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How to Unroot the Samsung Galaxy S8 and the Galaxy S8+

If you have root access and/or a custom recovery installed on the Galaxy S8, you need to follow this guide and unroot so you can accept an OTA update.

I talk about a number of different system modifications here on Android Explained and these generally all you do to more things with the phone than you’re allowed to. However, this comes with a sacrifice since you’re no longer allowed to accept official OTA updates because we modified the system partition. Some don’t mind this since they don’t like OTA updates anyway, and there are others who will manually sideload an update anyway.

Still, there are a lot of people who like to stay up to date with the software so their Galaxy S8 is secure and they have the latest features. So if you have modified the system partition in the past with root from SuperSU or Magisk, or have installed a custom recovery like TWRP, you will need to unroot the Galaxy S8 before you can accept that OTA update. The process is simple and it only takes a few minutes once you have all the stuff downloaded ahead of time.

Note – This will wipe all of the data from your phone so backup as much of it as possible before you proceed here.

Galaxy S8 Unroot

  1. Install Samsung’s USB drivers by installing Smart Switch
  2. Download v3.12.3 of Odin and extract the contents to the PC
  3. Download the Galaxy S8 firmware for your specific model
  4. Extract those files from the firmware ZIP file to the PC
  5. Boot the Galaxy S8 into Download Mode
  6. Connect the Galaxy S8 to the PC with a USB cable
  7. Open the Odin EXE file on the PC
  8. Click the AP button
  9. Browse to and select the AP_* .TAR.MD5 file
  10. Wait until Odin loads the file into memory
  11. Click the Start button at the bottom of Odin
  12. Wait until Odin is finished and the Galaxy S8 reboots by itself
  13. Disconnect the USB cable from the Galaxy S8
  14. Then setup Android when it finishes the boot cycle

Explanation

If you have followed my previous guide on how to return the Galaxy S8 to stock then this will feel very familiar. We’re doing the same thing here and that is just telling Odin to flash the original software onto the Galaxy S8. This flashes the original image file for things like the recovery, system, boot and userdata partitions and it’s these that get modified when we install various modifications like SuperSU, Magisk and the TWRP custom recovery.

It’s these partitions that get checked when you try to install an OTA update that has been sent from Samsung. If these partitions are modified then the OTA update fails and you’ll be sent back to Android’s lock screen. So we need to unroot the Galaxy S8 so that we can accept these OTA updates again. To start, you’re going to need to download and setup Smart Switch, Odin and have a version of Samsung’s firmware that matches your exact device (model, country, carrier, etc.).

If you don’t get the Added! message, then the PC does not recognize the Galaxy S8 properly due to USB driver issues.

Once you’re done with Steps 1 through 4, go ahead and boot the Galaxy S8 into Download Mode so that we can begin the process. After you have bypassed the warning screen, you can then connect the Galaxy S8 to the PC with a USB cable. From here, we need to open Odin and then click the AP button. This is where we browse to where we extracted the firmware files and then we want to select the biggest file that we extracted (which should start with the AP_ filename).

It will take a minute or two to load the file into Odin and during this time it will seem as if Odin is frozen. The amount of time it takes to load will depend on how fast your PC is. Once it has been loaded and Odin responds to you, go ahead and click the Start button and wait for the stock images to be transferred and installed onto your Galaxy S8 or Galaxy S8+. This process also takes a few minutes so be patient and wait for the phone to reboot on its own.

The first boot cycle will take some time as well since Android has to set everything back up again. But you’ll be taken directly to the Android activation screen and can proceed to set everything up. You’ll then be able to accept that OTA update the next time you see the notification appear.


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