You’ve heard about this jailbreaking thing from your friends and the internets, but no one has really pointed out the benefits of doing so. Sure, you know it allows installation of free software, but so what; there are tons of free apps in Apple’s AppStore, right? Not to mention the common misconception of, “if I jailbreak my iPhone, won’t that invalidate the warranty” issue. Well worry not; GadgetReview has the answers you need to help guide you through the jailbreak process.
Now there are several guides online instructing you on how to jailbreak your iPhone. Unfortunately, few of them provide a complete and detailed guide on the entire process. We’re going to attempt to solve that issue with a full step by step guide including preparation requirements and explanation on why these steps should be made.
1. iTunes Navigation
Now before we begin the process of jailbreaking we need to make sure that everything on your iPhone and computer are setup to make this procedure as easy as possible. So let’s start off with opening up iTunes on your computer.
iTunes has gone through several GUI changes recently. Some like it, others don’t. I personally find it much easier to navigate through via the sidebar and that’s how I’ll be guiding you so let’s go ahead and enable that nifty feature.
In iTunes, click view and select, “enable sidebar”
iTunes should now look like this.
Now we want to make sure that your apps are updated to their most current versions. As iOS updates and allows more features, the developers of apps update to utilize these features. Since we’re going to be upgrading and jailbreaking iOS 6.1.2, let’s make sure your apps can run at their best potential. You can do this either through iTunes or on your iPhone/Pad. For the sake of keeping this guide relatively simple, we’ll be performing the updates on the iTunes end on your computer.
2. Update your apps
In the sidebar, navigate to “Apps” filed under “Library”
At the bottom right of the iTunes window, you will notice a button stating how many Apps are available for update.
Click the button and you will be taken to the “My App Updates” page displaying the apps that need to be updated. On the top right of the screen is a blue button with a downward pointing arrow labeled “Download All Free Updates”, click that and let the bandwidth flow.
If at all possible, plug in your iPhone to either your computer or to the power cube. When jailbreaking your iPhone, you’ll want your battery at a minimum of 90% charge.
3. Transfer purchases
Now that your Apps are updated and your iPhone is charged, if you haven’t already, plug your iPhone into your computer. Once you do, iTunes will take a moment to recognize your device. When it has, the name of your iPhone will be displayed in the sidebar between “Store” and “Shared”. Right click your device and select “Transfer Purchases”. This will allow any apps/music/etc. purchased on your iPhone to be moved into iTunes.
4. Backup your data
After this process completes, right click your iPhone in the sidebar again and select “Back Up”.
The Backup process creates a small file cataloging the file structure of your iPhone. It is what lets iTunes know what Apps, Songs, Ringtones, Books, etc. to load back onto your iPhone after we update to the newest iOS version.
Ok, now that we’ve got all our Apps updated and backed up, we can proceed to the actual process of jailbreaking.
5. Disable passcode lock
Pick up your iPhone and open the Settings App. We want to make sure that the auto lock and passcode options are disabled for the jailbreak.
In Settings, select “General” and then scroll down to “Auto-Lock”, set that to “Never”
Hit “General” again and select “Passcode Lock”.
At the top of the menu click “Turn Passcode Off”, once that’s done close the settings app by clicking on the home button.
Your iPhone should still be plugged in, if you unplugged it, please reconnect it before proceeding.
6. Update to iOS 6.1.2
Left click on your iPhone in the sidebar of iTunes. This will take you to the “Summary” page in the main panel of iTunes. The current version of your device will be displayed along with its capacity, phone and serial numbers. If it tells you that “Your iPhone software is up to date” and has iOS 6.1.2 displayed in bold, you can skip this step. If not, click the “check for updates” button.
If the update is available, iTunes will provide three choices, “Cancel”, “Download Only” and “Download and Update”. Click the “Download and Update” button and make sure not to unplug the device until the update has finished.
7. Download Jailbreak tool
While your iPhone is being updated, we should utilize this time to download the actual Jailbreak tool.
Open your browser of choice and navigate to evasi0n.com.
Near the top of the page and beneath the iDevice images are three buttons.
Click the button listing the Operating System you’re running on your computer to access the download page.
You’ll be directed to a page with a cloud and some moving gears before your browser reloads to Mega.co.nz.
There will be a popup asking if you want to install an extension this is not necessary. Select “No, thanks” and the popup runs away.
Now that the iPhone has been updated to the newest iOS version, pick up the iPhone (without disconnecting it) and Select “Set up as a new device” on the device itself. Do not select “Set up as a new device” or “Restore from this backup” on iTunes yet.
8. Jailbreak your iPhone
Once your iPhone has restarted, close iTunes and open the evasi0n tool you just downloaded.
9. Prepare iPhone file system with Cydia
Your phone will respring and be sitting on the lock screen. Slide your finger along the unlock bar and look for the “Evasion Jailbreak” icon.
Click it and wait a bit more. Your iPhone will reboot again and when you unlock it, your iPhone will be almost jailbroken.
Look for a brown App icon called Cydia and open it for the first time. Cydia will need to “prepare the file system” for a moment or two and respring again.
At this point your iPhone is Jailbroken. However, you do not have any of your apps or music installed. This is no good to anyone, now is it? Let’s get started on correcting that.
10. Restore your data
Once your iPhone has gone through its respring, reopen iTunes and right click on your iPhone again.
Select “Restore from Backup”.
In the dropdown bar displayed in the popup, select the most recent backup file. iTunes will display the date and time the Backup file was created, you want the one that says “Last backed up today…” Click it and wait…again. (I know, I know)
Once iTunes reloads everything onto your iPhone, you’re done. That’s it. You now have the power of Master Control on your iPhone. You can now install and run apps, themes and other tweaks not approved by Apple on your iPhone. You’re still able to use all your existing apps and buy new ones from the App Store, but what about all the cool stuff? In all likelihood you’re wondering what to do next. What cool jailbreak stuff do you install and more importantly, where do you get these awesome new apps.
Check out our follow up guide on our favorite Cydia Apps where I’ll be guiding you through my most used tweaks and how to use them.
Jordan Goodson, the geek in the darkness, guiding his readers through the vast catacombs of tech and science. He journeys the interwebs searching for any and all relevant data to be absorbed and shared.