable most system apps! Actually, i disabled all the red entries that Greenify lists, (about 130) and so far so good.
I might not root my N4, after all!

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    1. iFont
    It uses the native Flipfont system present in the Note to change fonts. You can install any font from a very big list and if you buy the Donate version (which I highly recommend), you can make an installable apk for any font you want. I have already made and shared Roboto L fonts, Comic Sans and Comic Neue.

    2. Adblock Plus
    Works on WiFi and (if APN settings are edited) on mobile data, blocks apps on browsers and other apps. An excellent solution for ad-blocking on non-routed phones.
    2b. An alternative solution that only works for browsing via WiFi networks is Adguard.

    3. SMS Backup & Restore
    A free app that can backup and restore your messages, no root required. Works flawlessly, I used to it to backup my SMS on my S4 and restore them to my Note 4.

    4. Greenify
    As mentioned in this thread, Greenify works without root as well. Automatic hibernation is even an option, albeit some issues with "talking calculator" have been mentioned.

    5. My Backup
    As mentioned here this app is a feature-rich backup solution for non-rooted phones.

    6. SD Maid - System Cleaning Tool
    This app attempts to make best possible use of its features without root present. It's a tool that cleans up unnecessary files from your phone that apps leave behind.

    7. AutoStart - No root
    As the name suggests, this app lets you select which applications you want to auto start after phone boot-up and it works on all phones/tablets without root permission. You can also choose one or multiple apps to auto-launch at boot with customisable delay values.

    8. Busybox (No Root)
    For advanced users who want to run busybox commands on their phones via the Android Terminal Emulator app.

    9. Call Recorder
    Call recording app that uses the Samsung standard API therefore does not require root access. It is a bit pricey but well worth the money for people who need that feature. There's a full-featured trial available from XDA so you can try before you buy.
    9b. There is also a free alternative that has been reported to work well on the Note 4, AndroRec Free.
    9c. Another great free alternative is Automatic Call Recorder, with the added bonus that it can record in better formats, like mp3 or wav, save on the SD card and the option for prompt to "Save or Delete" at the end of every call.

    10. NoRoot Firewall
    Firewall without root. Host name/domain name filtering, simple interface, fine-grained access control and no suspicious permissions on the app itself.

    11. Better Wifi On/Off
    A free, fully featured, ad-supported app that aims at giving you the control of the Wifi state, optimizing your battery life without losing on user experience. In theory, Wifi is less power hungry than 3G but some apps behave differently when Wifi is on (DropBox / Google+ uploads, Google Maps location caching) and the well known wlan_rx kernel wakelock is a symptom of wakeups caused by uncontrolled Wifi hotspots. The Wifi sleep policy is not working consistently and does not solve all the above problems, enter this app.

    12. Helium - App Sync and Backup
    Helium is the missing app sync and backup solution for Android and doe not require root. You can backup both your apps and their data to your SD card or cloud storage and sync them from your other Android devices. You need access to a computer for a brief USB connection and then you're good to go.

    13. Desktop VisualizeR
    Application that allows you to personalize your home screen by creating icons or widgets with your favorite photos or images, works on any launcher, even TW!

    14. FREE screen recorder NO ROOT
    Recordable is the easy way to create screen recordings without root. The free version adds a watermark on the recordings and limits frame rate to 8fps, but is otherwise fully functional. A Windows, Mac or Linux computer required to complete the installation (like with Helium Backup), but after this it's not needed to make screen recordings.


    1. Full Screen Immersive Mode
    Full screen immersive mode in any application or game, root is not required.

    2.Enable AirView and AirGesture
    2b. Instead of Nova Launcher, you can use the QuickShortcutMaker app to create any shortcut directly on the Touchwiz launcher.

    3. MW-Pen App Enabler
    This app that enables apps for multiwindow and/or pen window without rooted access. The only limitations are that it does not work for system apps and that enabled apps can not be updated. To update them, you need to uninstall the enabled app first, install the updated app and run it through the enabler app again.

    4. Mont Blanc digital content
    A guide on how to get the extra Mont blanc pens for the S Note and the two exclusive Mont Blanc wallpapers and unlock effect..

    5. QuickClick
    Start any action (flashlight, system toggles, media controls, etc) with a sequence of volume buttons clicks.

    6. Spen Toolbox
    A wonderful little app that extends the functionality of the S-Pen, by offering options for: turning the screen off when you attach the pen, changing the detach and attach sounds, creating a custom shortcut popup to appear on detach, and many more!

    7. No root and want to modify your DPI? You can!
    Thanks to PizzaSauce, we have a way to modify DPI without root. All you need is access to a Windows PC. Changes persist after reboot too.
    If you don't want to install the whole Android SDK, you could use this tool to install ADB, which is all that is needed for this mod.

    Hello all!

    I recently got my Note 4 and it's by far the best device I've ever owned. :)
    I started this thread because I decided not to root the phone -at least for now. Even though, I've been rooting and heavily modding all my phones in the past.
    My reasons are:
    1. Warranty.
    I know that you can flash a stock firmware before handing it to service and that KNOX counter doesn't matter (I've had my Note 10.1 with a tripped counter repaired twice under warranty). However, I'd like for once to be able to just send my phone to service if need be, without the extra hassle of concealing the tweaking I've done.
    2. S-Pen.
    I know that rooting doesn't affect the S-Pen functionality, however, the use of the Pen makes custom ROMS such as AOSP and CM useless to me. I actually use the S-Pen heavily and it was one of the reasons I bought the phone. There are of course custom TW ROMS but to be honest, and with no intention to offend anyone, they are not my cup of tea.
    3. Stability.
    This one will seem weird to many, but it's my personal experience. This is the 4th Samsung device I own (SGS3, SGS4, Note 10.1, Note 4) and with the previous three I noticed that when I rooted and enthusiastically started "debloating", things started to turn unstable. And I have never, ever noticed any improvement in battery life. I know it sounds odd, but it is true to me. The Note 4 gives you the option to disable a lot of preinstalled apps anyway.
    4. Lollipop.
    I want to get the update that was meant for my region via OTA, no cables necessary. Plus I believe that all the annoyances I rectified with root (mainly theming, such as Tinted Statusbar) will be solved in Lollipop. Again, that's my opinion and personal taste.

    Now do I miss root? Hell, yeah! Why?
    1. ADS ADS ADS...
    Ads everywhere! I have been paying for my apps and I am not using pirated software at all. And I gladly donate/pay for ads to be removed and premium features for apps I really love. However, there are apps that either don't offer an a ad-free option or they charge an insane amount for ad removal. I know developers need to make revenue, but there's nothing uglier than an ad banner. Seriously.
    2. Tinted statusbar.
    And generally Xposed.
    3. Call recording.
    I liked the native call recording function of the TW dialer, no app comes close from what I've seen.

    I hope this thread will be used to discuss unrooted phones and ways to mod your device without root.
    Kindly keep in mind that this is not a thread to persuade anyone to root or not -please respect other people's decisions.
    MontBlanc Digital Content Tutorial

    MontBlanc Digital Content Tutorial

    Hello all! I decided to make this small tutorial for the Mont Blanc digital content that we can now get without buying the Montblanc case or pen.
    (The OP also links to this post now.)

    Installing the app is pretty straightforward, just download it from this post and install as you would any apk.

    After installation, you will not see a new app on your app drawer, so don't go looking for it. :p

    Firstly, you will have two new wallpapers in the default wallpaper chooser, accessible via long-pressing the menu key while on your homescreen > Wallpapers. Secondly, you will have an "Ink in water" unlock effect, found in Settings > Lockscreen > Unlock effect (provided that Swipe has been selected as screen lock).

    As far as S-Note goes, any existing notebooks you've made will continue to use the same template you chose the first time and the pen toolbox will remain unchanged. This is where a lot of people get confused, thinking that something went wrong because they can't see the new pens. You have to create a new notebook. Once you do that, you will see that the regular pens have been replaced with Mont Blanc ones and the page background has a Mont Blanc logo watermark on it. Enjoy! Now every notebook you create will have the same page template and available pens, as well as a black leather image as cover.

    But how do you go back to default S-Note templates, covers and pens?
    You don't need to uninstall the Mont Blanc app. Simply drag the menu on the left from the S-Note main screen, select More features > Montblanc and untick Set Montblanc as default note. Now all your new notebooks will use the same ol' settings.
    What I've done is I've created a Montblanc notebook, then turned the option off. Now I can create notebooks with any template I want and I still have one with all the extra features, just because it looks cool.

    But what if you still want to uninstall the app?
    From the same menu as above, choose Go to download screen. It will get you to Samsung Apps where you'll see the option to completely uninstall.

    That's it! I hope it solves questions and issues regarding the extra features.

    I assume you already know this and I usually leave this to others but still has to be said:

    You have come to a "modification and development" site basically for "rooters and modders" and are pitching why you shouldn't root and all the lovely "work-a-rounds" to do so.

    This is stuff better suited elsewhere but to each their own I guess.. We surprisingly see enough of it here already I suppose.

    I never mind the debate though!

    Seeing as I've been a part of the moderating team, yes, I am very well aware of the nature of the website. Looking at my thanks meter, you may even say that I also know very well how to help and give back to the community.

    I wonder whether you know that this website started as a place for developers to discuss and publish their work, hence the name xda-developers. However, here we are, you and me along with millions of users who do not produce any development work. We talk about screen protectors, cases, upcoming updates, how much our battery lasts, what colour is our phone, which network operator is the best and so on and so forth.
    See the paradox already?

    I couldn't possibly assess your reading comprehension level, but, I won't lie to you, I am a little concerned. I never wrote anything that even remotely implies that this thread is a crusade against root. Taken directly from the OP:
    Kindly keep in mind that this is not a thread to persuade anyone to root or not -please respect other people's decisions.
    It's meant for people who already made the decision not to, providing them with solutions and workarounds. And yes, they are lovely! And they are apps and mods that developers created. Hence, completely appropriate for a place like this.
    Furthermore, apart from people who do not want to root, there are also people who just cannot (locked bootloaders, for example).
    Bottom line is, the thread is way more useful and appropriate than all of the threads you have started here combined.

    On top of all that, this is a civil, informative and free from off topic posts (apart from yours) thread and I would like it to remain this way. Because, for a change, people may actually find helpful advice and suggestions. Which is why it has 8000+ views already and a lot of people are following and contributing to it.

    I don't know why you suddenly decided to quote the OP, without even reading it carefully enough to understand the purpose of it, and make a comment like that. But please, do us all a favour and follow this 'debate' quietly, since you "never mind it" and it only exists in your head anyway.
    Thank you.

    iR¡[email protected]!* from Galaxy Note 4 via Tapatalk
    With Lollipop already out for some variants and probably coming out soon for others, there are a lot of no-root tweaks that can be applied. I can't wait to discover them and update the OP! Well excited for this update! :)
    On a slightly unrelated note, I find TW to be way more stable on the Note 4 than it was on my previous Samsung phones. I just realised that I got my phone about 11 days ago, turned it on and set it up and I haven't rebooted/had a random reboot ever since! And that's without rooting and meddling with the software at all. No slow down, no hiccups, everything runs as smoothly as it did on day 1. :)

    iR¡[email protected]!* from Galaxy Note 4 via Tapatalk