On older Samsung Galaxy devices released before 2016, the firmware used to have just one file with .tar.md5 extension. Though Odin3 v3.07 and lower versions had Bootloader, PDA, Phone, and CSC, and Phone fields, we needed to flash single-file firmware by adding it only to the PDA sections only. Later, Samsung split it’s firmware files into four binaries and thus on Odin v3.09 and newer BL, AP, CP, and CSC were introduced. Now, there are 2 types of CSC files in the firmware folder: CSC and HOME CSC. So which CSC binary should you flash in Odin- CSC or HOME CSC? In this article, we’ll try to answer this question.
Just take a look at the side-by-side comparison of Odin3 v3.06 and Odin3 v3.14.1 and you will how Odin and thus Samsung firmware has changed over time.
Thus, the old fields on Odin have changed as showed below:
- Bootloader ⇒ BL
- PDA ⇒ AP
- Phone ⇒ CP
If you are an old Samsung device user, you probably don’t need a tutorial to understand the difference between CSC or HOME CSC. However, these two CSC files inside the firmware folder may cause a lot of confusion to the new user.
What is CSC?
Before we explore the difference between CSC and HOME CSC, let’s find what CSC is. CSC or Country/Carrier Specific Product Code or Consumer Software Customization is an important component of Samsung firmware binaries. It contains essential information such as-
- Carrier branding: A CSC may be country or carrier-specific. Samsung releases the same model of a smartphone to Tab with different CSCs. For instance, if you use an unlocked or unbranded Samsung Galaxy phone in the UK, its CSC would be BTU. However, if your device is locked to a network operator, it could be VOD (Vodafone), TMU (T-Mobile), ORA (Orange), XEU (EE & Three), etc.
- System Languages: These include the availability of the popular languages used in a geographical area. For example, if you own a Samsung phone in Mexico and flash the firmware meant for India with INS as CSC, you won’t be able to set Spanish, Nahuatl or Mixtec as your phone’s system language and keyboard.
- Localizations: Samsung ships its devices with geo-specific or bloat apps relevant to a country or region. Localization also determines the calendar settings and local festivals.
- APN Settings: Access Point Name settings include all configurations to make a mobile device work with the network carriers of a region or country. Without these configurations, you may not be able to enjoy seamless GSM, GPRS, 3G or 4G mobile networks.
- Samsung FUS: CSC also contains key info to help Samsung’s Firmware Update Server to connect to the correct update channel and roll out the proper software update to your Galaxy device via OTA.
CSC and HOME CSC – The Difference
When you extract the Samsung firmware zip file, you’ll find 5 binaries inside it. You can use the Frija Samsung firmware download tool or other sources to download CSC, HOME CSC, BL, AP, and CP files for Odin.
It’s very easy to add the corresponding firmware binaries to respective fields in Odin. You may get confused about whether you should choose the CSC or HOME CSC. Here’s how these two CSC files differ from each other. Once you understand the purpose of CSC and HOME CSC, you’ll have no confusion.
If you want Odin to wipe all third-party apps, data, and settings and perform a factory reset while installing the firmware, you should add the CSC binary to Odin. When your Samsung phone or Galaxy Tab boots up, your device will be in the same state (on software level) as it was when you purchased it. You’ll have set up your device and log into your Samsung and Google account again. The image, video, audio, and all other files present on the internal storage will be deleted. Flashing the CSC binary will result in a clean installation. If you feel that your phone is slow and experience any lag or misbehavior, wiping the phone might help fix those issues.
If your purpose is to just re-install the firmware or update your Samsung device’s software without wiping your apps, all user data, and settings, you should go with the HOME CSC binary. Choosing this file will only affect the software version of your phone while keeping everything intact.
Checking CSC on Samsung Devices
It’s very easy to find out the current CSC of your Samsung device.
- Open the Settings on your device.
- Go to About phone > Software information.
- Look for Service Provider SW Ver. there.
- You’ll find the CSC of your Samsung Galaxy phone.
- As you can see, the CSC of my Galaxy Note 10+ is OXM and INS.
Here, OXM is a group of CSCs that contains multiple sub-CSCs inside it. It means that my phones came with a Multi-CSC firmware installed on it. However, INS (India) is the active CSC.
If you are curious why the INS CSC is mentioned four times (INS/INS,INS/INS) in the screenshot above, here’s the explanation. Actually, there are two formats in which CSC is shown on Samsung devices and it depends on the fact whether your device is a single or dual SIM variant.
- Single SIM models: XXX¹/XXX²/XXX³
- Dual SIM models: XXX¹/XXX,XXX²/XXX³
The first CSC value refers to the Active CSC¹ on your phone. The middle part shows whether your phone is a single or dual-SIM² model. The third and the last CSC value shows the country or region for which the phone has been manufactured³. Thus, INS/INS,INS/INS, shows that the active CSC on my Note 10+ is INS; it supports 2 SIM cards from any Indian operator; it has been made to be sold in India.
Changing CSC on Samsung Galaxy Devices
Warning: Changing the CSC on your Samsung device will wipe all the data and rest it to the factory state.
1. Via System Menu
It’s very very easy to change or switch the active CSC on a Samsung smartphone or Galaxy Tab if it has a Multi-CSC firmware on it.
- Open your phone’s dialer.
- Type *#272*YourPhone’s IMEI# to open the system configuration menu.
- When I used this secret code, I found a list of 82 CSC codes. Remember, my phone has a Multi-CSC firmware.
- Look for the CSC you want to install and tap the Install button.
- Your phone will reboot and your phone’s apps and data will be deleted but when it boots up, your selected CSC will be active.
2. Using Samsung Odin
This method is a little complicated and requires some effort.
The CSC configuration on your Samsung devices determines if it is unlocked or locked to a network provider. While it’s possible to use a different SIM card on some carrier-locked phones, there are others on which you just can’t use a SIM card from any other network operator than the one it’s locked to. Suppose you own the Verizon (VZW) variant of the Galaxy S20 and you try to flash the CSC meant for TMO (T-Mobile), you’ll either gen an error in Odin, or you’ll end up with a bricked phone.
So, in what cases a CSC change might help? In case you live in Italy and purchased a used unlocked phone online from a Russian user, you may not find the Italian language on your device. By flashing a firmware binary with ITV CSC, you can have Italian on your phone. Also, if you use a phone with Russia CSC in Italy, you won’t receive software updates from Samsung.
If you want to change your phone’s CSC, here are the steps:
- Download a Multi-CSC (OXM) firmware or the firmware with ITV CSC. You can use the Frija Tool for that.
- Download the latest Samsung Odin tool and unzip it.
- Install the latest Samsung USB driver on your PC.
- Extract the downloaded firmware ZIP on your desktop.
- Launch Odin.
- Turn off your device and boot it into the Download Mode. You can do so by pressing and holding the Volume Down + Power buttons at the same time for 2-3 seconds.
- Connect your phone to PC using the USB cable provided by Samsung.
- When your device is detected by Odin, click the BL, AP, CP and CSC sections and add the corresponding firmware files to them. Do not flash the HOME CSC but the CSC (only) binary.
- Click the Start button on Odin.
- When the firmware is flashed, your Samsung device will reboot automatically.
- Disconnect the USB cable.
Done! You have successfully changed the CSC on your Samsung Galaxy device. Alternatively, you can also flash the CSC file only but in that case, make sure you download the firmware for the same software version as already installed on your device. You’ll still have to download the full firmware because you can download the HOME CSC or the CSC file separately.
You can modify several aspects on your Samsung and any Android device and get useful information about it using these ADB Shell commands.