How to Root the Samsung Galaxy Tab A

Update: this guide is old. I take absolutely no responsibility should it no longer work properly. You can use use Samsung Kies to recover the original firmware or re-flash through odin should any issues arise, but even that is in no way a guarantee that you can ‘unbrick’ your device.

This step by step guide will take you all of the way from start to finish through the process of “rooting” your Samsung Galaxy Tab A tablet.

There are all kinds of reasons you may want to root your Samsung Galaxy Tab A
– whatever yours may be, this is the tutorial for you! :)

What you’ll need:

  • A Windows PC running Vista, Windows 7, 8.x or 10. Note to Mac users: If you’re going to try this in a virtual environment, using VirtualBox or Parallels Desktop, it’s probably not going to work. It did not work using VirtualBox running Windows 10. You may have more luck with Parallels.
  • Some free software, all of which can be downloaded via this tutorial
  • Your Tab A and a USB cable
  • About half an hour
    1. Start out by downloading the Samsung Android USB Driver for Windows (link opens in a new window/tab). If you have any problem downloading the file from the previous link, here’s a alternate download.
    2. After the download has completed, open the zip file and run the SAMSUNG_USB_Driver_for_Mobile_Phones.exe driver installation package.
    3. The installation might seem like it ‘stalls’ – don’t worry, just give it a few minutes. Click Finish when you’re done.
    4. Now download Odin3 – a small program that’s used to root your Tab A. This tutorial uses version 3.10.6. There has since been a newer release (3.10.7) – we still suggest you use 3.10.6 since we know for certain it works. If the previous link doesn’t work, here’s a direct download for Odin3 v3.10.6.
    5. Now grab your Galaxy Tab A and tap the Settings button.
    6. android settings button

    7. Locate and select About device
    8. Now scroll to the Model number section and make note of yours. Based on your model, you’ll need to download one of two files.
    9. If you have the SM-T550, the SM-P550 or the SM-P555 – download this file. If you have the SM-T350, the SM-P550 or the SM-P555, download this file. Save the file in your Downloads folder. Note: many thanks to ashyx for creating these files!
    10. Now extract the contents of the Odin3 v3.10.6.zip file, and then open the (just created) Odin3 v3.10.6 folder.
    11. Run the Odin3 v3.10.6 app.
    12. Welcome to Odin3! Select the Options tab and then make sure there are ‘check marks’ in the boxes labelled Auto Reboot and F. Reset Time. Make sure there are no check marks in all of the other boxes/options. Then click the AP button.
    13. Navigate to the .tar file that you downloaded back in Step #8 (above). Select it by clicking on it once, and then click the Open button.
    14. Grab your Galaxy Tab A again and power it completely off.
    15. At this point we’re going to boot (start up) your tablet into Download Mode. Press and hold the Volume Down, Home, and Power buttons at the same time.
    16. You’ll know you’ve successfully booted into Download Mode when a blue screen with a large Warning message is displayed. Tap the Volume UP button to continue.

    17. click to enlarge

    18. Once again, grab your Tab A and this time use your USB cable and plug it into your Windows PC/laptop.
    19. Back in Odin3, click the Start button.

    20. In the left column of Odin3, you’ll see a bunch of text appear.
    21. At some point your Tab A is going to reboot. When it comes back up, don’t be at all surprised if there’s (unintelligible) text on the screen etc.
    22. Eventually (doesn’t take that long) Odin3 will display a large green PASS! notification (see screenshot below).
    23. Congratulations, your Galaxy Tab A has now been rooted!
    24. To completely confirm everything went successfully, download and install Root Checker from the Google Play Store (it’s a free App).
    25. Launch it from your Tab A and click the “Green Circle” button in the bottom right corner of the App.
    26. Tap the Grant button to check to see if your Tab A was rooted correctly.
    27. Close the Ad that probably appeared right after you tapped Grant, and in the upper-left corner of the Root Checker App, confirm that the Status is Rooted.
    28. You’re all done!

    69 thoughts on “How to Root the Samsung Galaxy Tab A”

      1. Yea, not sure… Took a risk and used the 350 ones… I’m currently in the rooting process and it’s taking a lot longer than the tutorial prescribed so I think that was a bad idea.

    1. Tested On T550 SAMSUNG GALAXY TAB A , AND EVERYTHING worked fine
      thank you :-)
      Greeting from lebanon

    2. It doesn’t work, I click start and nothing happens… The .tar shows as if it was a zip file and not with the 7z as yours. Help?

      1. Alexandra Blackmoon

        I’m probably too late, but, Slowly re-read the instructions. You unzip a zip file with odin in it. You donwload a tar file, but you use odin to flash it to the device.

        No worries, hacking androids is confusing the first time. haha.

    3. I can confirm that this is working on a Mac Book Pro using Parallels and Windows 8.1
      Thanks for the great article!

    4. Idries Eagle-Masuak

      Worked perfectly. It completed the Root process in around 10-15 minutes (Including Download & Run Time)

    5. Robert Whiteside

      my tab a went through process successfully but is stuck at the samsung logo. Samsung sm t350.

    6. Tommy Donaldson

      I done it, it seemed to work, but it appears my tablet has been stuck on the SAMSUNG logo for nearly an hour now. Can anyone help?

      1. Alexandra Blackmoon

        You’ve soft bricked your tablet. I did this myself by following these instructions. This article was written way before samsung released the marshmallow update for this tablet. It probably works on lollipop, but I didn’t check. I don’t like being rooted on old versions of stock roms and having OTA update nags, when the update wont work after being rooted….

        I personally ran this script on marshmallow. That was foolish of me, oh well!

        Even if you ran it on lollipop, sometimes these sorts of firmware flashes can make the device not boot without a factory reset and/or cache reformat.

        Anyway, is your tablet still broken? I’m guessing you already found an answer. If not, well, your data is gone forever at this point, but theres no reason to erase your SD card.

        bam: Charge your tablet. Hold power button + volume down + home to force restart the tablet. As soon as screen goes blank, switch to holding power button + volume up + home, to go into recovery. Use the menu to factory reset/erase all data. Use the menu to reformat/erase cache. It might work at this point, but if you ran the root script on marshmallow, it wont.

        …………

        Hold power button + volume down + home button until it force restarts, keep holding until it goes into odin mode. Volume up for Yes, and flash the stock rom as “AP” or “PDA” depending on what version of odin you have. It’ll take what seems like forever. When you restart, it’ll look like it’s frozen on the SAMSUNG logo for a bit…..if it still appears frozen after 5 minutes, it’s still bricked. At that point, go into recovery and factory reset and erase cache again…..theres no reason it should not work after this. it will run through the setup menu it went through when it was brand new.

        1. And what happens if it ends up staying on the Samsung logo the same length or even longer? Even after redoing the whole process?

        2. Hello Alexandra,

          I am stuck in the same, i tried resetting, cache delete, everything but nothing seems to work. same samsung logo. When you say flash the stock ROM. u mean the whole firmware? where did you get the firmware?

    7. Well currently their is no way to fix this, I had the same problem and had to replace my device. Don’t always trust these sites or files promising root. You could try flashing and restoring stock but if that fails you may need to send your device for repair or get a replacement.

      1. Last night I set my Tab A back to stock and used this process to root it. It worked. I’m not sure which step you’re having problems with, but this method does still work…

        1. I have tried twice with two new Samsung Galaxy Tab A SM-T350 models it looked like it worked but then it got stuck both times on endless boot mode on the Samsung logo. I cleared cache and did a factory reset but that didn’t work and I don’t know any other ways to fix this.

        2. Hey Dan –

          Did you use the exact same version of the software in each step? I’m wondering if a newer version of one of the pieces actually broke something. Seems a bit unlikely but I suppose it should be ruled out…

        3. I used the latest version of Odin as shown in this tutorial. I enabled USB debugging and downloaded the Samsung drivers on on my Windows 8 PC. Then I downloaded Odin the latest version. I got the right tar file. I connected my Tab A and PC via a USB cord and after everything was set I put my device in boot loader mode and hit start but after it said it would restart in 10 seconds after installing the the custom rom it restarted in an endless boot mode getting stuck on a flashing Samsung logo.

        4. I just followed the above procedure and my Galaxy Tab A is also stuck at the flashing Samsung Logo after the reboot.

        5. yes. I used a different firmware file and using the procedure was able to get my Samsung Tab A functional again.

        6. I just fixed my device by downloading the right and newest tar file for my SM-T350 version.

        7. Dan, can you help me find the “right” version. This post has basically cost me my Tablet. Can you help?

        8. Look Up the correct tar file and make sure it is the newest version of that tar file. The link for the files here doesn’t work. I will try to find the file I used later if I can.

        9. Erick Santana

          This happened to me too. I did the same as you, and everything is fine!

          Thanks!

        10. What firmware did you use? Can you post a link? I’m new at this and followed Ross’ advice right into a useless Tablet.

    8. My tab SM T285 is not on the list, can this model stil, be rooted if i use the other model as my reference???

      Pls need help .. i relly need to root my device …. thaanks

    9. I’m stuck on my tablet saying “Downloading” and “Do not turn off the target.”
      What does htis mean?

    10. Hello Guys, After this method my samsung is bricked :( the samsung logo screen infinitely. Any help please?

    11. Ronda Peterkin Oglesby

      DO NOT do this. Now my tablet is stuck on the samsung screen and won’t load,

      1. Ethan Hemingway

        Use samsung kies to recover the original firmware (All data will be lost if no google account is linked) or find the recovery your self and re-flash through odin

    12. Ethan Hemingway

      People who do this please enable OEM unlock otherwise bootloops will occur and the only way restoring is using samsung kies or find your tablets original recovery and re-flash that.
      To OEM Unlock go to settings -> about device and find where build number is keep tapping until it says you are now a developer!
      IF IT DOES NOT SAY OEM UNLOCK DO NOT DO IT!

      1. There’s no option to unlock oem in developer options on either of my Samsung Galaxy Tab A’s, I have the Samsung Galaxy Tab A SM-T350 8.0 & the Samsung Galaxy Tab A SM-T550 9.7 & both are running Android Nougat 7.1.1 & the oem unlock option is not on either of them.

        1. Ethan Hemingway

          Mine doesn’t have it either so I can’t root mine :/ I think when my tablet had it it was on android lollipop so if you downgrade it may be there

    13. What version of Android is this guide for ?!
      I didn’t see this specified anywhere ?!

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