AT&T Galaxy S5 Active updated to Android 4.4.4 (OA1), root can easily achieved afterwards

The AT&T Samsung Galaxy S5 Active finally receive a new update after almost half a year stuck on Android 4.4.2 KitKat (NG3), but it isn’t Android 5.0 as you might anticipate, but only an Android 4.4.4 with G870AUCU1AOA1 software version. This smartphone will most likely not get Lollipop updates in the near future, not before the regular AT&T Galaxy S5 get it first.


Among the not so good news, it turns out that you can still regain root after Android 4.4.4 (OA1) update for Galaxy S5 Active. This is because we are still able to revert the kernel to the stock NE4 which can easily exploited by towelroot. Thanks to muniz_ri from xda who have found this method.

UPDATE!! Lollipop OTA (OC5) has been rolled out, root likely possible thru Flashfire (Mobile Odin).

The OA1 update doesn’t deliver significant changes, most are common improvements and bug fixes that are already on the Android 4.4.4 KitKat. However, although only bring minimal improvements, but this update is important for those who want their phones to run on more secure environment as the OA1 update also patched the well-known vulnerability.

galaxy s5 active android 4.4.4 root

Image: Samsung

As we have explained previously, to regain root on the AT&T Galaxy S5 Active soon after Android 4.4.4 update, you need to swap the OA1 kernel to NE4 first.
For those who’ve never done it before, here we summarize the method:

  1. Ensure the phone running the fully stock firmware and there’s no modified or removed systems files. In case the OTA fails, the last hope is to fully restore to stock firmware NE4.
  2. Now take the OA1 software update via OTA.
  3. Download the Towelroot v3 app, NE4 kernel and Odin flash tool.
  4. Shut down the phone and boot into download mode.
  5. Run the Odin, choose PDA/AP button and point to where you save the NE4 kernel.
  6. Connect the phone to the computer and hit the Start button.
  7. Once done, reboot and obtain root with towelroot. It might not work on the first attempt.
  8. Once rooted, now replace the NE4 kernel to stock OA1 kernel with Odin (repeat from step 4 to 6).
  9. Install SuperSU app and let the app setup root for the first time.


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8 Responses

  1. Chris
    February 12, 2015 at 8:53 PMReply

    How do i do step 8?

    • Author

      Robbie S.
      February 13, 2015 at 4:57 AMReply

      Re-flash the OA1 (Android 4.4.4) kernel to the phone via Odin.

      • blaine
        February 17, 2015 at 5:07 AMReply

        Where do you get the stock 0A1 kernel from though… sorry I am a little confused because the instructions don’t have you download the 0A1 kernel like you do NE4

  2. droid newb
    February 26, 2015 at 5:57 AMReply

    Does this method only work for the S5 active or will it work on a regular S5?

  3. Scott
    February 26, 2015 at 6:32 AMReply

    I found it here: https_://

  4. Jordan
    March 17, 2015 at 1:15 PMReply

    Will this make it to where I will not receive future updates? (Break ota?)

  5. nathan
    April 22, 2015 at 5:28 PMReply

    do i download NE4 kernal to my phone or PC

    • Author

      Robbie S.
      April 22, 2015 at 9:38 PMReply

      Since it need to be flashed via Odin, you should save it on computer drive.

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