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So, you’re all fired up and ready to either enter the world of jailbreaking iOS device for the first time, or maybe are just looking for the most current “How to”? The method we’re about to explain uses redsn0w and works on both the PC and Mac platforms. Please read the details carefully and you’ll be up and running in no time – if there are questions, please fire away in our comments section below.

BEFORE YOU START: If you require a carrier unlock then please read the entire post and heed the warning of how to preserve your device’s baseband. There is no going back with baseband upgrades, accidental or otherwise!

If you are running iOS 5 on your iOS device then you should be able to install the latest 5.0.1 firmware using the OTA (Over The Air) update. If you need help with this, see this post here. If you are running an older firmware, i.e. iOS 4.x.x or even iOS 3.x.x then you need to perform a manual update.

Step 1 – Update to iOS 5

  • If already running iOS 5.x.x install the OTA update then move on to Step 2. Otherwise, download iOS 5.0.1 for iPhone, iPad or iPod touch (iPad 2 is not currently supported). [Direct links at bottom of this post]
  • Download redsn0w for your PC / Mac [Direct links at bottom of this post]
  • Carry out a full backup /sync of your iDevice using iTunes, or if you’re using iCloud make sure your backup is up to date.
  • If you rely on a software unlock and need to preserve your baseband, DO NOT update your device using the downloaded firmware. Instead, open redsn0w and create a custom IPSW (RedSn0w > Extras > Custom IPSW)
  • Update your device using the IPSW firmware file you’ve just downloaded using iTunes. (To specify a particular IPSW file, shift click (Windows) or CMD click (Mac) the Restore button in iTunes)
Step 2 – The Jailbreak
Remember, if you rely on an unlock and need to preserve your baseband, you must only update your device with a custom IPSW.
  • Open redsn0w
  • Plug in your iDevice and power it off
  • Click Jailbreak and follow the on-screen instructions which explain how to put a device in DFU mode. (In summary, this requires you to hold the “Power” button, then whilst still holding the “Power” button hold the “Home” button before finally releasing the “Power” button whilst still pressing the “Home” button. This sounds more complicated than it is, which is why you are guided through it on-screen).
  • Select “Install Cydia” and click the “next” button.
  • Redsn0w will now do everything it needs to automatically. Once the device reboots, you’ll find it’s jailbroken untethered. Unplug and enjoy!

If you aren’t sure what tethered and untethered jailbreaks are, then we’ve a simple explanation here.

If you want to know how to jailbreak an AppleTV 2nd Generation, click here

Download links

RedSnow 0.9.10 beta 3: Mac / Windows

Direct links to iOS 5.0.1 firmware

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