Want to jailbreak your iPhone 5, iPhone 4S or iPhone 4 and install unauthorised apps? It's risky, but if you're sure, here's how to jailbreak an iPhone - including how to jailbreak an iPhone in iOS 6.1.3.
Jailbreaking your iPhone is a risky process that we can't wholeheartedly recommend, but it remains popular among those who wish to install unofficial apps on the phone. What is jailbreaking? In essence it means bypassing the locks put in place by Apple, and thus gaining access to a large number of apps that Apple hasn't authorised.
How to jailbreak an iPhone: A warning
Some of these unofficial apps are pretty tempting, and may offer features you'd never otherwise be able to access; blocking a phone number on an iPhone, for instance, won't be possible officially until iOS 7 launches, but there's an app on Cydia (where you can download apps for jailbroken iPhones and iPads) that lets you do it easily.
So why doesn't everyone jailbreak? Well, for one thing it's by no means straightforward, as we'll see shortly. Jailbreaking is also legally ambiguous, risky, and prone to void any warranties you have with Apple. We advise you to think long and hard before going ahead with the jailbreaking process.
Apple itself offers advice on the subject of jailbreaking (although you may feel that the company is biased in this respect, since it wants to continue getting its cut of the revenue from official app sales). In this tech note Apple suggests that jailbreaking your iOS device may lead to security vulnerabilities, instability, shortened battery life, unreliability, disruption of services and inability to apply future software updates. It may result in Apple denying service for your device.
Nonetheless, I've been jailbreaking iOS devices for years and have not encountered these issues. But once I've jailbroken such a device, I understand that I should expect no help from Apple if it causes me trouble in the future. With choice comes responsibility.
How to jailbreak an iPhone: tethered and untethered jailbreaking
Jailbreaking has been in a largely dormant state since the release of iOS 6. In that version of the mobile operating system, Apple closed many of the avenues that had once been used to crack iOS open.
Tethered jailbreaks had been developed for iOS 6, but they were clumsy. Such jailbreaks require you to attach your iOS device to your computer and run an application to jailbreak it. If you later power off the device and then restart it, the jailbreak is wiped out, and you have to repeat the entire process.
What prospective jailbreakers wanted was an untethered method, where the hack would remain in effect even after the device was switched off and on again.
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