For those of you who want to get the most out of your Samsung Galaxy Note 5, you will definitely want to root it and install a custom ROM. Rooting method has changed for new phones with latest Android 5.1.1, now all Android phones will require a custom kernel with root enabled. Basically, you can install “auto root” kernels, which will give you root.
We will be using Windows 8.1 in this tutorial but you should be able to follow the same steps using a Mac or Linux if you use VMWare to run Windows on top of it. (You can also try jodin, which is a cross-platform alternative to ODIN.)
Step 1. First, you will need to go into Settings->About device and hit the Build number a bunch of times until it says you have enabled Developer options.
Step 2. Hit the back button once and you will find a new menu called “Developer options”, tap on that.
Step 3. Make sure “OEM Unlock” is ON. If you don’t have this option, you can skip it as some international models don’t have it which means your bootloader is already unlocked.
Step 4. Power off your Note 5 then hold down Volume Down, Center Home, and Power buttons together for about 5 seconds until you see a warning screen like below and let go of all the buttons.
Step 5. Connect a micro-USB cable from your Note 5 to your computer.
Step 6. Download ODIN, auto-root kernel for your model of Note 5, and also Samsung USB drivers:
Download ODIN – Link
Download Auto Root Kernel – Link
Download Samsung Galaxy Note 5 USB drivers – Link
Step 7. First, unzip the ODIN zip file and you should get a folder with a bunch of files in it. Double-click on the EXE file to run ODIN program.
Step 8. You should see a blue-highlighted box on the top left of ODIN program. If you don’t see this, you probably don’t have the proper Samsung USB drivers installed. Go ahead and double-click on the Samsung USB drivers you downloaded earlier and install the drivers.
If you still don’t see a blue-highlighted box, try using a different USB port and cable like I did in my video tutorial. You should get it to work eventually.
Step 9. Select “AP” then browse and find the auto root kernel file you downloaded earlier and select it, then hit “Start”.
Step 10. When done, you should see “PASS!” and your phone will reboot. If ODIN gets stuck for some reason (it shouldn’t take more than 10 seconds), try using a different USB port/cable and try it again.
Step 11. Once you phone reboot, simply install and run SuperSU from Play Store and you should have full root!
Run SuperSU app, if you don’t get any errors, you are good to go. If it asks you to update the binaries, say yes and also choose “Normal”. If you get stuck more than a minute, just reboot and try it again as it will work the second time.
To verify you have full root, simply install the Titanium Backup app from the Play Store and you should see a Superuser request window pop up like shown below: