What is Knox and how to disable it?

What is Knox and how to disable it? Knox is a security system that has been included in Samsung phones since Android 4.3. Its functions have been expanded in recent years. The general idea of ​​Knox is to increase the security of the terminal and, to limit access to certain parts of the smartphone. That's right, that's what KNOX should do for Samsung.

What is more exactly Knox?

Samsung introduced this feature in 2013 and we can find it on all of its Galaxy devices ever since. It is a platform with different applications and services to protect hardware, software and user data thanks to an encrypted container that creates a secure storage and execution space.

It was designed primarily for the professional sector, with the aim of promoting the so-called BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) by providing tools that eliminate risks, such as spying on confidential data or for industrial espionage.

Knox also checks the security status of the device. It is responsible for the termination of the warranty, if unofficial software is installed (via Odin, for example) on Galaxy devices. In recent years this protection against software that Samsung does not install on our devices is protected by an e-fuse. Let's talk about the e-fuse and the warranty in the next section.

In addition to software control, we have other services associated with Knox such as Secure Folder. As of June 2017, there was another similar service called My Knox, but Samsung forced users to migrate to the new service. With Secure Folder we can have applications and files encrypted and synchronized in the Samsung cloud. If we install a custom recovery or root it, the device will no longer be able to access the Secure Folder.

Warranty and flash counter

Samsung may refuse to repair our device, even if it is still under warranty, claiming that the damage was caused by an unofficial modification that altered the factory state of the terminal. As stated by Chainfire in 2013, this is a big loss for the user as the manufacturer asks him to only use his software on the device. In this regard we have written an article, Do I lose my warranty if I root Android?

The guarantee is lost when the famous “installation counter” starts from scratch. The normal warranty status is: “WARRANTY VOID: 0 (0x0000)”. To see the status of the counter we just have to enter the download mode device.

Since 2013 Samsung Galaxy devices incorporate an eFuse, once the device has been modified with unofficial software (root, custom recovery, custom rom also official firmware via Odin), Knox blows the fuse and the flash counter rises to 1 (0x1) . So there is no going back and you lose your warranty immediately.

In the first models that incorporated KNOX (Galaxy S3 for example) the flash counter was a piece of software and not hardware. So there was the possibility to reset the counter… currently it is impossible.

How to disable or remove Knox (read full article here)

Knox is a collection of attractions in the system and cannot simply be turned off. Removing Knox from the device is dangerous, the device may not restart. To eliminate it we need to access the system files and delete some of its applications. To do this we need to have root permissions on the device, so this procedure would void the warranty.

Many users reported that after removing the list of applications managing the device, Knox was unable to restart. This appears to be due to Knox checking if the system is intact, if it is allowing the system to boot. In this case, the only solution is to install a custom ROM.

How to remove Knox

With root permissions enabled:

  • Installa Root Explorer.
  • Run Root Explorer and in the search function of the magnifying glass, type Knox.
  • Select all files with the name Knox.
  • Remove them and restart the Samsung device.

If these method does not work or you are still not satisfied, the XDA Developers forum provides a file to delete Knox via recovery:

  • Back up all data from the device.
  • Install the following file provided by XDA Developers: KNOX removerV2.1.zip. (Go to the page: XDA-Developers).
  • Delete all files labeled as Knox.
  • Restart.

What do you think of Knox? Do you think a safety or control system?

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