How Does Jailbreaking Work

Alessandro Mirani

Curious about jailbreaking your device? Want to know how? You’re in the right spot! This article will give you the basics. Learn what jailbreaking is, what it involves and its benefits and drawbacks.

Introduction to Jailbreaking

Jailbreaking is the process of taking away limitations on iOS imposed by Apple. It provides root access, allowing for the customization and installation of software not approved by Apple. iPhones specifically can install and use third-party apps not found in the App Store. This practice, however, comes with a risk. You give up security measures, leaving your device open to potential malicious attacks.

Jailbreaking can appear in various forms, such as there is a very populated community releasing different distros of jailbroken software. All these options let you take control of your device without needing Apple’s help. Before attempting to jailbreak, however, be sure you understand all the risks associated with it. Know what you’re getting into before unlocking your device’s bootloader file system.

Before continuing you must however know that Jailbreaking decreases your security under many circumstances. It exposes you to more threats and it decreases the chances you’ll receive support from the device vendor. Any security expert would advise against jailbreaking your device and we will explore the reasons behind this as well in this article.

What is Jailbreaking?

Jailbreaking is when users bypass the restrictions on Apple’s iOS that prevent non-authorized apps to be installed on iOS devices. People do this to add features, customize performance and speed up apps. The process is different for each device, depending on the iOS version.

You need software to connect to your device over USB or wireless. Jailbreaking your device is usually a matter of minutes, but be careful as it will void your warranty besides incurring in other consequences.

Benefits of Jailbreaking

Jailbreaking is the process of allowing iOS users to take control of their OS. This lets them install third-party apps and mods not found in the App Store. It grants them more freedom to customize their device.

Benefits include:

  • Customizing the look of their device with icon sets and fonts.
  • Access to apps from Cydia, an app store specifically for unofficial iOS apps.
  • If others own different carriers, but one person has jailbroken theirs, all parties can access premium functions circumventing security.

Lastly, jailbreaking removes some system restrictions. For example, tethering without extra charges. This can help save money since users can opt into public wifi networks, which have less resource drain than cell phone packages.

Risks of Jailbreaking

When someone jailbreaks their device, they remove all security from Apple. This leaves them vulnerable to attacks from bad guys who use security holes to gain access.

As the configuration of jailbroken systems is not reviewed by Apple, if any security review at all is made, anyone acquiring a jailbroken system can poke its security loopholes easily, rendering anyone able to exploit potential weaknesses and develop malware that can target specifically jailbroken systems.

No more software updates from Apple come when a device is jailbroken. This means it becomes more vulnerable as new security vulnerabilities are discovered.

Lastly, jailbreaking voids any warranties with Apple or the cell carrier. Consider the risks before deciding if jailbreaking is right for you.

How to Jailbreak

Generally, jailbreaking a device means tweaking it so you can install apps, tweaks, and themes not found in the official app store. This is because many devices run Android, a Linux version. To do this, you must access the root directory, which is blocked by the manufacturer and carrier. You get in by exploiting security weaknesses in the operating system. When you do, it unlocks the device from carrier and manufacturer restrictions, allowing you to customize it.

Jailbreaking means full control of the root system. You can install third-party apps not available in official app stores. These could be apps to customize your home screen, pirated content, or regional-blocked websites, like Netflix US or BBC iPlayer.

But, understand the risks before doing this. They include software security or copyright infringement issues.

Common Jailbreaking Tools

Popular jailbreaking tools include:

  • Pangu and TaiG for iOS 8 and up;
  • Evasi0n7 and Pangu8 for iOS 7 and lower;
  • Redsn0w for older devices like iPad 2 and iPhone 3Gs;
  • Sn0wbreeze for Windows users;
  • PPJailbreak tool and the iJailbreakToolkit for Macs.

These tools can be installed with a USB and a computer.

Backup your device before jailbreaking. Then open the tool to start the process. Steps vary depending on the tool but usually include downloading/connecting an installer, declining third-party app warnings and putting phone into DFU mode (if needed). Be careful – an incorrect procedure could damage or compromise your device irreversibly. On successful completion, you will see a notification reading “Your Device has been Jailbroken!

Only experienced users should attempt jailbreaking, as unintended results may occur due to faulty cables and misconfiguration during the process.

Post-Jailbreaking Tips

Jailbreaking your device unlocks awesome features! Here are a few tips for you:

  1. Update Cydia and jailbreak apps/tweaks. It’ll stop errors from happening.
  2. Be careful with tweaks; if you don’t know what it does, proceed with caution.
  3. Uninstall tweaks that you don’t use. It’ll minimize the chances your device runs into problems.
  4. Backup your device frequently. It will help you recover quickly if something goes wrong.


Jailbreaking your device can open up many hidden features and unlock capabilities not available on devices out of the box. You can customize your experience and install software that doesn’t pass Apple’s garden-wall. But, there are risks. Pirate store software will increase the vulnerability of the system and increases the risk of running in malware exponentially. Additionally, jailbreaking breaks Apple’s warranty and any extended warranty programs.

Only an experienced user should attempt jailbreaking and must understand the consequences,  pros and cons, before they begin.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: What is jailbreaking?
A1: Jailbreaking is the process of removing restrictions imposed by Apple on its iOS devices, allowing users to gain root access to the operating system and download applications, extensions, and themes that are unavailable through the App Store.

Q2: How does jailbreaking work?
A2: Jailbreaking is made possible by exploiting a vulnerability in the iOS operating system. Once the vulnerability is found and an exploit is developed, the jailbreak can be used to unlock the device and access the system files.

Q3: Is jailbreaking legal?
A3: In the United States, jailbreaking is legal, although Apple does not condone it, as it voids the warranty of the device. In other countries, the legality of jailbreaking may vary.

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