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How to uninstall Knox on Galaxy devices

Authored by: Alejandro Alonso Nieto — 7 months ago

Samsung Knox is a security system that was included in the official update to Android 4.3 on Samsung devices. It's an opt-in affair these days, and is disabled by default on the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge, but some older devices still have Knox installed and activated. Here's how to uninstall Knox from Galaxy devices.

What exactly is Knox?

Samsung launched Knox in September 2013. The purpose of this security system was to bring full protection for devices and make it easier to use devices for both work and play in Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) environments. 

androidpit computer developer 1
The idea behind BYOD is to use the same phone for work and private use. / © ANDROIDPIT

BYOD provides the tools necessary to eliminate the risks of confidential data leaks and combat espionage. Initially, it was launched with the Galaxy Note 3 and the Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 edition, but was later incorporated into other Samsung devices with the update to Android 4.3.

Why is there controversy surrounding Knox?

Applications that run outside of the realm of Knox have limited access to stored data. While many people wouldn’t bat an eyelid at this information, a number of developers would, including the likes of Chainfire, which created the popular TriangleAway app, designed for resetting the flash counter to zero on your device, and SuperSU.

The problem is that the Knox security system prevents access to multiple applications when your root your device, and can cause problems with your warranty because modifications to your phone will trip the flash counter (and prevent it from being reset). 

androidpit knox
Apps found outside of the Knox container have less access to stored data. © Samsung

The reason this is controversial is because Knox works with an eFUSE (autoconfiguration technology), used to keep track when a device has been altered. This means that Samsung can use Knox data to reject requests for user support during the warranty period, because it would deem that the device had been damaged by the user. 

Samsung had already incorporated a counter in the bootloader, which keeps track of the number of times you have modified to the OS. The problem is that, as I mentioned, applications that run outside of the Knox container have limited access to the stored data, and consequently, the apps developed by modding community legends such as Chainfire are negatively affected.

AndroidPIT root apps SuperSU
One of the biggest issues with Knox is that it limits the access that root apps like SuperSU have. / © ANDROIDPIT

How does Knox affect the system?

In reality, and by law, no one can cancel a guarantee because the user has modified an Android OS. The OS is free open source software, so it’s completely legal to modify it. However, Samsung can refuse to repair your device if the damage was caused by an unofficial modification that has altered the factory state of the handset.

That's where the app TriangleAway came into play. If you experienced errors during any unofficial modifications, it allowed you to return your device to factory conditions by installing official firmware, resetting the flash counter to zero and eliminating root access.

This way, you would erase any trace of modifications that Samsung could use as an argument to void your warranty. Unfortunately, TriangleAway has now died a natural death.

The good news is that Samsung relaxed its forced Knox platform on later Galaxy devices and it is now an opt-in feature. You need to go into your device's security settings to enable Knox, even if the deeper requirements are hard-wired into every Galaxy device.

samsung note 5 air command
Newer Galaxy devices come with Knox as an opt-in feature. / © ANDROIDPIT

How to disable Knox

There are several methods for disabling Knox, which will also permit you to use applications such as SuperSU or RootChecker again.

However, you cannot return the flash counter to zero because the "set bit warranty" included in the official Android 4.3 update prevents you from conducting a bootloader downgrade.

The Samsung support page provides the following explanation, which is only valid for devices running Android 4.3, such as the Galaxy S3:

  • Find the Knox app, launch it and tap on Settings.
  • Choose Knox Settings.
  • Select Uninstall Knox.
  • When uninstalling Knox, you will be asked if you want to back up your Knox data. If you say yes, it will be saved in your device’s Knox folder during the uninstall process. To back up this data, select Backup Now, and then OK.
androidpit knox settings
Pressing the soft key to bring up the menu, in which the Knox settings are found.  © Samsung

Note: Personal data, such as photos, music files, contacts and calendar events are copied during de-installation. However, email and application data are not.

  • Enter your Knox password and hit Continue.
  • Choose Next. Your data will be saved before the uninstallation process is complete.
  • Select OK to uninstall Knox.
  • Tap on Menu > My Files > All > Knox. There will be a zip file with all your personal content from Knox. If you have a microSD card, select All > Storage Device > Knox instead.

If the option provided by Samsung doesn’t leave you convinced, you can perform the following steps (which require root access):

  • Install Root Explorer.
  • Run Root Explorer and in the magnifying glass search function, type Knox.
  • Select all files with the name Knox.
  • Remove them and reboot your Samsung device.
Root Explorer Install on Google Play
androidpit knox uninstall
In Root Explorer, simply search for and delete all files associated with Knox. © ANDROIDPIT

If these methods don't work or you still aren’t satisfied, the XDA Developers forum also provides a file to delete Knox via recovery:

  • Perform a backup of all the data from your device.
  • Flash the following file provided by XDA Developers: KNOX removerV2.1.zip. (Go to page: XDA-Developers).
  • Delete all files labeled Knox.
  • Restart.

What are your thoughts on Knox? A positive security solution or an annoyance? Share your views in the comments.

Alejandro Alonso Nieto is editor of the blog and forum moderator. He studied Audiovisual Communication in Madrid and Germany. From the first time he was given a Nintendo, has been passionate about video games and technology, hobby he shares with movies or music. He has worked as content editor for newspapers and television before incorporating to AndroidPIT.

27 comments

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  • Nenad 3 months ago Link to comment

    Hi
    I was able to root Note 4 SM-N910C, currently with version 5.0.1. First I used ROM Toolbox Lite for a back up. Upon this SuperSU did the job withhout any problem. At the end I used Root Cheker Basic just to see if everithing is fine.
    Upon this I seached on play store and I located Hotspot software for adndroid. Nice thing is that can control bandwdith and it can be used with Facebook. You can find the same app at play store with search for starthotspot

  • Rakesh 5 months ago Link to comment

    got bootloop after deleted.

  • I recently bought an S3 like new a few months ago to tide me over til I pay off some devices. I rooted my device last week and KNOX even though not "installed" was giving me message about Towelroot. I deleted and luckily found that I still had root access but I wanted to get rid of any app I didn't want so I looked up how to get rid of and Google brought me here. I didn't use Root Explorer but enabled root access via ES Explorer and it seems to have done the job!

  • an annoyance

  • Hi, I am using a rooted Galaxy J5 running android 5.0.1 and when i went to settings/applications/knox the "disable" option was grey!!! i then proceeded with method #2, using the root explorer and using this method i managed to delete almost all items that contained the term "knox" but a couple. I thought this would be a random error and tried again with no success. i then rebooted my device hoping this would "free up" the items i wanted to delete but my phone got stuck to a boot loop at the point where the samsung icon with all the stupid pink things flying around it appears. my recovery menu was not working and generally my device was kapput. I had to reinstall the whole (updated to 5.1.1) firmware to manage and reboot my device. When i go to the official samsung/knox page the first thing they suggest in order to remove knox is that we should go to the app settings and disable knox from there. are they trolling everyone twice? first by forcing us to have an extra and useless process tree on our expensive devices and second by giving totally wrong or incomplete instructions on how to remove that process bundle? also, in case some samsung employee is reading this, could they please bring back the letter ribbon on the side of the contacts list in the phone app and also allow apps to write in the external sd? i thought technology is moving (or trying to move) forward. i have been using a rooted note 3 with android 4.2 and after that i got my J5 with lollipop. i was intrigued by how much less customizable and unfriendly the UI is. and again: unable to write to external SD? get out of here!!!

    • P.S. It is also impossible for me to find the knox app on my phone. The process does exist but i just wish i could launch the app and enter that password (dont even know how to obtain one) 20 times..

  • I am not able to find Knox setting in setting menu!!

  • Samsung Galaxy s5 can I remove it from my phone

  • Junaid Q. 7 months ago Link to comment

    Thanks for this trick
    really helped a lot

  • storm 7 months ago Link to comment

    Knox is a disaster and highly user unfriendly.

  • Mark G. Jun 22, 2015 Link to comment

    I guess if I'm not bothered about rooting my S5 that I should ignore the above article?

    I haven't noticed any difficulties with Knox.

  • joby May 14, 2015 Link to comment

    Best and easy way to disable knox is to use free Package Disabler app no root
    Search Package Disabler in google play

  • I just kept entering a bad password, and it eventually uninstalled itself. Since I really hadn't used it, I didn't have anything to lose.

  • I found the easiest way to uninstal knox is to enter the wrong password 20 times it then uninstal itself

  • So, I rooted my Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 edition a couple weeks ago, but now I see that Samsung is providing an OTA update to Android 4.4 and I would like to upgrade. But I can't, because apparently I have a "custom" load. I tried using Triangle Away and it claimed success, but I still get a message about not being able to update and apparently it is because of the "Knox" bit. Is it actually physically impossible to clear on the Note 10.4 2014? Because all I want to do is have the latest Samsung official software as well as root, and if I goof up my warranty because I do something dumb that's my own fault.

    Why does that have to be so hard?

    By the way I have tried uninstalling Knox with SystemPanel but apparently I can't force it to have root permissions and unless it asks for it I can't give it to it? If I got another app to successfully uninstall Knox would THAT clear the Knox bit?

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