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How to Jailbreak an iPhone:

In this page I will discuss how to jailbreak an iPhone and why. Should you do it?, and who should do it?. What are the advantages and disadvantages of jailbreaking an iPhone.

Many software are available to make the jailbreak process simple and quick. One common iPhone jailbreak software is called Blackra1n which allows you to jailbreak and unlock your iPhone, another one is called Spirit. Redsn0w was also around for some time.

Other tools like PawnageTool is still available and is still being updated for every iPhone software and every iOS release. Spirit was used to jailbreak iPhone 3GS, while JailbreakMe.com was the tool to jailbreak iPhone 4 for sometime.

One of the best resources for jailbreaking iPhone is Thebigboss site which covers all the latest iPhone hacks iPhone news.

Hacking, modifying, jailbreaking iPhone are all synonyms to the same thing which means access the iPhone file system. Jailbreak iPhone allows you to do many things that are not possible by default. It removes many restrictions applied from both Apple and ATT.

I will explain the PawnageTool method of how to jailbreak an iPhone, as I have used it several times without problems. Generally, the process is the same, the only difference is the iOS update.

How to jailbreak an iPhone with PwnageTool:

  1. Find out what iPhone you have, iPhone 2G, iPhone 3G or iPhone 3GS or iPhone 4. Then, find which iPhone software is available from Apple at that time. Then see if a jailbreak for that iPhone OS is available from the Bigboss website. If yes, then continue. If there is no jailbreak available for the model or the iPhone OS and if you are already jailbroken, then Don't update your iPhone to the latest iOS, and wait for a jailbreak to come soon. Check the bigboss site regularly for updates. 
    If a jailbreak is available for the latest iPhone OS. Then continue.

  2. Sync and update your iPhone to the latest iPhone OS through iTunes. This might require you to go into DFU mode in order for iTunes to recognize the iPhone the first time. Connect your Mac or PC to iPhone and see if iTunes will recognize it first, if it does, then skip the DFU process.

DFU mode is accomplished by pressing and holding both power and home button for 10 seconds then releasing the power button while holding the home button for 5 more seconds. The iPhone will go into DFU mode, and iTunes will find it. Then you can restore to the latest iPhone OS. Watch this video about how to get iPhone in DFU mode.

  1. After the iPhone OS is updated, close iTunes.
  2. Download the latest PwnageTool for Mac or PC and run it on your computer. Follow the instruction on PwnageTool. Select your iPhone model 2G, 3G, 3GS. PawnageTool will look for and find the iOS installed in your iPhone.

    jailbreak iphone pwnage tool
  3. Select the iOS that is found.

  4. Answer the question if the iPhone was Pawned before with NO.

  5. Now PwnageTool will build a custom .ipsw (a modified firmware OS) that will be used to restore your iPhone.

  6. Then it will ask you to go to DFU mode. Follow the procedure exactly to go to DFU mode. If it failed, then try again but don’t disconnect your iPhone and quit. Once DFU is successful, the jailbreak process is complete and a new ipsw build (iOS) will be created and saved on your computer desktop. You can close PwnageTool when the success message appears.

  7. Now you need to do custom iPhone restore. Open iTunes and press option restore on Mac or shift restore on PC after the iPhone is mounted.

    How to jailbreak an iPhone jailbreak process

    Select the new firmware ipsw (the new iOS that is saved on your desktop) that was just created.

jailbreak iphone cydia icyOnce you restore the iPhone with the modified ipsw file, the iPhone will be jailbrocken.

Cydia is an App store that allows you to browse and install hundreds of themes and third party iPhone application on your jailbrocken iPhone.

Update: Icy is not used anymore on iPhone 4 and new iOS 4 and later.

  • How to jailbreak an iPhone and still get support from Apple? You can't really get support from Apple if your iPhone is jailbrocken. However, you can always restore it before taking it to Apple for support. Read the iPhone troubleshooting page to learn how to get your iPhone or iPhone 4 to its original state.

Apple of course doesn't want to support those Cydia apps and iPhone hacks, and doesn't want to get involved in any of the issues or iPhone problems jailbreaking could cause. Therefore, they don't tell you how to jailbreak an iPhone, it is still unofficial, and you lose your warrantee when you jailbreak your iPhone.

Although an iPhone restore with iTunes will simply return it to its official state, and Apple wouldn't know that it was jailbrocken previously, Apple will not help you or support you if you bring a jailbrocken iPhone to their store. So of course never ask any iPhone questions such as "how to jailbreak an iPhone" to an Apple support representative.


Why I jailbroke my iPhone:

The main reason for me to jailbreak my iPhone was Arabic language support and Arabic iPhone applications. Apple only added Arabic language support in iPhone OS3.0. Therefore, by jailbreaking, I was able to install Arabtaller from Cydia that added Arabic. I would have had my iPhone for one year without Arabic language if I didn't jailbreak.

Another reason I got my iPhone jailbrocken is to make cheap international calls. With Skype and iSIP you can make cheap international calls if you are connected to wifi only because AT&T restricts you from using the apps on their 3G or EDGE network. When I jail break my iPhone, I can use those apps and others to make iPhone VoIP calls using Skype or iSIP. With 3G Unrestrictor, I can un restrict those applications to run over 3G or EDGE network, and not only on wifi.

Now after I am used to jailbreaking, I can’t manage to use a non-jailbrocken iPhone ever again.


Who should jailbreak iPhone?

Before you attempt to jail break your iPhone you should ask yourself what you are trying to accomplish by jailbreaking. You should know the advantages and disadvantages of jailbreaking iPhone. Then decide weather jailbreaking iPhone is for you.

When you have complete access to the file system, the possibilities are endless, but do you really need this access?

Why should You jailbreak iPhone?

If the answer to the followings is mostly positive, then you should learn how to jailbreak an iPhone.

  1. If you use your iPhone to make cheap international calls and you want to save on long distance phone calls. Then jailbreak is definitely for you.

  2. Do you use Skype, Yahoo Messenger, Tango, iSIP or other voice conversation Internet chatting clients for internet telephony? Then jailbreak is a must.

  3. Do you care about multitasking and running several iPhone applications at the same time?
    If Yes then you need a jailbreak.

  4. Do you want to tweak, hack and change the appearance of your iPhone?
    if yes, then you need to jailbreak.

  5. Are you interested in connecting your computer to your iPhone or iPhone 4 and accessing the file system. Doing so, you can add and remove files manually from and to your iPhone.

  6. Are you willing to accept that this could actually void your iPhone warranty? And not to ask "how to jailbreak an iPhone" to Apple. Although you can restore to pre jailbreak state, this process will still void your warranty.

  7. Jailbreaking is a software base process, there is no opening or modifying to the iPhone hardware. Therefore, you need some patience connecting to iTunes and other utilities on your computer? If you don't like working with software installation, then don't jailbreak.

  8. Do you use the podcast feature in the iPod application? do you download long shows, and podcasts that are bigger than 10MB? If yes, Jailbreaking and installing 3G Unrestrictor will remove this restriction.

  9. Do you care about installing iPhone ringtones directly to your iPhone, downloading files, and installing third party applications not approved by Apple? If yes, then Jailbreak

  10. With iPhone 4 front facing camera, and FaceTime, you can use iPhone video chatting over 3G if you jailbreak. Just this feature by itself is worth to learn how to jailbreak an iPhone.

  11. Do you understand that there is risk of loosing data, or having to do an iPhone restore if care is not taken. If yes then Jailbreak.


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