What is Knox and how to disable it? Knox is a security system that has been included in Samsung phones since Android version 4.3. In recent years its functions have been expanded. The general idea of Knox is to increase the security of the terminal and to restrict access to certain parts of the smartphone. That’s right, this is what KNOX should do for Samsung.
What is Knox more exactly?
Samsung introduced this feature in 2013 and since then we can find it on all its Galaxy devices. 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. He is responsible for the termination of the guarantee if an 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 following section.
In addition to software control, we have other services associated with Knox as a Secure Folder. Until 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 run the root, the device will no longer be able to access 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 change that altered the factory status of the terminal. As Chainfire stated in 2013, this is a great loss for the user as the manufacturer asks him to use only his software on the device.
The guarantee is lost when the famous “installation counter” starts from zero. The normal status with a warranty is: “WARRANTY VOID: 0 (0x0000)”. To see the status of the counter we only need to enter the download mode of the device.
Since 2013, Samsung Galaxy devices incorporate an eFuse, once the device has been modified with an unofficial software (root, custom recovery, custom ROM also official firmware via Odino), Knox burns the fuse and the flash counter rises to 1 (0x1). So there is no way to go back and immediately lose the warranty.
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’s impossible.
How to disable or remove Knox (read the full article here)
Knox is a collection of attractions of the system and cannot be simply deactivated. Removing Knox from the device is dangerous, the device may not restart. To delete it we need to access 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 have reported that after removing the list of applications that manage the device, Knox was unable to restart. This seems to be due to the fact that Knox checks if the system is intact if it allows the system to boot. In this case, the only solution is to install a custom ROM.
How to remove Knox
With root permissions enabled:
- Install 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 this method does not work or you are not satisfied yet, the XDA Developers forum provides a file to eliminate Knox through 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.
What do you think of Knox? Do you think its a security or control system?