iPhone Jailbreak methods spring up around the web each time Apple rolls out an iPhone firmware update. I performed a Jailbreak on my iPhone last August so I could upload custom ringtones to my phone before Apple let you buy ringtones on iTunes.
Although Apple prohibits it, the great thing about Jailbreaking is that you can add all sorts of third-party applications to your iPhone and greatly increase its functionality. In February, Apple will finally allow third-party developers to create native applications for the iPhone, so there may no longer be a need for Jailbreak.
In the meantime, after each iPhone firmware update, the iPhone is restored and the Jailbreak you worked so tediously to complete is undone. Then, iPhone developers work hastily to come up with a new iPhone Jailbreak method, and you have to start all over — either that or don’t update your iPhone firmware at all.
I gave up on Jailbreaking my iPhone because a) I felt it was too much of a hassle, both to install the Jailbreak and to keep up with new Jailbreak methods, and b) because I feared voiding my warranty if I ever had a problem with my iPhone and had to take it Jailbroken into the Apple Store. What about you?
Do you Jailbreak?
Please vote in the poll below and share your experiences in the comments. Update: The poll is now closed. Thanks to those who voted.
This iPhone Jailbreak guide aims to thoroughly cover the topic of how to Jailbreak your iPhone.
This guide lists some of the top Jailbreak software, with jailbreak instructions for the latest iPhone versions, from iOS 4.0 onward.
Don’t forget to check out the iPhone jailbreak FAQ below and the comments section for answers to common jailbreak questions, jailbreak pros & cons, etc.
iPhone Jailbreak Instructions
For detailed iPhone jailbreak instructions, scroll down for a database of directions on how to jailbreak your iPhone.
Scroll down further for an introduction to jailbreak, pros & cons of iPhone jailbreak, and the iPhone jailbreak FAQ.
This Ultimate Guide to iPhone Jailbreak contains helpful information for jailbreaking your iPhone for most of the recent iOS versions. I have included text resources with directions on jailbreaking using the best jailbreak software, plus some videos on how to Jailbreak the iPhone.
Note: I have not attempted all of these iPhone Jailbreak instructions, but am compiling what information I have found and selected with my best judgment. Let me know what is helpful and what is not.
The following guides contain jailbreak instructions and download links necessary for jailbreaking various iPhone models with different iOS versions.
To see what version of the iOS (operating system) you are running, go to Settings >> General >> About.
Choose the iPhone Jailbreak guide that is right for you. Read everything extremely carefully, including comments, before attempting to Jailbreak. I have not personally attempted all of these, so jailbreak AT YOUR OWN RISK.
In short, iPhone Jailbreak is the process of hacking an iPhone to free it from Apple restrictions.
Because the iPhone is far from flawless as Apple created it, millions of iPhone users have flocked to Jailbreak in search of changes and improvements to their devices. iPhone has been held back by limited customizability, text message privacy issues, arbitrary data restrictions, and a lack of true multitasking capabilities. But iPhone Jailbreak can solve all of these problems with apps and fixes available in Cydia and Installer.
What is Cydia?/What is Installer?
Cydia and Installer are the unofficial “App Stores” of the Jailbreak world. Developers create apps and tweaks and different utilities and upload them to these package managers, which organize everything into categories. The differences between Cydia and the App Store are the lack of an app approval process, and the lack of access limits on the iPhone software. In other words, with iPhone jailbreak, you can do things Apple did not design the iPhone software to do.
Why Jailbreak iPhone?
No restrictions. Want a custom wallpaper on your home screen? Custom icons for your apps? Internet tethering? A category system for organizing your apps? The ability to hide native iPhone apps you don’t use? You can do all of this and more with iPhone Jailbreak.
To join the subculture. Sick of Apple’s stranglehold on the iPhone? Those who Jailbreak iPhone belong to a movement of people who demand more from their iPhones. And they’re not gonna let Apple stop them. Beat the system: Jailbreak your iPhone.
Unlock iPhone. To unlock your iPhone and use it on any carrier, you must first Jailbreak your iPhone. Some of the best Jailbreak software below also lets you unlock the iPhone, though unlocking is generally beyond the scope of this tutorial.
Why NOT Jailbreak iPhone?
The folks at Apple know what they are doing. Apple is first and foremost a design company, and there is no doubt the iPhone is a remarkably designed piece of hardware and software. By controlling the user experience, Apple ensures that your iPhone “just works,” and you don’t have to worry about managing battery life or any other technical details.
Jailbreak could (maybe?) brick your iPhone. “When someone develops something for an Apple product and that development isn’t sanctioned by Apple, you run the risk of it not working as it should, conflicting with the device itself, or just all-around bricking that iPhone,” warns Chris Pirillo, who prefers not to Jailbreak his iPhone because “my iPhone just works already.” But I have never heard of Jailbreak completely ruining an iPhone. The consensus at this forum seems to be that the chance is “extremely slim.”
Every iPhone update from iTunes disables even the best Jailbreak software. Every time Apple comes out with an update for iPhone, they find a way to prevent hackers from cracking the code again. Hackers then scramble to Jailbreak the iPhone again and release the new methods. That means if you like to download Apple’s iPhone updates, you are going to have to figure out each time how to Jailbreak your iPhone yet again. Do you really want to play this cat and mouse game?
iPhone Jailbreak could increase your risk of getting a virus on your device. The only two iPhone viruses ever reported have spread across iPhones that have been Jailbroken. That’s not to say the iPhone platform as Apple built it is totally secure. In fact, some say compromising an iPhone’s security is “child’s play” (i.e. easy).
Jailbreak voids your iPhone warranty. If your iPhone is bricked because of Jailbreak, or if your iPhone has another problem and it happens to be Jailbreaked, your warranty becomes void. I once saw a sign at the Genius Bar of The Falls, Miami Apple Store that warned customers not to Jailbreak iPhones or they would void their warranties. Harsh. However, if you simply restore your iPhone software (via iTunes) to factory settings, then you should have no trouble at the Genius Bar.
iPhone Jailbreak Videos
Jailbreak iOS 4.1 on iPhone 4, 3GS, Using Limera1n
Jailbreak Unlock 3.1.1 and 3.1.2 Mac and Windows:
iPhone 3.0.1 Firmware and Jailbreak with Redsnow 0.8:
How To Jailbreak NEW 3.0 Firmware For iPhone,iPhone 3G … On Windows/Mac:
Jailbreak & Unlock 2.2.1 iPhone 2g, 3g, and iPod Touch:
Jailbreak iPhone 2.2:
ZiPhone Jailbreak is History
I made this video a couple of years ago to demonstrate how to Jailbreak with ZiPhone. ZiPhone is now obsolete for most iPhone versions, so please do not try to use it unless you know what you are doing. This video has been posted here for historical and humorous purposes only.
Read: Once-Great ZiPhone Jailbreak Now Sadly a Scam.
ZiPhone Jailbreak: (Was) So Easy a Caveman Could Do It
iPhone Jailbreak FAQ
Still confused about jailbreak? Need help jailbreaking your iPhone? Check out the following iPhone Jailbreak FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) or request help in the comments area below.
What is jailbreaking an iPhone? What can you do with a jailbroken iPhone?
To jailbreak an iPhone means to modify it in a way that makes the file system accessible. With the file system unrestricted, you are able to customize the iPhone in ways other than those intended by Apple. For example, with a jailbroken iPhone, you can add passwords to individual apps, trick the iPhone into believing it is using WiFi when it’s using 3G (i.e. for FaceTime calls), add to-do lists to your lock screen with LockInfo, change your app icons, and much more.
Is it easy to jailbreak iPhone?
It depends what model and what version you are jailbreaking. Sometimes, jailbreaking an iPhone is as easy as clicking a button, and sometimes you are required to download multiple files and modify the file system. See the jailbreak guides above for the model and version you would like to jailbreak.
How do you jailbreak an iPhone?
If you’re wondering how do you jailbreak an iPhone, simply scroll up on this page and find the software that pertains to your iPhone version. Then, click the link to the jailbreak instructions for your particular version and follow directions. Good luck!
Is jailbreaking bad for your iPhone? Will jailbreak brick my iPhone?
Jailbreak is not always completely reliable, but it is not bad for your iPhone, per se. Sometimes your iPhone will become unusable when attempting to jailbreak. However, this is almost always easy to fix by simply restoring your iPhone via iTunes. Sometimes, a jailbroken iPhone will act up or become glitchy, but you can always restore.
Does jailbreak void my iPhone warranty?
Since Apple does not authorize jailbreak, jailbreak will void your iPhone warranty. Therefore, you should consider restoring your iPhone before taking it into an Apple Store for service.
Is jailbreak illegal?
Jailbreak is NOT illegal. A federal court in the US recently ruled that it is entirely legal to jailbreak your iPhone. It is your property, afterall.
How to jailbreak iPhone 4? How to jailbreak iPhone 3GS? How to jailbreak iPhone 3G?
See the guides above for instructions on how to jailbreak iPhone. There are instructions on how to jailbreak iPhone 4, 3GS and 3G. The guide is updated frequently.
What is the best jailbreak software tool or the best jailbreak programs?
The best jailbreak software or program depends on the model and version you are jailbreaking. See resources above.
What is Cydia? What is Installer?
Cydia and Installer are the “App Stores” of the jailbreak community. Through Cydia and Installer, you can download apps and modifications that are not available on the regular App Store.
Is iPhone jailbreak free?
iPhone jailbreak is almost always released free by developers, with occasional exceptions. Beware of scams that make you pay for jailbreak software that you can obtain for free.
Does jailbreak make apps free?
No. Jailbreak does not make apps free. Apps in the App Store still cost money, and even some Cydia and Installer apps are paid apps that require you to pay before downloading.
How to update a jailbroken iPhone?
You cannot usually update a jailbroken iPhone. Normally, a jailbroken iPhone can be restored to factory settings, updated, and then jailbroken again.
Conclusion: Why I Jailbreak
The iPhone hardware offers endless possibilities for expressing the human imagination, but Apple’s software restrictions hold your iPhone back. iPhone Jailbreak frees your iPhone by letting you do almost anything that is physically possible to do with your iPhone. Jailbreak is the will of the people manifesting itself in an active and thriving subculture.
Yes, the App Store reflects the imaginations and creativity of thousands of developers and iPhone users. Apple has done a great job of making a line of “blank slates” — iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 3G, iPad, etc. — that are able to continually mold to our collective consciousness as iPhone users. Yet, iPhone can do and be so much more when it is without limits. That is why I Jailbreak.
What Do You Think About iPhone Jailbreak?
Did you Jailbreak your iPhone? What is the best jailbreak software, in your opinion? Please share your thoughts and questions in the comments.
Please note: Comments are welcome, however I cannot personally address everyone’s iPhone Jailbreak issues, so if you are Jailbreak-savvy, please assist commenters who are having trouble. (Thank you!)