Install CWM Recovery and Root Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini [i8190/N/L] [How to Guide]


After Samsung’s success with its flagship device Samsung Galaxy S3 in 2012, Samsung announced the mini version of the phone for its fans who could not afford the Galaxy S3 itself. The Galaxy S3 Mini caught the user’s eye having a 4.0 inch Super AMOLED screen, 1GHz Dual core processor, 5 MP camera at the back and a VGA camera at the front. The device comes with 8 and 16 GB of the internal memory while it has a RAM of 1 GB, out of the box, the device runs on Android Jelly Bean 4.1.1. Being mini in size and hosting a lot of features, the device was well received by the users and the developers as well.


Although having already said that it’s a smaller version of Samsung Galaxy S3, but it still is a great device to play with beyond the boundaries of the operating system. Many of the Galaxy S3 mini owners might be looking up for modifying their device in different ways, this may include flashing a custom recovery, flashing custom roms, flashing mods to enhance the use of their device by installing different features, and playing with the clock speed of the device. While all this is only possible after having root access, so following the need, we will today learn how we can install a custom recovery that is ClockworkMod and root the Galaxy S3 Mini i8189, i8190N and i8190L.

***Please keep in mind that as soon as you install custom recovery or root your device, you may void the warranty. As the methods involved in rooting/flashing/modifying your device are highly custom, and these have nothing to do with the manufacturer, that is Samsung in our case, so make sure that whatever you do, you are doing at your own risk. Follow the instructions explained below to the letter, in case you didn’t you may end up bricking your device and we may not be held responsible in that case.***

Before we begin, here are some pre requisites that you must have:

      • Make sure that your phone’s battery is charged over at least 60%.
      • Use the original data cable for establishing the connection between your PC and Mobile phone.
      • Use this method only on Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini i8190 or i8190N or i8190L not on any other device.
      • Make sure that you back up all of your important ContactsCall Logs & Messages. Although rooting your device does not delete any files, but this is highly recommended as it may become helpful in case of any mishap or data loss.

Things you need to download / install:

      1. Download Odin3 PC and extract it. – Get it Here.
      2. Download and install Samsung USB Drivers – Get Here.
      3. Download and extract CWM Recovery – Get it HERE.
      4. Download the Root file – Get it HERE.

Here’s how to install ClockworkMod recovery on your Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini:

      1. Open Odin3.
      2. Put your phone in download mode. To do so, press and hold Volume Down + Home Button + Power key simultaneously and your phone should reboot showing you a warning, press Volume Up to
      3. Connect your phone to your PC.
      4. As soon as your device is detected by your PC, the ID:COM box should turn blue in the top left corner in Odin3.
      5. Hit the PDA tab now and select the extracted CWM recovery file here.
      6. Make sure that the options selected in your Odin are only F.Reset Time and Auto Reboot, and is exactly as shown below in the pic.odin_explained
      7. Hit Start, this should take a few seconds to install the CWM recovery in your phone, as soon as your device restarts, plug out the USB cable.
      8. Congrats! You’ve successfully installed the CWM recovery on your device now. To boot into recovery mode, press and hold Volume Up + Home Button + Power Key simultaneously and your device should now reboot into recovery mode.

Here’s how you can root your Galaxy S3 Mini.

      1. Place the downloaded file on your device’s storage.
      2. Boot into recovery mode on your device now. To do so, press and hold Volume Up + Home Button + Power Key simultaneously and your device should now reboot into recovery mode.
      3. Now select ”choose zip from sd card”.
      4. Now choose the directory here, where you placed the file. Whether it is external sd card or internal sd card you can navigate to the file here. To move between the options in cwm recovery, you may use Volume Up ad Volume Down key, while to make a selection you may press Home Button or Power Key.
      5. After you’ve navigated to the file, select it and press yes.
      6. It should take a few seconds to flash the file, after the flashing process gets completed, reboot your device.
      7. Phewww! You’ve successfully rooted your Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini now. Find the SuperSu app in your app drawer 😀

Now wondering what to do with your rooted phone? 

Here’s the answer for you!

Rooting your phone gives you complete access over all the data which is apparently locked by the manufacturers. This includes removal of the factory restrictions and making changes to the internal system and the operating system. Gaining the root access gives you the privileges to install various applications to enhance the performance of your device, allows you to remove the built-in applications/programs, helps you to upgrade the battery life of your device & install the apps which require the root access for the proper functionality and modify your device in so many other ways e.g using mods and custom roms.

How to keep Root after OTA Updates

The OTA updates rolled out by the manufacturers wipe the root access on your phone. In case you don’t know how you can restore the root access after OTA update, you’ll have to root your phone once again, but there is no need to do it as you can restore it using the OTA Rootkeeper App which is available in the Google Play Store. The app creates backup of your root and simply restores it after any OTA update.

Root Credits: Shaan – Xda Recognized Developer

Recovery Credits: Seedrom193 – Xda Senior Member

In case you got any queries, feel free to leave us a comment. We will try our best to help you out.