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Root Sprint Samsung Galaxy S4 L720 on Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean using CF Auto-Root

Sprint variant of the Samsung Galaxy S4 has received its own version of CF-Auto-Root, a tool designed by Chainfire which can be used to achieve root and open tons of extra features and functions. Use this tutorial to learn how to successfully flash all the required files without losing any data. This tutorial should be completed in under 5 minutes even if you’re not an advanced user.

Sprint Galaxy S4 users are usually rooting their devices in order to be able to flash new Custom ROMs or AOSP Jelly Bean operating systems that will get rid of the Samsung and Sprint bloatware. Custom ROMs, Kernel, new themes and other similar customization files. Such installation are released and created by developers for users who want to improve or test new Android interfaces and ROMs.

Rooting a Sprint Galaxy S4 phone is easy but, first, you will need to take a look at the preparation guide below so that you will manage to flash all the required files at your first attempt. Here’s what you have to know before continuing to the important part of this article:

  • this guide will work only with the Sprint variant of Samsung Galaxy S4 model number L720. Don’t try to use this tutorial with any other Android smartphone or tablet, as that might brick the phone and you will then be forced to reinstall stock Android, a process that will remove all the contents from your device.
  • after you apply the root, the phone might not want to boot into normal mode, which is why you might still be forced to ‘factory reset’ the S4 using the stock Recovery. You will find more info at the end of this post.
  • install the Samsung USB Drivers on your computer. If you already have them installed, then you can skip this step.
  • in order to root your phone, you will need to use the ODIN and the phone’s Download Mode. Odin can be found in the tutorial, while the Download Mode can be accessed like this.
  • enable USB Debugging from your device’s Developer Options. If this menu is not shown in your phone’s Settings menu, then you will have to tap About Phone and then press 7 times the Build Number section. The Android Developer menu should now be enabled.
  • disable Samsung KIES software before starting to root your device.
  • disable antivirus programs from running on your PC, these types of applications are usually interfering with ODIN and similar other tools.
  • the phone’s battery should have enough power left before discharging completely, as you wouldn’t want for the Sprint Galaxy S4 to power off in the middle of the updating process.
  • using this tutorial and CF Auto Root tool will increase the binary flash counter of your smartphone’s firmware, the warranty will be voided because of this. You can restore warranty only if you decide to flash a stock Sprint / Samsung Android 4.2.2 Firmware over the rooted one.
  • try to backup some of your most important data before starting the root process, this guide shouldn’t remove any data but, it would be best if you would create copies.
  • note that we cannot be blamed in case you brick your phone or, you manage to lose any data files in the process.
  • read all the info listed in this article and start rooting only when you’re sure that you can complete it.
  • if you cannot finish the root, then you can ask for extra help in comments and we will try to offer you viable solution for any problems that you might encounter in the process.

These were all the preparation instructions that you had to go over before starting to root your device.

CF-Auto-Root tool will not install any custom Recoveries, but you can use the GooManager or ROM Manager applications to flash a recovery image. If you have any other questions, post them in our comments section. Don’t skip any actions that are listed below.

How to root Sprint Galaxy S4 L720 on Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean using CF-Auto-Root:

  1. Download the CF-Auto-Root zip for Sprint SGS4 from here.
  2. Extract the contents of this zip and place them all into a single folder on your PC. You will obtain a file named ‘CF-Auto-Root-jfltespr-jfltespr-sphl720’ with the .tar.md5 extension, don’t extract any further than that.
  3. Download Odin 3.07 from here. Save the file on PC and unzip it after the download is complete.
  4. Power off your smartphone now.
  5. Boot the smartphone in Download Mode. After that you can continue to the next step.
  6. Launch ODIN exe on your computer.
  7. Connect your device to your PC via USB cable. Wait for ODIN to display the ‘added!!’ message before getting to the next step.
    > if Odin doesn’t recognize your Sprint Galaxy S4, then you should try to use another USB port or re-install the Samsung USB drivers, a download link is provided in the preparation guide above.
  8. Now, go to Odin, click the PDA button.
  9. Browse your PC for the ‘CF-Auto-Root-jfltespr-jfltespr-sphl720.tar.md5’ and load it. Leave all ODIN default settings unchanged and make sure that the Re-Partition one is not enabled.
  10. Press the START button whenever you’re ready to start the root of your Sprint Galaxy S4. This process shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes to complete.
  11. When all files have been successfully flashed, you will notice that your phone has restarted. Unplug the SGS4 from computer and wait for it to boot into normal mode.
  12. Look in the App drawer and check for the SuperSU app icon. That means that the root has been achieved with success.

NOTE: in case ODIN doesn’t complete the install, it shows the FAIL alert or any other errors, then you have to immediately unplug the Sprint Galaxy S4 from your computer. Remove the phone’s battery, re-insert it after 5 seconds have passed and close ODIN. Next, you have to repeat the entire tutorial once again starting with step 5. This time make sure that you don’t skip any steps that I have listed above.

In case you did manage to root your phone without problems and the home screen of Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean loaded successfully, then you can close this guide as you’ve completed all the required steps.

NOTE2: If ODIN says ‘PASS’ but your smartphone is unable to go past the Samsung boot animation, then you have to boot into stock Recovery mode and ‘factory reset’ the Galaxy S4. This means that you will lose installed apps and other contents stored on your device. This process will force the device to boot with the rooted firmware. Here’s what you need to do:

  • power off the phone completely by removing its battery.
  • re-insert the battery.
  • press and hold Volume Up, Home and Power buttons, all at the same time.
  • release the buttons when the screen flashes and wait for the main Recovery menu to appear.
  • select ‘wipe data/ factory reset’ option and confirm the process.
  • select ‘reboot system now’ and wait several minutes until your device completes the first boot process with the new rooted Jelly Bean ROM.

This tool did not install a custom Recovery image, which is why you might want to install it yourself using GooManager for TWRP Recovery, or ROM manager app for CWM Recovery. If you don’t know how to do that, then you can check the tutorial guide here.

If you have any extra questions, post them below in the comments section.