Jailbreak Basics For iPhone And iPad [All You Need To Know]

Many iPad and iPhone users are confused about Jailbreak and want to learn more about Jailbreak basics before trying to Jailbreak their devices. If you are such a person, this article will provide you complete details about jailbreak basics and everything you want to know about Jailbreak. This article will help beginner level jailbreakers and ordinary users to learn more about jailbreaking.


This article includes:

  • Common Jailbreak techniques
  • Common Jailbreak terms
  • Common jailbreak tools, apps and utilities

Most popular Ways to Jailbreak

Jailbreak methods depend on the release of new Jailbreaks, when a new exploit is found and when Apple releases a new version of iOS for your device. Depending on these factors, there are several different ways to Jailbreak your iPhone or iPad.  Some techniques are as easy as tapping a link and installing an app but others are complicated where you have to use command-lines etc. Some of the most common and simplest Jailbreak methods are as follows:

 iOS 5.01:


iOS 5.0:

iOS 4.3.3:

iOS 4.2.6:

Frequent Jailbreak Terms


Jailbreak is the most common term while talking about Jailbreaking your device, but still many people misunderstand the term.  Jailbreaking simply allow users to access functions and features that Apple doesn’t provides its users. You can use Cydia to access application that you are unable to reach without Jailbreak. Possibility of custom loading of apps is another benefit of Jailbreak. Jailbreak provides you more space to customize your device and allow you to use iPhone explorer or SSH method on your iPhone. Many people confuse Jailbreaking and unlocking with each other but Jailbreaking and unlocking are two different things.


Unlocking your iPhone means that you can now use your iPhone on any GSM carrier. For example, if you are using an AT&T iPhone, you can unlock your iPhone to make it possible to use any SIM card anywhere in the world. Unlocking can increase release value of your device along with allowing you to use your iPhone on any carrier. There are different unlocking techniques used for different firmware. The basic step for unlocking is to install a program like ultrasn0w using Cydia after Jailbreaking your device, which will then help you to unlock your phone. So you need to jailbreak first in order to unlock your iPhone.


Technically, the first app store on iPhone was Cydia. Today, Apple has its own apps store, but Jailbreakers use Cydia as app store for Jailbreaking. Jailbreakers are using Cydia for Jailbreaking and downloading apps way before the existence of Apple’s app store. Those who are jailbreaking their devices for a long time must know that many jailbreak ideas and concepts used for Jailbreaking first generation iPhones on 1.x become part of iOS. You can add and manage apps like rock, ModMyi and BigBoss using Cydia after jailbreak. Repos or a repository is another popular term when it comes to Cydia.  Cydia allows you to choose custom repos. One thing to keep in mind while adding repos is to always add them from trusted sources otherwise do not add.


DFU and Recovery Mode:

The two most common terms while talking about jailbreak are DFU and recovery mode. You cannot successfully Jailbreak your device without turning it to DFU mode properly. Many users are still confused about both modes and consider DFU and recovery mode as same but both are different. The best way to distinguish between the two modes is the difference in iTunes logo. In case of recovery mode, the screen will show connect to iTunes logo with a slide to emergency option. But with DFU mode, you can only see connect to iTunes logo without slide for emergency option. Another indication of DFU mode is black screen.

Both modes work differently. While recovery mode cannot allow you to downgrade, DFU mode can. Recovery mode implements iBoot while DFU mode bypasses iBoot that is why it can allow you to downgrade firmware. This is the reason why jailbreaks require DFU mode instead of recovery mode to operate properly. You can read complete details about entering into DFU mode here.

You may also follow these simple steps

  • You must turn off your device first
  • Hold down three buttons simultaneously, two sleep buttons at top of your device and home button for 10 seconds.
  • You can release the power button after 10 seconds when Apple logo appear but keep holding home button for 5 more seconds. As soon as you see connect to iTunes logo, release home button.
  • The iTunes will show you a message about restoring the device when you plug your device. This means your device is in DFU mode.

SHSH Blobs:

Even though many users do not know much about SHSH blobs and some do not consider blobs important but SHSH blobs can be life saver in case you accidentally upgrade to a wrong firmware. Without SHSH blobs, you cannot downgrade as your restore will fail as apple only signs current firmware versions. SHSH blobs are very important and can save you from trouble.  SHSH blobs provide fake information to iTunes making iTunes believe that your restore has been verified. It is crucial to save SHSH blobs to Cydia server. You can also use TinyUmbrella to save blobs to the Cydia server. It is recommended to get yourself SHSH blobs for every firmware to save yourself from future headache.


The antennae of your device are controlled by the baseband. It controls and affects your service and signal. This is one of the reason why baseband is so important while unlocking your device, because in case you end up changing your baseband through the process, you may fail to achieve unlocking your device. As an unlocker, you have to be very careful about baseband while unlocking. Most unlockers follow an easy way out by using PwnageTool. This is a great tool to save your baseband settings, as it provides a custom firmware bundle that upgrades only iOS without upgrading baseband. Many confuse baseband with Wifi and Bluetooth but it does not affect any of these. If you are satisfied with your carrier and do not want to unlock, than you do not have to worry about baseband.


The main interface in your iPhone with which you interact most of the time is Springboard just as your desktop has its own desktop. While talking about jailbreak, another common term is respringing. The term is used for restarting of the Springboard. Just as you refresh your desktop on a computer, you may also need to respring in case of some jailbreaks. If you use Winteboard to change appearance of your iPhone, it also requires respring.

Most Used Jailbreak Utilities


One of the prime reasons for Jailbreaking is to change the look of our iPhones. For this, you may use a free download via Cydia known as Winterboard. If you want to install themes, Winterboard is a necessary utility. Most customizations for your device also require Winterboard. In the past, another utility was used by old Jailbreakers by the name of Summerboard. Winterboard is an improved version of Summerboard with many additional features. You can see all additional components of an installed theme in your Winterboard. You may have several or only one package in winterboard depending upon the bundle created by developer. It is highly recommended for Jailbreakers to get familiar and learn about winterboard, as it will help you do countless things to your phone and allow you to tweak and customize the tiniest details of your springboard.


SBSettings is another common free utility that allows you to add quick toggles that will drop down on your springboard. There are multiple plug-ins and themes available to download alongside SBSettings. The best thing it can do is to hide icons that you do not want to use, like hiding apps that you cannot uninstall such as stock apps. If you feel any icon is wasting space on your springboard, simply use SBSettings to hide that icon. In case of multitasking, you can keep a close tab on your memory and running processes using SBSettings. This can help you in identifying useless running apps and can extend your battery life and make your device process faster.


One of the problems you may face with 3.x and beyond is that when you install themes and change them on your iPhone, some icons remain stuck with the old theme. The problem was not there before 3.x iOS about cache icons but with 3.x, there is a problem with the file system in which it cache items. To deal with the problem, you had to SSH into your iPhone for deleting cache but with iWipeCache, the problem is resolved as it simplifies the problem of wiping the cache for your device. If you want to change your themes regularly, you must have this free utility in your iPhone. Sometimes iWipeCache doesn’t work with iOS 4.x, the solution for this problem is to toggle Summerboard mode on and off and than respring your iPhone. This utility is very effective in changing all your icons to new themes without any exceptions.

Open SSH:

Another useful utility is Open SSH that allows access via SSH to your device. If you want to reach and edit your device’s main file system, you need a SSH client. Even though with simpler utilities, you can edit your file system without using SSH access like iPhone explorer that you can install on your computer and than can connect your device to computer. But SSH provides you with the luxury of editing your file system without connecting to computer. One of the flaws of SSH is that it is not safe enough, as it can open an easy access for hackers if you forget to disable it. Another issue is its huge battery consumption. To keep your device away from possible hackers, make sure to change user passwords and iPhone root after using SSH.

Notifications Replacement Apps:

Intelliscreen, Notified Pro, and LockInfo are some of the many available choices for a notification app. You can use a trial version of any of these apps before making a choice about selecting one. Experts consider LockInfo as more user-friendly than any other notification app. Notified pro is also continuously improving its features. These apps are essential for your device in absence of a good notification system from Apple.

SMS Apps and Add-Ons:

SMS is a key function and is most utilizedby a lot of users. There are many applications available that can improve SMS capabilities of your iPhone. Some of the most user-friendly SMS apps include BiteSMS, iRealSMS, QuickReply and TLert. The key feature is to reply back to texts without interrupting your simultaneous work. By using these apps, you do not have to leave your current app to use SMS as they allow you to create gestures on the springboard.


Some of the carriers charge their customers an additional fee for providing them freedom of tethering. MyWi provide you with a solution to this problem, by allowing you to jailbreak without paying anything extra to your carrier. This little app is very useful and can create a wifi hotspot with your iPhone. Using MyWi, you can simply tether your iPad to your iPhone. This app is not a free utility and you may have to pay 19.99$ for MyWi. The price is almost equal to two months additional fees of your carrier if you want to tether. One precaution is that you may want to work with MyWi with unlimited data plan.


Another great little app that can help you in providing freedom from some of the restrictions of Apple and your carrier is My3G. It can allow you to use wifi even when you are on your carrier network. This is very useful when you are downloading heavy files on your iPhone. You can also use FaceTime with the help of My3G. Another similar app is 3G Unrestrictor that can allow you to make FaceTime calls.

I hope this information will help you in understanding jailbreak and unlocking better, but if you have some additional information about jailbreak basics, let us know in the comments below.

via TiPB

About Bilal Hameed


Posted on November 24, 2011, in Apple, iOS, iPad, iPhone and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 40 Comments.

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