Day to day, I receive questions about iPhone jailbreak and unlocking. What’s jailbreaking? How do you jailbreak iPhone? Is jailbreaking legal? What tools should I use for jailbreaking? Why do we need jailbreaking? Can you show me the detailed guide to jailbreaking my iPhone running iOS x.x? These are some of the frequently-asked questions about jailbreaking.
I think it’s good for you and me to write up a FAQ. So here is the complete guide for jailbreak iPhone. I try my best to cover all common questions and show you all the available references in this guide.
If you’re new to iPhone jailbreaking, this guide is specifically for you. Even you’ve jailbroken your iPhone before, I’m sure you’ll find some useful information here. So bookmark this page. It’ll been updated regularly whenever a new version iOS and jailbreak guide release.
Apple’s iOS, the mobile operating system for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad, is a closed system. In other words, Apple only allows users to run the built-in applications and those applications available from App Store. Jailbreaking tries to break this limitation by gaining full access to the iOS. That means, with jailbreaking, you’re free to install 3rd party applications, tweak, hacks and themes that are not available from the official App Store.
There are a number of reasons for iPhone jailbreaking but let me sum up into two.
The most common reason why people need jailbreaking is for unlocking the iPhone. As you know, in most countries, you can only purchase locked iPhone that works only with a particular carrier. If you want to use your iPhone with other carriers, you have to unlock it using unlock software. But before you use any software to unlock your iPhone, jailbreaking is the essential process.
The other reason for jailbreaking is you can install application tweaks, hacks and third-party applications that you’ll never find in the official App Store. Apple does not allow developers to modify the look and feel of the iPhone’s interface. User are only allowed to set the wallpaper. With jailbreaking, you can install third-party theme managers like Winterboard or Dreamboard that completely transforms the look and feel of your home screen. Other than customizing the interface, you can also install tweaks such as Swype Keyboard, PictureMe and YourTube to add functionality to the built-in iPhone apps. As you’ve gained full access to the iOS, if you’re geek, you can even install SSH daemon that lets you access your iPhone remotely and transfer file without connecting to computer.
These are just some common reasons when people consider jailbreaking. In short, jailbreaking opens lots of opportunities to tweak your iPhone.
How do you install third-party application after jailbreaking?
Normally after jailbreaking, you’ll find a new icon named “Cydia” on your home screen. You can consider Cydia as the App Store for third-party applications. Just launch cydia and you can install applications onto your iPhone. For further information, you can refer to the below posts:
Jailbreaking vs Unlocking
Some people think jailbreaking equals unlocking. Actually they refer to different process. As explained earlier, jailbreaking is the process that lets you gain full access to the iOS while unlocking is the process to free your iPhone to use SIM card from other carrries.
Jailbreaking is an essential procedure for unlocking (as it allows you to install unlock software on your iPhone). However, jailbreak and unlocking do not refer to the same thing.
Tethered Jailbreak vs Untethered Jailbreak
Sometimes you come across two jailbreak terms: tethered jailbreak and untethered jailbreak. So what’s the difference? When people say the jailbreak is tethered, this means the jailbreak is not permanent. For whatever reasons your iPhone is rebooted, you’ll lose the jailbreak and you have to use jailbreak tool (e.g. Redsn0w) to boot up the device. That’s troublesome. So normally tethered jailbreak is not preferred.
Untethered jailbreak, on the other hand, is the ultimate jailbreak. You’re free to power off or reboot your iPhone. You won’t lose jailbreak and your device just works as usual.
Can I unjailbreak my iPhone and restore it back to factory state?
Yes, you can always restore your jailbroken iPhone to the factory settings. You can refer to the below post for the detailed procedures:
It’s always recommended to restore your jailbroken iPhone into factory state before you bring back the device to Apple store for repair.
Does jailbreaking remove all my iPhone data?
Jailbreaking doesn’t remove your iPhone data. You can always restore your iPhone data including SMS, contacts, notes, applications after jailbreaking. However, the prerequisite is you back up the data through iTunes before going through the jailbreak process.
If you follow our guides for jailbreaking (that are listed below), the very first step is to back up your data.
What software do you use for jailbreaking?
There are a number of jailbreaking tools that are available for free. Here are the most common tools you can use:
JailbreakMe – Developed by a famous iPhone hacker, JailbreakMe is the easiest jailbreak tool. It is a web-based jailbreak tool. No download or installation is needed. Just point the mobile Safari to the jailbreakme website and you can jailbreak your device with one-tap. However, JailbreakMe only supports iOS 4.3.1, 4.3.2 and 4.3.3.
Redsn0w – Redsn0w is one of the popular Jailbreak tool developed by iPhone Dev Team that supports jailbreaking on iPhone OS 3.0 or up. It supports all models of iPhone including iPhone 2G, 3G/3GS and iPhone 4 as well as iPod Touch and iPad. Both Windows and Mac version are available.
PwnageTool – Also, developed by iPhone Dev Team, PwnageTool is a jailbreak tool for Mac platform only. It supports jailbreaking on all models of iPhone. Compared with Redsn0w, for which it performs jailbreaking directly on iPhone, PwnageTool takes a different approach of jailbreak that it creates a custom firmware file (i.e. IPSW) for jailbreaking. PwnageTool is considered as more flexible as it allows the direct modification of firmware file and preserves the baseband version for unlocking.
How to Jailbreak Your iPhone
iOS 5 Beta