[ROOT][MOD][HOW TO] Disable Presidential Alert Text Messages

blazera

Member
Sep 18, 2010
11
13
0
[ROOT][MOD][HOW TO] Disable Presidential Alert Text Messages

After reading this thread on how to remove the severe weather alerts, I took it upon myself to find a way to remove Presidential Alerts, which is not an option in the stock ROM. Sure enough, I found the preferences file that the stock messaging app uses, changed a Boolean value, and profited.

What I used:
- External SD card installed in the phone.
- File explorer with root capability (ES File Explorer in my case; I'm sure Root Explorer works just as well).
- PC with a Text Editor (Wordpad worked best for me). I had seen posts on other threads (don't remember exactly which ones) that stated using text editors on the phone may not be saving files properly, so I went with the tried and true route.

Here are the steps that I used, based on memory. (Assuming root capability is already enabled on the file explorer.) Apologies if I left anything out, since it's been a few days since I did this on my phone.

1. Open the file explorer and navigate to the directory /data/data/com.android.mms/shared_prefs

2. Make a copy of the file com.android.mms_preferences.xml and save that copy to the root of the external SD card.

3. Rename the original file to com.android.mms_preferences.xml.orig. This is backup of the original XML file just in case something goes wrong along the way.

4. Connect the external SD card to the PC by whatever means. (I unmounted/removed the external SD card, and inserted it into a card reader attached to the PC.)

5. Navigate to the disk drive corresponding to the external SD card.

6. Using the text editor, open the file com.android.mms_preferences.xml.

7. Search for the Boolean name #cmas#type##presidential#enabled.

8. Change the value associated with that Boolean from true to false.

9. Save the XML file.

10. Insert the external SD card back into the phone.

11. Copy the file com.android.mms_preferences.xml from the external SD card to the directory /data/data/com.android.mms/shared_prefs (you're overwriting the XML file that's already there - that's OK)

12. Exit the file explorer.

13. Reboot the phone. (Not sure if this is really needed, but it's good practice.)

14. After rebooting, check the Messaging settings and verify that there is no check next to Presidential Alerts.

15. (Optional) If Presidential Alerts are not checked, go back into /data/data/com.android.mms/shared_prefs with the file explorer and delete "com.android.mms_preferences.xml.orig".

Have fun!
 

TechSavvy2

Senior Member
Sep 26, 2011
957
542
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Has anyone even received any presidential alerts yet? I hadn't even heard of them till this thread.

Sent from my Galaxy S3 using Tapatalk 2
 

PetRiLJoe

Senior Member
Jun 3, 2007
131
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0
33
Opelika, AL
www.homelandguild.net
Has anyone even received any presidential alerts yet? I hadn't even heard of them till this thread.

Sent from my Galaxy S3 using Tapatalk 2
No I havent. And I haven't figured out what it is. Is this going to be spam or is this going to be something important? If it is spam or anything to do with the elections then I want to get rid of it. Who put here? Verizon?

Sent from my SCH-I535 using Tapatalk 2
 

mikereidis

Inactive Recognized Developer
Jan 28, 2011
7,826
4,142
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Ottawa/Gatineau, Canada
I don't have kids, don't want them and don't like yours.
Don't like my kids either, LOL.

EAS: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emergency_Alert_System

...put into place on January 1, 1997...
EAS is designed to enable the President of the United States to speak to the United States within 10 minutes, but the nationwide federal EAS has never been activated.
Replaced the old EBS ("...This is only a test...") which also was never used, but had a localized false alarm in 1971: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emergency_Broadcast_System#False_alarm_of_1971


I'd like to think EAS is pretty darn hacker and false alarm "resistant", but who knows.

And if it's nukes, gigantic meteors, mega-waves/volcanoes or martians we're all screwed anyway.
 

el_mico

Member
Dec 18, 2012
6
4
0
Hope this isn't too much of a dumb question: Does this method work on the T-mobile Galaxy S3? I navigated to the /data folder using ES File Explorer, but it is empty. I did some file searches in case it is located in a different folder, but couldn't find it (the *.xml file referenced in the OP) that way either. Any ideas? (I'm rooted with Wicked JB v3 rom) Any other roms that would get rid of this?

Thanks
 

ummduh

Senior Member
Jan 23, 2011
207
39
0
Washington Co, WI
Hope this isn't too much of a dumb question: Does this method work on the T-mobile Galaxy S3? I navigated to the /data folder using ES File Explorer, but it is empty. I did some file searches in case it is located in a different folder, but couldn't find it (the *.xml file referenced in the OP) that way either. Any ideas? (I'm rooted with Wicked JB v3 rom) Any other roms that would get rid of this?

Thanks
Do you have root explorer enabled in the ES File Explorer settings?

And thanks for the tip, I hate having things that aren't able to be deselected.

Though it doesn't seem to be working for me.

Deleted the original file, and upon reboot the file gets reset to "true". "False" won't stick.

CleanRom 5.5.1
 
Last edited:

microjoel

Member
Mar 15, 2008
12
4
0
No more presidential alerts...

Worked like a charm. Just edited it to false right on the phone... Note 2...check is gone... Thanks for the post!
 

0reo

Senior Member
Mar 25, 2011
159
49
48
FYI this mod works on the S4 too. Thanks to the OP for figuring it out. I have linked your thread in the Verizon S4 General section.
 

SirSlappy

New member
Aug 25, 2013
1
0
0
Easier Way - Pros Only

I wrote something on an easier to way to get this done, but I don't recommend it for newbies. It requires a working use of the vi editor. Hope it helps those old enough to remember how to use the vi editor.

http://www.sirslappy.com/2013/08/how-to-remove-presidential-alerts-on-galaxy-s4-verizon/


[ROOT][MOD][HOW TO] Disable Presidential Alert Text Messages

After reading this thread on how to remove the severe weather alerts, I took it upon myself to find a way to remove Presidential Alerts, which is not an option in the stock ROM. Sure enough, I found the preferences file that the stock messaging app uses, changed a Boolean value, and profited.

What I used:
- External SD card installed in the phone.
- File explorer with root capability (ES File Explorer in my case; I'm sure Root Explorer works just as well).
- PC with a Text Editor (Wordpad worked best for me). I had seen posts on other threads (don't remember exactly which ones) that stated using text editors on the phone may not be saving files properly, so I went with the tried and true route.

Here are the steps that I used, based on memory. (Assuming root capability is already enabled on the file explorer.) Apologies if I left anything out, since it's been a few days since I did this on my phone.

1. Open the file explorer and navigate to the directory /data/data/com.android.mms/shared_prefs

2. Make a copy of the file com.android.mms_preferences.xml and save that copy to the root of the external SD card.

3. Rename the original file to com.android.mms_preferences.xml.orig. This is backup of the original XML file just in case something goes wrong along the way.

4. Connect the external SD card to the PC by whatever means. (I unmounted/removed the external SD card, and inserted it into a card reader attached to the PC.)

5. Navigate to the disk drive corresponding to the external SD card.

6. Using the text editor, open the file com.android.mms_preferences.xml.

7. Search for the Boolean name #cmas#type##presidential#enabled.

8. Change the value associated with that Boolean from true to false.

9. Save the XML file.

10. Insert the external SD card back into the phone.

11. Copy the file com.android.mms_preferences.xml from the external SD card to the directory /data/data/com.android.mms/shared_prefs (you're overwriting the XML file that's already there - that's OK)

12. Exit the file explorer.

13. Reboot the phone. (Not sure if this is really needed, but it's good practice.)

14. After rebooting, check the Messaging settings and verify that there is no check next to Presidential Alerts.

15. (Optional) If Presidential Alerts are not checked, go back into /data/data/com.android.mms/shared_prefs with the file explorer and delete "com.android.mms_preferences.xml.orig".

Have fun!
 

micmars

Inactive Recognized Contributor
May 1, 2013
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Tampa Bay
Moderator Comment: Folks, keep it respectful and relevant or don't post it. If you don't like a post, use the report button, as it is there for a reason. This is a development site, not your local water-cooler.
 
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gbrauen

New member
May 15, 2018
1
0
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On my S7E, I found messaging preferences in

data/data/com.samsung.android.messaging/shared_prefs/com.samsung.android.messaging_preferences.xml

a couple of entries that may or may not help related to the boolean "cmas" variables:
----
I expect there will be a lot of variation from firmware to firmware. Would be interesting to know if your method works...

In Lineage 15.1, I found:

/data/data/com.android.messaging/shared_prefs

but there are multiple preference files, none of which contain references to cmas, etws or anything else that seems related to emergency broadcasts. So, although not ideal, freezing cellbroadcastreceiver seems like my only method for now.
 

ihateverizon1

New member
May 13, 2018
4
4
0
Hello all,
Please view my easy method to do this. Thanks
https://forum.xda-developers.com/an...root-disable-presidential-alert-text-t3841385

---------- Post added at 12:59 PM ---------- Previous post was at 12:56 PM ----------

I know this is an old thread but seems to be the most relevant around. Yesterday, the Ontario Provincial Police issued a province-wide Amber Alert for a missing child in Thunder Bay using what would be called a "presidential alert" in the US. We'll probably have to rename it a "Bureaucratic Alert" since the plan in Canada is to use these for everything (!) according to the current thinking of the Canadian regulator (CRTC) without an opt-out.

For more (sorry: new member - can't post links), search for:
- Telecom Regulatory Policy CRTC 2017-91
- Canadian "Alert Ready" FAQ: explains the attempt to rebrand the presidential alerts, highlighting that is the mechanism used.

Running LineageOS 15.1 on a OnePlus 3T, the original method no longer works, as GeTex pointed out above. /data/data/com.android.mms doesn't exist and the prefs file mentioned is not there.

Using Titanium backup, I have frozen CellBroadcastReceiver (com.android.cellbroadcastreceiver) on my phone. Since presidential alerts will be used for everything here (stupid, stupid, stupid), the need to turn these off has arrived.
Check my method :
https://forum.xda-developers.com/an...root-disable-presidential-alert-text-t3841385
 

CelticWhisper

Member
Dec 18, 2017
6
1
0
Hello all,
Please view my easy method to do this. Thanks
https://forum.xda-developers.com/an...root-disable-presidential-alert-text-t3841385

---------- Post added at 12:59 PM ---------- Previous post was at 12:56 PM ----------


Check my method :
https://forum.xda-developers.com/an...root-disable-presidential-alert-text-t3841385
Posted in your thread but I'll post here too in case others have run into the same thing I did.

Trying this on my Nexus 5 (Hammerhead D821) and while I can find and edit the file, it looks like the line pertaining to presidential alerts is missing. Should I edit it in and set it to false?

Also, when I rebooted and checked the Emergency Alerts config in the Settings app, the boxes were still checked/active. I saw in another thread that the phone has to be set to airplane mode and a backup file deleted - is that what I'm missing here?

Thanks.
 

evilpaul13

Senior Member
Oct 8, 2016
250
45
28
For non-rooted phones could a back up and restore with a changed settings file work? There was one from around here somewhere to enable YouTube dark theme in the months the app supported it, but Google hadn't decided to let you enable it.
 

FSadino

Forum Moderator
Staff member
Oct 27, 2011
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Blue River City
Thread cleaned due to many Spam and political discussion

2.4 Personal attacks, racial, political and / or religious discussions: XDA is a discussion forum about certain mobile phones. Mobile phones are not racial, political, religious or personally offensive and therefore, none of these types of discussions are permitted on XDA
 
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