Jailbreaking is a process that modifies iOS to allow traditionally unauthorized code to run. The process essentially allows programs to gain access to files and processes that Apple normally does not allow access to, unlocking greater potential in your iDevice.
After jailbreaking your device you’ll find a new application store alongside the traditional app store. The new app store, called Cydia, features apps, tweaks, and extensions that are designed for jailbroken devices. The packages found in Cydia are unavailable in the app store and open up a number of possibilities for your jailbroken device.
With Apple’s restrictions on your device lifted, and with access to the Cydia app store, you can create a whole new feel for your device. New options for sounds, themes, apps, and control over your device are opened up. Jailbreaking allows for an “un-caged” experience on your device.
How Will Jailbreaking my Device Benefit me?
Without Apple’s controls in place, a user that jailbreaks their device will have the ability to subtly or immensely change their iOS experience. With the Cydia app store on your phone, many applications that would normally not be approved by Apple will be right at your fingertips. That isn’t to say that the applications are bad either; most of the apps on the Cydia market can serve as useful additions to your device.
Thanks to the jailbreak community and Cydia app developers a jailbroken phone can be modified to look nothing like the iOS that Apple wants its users to see. Popular theming app WinterBoard serves as a fine example of the capabilities of a jailbroken device. This application allows a user to change the look of the unlock screen, siri, icons, and other assorted parts of iOS. This, of course, isn’t the only option available on Cydia, just one of the more well-renowned ones.
Jailbreaking isn’t just limited to theming though. Certain tweaks and extensions allow apps to access previously inaccessible system functions and settings. Some of the mods available are more subtle than others, changing small things like notification styles or the number of icons shown on the multitasking menu. With the entirety of the iOS operating system open applications have a lot more freedom, meaning the user has a lot more freedom.
Jailbreaking also opens up the possibility of ‘unlocking’ your iPhone. What’s the difference between unlocking and jailbreaking? Well, jailbreaking allows apps, tweaks, and mods greater access to parts of the iOS system; unlocking you iPhone can actually open it for use on a different network entirely (as long as the radios are compatible).
What About The Legality of Jailbreaking?
Jailbreaking is legal in the United States at this time. Initially, the act of jailbreaking your device was considered to be illegal, but in July of 2010 the US government passed a law that made jailbreaking legal. Regardless, there isn’t too much that you have to worry about when jailbreaking your device even if you don’t live United States. Apple knows that some users jailbreak their devices but there has never been a report of an individual being sued, fined, or imprisoned for jailbreaking an iOS device.
Does Jailbreaking Void my Warranty?
Technically, jailbreaking any Apple device will void the warranty on the device – that is, as long as the device is jailbroken. Taking a jailbroken device into an Apple store for support will likely get you nowhere. Apple acknowledges that a user is legally free to jailbreak their devices, but that doesn’t mean they have to support a device that is jailbroken.
That being said, it is possible to revert a jailbroken device back to its factory setting through iTunes. Using iTunes to undo your jailbreak will bring the device back to the way it was when it was first activated. Once the device is reset to factory settings, Apple will not be able to tell if the device was previously jailbroken – this means you can get all of the Apple support you need.
Check out Apple’s support article for more specific information.
Can Jailbreaking Brick my iPhone?
In the past jailbreaking may have been hit or miss, but with progressions by the jailbreaking community that is no longer a problem. There may be stories on the web that insinuate that it is still possible to brick an iPhone by jailbreaking it, but these stories just aren’t true. If there is a problem in the jailbreaking process it is possible that the iPhone becomes unresponsive, but it is now impossible to completely disable an iPhone by jailbreaking it.
Fixing an iPhone that has becomes unresponsive is as simple as doing a factory reset, just like you would do to ‘un-void’ your warranty. As long as you have access to a connector cable and a computer, any problems with your jailbroken device can be fixed.
What’s The Difference Between Jailbreaking and Unlocking?
Unlocking allows you to use your device on a different carrier’s network – for example, using an AT&T iPhone on T-Mobile. Jailbreaking is a necessary first step to unlocking a device for use on another network though. After jailbreaking your iPhone, you’ll have to run a program to unlock it.
Can I Still Use iTunes And The App Store After Jailbreaking?
Absolutely. Jailbreaking your device does not affect its access to iTunes or the App Store. When the device is initially jailbroken you won’t see much of a change outside of the addition of the Cydia App store. You’ll still be free to download apps through the App Store and connect your device to iTunes.
You Keep Mentioning Cydia, What is it?
Cydia is much like the traditional App Store, but it is made for jailbreak applications. Like the App store you can search and browse for different apps, tweaks, and mods and download them immediately. Also like the App Store, some apps cost money but most are free.
What if I Want to Update iOS After Jailbreaking?
If your iOS device is jailbroken and you want to update to the latest, you will have to sacrifice your jailbreak capabilities. When updated, the device will be restored to a factory kind of setting (saving your apps of course) with the updated version of iOS installed. For users that rely heavily on their jailbreak modifications, it may not be advisable to update their device to the latest iOS version.
Fortunately, the iOS hacking community is very active and more often than not an updated jailbreak will be created soon after the release of the updated iOS. Sometimes we even see and update jailbroken while it is still in beta, before it is even released. Apple does actively fight against these jailbreakers though, sometimes by releasing hot-fixes and updates to beta software to negate the security holes these hackers use to jailbreak a device.
What Are The Different Types of Jailbreaks?
There are three different types of jailbreaks: tethered, semi-tethered, and untethered. Each method creates a different kind of jailbreak scenario.
Tethered jailbreaking is the least desirable of the three kinds. With a tethered jailbreak you cannot reboot the device without doing a tethered boot. This means that you must be around a computer to successfully boot the device – without a connection to a computer you device will not boot. If your device reboots when you aren’t around a computer you’re out of luck.
Semi-tethered jailbreaking is more desirable than a tethered jailbreak, but less than untethered. A device that uses a semi-tethered jailbreak will be able to reboot, but may lose some of its functionality after a boot. Cydia may inaccessible, along with other jailbreak apps (sometimes even stock apps). You must perform a tethered boot to restore full device functionality.
Untethered Jailbreaking is the most desirable and common method of jailbreaking. It takes a little more work for hackers to get an iOS device to this point, but the device will not lose its jailbreak functionality regardless of reboots.
If I Jailbreak my Device, Can I Get App Store Apps For Free?
There are ways for you to get paid applications for free on a jailbroken a device, but we advise against this act strongly. Downloading a paid app for free is piracy and is not only illegal, but is also stealing money from the developer that worked hard to create the application. We will not support or assist you in app piracy.
Is it Easy to Jailbreak my Device?
In short, yes. Most jailbreak applications require that you simply plug in your device and run a program from your computer. In most cases, no prior skills or knowledge is necessary to jailbreak your device. After a quick run of your jailbreaking software, your device should be freshly jailbroken.
You can find our guides on jailbreaking below.
Does it Cost Money to Jailbreak?
In no situation should you pay for jailbreaking. Hackers that develop the tools to jailbreak your iOS device release it for free. There are websites around that attempt to scam users into paying for jailbreaking – do not, by any means, trust these sites.
Anything jailbreak can be done for free.
Official iOS Firmware - iPhone:
- iPhone 4S - 5.1.1, 5.1, 5.0.1 (build 9A406), 5.0.1, 5.0
- iPhone 4 (GSM) - 5.1.1 (build 9B208), 5.1.1, 5.1, 5.0.1, 5.0
- iPhone 4 (CDMA) - 5.1.1, 5.1, 5.0.1, 5.0
- iPhone 3GS - 5.1.1, 5.1, 5.0.1, 5.0
- iPad 3 (WiFi) - 5.1.1, 5.1
- iPad 3 (GSM) - 5.1.1, 5.1
- iPad 3 (CDMA) - 5.1.1, 5.1
- iPad 2 - 5.1.1, 5.1, 5.0.1, 5.0
- iPad 2 (GSM) - 5.1.1, 5.1, 5.0.1, 5.0
- iPad 2 (CDMA) - 5.1.1, 5.1, 5.0.1, 5.0
- iPad - 5.1.1, 5.1, 5.0.1, 5.0
- iPhone 4 (GSM) 7.1.1
- iPhone 4 (CDMA) 7.1.1
- iPhone 4S 7.1.1
- iPhone 5 (GSM) 7.1.1
- iPhone 5 (Global) 7.1.1
- iPhone 5C (GSM) 7.1.1
- iPhone 5C (Global) 7.1.1
- iPhone 5S (GSM) 7.1.1
- iPhone 5S (Global) 7.1.1
- iPad 2 (Wi-Fi) 7.1.1
- iPad 2 (Wi-Fi + 3G, GSM) 7.1.1
- iPad 2 (Wi-Fi + 3G, CDMA) 7.1.1
- iPad 2 (Wi-Fi, Rev A) 7.1.1
- iPad 3 (Wi-Fi) 7.1.1
- iPad 3 (Wi-Fi + Cellular, CDMA) 7.1.1
- iPad 3 (Wi-Fi + Cellular, Global) 7.1.1
- iPad Mini (Wi-Fi) 7.1.1
- iPad Mini (Wi-Fi + Cellular, CDMA) 7.1.1
- iPad Mini (Wi-Fi + Cellular, GSM) 7.1.1
- iPad 4 (Wi-Fi) 7.1.1
- iPad 4 (Wi-Fi + Cellular, GSM) 7.1.1
- iPad 4 (Wi-Fi + Cellular, Global) 7.1.1
- iPad Air (Wi-Fi) 7.1.1
- iPad Air (Wi-Fi + Cellular) 7.1.1
- iPad Air (Wi-Fi + Cellular, China) 7.1.1
- iPad Mini Retina (Wi-Fi) 7.1.1
- iPad Mini Retina (Wi-Fi + Cellular) 7.1.1
- iPad Mini Retina (Wi-Fi + Cellular, China) 7.1.1
Older firmwares – iPhone:
- iPhone 4 (GSM) - 4.3.5, 4.3.4, 4.3.3, 4.3.2, 4.3.1, 4.3, 4.2.1, 4.1, 4.0.2, 4.0.1, 4.0
- iPhone 4 (CDMA) - 4.3.5, 4.2.9, 4.2.8, 4.2.7
- iPhone 3GS - 4.3.5, 4.3.4, 4.3.3, 4.3.2, 4.3.1, 4.3, 4.2.1, 4.1, 4.0.2, 4.0.1, 4.0, 3.1.3, 3.1.2, 3.1,3.0.1
- iPhone 3G - 4.2.1, 4.1, 4.0.2, 4.0.1, 4.0, 3.1.3, 3.1.2, 3.1, 3.0.1, 3.0, 2.2.1, 2.2, 2.1, 2.0.2,2.0.1, 2.0
- iPhone 2G - 3.1.3, 3.1.2, 3.1, 3.0.1, 3.0, 2.2.1, 2.2, 2.1,2.0.2, 2.0.1, 2.0, 1.1.4, 1.1.3, 1.1.2,1.1.1
- iPad 2 - 4.3.5, 4.3.4, 4.3.3, 4.3.2, 4.3.1
- iPad 2 (GSM) - 4.3.5, 4.3.4, 4.3.3
- iPad 2 (CDMA) - 4.3.5, 4.3.4, 4.3.3
- iPad 1 - 4.3.5, 4.3.4, 4.3.3, 4.3.2, 4.3.1, 4.3, 4.2.1, 3.2.2, 3.2.1, 3.2.0
- iPod touch 4G - 4.3.5, 4.3.4, 4.3.3, 4.3.2, 4.3.1, 4.3, 4.2.1, 4.1
- iPod touch 3G - 4.3.5, 4.3.4, 4.3.3, 4.3.2, 4.3.1, 4.3, 4.2.1, 4.1, 4.0.2, 4.0, 3.1.3, 3.1.2, 3.1.1
- iPod touch 2G - 4.2.1, 4.1, 4.0.2, 4.0, 3.1.1, 2.2.1, 2.2
- iPod touch - 3.1.1, 2.2.1, 2.2, 2.0.1, 1.1.5, 1.1.4, 1.1.3, 1.1.2, 1.1.1, 1.0
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- PwnageTool 5.1.1
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