This is a question we’ve been hearing a lot over the last couple of weeks, so we thought it would be best to write up a small tutorial with some tips and tricks on how to jailbreak your iDevice.
What is Jailbreaking? Apple has put several limitations in their software preventing users from downloading applications, themes and add-ons outside of the app store. Jailbreaking essentially removes these limitations granting ‘root’ access to their device and let’s the user circumvent Apple’s censorship of content and features. A jailbroken iDevice is still able to use every feature like calling, texting, using the app store etc. The additional benefit is that the user can run software not distributed by the app store and customize the user interface. Jailbreaking is legal as long as it’s for non-copyright-infringing purposes.
Thethered vs. Untethered Unthetered jailbreak means that it’s, what we like to call a full jailbreak, while a tethered jailbreak has some limitations. For example when a iPhone 4 on 6.1.3 with a tethered jailbreak runs out of battery. You’ll need to reboot it with a custom firmware package (IPSW) before you get back your jailbreak, this isn’t very convenient. There are also some cases in which an iDevice can’t be jailbroken; for example the iPhone 4S running 6.1.3 is can’t be jailbroken. So always check it first!
Back it Up! Before you do anything do a full backup of your iDevice. You’ll need this in case anything goes wrong or when you want to restore it in some case. You can use iTunes for backing up your phone and when possible. Something you don’t always see in jailbreak tutorials is save your SHSH blob, I strongly suggest to do this as your chances of being able to downgrade to a previous iOS without it, are very slim or even non-existant. Saving your SHSH blob can be done with a program like TinyUmbrella, I won’t go into detail about how to do this because it deserves it’s own post.
On to Jailbreaking
There are different jailbreaking programs for the different iOS versions and you might want to check out http://jailbrea.kr or http://www.iclarified.com to see which version you’ll need for your device / OS combination. When you’ve checked which jailbreak download you need, just download the software, unzip the package and follow the instructions.
TIP: Always use one of the jailbreaking solutions (redsn0w, evasi0n or limera1n) posted on Jailbrea.kr or iClarified.com. You might find solutions claiming to jailbreak certain devices but those are very likely to do more harm than good.
Close down all other programs when you start up the Jailbreak software, otherwise it might interfere with the process. Double check that iTunes is closed because it can not be open. Open the Jailbreak program (.exe for Windows or .dmg for Mac), when it’s opened you can just click the Jailbreak button and the program will start jailbreaking your device, this might take a couple of minutes – so don’t worry if nothing is happening straight away.
You will then get the notice to open the jailbreak icon which will appear on your homescreen, open it and the jailbreak will be finished. Then look for the Cydia app (which is basically your extra app store for your jailbroken iDevice). You are now able to add custom packages or download apps and customisations through Cydia. You can always restore your iDevice when you decide you don’t want your jailbreak any longer. Remember it’s a software only change so restoring will reset everything and won’t hurt your device in any way.