How to Jailbreak Your iPhone or iPad – the Easy Guide

I’ve tried to make this guide as easy as possible to show you how to Jailbreak your iPhone or iPad, even if you are not very technical. Jailbreaking can seem very daunting to people not used to tinkering with their cell phones but it can be easy enough for anyone to accomplish.

Read this guide, use the resources I link to and follow the instructions carefully.

As this site is about spy apps, I look at Jailbreaking from this point of view.

Remember, if you want to install any cell phone spy apps on to an iPhone you will need to Jailbreak it first.

Some good news – mSpy and Flexispy both now offer installation services that include Jailbreaking the device and installing their spy software – well worth it if you are uncomfortable with the idea of jailbreaking. See the mSpy FAQ page and the FlexiSPY FAQ page here.

I’m no great technical wizard, but I have gone through this process often enough to have gained some knowledge which will make Jailbreaking easy – even if it is your first time.

I try to cover all Jailbreak related questions here, if you are more advanced just scan through the article to find the information you need.

how to jailbreak iphone

What Is Jailbreaking An iPhone And Why You Should Care?

You have probably heard of the term Jailbreaking an iPhone or iPhone jailbreak, but do you know what this really means. It doesn’t need to be complicated, in fact it can be straightforward. This article will explain everything in simple terms.

I’m going to explain : what Jailbreaking means, why you would want to Jailbreak your iPhone and give details on how to Jailbreak.

When Apple designed the iPhone they made it in such a way as to prevent the use of any third party software on the phone. The operating systems they use will not allow you to use any kind of software or “Apps” unless of course you buy it from Apple – and they want to keep things this way.

Initially this was not a huge issue but with the development of many other types of Smartphones a lot of new software has emerged and a lot of it is free.

These third party Apps have become hugely popular allowing you to customize your phone and include many add-on features and games. The problem is that if you have a standard iPhone – you can not download and use any of these apps – only the ones available from the Apple Store.

Unless of course you Jailbreak your iPhone and set it free!

iphone jail break

What Does Jailbreaking Your iPhone Do?

Without getting too technical, Jailbreaking involves changing the operating system with a simple software download. This process will allow the phone to use other third party apps and software both paid and free. It is a kind of hack to allow you to change the device.

When you run a Jailbreaking program it will install an app, usually called Cydia. Cydia is a basically a store which gives you access to all the other third party apps available and you install them as downloads through Cydia.

The important thing to remember is that these downloads or hacks are designed to match the version of the actual iPhone (4, 4s, 5, 7, 9) and the current operating system it is running (iOS 11, iOS 14) etc. It constantly changes – when Apple release a new updated OS the hackers get to work and pretty soon a new jailbreak is released.

The best thing is that this Jailbreaking is completely free. There are loads of sites offering jailbreak software at a cost but why would you want to pay for something that is free and easy to do?

The Problem With Jailbreaking Releases

This all used to work pretty quickly – a new update from Apple was quickly followed by a new Jailbreak release. But back around the release of iOS 11 things slowed dramatically. It was getting harder to overcome the Apple updates.

Now when Jailbreak tools are released they are several versions behind the current operating systems and aren’t just as easy as they once were – some needing a tethered Jailbreak for example.

It’s just something to be aware of – if you run the latest iPhone or iPad on the latest iOS then you are not able to Jailbreak it … at least for a while.

In the spy app market this has lead to increased demand for No Jailbreak versions such as from mSpy. But remeber these do not require the iPhone to be Jailbroken Because No software is Installed on the target device!

Is Unlocking a Phone the Same as Jailbreaking?

No, they are very different. Unlocking an iPhone is a way of freeing the phone for use with different mobile carriers or service providers.

When you buy a cell phone contract with some companies the phone is locked in to that carrier meaning you can’t easily change to another one. Unlocking allows you to use other companies. You can Jailbreak an iPhone without unlocking it.

jailbreaking to set free

How to Tell if Your Phone is Jailbroken?

If you have just bought a brand new iPhone it will not be Jailbroken. If you buy a pre-owned or reconditioned one, it could be. An easy way to tell is simply to look for the Cydia App – if it is there you have a Jailbroken iPhone.

The Cydia app can be hidden so just because it is not showing on your home screen doesn’t mean the phone is not Jailbroken.

Another way to check is by attempting to Jailbreak. When you try to run the software it will prompt you that the phone is already Jailbroken.

If you’re still not convinced I have a full guide on how to detect a Jailbreak here.

Why Would You Want To Jailbreak Your iPhone?

If you are happy enough with all that Apple has to offer, you have no real need to Jailbreak an iPhone. If however you want gain access to a wide range of apps and software applications that can totally transform how you use your phone, then you need to Jailbreak.

To be able to install any of the cell phone spy software programs the iPhone must be Jailbroken.

Some people hate the way Apple is trying to control the apps market and of course this is one way to strike back a little. So if it is a free and adaptable iPhone you want, Jailbreaking is the answer.

How to Jailbreak an iPhone

First Steps – Backup Your Phone

Before you do anything you need to do a full backup of your phone. You must do this so that if anything goes wrong you will not loose everything on the phone. Most people will do this through iTunes using the backup feature.

If you haven’t done this before and need instructions read these easy to follow guides I have made – How to Backup an iPhone and then – How to Restore an iPhone from a Backup.

Once you are safely backed up turn off the phones lock password if you use it. It is also important that you do not try to use the phone or the PC for anything else during the process.

iPhone Jailbreak

Download the Correct Jailbreak

Next you need to download the Jailbreak program to your Computer or Laptop.

The Jailbreak version – this is the software download you will use to actually Jailbreak your phone. There are different versions available and they need to match your iPhone Operating System (iOS).

Find Out Your iPhone OS version – if you don’t already know this, it’s easy to find out. On the phone Home screen hit the settings icon – then tap General – then About. Scroll down and you will see the phone details and the version of the OS it is running. It will look like 5.1 or 11.3 etc.

Now you have your phone iOS version, you need to get the correct Jailbreak download. The main site I have used for years now is iClarified – it covers most OS versions and has proved reliable for me!

Try this one – this link at iClarified

Just select your version number and the links will take you to the downloads. Download the software to your PC and follow the instructions.

Some of the downloads will be in zip file format. These are just files which have been compressed and made smaller for easy downloading. You will need to unzip the files to be able to use them. You can download free software for this if you don’t have it already – 7-zip.org is a good one.

You just need to run 7-zip and extract the files you have just downloaded. You should then see a file or icon to run the Jailbreak program ( it usually ends in .exe).

Jailbreak Tools?

The Jailbreak downloads are often referred to as Jailbreaking tools or hacks. Once they are released and tested they can uaually be found around the internet but stick to reliable sources for the downloads.

There have been cases of downloads infected with malaware and viruses from some sites – use the one I recommeneded or any other big online publication with a good reputation.

The jailbreaks themselves are usually named after their developers and often sound and look strange – the names do not matter just match up the versions!

Some names include : Pangu, Redsn0w, Pwnagetool and Greenpis0n.

Running the Jailbreak Software

Make sure you have no other programs open on your PC and click on the Jailbreak program (.exe file). Make sure nothing is running on your phone and connect it to your computer via usb cable – iTunes should be closed down.

Hit “Jailbreak” on the program and let it run – it will take a few minutes to complete.

Cydia Jailbreak Icon
Cydia Icon

You will be prompted to open the Jailbreak icon that appears on your phone’s home screen – open it and the Jailbreak will complete. Look for the Cydia App and click it – it will update automatically.

That’s it – you are done! With Cydia installed and updated the process is complete and you are Jailbroken.

Need to hide the Cydia App icon? – I’ve got an article for that too! Check it out.

Jailbreaking your iPhone isn’t difficult if you follow the instructions and take your time.

Types of Jailbreak

You’ll come across different terms for the types of Jailbreak available online. Tethered and untethered are the most important. It all sounds a bit confusing but I’ll explain briefly what you need to know.

Untethered Jailbreak – this was common with older jailbreaks. It means the jailbreak will stay in place if the phone or device is restarted (rebooted) or powered off.

Tethered Jailbreak – nearly all of the latest Jailbreaks are tethered or semi-tethered. This means that everytime the phone is restarted or rebooted, you have to connect to a computer and rerun the Jailbreak. It is a bit of a pain but then many people go for a long time without rebooting!

Jailbreak – Frequently Asked Questions

Is Jailbreaking legal? – Yes it is totally legal.

Does Jailbreaking void my warranty? – Only if you bring a jailbroken iPhone in for repair. The jailbreak is totally reversible so all you need to do is restore your phone or update the software from Apple and the jailbreak will be removed.

How much does Jailbreaking cost? – Some companies do charge for Jailbreaking but there are many free software downloads so you do not need to pay.

Is Jailbreaking safe? – It is perfectly safe if you follow one simple step. Before you attempt to jailbreak, do a full backup of your iPhone and store it safely on your PC. If you encounter any problems you can restore this backup and your phone will be returned to its original settings. Remember it is totally reversible.

Can you update a jailbroken phone? – If you update to the latest Apple OS version automatically the jailbreak will be removed. The trick is to wait until there is a jailbreak available for the last update and then go ahead, update and then jailbreak again.

How long does Jailbreaking take? – Anything from 2 to 10 minutes depending on the method you choose.

Can Jailbreaking brick my phone? – No most descriptions of this refer to the screen freezing or going blank. This can usually be fixed by restarting the device or if that fails doing a factory reset (hard reset).

Can I use iTunes after Jailbreaking? – Yes you can still use iTunes and the Apple Store with a Jailbroken iPhone or iPad.

Is Jailbreaking easy? – it is easy enough for anyone to do if you follow the basic instructions closely. You do not need to be a tech expert to jailbreak your iPhone.

Still afraid to have a go at Jailbreaking? Read my mspy review – it offers limited monitoring features and doesn’t need a Jailbreak. It is actually a computer software app and is not installed on to the target phone – very different but might be a help in some situations.

Also have a look at my – How to spy on an iPhone guide – lots more information there.

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Author - Susan Kennedy

Hi there - I'm Susan Kennedy, a regular mom who has used spy apps for years now. I was fed up with spammy reviews and poor information so I started this website. I also teach how to improve your online security and stop unwanted spy apps. Reliable information from a real person!

Susan Kennedy author