Jailbreak and unlock the iPhone 4S on 5.0 or 5.0.1 firmware

Updated: February 2, 2012

Who is this guide for?
  • iPhone 4S only.
  • Must already be on 5.0 or 5.0.1 firmware (9A405/9A406).
  • For unlocking options view this page.
  • I used OS X 10.7.3. - The latest version works on OS X 10.5 and up.
  • I used itunes 10.5.3.

Thanks again go out to the Chronic Dev Team and the iPhone Dev Team for getting together and providing this amazing, and FREE program for customizing the iPhone. You can visit the Chronic Dev Team blog, and read their notes regarding this jailbreak here. You can visit the iPhone Dev Team's blog here. You can read their notes regarding this jailbreak here.

Eventually this jailbreak will be incorporated into the redsn0w program. When it is, I'll create a tutorial for that as well. There is also a CLI version of this program which I will not cover as it is meant for more advanced users and isn't as easy to use.

If you feel this jailbreaking program is helpful to you, then donate to the people that made it. There is a donation link right on the main screen of the program.

If you require an unlock, and you already have unlockable modem firmware, then you must update your iPhone so that the modem firmware is not updated. You can not update using stock Apple firmware or it will update your modem firmware and lock it! I have a factory unlocked iPhone 4S and I no longer worry about unlocks provided by the iPhone Dev Team. These software unlocks only work if you do not update your baseband. Learn more about unlocking the iPhone here.

One last thing before we jump in to the tutorial. Please read my disclaimer before proceeding. You've been advised. What you do to your iPhone is your responsibility and no one else's.

Step 1.

I have read over at ModMyi.com that due to the nature of the way this jailbreak functions that the Absinthe program creates a backup and restores it to your device. This is supposedly how the jailbreak files get on the phone as well.

It is recommended that your device either has very little content on it, or you use the Erase All Content and Settings feature found on your phone at Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings prior to jailbreaking. ModMyi.com also stated that you don't have to erase your content, but that it could take an additional 30 minutes or so to complete the process as the program will have to transfer your material back and forth. Word of warning. I can't verify this information anywhere since neither dev team has stated this.

My iPhone was fresh from the store so I did neither of these. You could also use iCloud to backup your iPhone. I don't use iCloud so I can't advise you on how to do this.

Backup your iPhone with iTunes by connecting and clicking the Sync button.


Step 2.

Download Absinthe from the Chronic Dev Team here. Decompress the file and a folder will appear. Inside this folder is the application. You should install this into your Mac's Applications folder. You may also want to read the changelog and the read me.


Step 3.

Here's some advice I found on Twitter from Planetbeing and p0sixninja (a couple of people who helped make this jailbreak possible) before you proceed.
  • If you have problems, reboot your Mac and rerun Absinthe.
  • You can get real-time chat support in #greenpois0n on irc.chronic-dev.org.
  • Your Camera roll will be empty if the jailbreak does not complete. Rerun the Absinthe jailbreak once to fix this, then run it again to complete the jailbreak.
  • Do not have a passcode set. Disable it before jailbreaking.
  • Do not have your own VPN setup. Absinthe needs to set up its own VPN.
  • If Absinthe crashes, reboot your iPhone and try again.
  • Running Absinthe from Terminal seems to fix issues for some. CD to where Absinthe is on your computer and enter ./Absinthe.app/Contents/MacOS/Absinthe
  • If you've already jailbroken with previous version of Absinthe and want to jailbreak using a newer version of Absinthe, then you must restore your iPhone first.
Connect your iPhone to your Mac (I left mine turned on) and launch the Absinthe program. Click Jailbreak.


Your iPhone will appear to be restoring for a moment.


Many messages will appear:
  • Connecting to device...
  • Beginning jailbreak, this may take a while...
  • Sending initial data. Your device will appear to be restoring a backup, this may also take a while...
  • Waiting for reboot - not done yet, don't unplug your device yet!


The iPhone will reboot. You'll see the restore progress bar on the iPhone. The iPhone will then boot up.


Next it will display:
  • Connecting to device...
  • Waiting for device to finish booting...
  • Preparing jailbreak data...
  • Sending payload data, this may take awhile...(Do not touch your device yet!)
Finally you'll see this. You can close the program at this point.


Step 4.

Slide to unlock and you'll see the Absinthe program on your iPhone. It may appear on any of your pages so look for it. Then launch it. You'll see the Absinthe logo while the jailbreak process continues.

iPhone       iPhone

You'll see the restore progress bar on the iPhone for a couple seconds. The Absinthe icon is now gone and Cydia is there. You are now jailbroken!

iPhone       iPhone

If you launch Cydia it will first prepare the file system on the iPhone and then close. Launching it again you may notice (I used TinyUmbrella before I jailbroke to save my SHSHs first) that it has SHSHs on file. In this example it has 5.0.1, and 5.0.1r1 which is the second version of 5.0.1 that Apple released only for the iPhone 4S. It's hoped in the future we will be able to use these SHSHs to restore to firmware that is no longer current should you need to.

iPhone       iPhone

Step 5.

Next, unlocking the iPhone with ultrasn0w. Press the Search button. Enter ultrasn in the search box and it will appear. Press it.

iPhone       iPhone

Install the program. Reboot when prompted. You are now unlocked.

iPhone       iPhone

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