Simple root for Verizon/AT&T Galaxy S5, Note 3, and more released by geohot!

by: Bogdan PetrovanJune 16, 2014

towelroot geohot

Hacker superstar George Hotz just released a simple root method for most Android devices running an unpatched version of the Linux kernel, including the previously unrooted Galaxy S5 on Verizon and AT&T, as well as the Galaxy Note 3 on the same carriers, Galaxy S4 Active, and more.

Hotz, known by his geohot handle, was responsible for the first iPhone jailbreaking method, as well as for the hacking of the PS3, an antic that got him in legal hot water with Sony.

Now geohot released Towelroot, a simple tool that owners of Verizon and AT&T versions of the Galaxy S5 and Galaxy Note 3 can use to bypass the system’s protections and gain root access.

Towelroot is using a vulnerability recently discovered by hacker Pinky Pie in the Linux kernel, dubbed Linux kernel CVE-2014-3153. Geohot tested Towelroot with the following devices so far:

  • AT&T Galaxy S5
  • Verizon Galaxy S5
  • AT&T Galaxy S4 Active
  • Google Nexus 5
  • AT&T Galaxy Note 3
  • Sprint Galaxy Note 3

However, Geohot claims that the root method should work with most devices out there that have an unpatched kernel, meaning kernel versions that are older than June 3, 2014. The exceptions are new Motorola and HTC devices, which have write protection on /system.

According to people commenting on various online forums, Towelroot works with many devices that were previously locked including devices from Asus, Oppo, Sony, and more.

Towelroot is a one-click rooting tool packaged as an APK. Download it from (click on the lambda symbol), run the APK on your phone (Google will warn you that the app bypasses Android’s defenses – that’s normal), click “make it ra1n”, and away you go.

For more details, check out or this thread on XDA-Developers.

  • Kenny Woodard

    Does “newer HTC devices” include the M7 (AT&T)? Been kinda wanting to try rooting but not hassle with the technical stuff. It’s my daily driver so I can’t play around too much and hard brick it on accident.

    • Corbin Crutch

      Possibly, as long as your firmware doesn’t have the patch for the wheezy linux kernal

  • pauldrew18

    Does this include the LG G2?

    • Jason Jones

      Works on the Verizon G2.

      • John Garlits

        I read on the XDA forum it works with the t-mobile version and should work for all versions. Thinking about doing it later on. Last time I jumped the gun on the kitkat upgrade for my G2 and then was stuck with no ability to root besides the dreaded downgrade-first method, which for some reason I couldn’t get to work anyway. I maybe I just don’t bother and maybe use my JUMP upgrade on a G3.

        • You should be able to root a G2 on KK, I rooted an at&t G2 on 4.4.2 with ease, and I got a custom recovery installed and am flashing ROM’s every other week. Try IOroot, then to install recovery there’s another file you can search for it it will pop up it’s an apk you can install recovery right from phone.

  • MasterMuffin

    And sideloading apps just got even more dangerous. The app could be malicious and gain root access using this method and do all kinds of nasty things!

    • Corbin Crutch

      I can’t tell if you’re joking. The way that this works is that it uses a venerability in Linux kernal to elevate commands for a short period of time to root. My L70 had previously been unrooted and now we have a solution. Not only that, but this guy worked on blackra1n (iOS jailbreak tool) and PS3 CFWs. He is an XDA recognized dev with hundreds downloading his code. Someone would find that.

      • MasterMuffin

        I wasn’t talking about this app, “the app” ment some sideloaded app that could use this same method

        Edit. IT’S KERN*E*L NOT KERNAL. Sorry but I have to correct everytime someone writes it like that. I don’t know where people learned to write it like that >:(

        • Corbin Crutch

          Dude, it’s 5AM where I am, and I didn’t sleep last night. P… Please MasterMuffin? Please?

          • Jayfeather787

            Go to sleep then.

          • MasterMuffin


          • Corbin Crutch

            I can’t. I stayed up for class. I am not known to sleep tiny amounts of time.

          • MasterMuffin

            Glad you changed it, I take this very seriously >:)

          • Corbin Crutch

            As do I. I just messed up

          • Jayfeather787

            Apparently so.

        • Corbin Crutch

          Oooooh. I gotcha…. I gotcha. That would seriously suck

          • Jayfeather787

            Battle with MasterMuffin and it’s over.

          • Corbin Crutch

            I know… I know… Especially with you on his side. OOooooh jeez. First I start a battle with MasterMuffin and Jayfeather787, then I go and delete system apps on my newly rooted phone (without a custom recovery) on accident…. Remind me not to tech and stay up! (I am an idiot. I apologize.)

          • Jayfeather787

            I delete system apps from my phone too! About 20. Perfectly safe. Until your phone explodes.

          • Corbin Crutch

            Sounds about right

    • Kwame Owusu

      You obviously have no idea who Geohot is

      • MasterMuffin

        -__-” Do I really need to quote myself from few comments above yours? “I wasn’t talking about this app, “the app” ment some sideloaded app that could use this same method”

        • Kwame Owusu

          My bad. Using chrome and that comment was first somehow

  • Have anyone tried this app ?

    • Corbin Crutch

      I have. Worked on a previously thought unrootable device. :D

  • mark22

    I have tried it on my galaxy s3 it works great

  • Zohaib

    Will this work for HTC one x

  • Brian L Kuhn

    I have a Verizon galaxy s4 kernel March 2014, should I be okay using this method?

  • Jayfeather787

    One of the great wizards of Android has helped us once again. *Bows*

  • DW Duck

    This worked on my S5 from TMO, no hassle at all

  • bolski

    BTW, you can now unlock the bootloader for the XT926 (RAZR HD/MAXX HD) once rooted with this using the Motopocalypse tools, which were rendered useless after the 9.18 OTA. So, for those with locked XT926 bootloaders, have at it. I unlocked mine last year when I still had the chance and I haven’t regretted it since.

  • Finally rooted my Huawei Ascend G600! Xposed here I come!

  • ineptone

    Just for laughs I tested it on my now ancient ASUS TF201 and it worked without issue. Needless to say, this tool will be used with my S3 next and then as a quicker way to restore root on my Nexus 5, since the process is somewhat tedious with Mac.

  • John Smith

    Will this work on the Verizon Galaxy S3 with its latest verison of Android 4.3 (NC1)?

  • melvin colvin

    Can this unlock the boot loader on the Verizon GS4

  • Daniel Walker

    Question: Will this work on the Verizon Note 3? And do I have to do a factory reset if it does?

  • Brandon Miranda

    Nexus 7 with 4.4.3. Will it work?

  • Perry Kahai, Ph.D.

    Worked like a charm on AT&T SGS4 which was on official Android 4.4.2.

  • andre brown

    it works on verizon note 3 on 4.4.2 i made the mistake of taking ota and had lost root thank the heavens for geohot!

  • TDN

    Unfortunately, does not work on my LG Lucid… I do have a root method, but thought this might be easier.

  • JD


  • ^_^

    Will this set off the Knox counter in samsung devices?

  • j3r3m41

    I actually have the at&t s4 active myself and attempted the towelroot route and it was incompatible with my device. I was doing some research and found that it could be the baseband version.