I have a Chinese Note 3 running Android 4.3. It doesn't have the Play Store which defeats everything that made Samsung dominate the smartphone space. I can't download GMail; I am stuck with a browser that uses Baidu for search; there is no Facebook and Twitter. It could almost be just one big feature phone outside China.

I would like to ask how do I install the Play Store and get the other Google services on the device. I searched the internet and it always tells me to root the device.

Could anyone enlighten me on how does rooting the device be able to get the play store running again?

Could anyone provide the steps in installing it after you rooted the device?

  • Please let me know your Android version?
    – Asif
    Jan 1, 2014 at 9:31
  • @Asif Andorid verion 4.3
    – Mr A
    Jan 8, 2014 at 8:17

2 Answers 2


Upon searching at XDA, few had success in rooting Galaxy Note 3 (Chinese version) SM-N9006 and installing Google PlayStore via CWM. Nobody there has mentioned why root is required to flash CWM via ODIN. My guess is it is required to flash CWM by ODIN. CWM is required to flash GApps.

Please follow the instuctions in this thread at XDA where users have reported success with CWM and PlayStore functionality.

There is another thread which uses a safe method for rooting without disturbing Knox. I would recommend trying it out before following the first link for flashing GApps.

Disclaimer: I do not own this device and any answer provided by me is found from internet search and the rate of success may vary. Please read thoroughly before proceeding to avoid bricking your device.


@Mr A, there is no other way to install google apps without root. It is happen because the system need to install gapps to system folder. You only need to root and flash custom recovery base on your device. After that, you can flash the corresponding gapps to your OS version through custom recovery.

  • This is overly broad and not necessarily true in many cases. Although for the Note 3, it seems to be true.
    – dotVezz
    Jan 1, 2014 at 7:58
  • @dotVezz for which devices is this not true? GApps require root to be installed (package installer must be installed as system app, or it cannot be used). GApps come as update.zip to be flashed via recovery, which requires a custom recovery on most devices (signature check). There might be some exceptions to the latter, but not to the former.
    – Izzy
    Jan 1, 2014 at 12:38
  • @Izzy, Hmm... I may be confused, but I was pretty sure that in cases where a custom recovery can be installed via fastboot, odin, etc, root is not necessary. I'll have to test my theory now. UPDATE: Yeah, I can install gapps without root on my Nexus 5, and I'm fairly sure that I've done the same on various other devices with recoveries flashed over fastboot and odin.
    – dotVezz
    Jan 1, 2014 at 17:02
  • @dotVezz I didn't work with fastboot yet, but I imagine it works with adb sideload or the like? Maybe you could make this a full-fledged answer – either here, or (to make it easier to find) to our central How can I install the Google Apps Package (Play Store, …) on my Android device?
    – Izzy
    Jan 6, 2014 at 11:22
  • @Izzy: I'll probably just add the fastboot details to the wiki answer as it's not really enough extra information to justify a full-fledged answer. Basically just involves running fastboot flash recovery TWRP.zip, then installing the gapps in recovery mode. Still, this means an unlocked bootloader is necessary.
    – dotVezz
    Jan 6, 2014 at 13:45

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