Root Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini and Install CWM Recovery [How To]

For those who can’t afford Samsung Galaxy S3, an affordable version of Galaxy S3 was released, i.e. Samsung Galaxy S3 mini. Though, it’s small in size but it possess great features like 4.0-inch capacitive touchscreen display, 1 GHz dual-core processor, 5 MP camera, 1 GB RAM and running on Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean.

As it’s a smaller version of Samsung Galaxy S3, it gained too much popularity in mobile market as well as attracted towards developers. Most of the developers started developing methods to root Galaxy S3 mini, but it works on some version only. At last, after a long time, mskip from XDA developers released his tool kit to root Galaxy S3 mini with lots of functions. The main advantage of this tool kit is that, it can root any version of Samsung Galaxy S3 mini namely GT-I8190 (internation GSM), GT-I8190N (international GSM model with NFC) and GT-8190L (Latin/USA GSM model).

Functions of Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini Toolkit

  • Install drivers automatically
  • Backup/Restore a single package or all apps and user data
  • Backup your /data/media to your PC for a full safe backup of data
  • Perform a full NANDROID Backup of your system.
  • Install BusyBox binary on phone
  • Root with Superuser (ChainsDD) or SuperSU (Chainfire) via CWM
  • Install any zip file via Sideload feature in Recovery
  • Flash CWM Touch Recovery or TWRP Recovery
  • Help, Information Screen for various tasks
  • And much more…

Without wasting time, let’s move towards the main topic. In this article, I will guide you on root Galaxy S3 mini and install CWM Recovery. But, before that please read the disclaimer and prerequisite for your safety only.

For simplicity, I have divided this post in two parts. In first part, I will explain “How to install CWM Recovery on Galaxy S3 Mini” and in other part, I will guide you on “How to root Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini”. So, let’s start our journey!

Read: Benefits of Rooting Your Android Device


  • Make sure your mobile should possess 70 to 80% battery
  • Make sure that you have enabled USB debugging (All apps > Settings > Manage Applications > Development > USB Debugging – check box)
  • Ensure you have backed up your important data.
  • Install USB drivers on your PC (Download USB Drivers or Download Samsung Kies (Drivers Included)).

How to install CWM Recovery on Galaxy S3 Mini

Step 1: Download Rooting Kit to root Galaxy S3 mini and install it on your PC.
Step 2: Connect your phone on computer via USB cable. (Don’t switch it off)
Step 3: Open “Toolkit.exe”. As you open it will ask for the update then type “no” and press “Enter”.
Step 4: Now, you have to check the phone model’s number and OS version to proceed further. As per your model, select the on-screen option.
Step 5: Many options will be displayed, from there press “2” to root/unroot options.
Step 6: Now, rooting options are displayed in front of you, press “4” to select “Flash Custom Recovery + Install Root via Recovery”.
Step 7: As you select, rooting process will start and there will be some on-screen instruction to follow. Follow the guidelines and Custom Recovery will be installed on your device.
Step 8: Stop the process after the Odin step is completed by you.

Till here, CWM Recovery will be installed on Galaxy S3 mini. Now, we have to root Galaxy S3 min, for that just follows below few steps.

How to root Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini

Step 9: Download “Root Package” and place it into external SD card.
Step 10: Switch off your device and boot into CWM recovery mode by pressing and holding “Volume Up + Home Button + Power Button” for few seconds.
Step 11: From there, select “install zip from sd card” and give a path to root package, which you have downloaded earlier.
Step 12: After a few seconds, process will be completed and choose “reboot now”.

That’s it! You have successfully rooted your Galaxy S3 mini as well as installed CWM Recovery on it. I know this is quite difficult guide to root Galaxy S3 mini and install CWM Recovery, so in case if you face any problem then share with us, we will solve it ASAP! Happy Rooting. :D

  • Louwtjie

    Hi, thanx for the great how to! I’m having trouble with step 10: booting into CWM recovery mode. When i press the volume, home and power, my phone only takes a screenshot(home and power), and then goes of if i keep holding it in? I’m not sure how to confirm CWM was installed? I followed all the step and everything seemed fine.

    • androidking

      after step 8 leave toolkit open and then after step 9 go back to toolkit and type 2 and then press enter and it will boot into recovery mode

  • Louwtjie

    how silly… the phone had to be off.

  • mox

    im afraid that my phone might be broken.. what if my phone got destroyed can i still fix this>

    • Poonjab

      Hey mox – one of the things you can do is use a usb jig (you can try to build one for yourself or get it off ebay) – this will recover from what seems like a hard bricked state – if this doesn’t work your phone should still be under warranty…

  • Quest

    Hello, i hope i will get answer fast, i buy phone before 2 days so i dont have external SD card but my phone memory is 8gb, so i tought i dont need it right now. So, how can i root it if i dont have external SD card? Please answer me fast and sorry for my English.

    • Poonjab

      Quest – you can’t

  • sul

    Hi, used the above method, now google play store is missing? Help? Please?

  • nick

    I cannot transfer the root package in the sd card. Should I do it anyway?

  • Warren

    I was confused at step #8, because I did not know what file to load onto ODIN, so I’ve searched for any “clockworkmod”.tar file inside the “Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini ToolKit” folder, and I found “Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini ToolKit/recovery/recovery-cwmtouch-″ and loaded it up onto PDA option… ( I did all this because I thought I needed to install CWM on my device)

    After that, it said my device passed and rebooted my phone…

  • Austinrjm

    I copied the root zip file to SD card, and followed instructions, but it wont unzip as it does not have a certificate or something.

  • Austinrjm

    I can place the “Root Package”,, on to my SD card, but when I enter the special menu to unzip/install, it will not do it because of file permissions, how can I get, to install on my SD card?

  • Tom

    I’m at step 7 – following the on screen instructions, but now it’s saying “waiting for USB debugging to be enabled” when it already is. Any ideas??

    • Luciano

      I am facing the same problem. Did you manage it ?

  • Carl

    Will my apps stay after this and nothing will be erased?

  • Nats

    Followed all the steps in the tutorial, and I’m amazed how quick and easy it was. Now enjoying my S3 Mini in its rooted state. I think its working faster and more efficiently. Thanks for the great help!

  • Andrika

    Can you do the how to for 4.1.2 version? Thanks

  • Rayeez

    Please explain step 4!
    What you mean by phone model’s no.?
    I think it’s not 8190! :(

  • emmanuel

    hi…im using samsung galaxy s3mini…i wanted to make my phone run faster and i did some settings on it,and now my phone has turned into a china phone,that is from samsung to mediatek…can someone please help me>>>

  • yoan

    i have trouble at step 3. do i have to open it on my computer or on my mobile?

  • chinhui

    signature verification failed…..

  • frank327

    u are the best… thank u ;)

  • kizashi

    why my s3 mini (I8190XXAMA2) not in download mode when toolkit start rebooting device into dwonload mode..? then odin not detect ID:COM?
    hellp me pls..

  • emmanuel

    heyy thanks very much it really work!!! awesome if u guys need help check me on fb:Emmanuel mota i will tell u what to do if u dont understand .. bye thankz alot

  • sebastien levesque

    Hi ! my S3 is rooted. It’s from Rogers Canada, I747. I want to change the ROM for this one : … But, when i’m going in recovery mod, I don’t have the option or even, the line : install zip from sd card. So is it possible to fix this please ? Thanks for your help !

  • salman

    after selecting model no it starts loading something from the net and is stuck at 0%

  • jahn hauser

    I installed the toolkit, can I use toolkit?
    Thanks very much for your feedback.

  • syed salman ahmed

    working perfectly..the download thing was stuck because of slow net speed…my s3 mini is now rooted !

  • Kaido

    I have s3 mini International gsm model with NFC GT-I890N build JZO54K.I8190NXXAMG1 which is not listed in S3 mini toolkit. Can I choose any other build instead?
    Thank You!

  • billykaw

    I flash custom recovery but after reboot It goes back to android rec overy…I tried pulling battery at reboot but no help….plezzz sooo close…….gt-i8190 4.1.1

  • Shuki

    it worked!!! you’re awesome!!!
    thank you! :)

  • saif

    i got struck at step8 it stops on usb enabling when its is already enabled
    help plz were i chose wrong on screen options

  • Samsung Fanboy

    Can’t find the toolkit installation folder

  • dfdx07

    could have been much better with screenshots :|