Read me first

I have a lot of content on this site so I made this page as an introduction to the iPhone hacking scene. Consider it a good starting point for what I have to offer.

My tutorials require a Mac.

These are the topics I will cover:

What's jailbreaking, and why should I do it?

Jailbreaking is a process where you modify your iPhone so that you can purchase and install programs from any software company you want to. The term jailbreaking refers to the fact that the code running on the iPhone is in a programming jail so that it can't be modified by the end user (you). Without getting too technical, all the programs on the iPhone run inside of a programming sandbox. This sandbox only allows Apple approved software (purchased through the App Store) to be installed.

When you jailbreak, you add the ability to run non-App Store purchased programs. By bringing your own programs to play with in the Apple sandbox, you greatly increase the functionality of the iPhone.

Let me put this to you another way... I own an Apple laptop computer. I want to purchase the Adobe Photoshop program. This is a powerhouse image editing application and isn't in the Mac App Store. Apple allows me to go to Adobe directly and purchase Photoshop from them and then install it on my laptop computer. What's the difference who I purchase my iPhone programs from?

Most new "features" on the iPhone (including the very App Store itself), in stores right now, came from the jailbreak community. Some of these features are: custom ringtones, custom wallpaper on the home screen, cut and paste, Notification Center, large format app switcher, toggles for services like Wi-Fi, et cetera. The jailbreaking community has constantly innovated features that users want for the iPhone. Apple continually incorporates these features into upcoming models of the iPhone as a selling point. The jailbreak community has even patched serious flaws in the iPhone when they discovered them to help protect jailbreakers. Apple then includes these patches in their future software releases to protect its customers. iPhone

Jailbreaking an iPhone is legally allowed. The Library of Congress included jailbreaking as an allowed exemption to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) as found in the United States Code of Federal Regulations, Title 37 Part 201.40, in 2010. You can read their ruling here. Paragraph 2 specifically applies to this. Note that jailbreaking was never illegal. This decision only gives end users legal grounds to jailbreak, not that they need protection from something.

Jailbreaking is generally safe for your iPhone and cell phone network. Thousands of beneficial applications exist in Cydia. These apps are only available via jailbreaking. The app approval process at Apple doesn't always make sense, and just because an app made it through the Apple approval process doesn't necessarily mean that app is safe either. Apple likes to claim they're protecting the iPhone's security, and that of their cell phone network partners' security. I haven't heard of a single issue where a cell phone network was compromised because of jailbreaking or unlocking, and jailbreakers have been doing this since 2007!

Jailbreaking is a generally risk-free process that will not void your warranty, provided you can restore your iPhone with iTunes. After restoration the jailbreak is removed. Jailbreaking is a transparent process. Everything that Apple provided on your iPhone should continue to work normally once you have jailbroken. Please don't let naysayers limit what you do with your phone in the name of privacy and security as the App Store has failed numerous times in these arenas.

How's unlocking different from jailbreaking?

While jailbreaking lets you use any programs you want to on your iPhone, unlocking is an additional process performed on an already jailbroken iPhone. Unlocking is removing the restriction put in place by Apple that limits the iPhone to operating on a particular cellular network. You can always roam, but at greatly increased rates of service. When you unlock an AT&T or a T-Mobile iPhone, it allows it to operate on any network in the world that uses the GSM standard (the most widely adopted cellular phone standard on the planet). You simply remove one SIM card and insert the SIM card of the network you want to use and the iPhone will connect to that network.

Unlocking (from a CDMA perspective) doesn't apply to the Sprint or Verizon networks. These providers must provision your iPhone to work on their network. You can't just run an unlocking program to gain access to their network at will, like you can with GSM networks. iPhones that use GSM technology only can't be made to operate with CDMA network providers.

The Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) no longer protects the ability to unlock a cell phone purchased locked from a carrier beginning in January of 2013. Because of this, new unlocking tutorials will no longer be provided on this site beginning with the iPhone 5. Unlocking iPhones purchased prior to 2013 is still allowed and those tutorials are still available.

Keep in mind AT&T (and presumably T-Mobile) will unlock the iPhone. Sprint and Verizon models come with the GSM SIM slot unlocked and you can purchase a factory unlocked iPhone direct from Apple. So you have plenty of options. You'll also have a warranty protecting that unlocked iPhone. Since Apple has made it so easy to purchase a new, unlocked iPhone with a warranty, I'd recommend this method of obtaining one.

There are two types of cell phone service providers in the United States: those that use GSM technology (AT&T, T-Mobile, H2O, Net10, Simple Mobile) and those that use CDMA technology (Verizon, Sprint, Cricket, Boost). There are probably other smaller regional carriers as well. They are also divided into these cateogries.


What jailbreaking has to offer.

While Apple's App Store is fantastic, it won't provide you with many amazing programs that you can install once you are jailbroken. In fact, there are many programs you will never see on the App Store because of Apple's strict and often capricious rules for approval. Cydia (an alternative to the App Store) is the program that is automatically installed when jailbreaking and the vast majority of the content it offers is free!

The iPhone hacking community is well established and has been around since the days the first iPhone went on sale in the summer of 2007. With the creation of Installer, and then later Cydia, the community created the foundation for the distribution of third party applications. Apple saw this and witnessed the success of this distribution model. They were a driving force behind the creation of the App Store (so much for web apps huh, Steve?). Apple was then able to monetize the distribution of third party software on the iPhone.

So what're some of these programs?

Apple offers a notification center which can display lots of great information at your fingertips, however you must still slide to unlock to get past the lock screen to invoke the notification center. There are better alternatives that place this information right on the lock screen. Just press your home button to wake the iPhone and you can view a screen full of information immediately.

IntelliScreenX and LockInfo allow you to view practically anything on the lock screen like e-mail, weather, stock ticker, FaceBook, Twitter, RSS feeds, missed calls, calendar events, notifications and SMS.

From left to right: Apple notification center, IntelliScreen and LockInfo. There are numerous possible configurations, these images display only one configuration. IntelliScreen allows you to swipe through several screens of information, LockInfo displays everything on one page. Both IntelliScreen and LockInfo offer trial versions.


If you'd rather have a cleaner look on your lock screen why not get rid of the standard clock design and slider bar for something, well less? Just because you can't see the slider bar doesn't mean it isn't there. You could have absolutely nothing on this screen if you wanted.

iPhone       iPhone       iPhone

How would you like to tether with your iPhone, without a tethering plan? Ultimately it's your responsibility if you comsume lots of data with your iPhone and your service provider wants you to pay for a tethering plan. This is a convenient feature when you are on the go and there is no Wi-Fi to be found for your laptop computer. Yes you can tether with an AT&T, Simple Mobile, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon. I have a tutorial for how to do this. There are a couple programs for sale that can help you with this: TetherMe, PdaNet and MyWi.


Use FaceTime, iCloud Backup, Photo Stream or view high quality YouTube videos over your LTE / 3G / EDGE / GPRS connection when you are on the go, instead of being restricted to Wi-Fi.

All you have to do is purchase 3G Unrestrictor.

You can also download applications, TV shows, movies, music and podcasts larger than 50 megabytes from the App Store or iTunes over 3G, which is normally restricted to Wi-Fi.

Multitasking is something Apple has yet to improve on the iPhone. You might think the program Auxo was a feature of the iPhone because it's done so well.

Double pressing your home button reveals not only the program application icon but its current state.

To close an application merely flick the icon down. Want to close two applications at once? No problem! Use two fingers. If you want to close them all at once press and hold.

You can even designate certain programs as VIPs that don't get closed or issue a prompt before closing. How cool is that???

Flicking to the right again opens up another panel with short cut buttons to your favorite toggles. You can even have multiple rows of toggles to things like Wi-Fi, airplane mode, respring, orientation lock, muting, Bluetooth, 3G, personal hotspot, cellular data, flashlight, vibration, location services and VPN.

Flicking one more time brings up music controls.


Would you like to increase your odds of retrieving your lost or stolen iPhone? While Apple has the Find My iPhone service that provides you with a map location of your iDevice and allows you to set a remote passcode lock or perform a remote wipe, there are a couple of jailbreak only programs that do more to aid in the recovery of your iPhone.

ICaughtU (free) and ICaughtU Pro (paid) - Takes a picture using the front facing camera when the passcode is entered incorrectly (you set the attempt threshold) or when someone attempts to turn the phone off and then uses e-mail or SMS to send the photo or the location of the person.

iGotYa' - Offers a 10 day free trial. It has the same features as ICaughtU but also offers a Secure Mode where you can still have access to your iPhone even after entering the passcode incorrectly, however all your personal data (SMS, pictures, call history, contacts, etc.) will be hidden. It doesn't require you to have an email account set up on the iPhone.

iPhone       iPhone       iPhone


If you jailbreak you can even change the fonts system wide with a program called BytaFont.

While Apple provides three fonts for use with the Notes application: (Helvetica, Marker Felt and Noteworthy), you can add many others to suit your taste.

Fonts shown are Atari8bit, Blade Runner Movie, Calvin and Hobbes, Neuropol, Terminator and Walt Disney.

WinterBoard can "theme" the look of your iPhone with just a couple button pushes!

Themes can be quite extensive and change the visual look of most everything on your phone like the Mail application, Weather, Calculator, Messages, the music player and your lock screen.

Check out how dramatic your home screen can look with one of these themes. Seen are Ayecon, Ambriel, XiD and exxOS.

Since this is a phone and you’ll be spending a lot of time dialing phone numbers, why not change the phone keypad as well? The standard phone keypad in iOS 6 sure leaves a lot to be desired. Check out this pay phone style look. On the far right is a personal photo of mine. Even better! I have a tutorial for how to do this too.


Would you like to have the ability to opt out of data mining services which have their code embedded in some App Store applications?

The reasons for this data mining seem harmless enough - developers just want to track how users use their program... Uh huh.

How many stories have we seen in the media the last couple years where some program uploaded your contacts and personal information to the Internet so that a developer could profit from it? Apple has even found programs that do this on their own App Store and had them removed for violating their rules!

If you would like the option to not be tracked, you can install a program called PrivaCy. This program was made by the creator of Cydia and in conjunction with the data tracking service companies in question.

Syncing your iPhone to multiple iTunes accounts would be pretty cool. If you use the program MultiTunes this is easily done. Why be limited to just one library of music?



There are free games written specifically for jailbroken iPhones like
MacMan. This is only available via Cydia.


Apple has lots of features on the iPhone that can be turned on and off. The problem is these buttons are all buried in different menus and it can be confusing where to find them quickly or just tedious to have to do over and over again.

There’s a program called SBSettings, which adds a convenient control panel to the iPhone. It is a one stop shop for turning on and off various services on your phone like: 3G, Edge, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, SSH, GPS location, adjusting screen brightness, killing processes, SSH, Tethering, et cetera. It is activated by simply swiping your finger across the status bar. You could also include this in the Notification Center if you wanted to.

SBSettings also has a control panel for hiding the various program icons installed. If you are like most people who don’t use the Stocks application, you can just make it disappear by sliding its toggle to off.

There's even a program called NCSettings which is very similar to SBSettings but only works in the Notification Center.

iPhone You can customize the sounds on your iPhone when you do things like slide to unlock, press a button to dial a phone number, receive a new email or SMS and relock your phone just to name a few.

Why be stuck with the same exact sounds that every other iPhone has? Personalize it! Make it uniquely you. There are even WinterBoard themes with a variety of sounds already included that can do this for you.

The first program I always install on my iPhone as soon as a new jailbreak comes out is iBlacklist. I've been using it for years now and it works great!

It allows you to selectively block incoming calls from phone numbers that you don't want bothering you.

This is great for blocking those annoying telemarketers, insurance companies or around election time. I like setting my phone to permanently ring busy for these people. Ha ha ha ha......

You can also use it to block text messages.


iPhone Another little known fact is that the iPhone is limited to eleven pages of icons. Once you reach this limit, any new programs you install through the App Store will not display on the iPhone, so you won't have any way to run those programs unless you do a Spotlight search for them.

Starting with 4.0 firmware Apple finally introduced folders but implements them in a limited way: you can only have 16 icons in a folder. Why this limitation?

If you jailbreak, you can use a program called Infinifolders which allows an unlimited amount of applications in a folder!

If you buy more programs from the App Store no problem. When you sync your iPhone the new application is placed on the next avaialable page of your iPhone and you just simply drag it over to the folder you'd like it in. This is a paid program in Cydia.

Look at that. There's 19 icons in this folder.

Like cramming your screen full of icons? Then install the programs Five Icon Dock, Five-Column SpringBoard and Five Icon Switcher.

iPhone       iPhone

Still not enough icons for you? Fire up Springtomize and put that home screen into over drive. Oh you can go up to 10 icons per line...


If you'd rather see just how few icons you can have on your screen, or be able to arrange them in any pattern you'd like, then check out the Gridlock program. I've made my dock, the spotlight icon and the page dots disappear with other themes.

iPhone       iPhone

iPhone       iPhone

Have a favorite video on YouTube and wish you could save it easily? MxTube is just for you. Simply search for the videos you want, then choose whether to download them in low or high quality. They will then be stored on your iPhone. You could then easily transfer these videos to your computer if you wanted.

iPhone       iPhone       iPhone

For an even more complete YouTube experience check out ProTube. It features video downloads (up to 1080p), HD streaming, audio only download, watch blocked videos, import downloaded songs and videos into iTunes using Bridge, banner ads are blocked, along with the ability to completely control your YouTube account. Check out the video below.

Hate that Newsstand icon and don't want to put it on its own page? Sure there's a trick where you can put it in a new folder (with great difficulty) but that brings up other issues. Cydia has a tweak which eliminates the icon (then places your Newsstand content on the springboard as individual icons instead). Check out NoNewsIsGoodNews.

iPhone       iPhone

Do you enjoy texting but feel there is so much that Apple left out of their Messages app?

iRealSMS greatly expands the abilities of SMS and MMS on the iPhone. It offers folders, drafts, text-to-voice, quick reply and quick send (from within other applications), contact pictures, smileys, templates, search ability, forward via mail, privacy settings, sent notifications, password lock, a character counter and more.

Another popular competitor program is called BiteSMS.


ShakeToUndo Killer is a favorite of mine.

I use the Notes application when I go grocery shopping. Sometimes just moving the phone around in my hand (or placing it in its case while I grab something off the shelf) causes the Notes application to prompt me to undo my typing.

Sometimes it likes to tell me that there is nothing to undo...

This program stops that annoying behavior.

There are several video game console emulators on Cydia. Here are some screen shots from snes4iphone (which is a Super Nintendo Entertainment System emulator).

iPhone iPhone


iFile is a complete file manager and viewer. Think of it as the Finder but for your iPhone.

It allows fast navigation through the file system in multiple tabs. You can directly view images, movies, sound, text, HTML, web archives, Microsoft and Apple iWork files, PDFs and compressed formats.

You can copy, paste, rename and move files. Edit text files and property lists, such as configuration files. Install .deb software packages. Pack and unpack ZIPs and other compressed files.

Upload and download files from iFile's built-in web server via a web browser or connecting to it as a network drive (WebDAV). Manage, copy, and move files in your Dropbox, box or FTP account.

Send files as email attachments. Send files to iFile on other iDevices via Bluetooth. This program integrates with AttachmentSaver, Safari Download Manager and Celeste Bluetooth File Sharing.

OpenSSH is a great program for interfacing with the file system on the iPhone. It allows for secure Wi-Fi access between the iPhone and your Mac. This allows for transferring of files to and from, chmodding files and for installation and removal of programs.

I have a detailed tutorial for how to install this program on both the iPhone and your Mac. When you install SSH you can also change the well-known passwords for the root and mobile accounts which will make your iPhone more secure. You can even connect via the sync cable when Wi-Fi is unavailable using another program.


Safari Download Manager is an extension that adds a powerful, highly-configurable download manager to the iPhone's web browser. Like never before, you can take control over downloaded file types and harness the true power of the network connection on your device.

Choose to download more than one file at a time!

You can use a program like iFile to view your downloads.
iPhone       iPhone

The iPhone hacking community is well established and has been around since the days the first iPhone went on sale in the summer of 2007. With the creation of Installer and Cydia, the community created the foundation for the distribution of third party applications. Apple saw this and witnessed the success of these two distribution models. They were a driving force behind the creation of the App Store (so much for web apps huh Steve?) so Apple could make money from distributing third party software on the iPhone. Installer has since gone offline. Cydia offers the majority of its programs for free.

Here are the interfaces for the App Store and Cydia. Pretty similar looking. They function the same as well.

iPhone       iPhone

Let's jailbreak!

As a general rule when Apple releases new firmware for the iPhone it isn't immediately jailbreakable upon release. It can take days or months until a jailbreak is released.

These are the topics I will cover next:

Jailbreaking issues

There are some things you should know before you perform anything on this site. There is some minor risk involved here. In a worst case scenario you simply restore your iPhone using iTunes and your phone will be back to normal. Doing this will cause you to lose your jailbreak and / or unlock and perhaps for some time.
  • You potentially risk voiding your warranty (if you can't restore your iPhone to stock firmware).
  • Any modifications you perform on your iPhone, including bypassing activation, jailbreaking and unlocking, could be reset (or the option to rejailbreak or unlock blocked) if you should install a firmware update provided by Apple. It is usually just a matter of re-doing everything you previously did to get your iPhone back the way you had it.
  • Read the instructions in their entirety. If you can't follow directions, the potential is there for damage (only in extreme cases) to occur to your iPhone requiring a replacement that will most likely be paid for by you.
  • I am not responsible for your results if they are less than what you expected. You assume all risks. I recommend seeking help in iPhone hacking forums or in the various IRC channels. The tutorials I create record the exact procedure I used on my iPhone.
  • If you have not activated your iPhone via one of the official cell phone providers (AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, et cetera), and do not pay them for your cellular phone service, then you may lack the ability to use visual voicemail and possibly FaceTime.
  • Jailbreaks and unlocks may have bugs in them causing undesirable side effects that have yet to be discovered. Sometimes these problems are solved when the programs are updated. I try to document widespread issues but can't document everything. I do note any issues I had when performing the process.

iPhone models

There are currently six generations of iPhones. However the original iPhone and the iPhone 3G can not support iOS 6 firmware so we won't worry about them.
  • The third generation iPhone (also called the 3G S) was released in the summer of 2009 for the AT&T network only.
  • The fourth generation iPhone (also called the iPhone 4) was released in the summer of 2010 for the AT&T network and in February 2011 for the Verizon network.
  • The fifth generation iPhone (also called the iPhone 4S) was released in the fall of 2011 for the AT&T, Sprint and Verizon networks.
  • The sixth generation iPhone (also called iPhone 5) was released in the fall of 2012 for the AT&T, Sprint and Verizon networks.
Looking at the graphic below, the iPhone 5 is distinguished by the fact that it is taller than all previous models and it has six total rows of icons on the home screen, not five like all other iPhones before it.

The next iPhones in my example are the 4 S and 4 and look like a shorter iPhone 5. To tell the AT&T model apart from the Verizon model, simply look on the side opposite the volume buttons. The AT&T iPhone 4 has a SIM tray, the Verizon iPhone 4 does not. On the iPhone 4S there will be a SIM tray for AT&T, Sprint and Verizon and the steel band will have two breaks in it on both sides.

The last iPhone is the third generation model the 3G S. It is distinguished by its tapered ends at the top and bottom of the case. The entire back of the phone is a black, or white plastic.


What firmware is jailbreakable?

iPhone To determine which firmware you have on your iPhone, launch the Settings application, press General, then press About. Look at the entry for "Version" (also referred to as firmware or OS). It will have a number next to it and another number in parantheses. We're only concerned about the first two (or three) digit number. So when you hear: Apple is releasing new firmware, that is the number they are referring to.

The image to the right is from an iPhone 5. I've highlighted the version number.

Currently, 6.0, 6.0.1, 6.0.2, 6.1, 6.1.1 and 6.1.2 firmware can be jailbroken.

If you are using 6.x firmware, then check out my Step 1 tutorials found in the "Start here" menu of my navigation bar.

Step 1 tutorials

There is one Mac OS X program for jailbreaking on 6.x firmware: Evasi0n.

Evasi0n is made by the team called Evaders which is made up of members of various iPhone jailbreaking teams. Do not pay for this program! I know there are shady businesses out there that sell it! The team does accept donations. Please consider supporting them if they helped you out.

Evasi0n: Works with firmware 6.0 - 6.1.2 on all iPhones.

  • Is a one size, fits all program for jailbreaking. There is only one button to click.
  • Requires you to be on the firmware you intend to jailbreak before use.
  • You do not need to freshly restore before jailbreaking, although you should backup your iPhone first.
The jailbreak tutorial is here.

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