Jailbreaking is the process of removing the limitations imposed by Apple on devices running the iOS operating system. Tethered jailbreaking requires users to reconnect (tether) to their computer every time the device is restarted while an untethered jailbreak is a one-time activity and is free of this restriction. Both tethered and untethered jailbreaks give users the ability to install “unauthorized” software on iPhones, iPads and iPods, i.e. applications that are not downloaded from Apple's app store and have not been approved or vetted by Apple. These include apps from the Cydia app store.

With every new version of iOS, Apple makes it more difficult to jailbreak and there is usually a lag before jailbreak software catches up to the latest iOS version. Software for tethered jailbreaks is released first because untethered jailbreaking is more difficult. Jailbreak software may be different for each iOS device type (iPhone, iPad and iPod).

Comparison chart

Tethered Jailbreak versus Untethered Jailbreak comparison chart
Edit this comparison chartTethered JailbreakUntethered Jailbreak
What is it? Type of jailbreak where when the user turns the idevice power off and back on, the idevice will need the jailbreaking software to restart it. Type of jailbreak where when the user turns the device off and back on, the device will start unhindered.
Restarting instructions idevice needs to be attached to the computer system and the same program with which the idevice was jailbroken has to run. Normal restart. idevice does not need to be attached to the computer.
Free your iPhone using jailbreak software
Free your iPhone using jailbreak software

What is a tethered jailbreak?

A tethered jailbreak implies that every time your idevice (iPhone or iPod touch) reboots — for example, if the battery dies — users have to connect (tether) the iOS device back to a computer running the jailbreak application, which lets the iPhone or iPad boot up and stay jailbroken.

What is an untethered jailbreak?

An untethered jailbreak requires no connection to your computer to restart the iOS device. You can reboot your iPhone or iPod Touch normally, just as you would do for a device that has not been jailbroken.

Jailbreak Software

There is a lot of malware on the Internet promising to jailbreak iPhones and iPads. Some of this software costs $10 to $30 but most of it is available free. Malware distributors not only have websites hawking their wares, they also use YouTube videos that show supposedly jailbroken phones. However, users should exercise great care before downloading any jailbreak software.

How to Jailbreak an iPhone or other iOS Device

iOS 6.1 untethered jailbreak

  1. Preparatory steps:
    1. Passcode lock on the device will need to be disabled.
    2. Have the USB cable handy to connect the iDevice to the computer.
    3. Back up the iOS device using iTunes so that if something goes wrong, you can recover from backup.
    4. If you are running an older version of iOS, please see some additional preparator steps.
  2. Download the jailbreak software from the evasi0n website for Windows, Mac and Linux.
  3. Connect the iOS device with the computer. If iTunes opens up automatically, close iTunes. Also make sure Xcode is closed if you have that app running on your Mac.
  4. Run the jailbreak software. Do not use your device during the jailbreak.
  5. If the process gets stuck, it is perfectly safe to restart the program, reboot the device (if necessary by holding down Power and Home until it shuts down), and rerun the entire process.

The iOS 6.0 and 6.1 jailbreak process takes about 5 minutes.


Jailbreaking voids the warranty on Apple products. Apple Support will refuse to help users who have jailbroken their devices - by phone or on the support forums.

Another risk is malware. Many purported jailbreaking tools are merely malware in disguise that can infect your computer. Moreoever, jailbreak lets users install apps that are not vetted by Apple and some of these could be malware that could infect your iPhone or iPad.


Hackers such as @planetbeing, pod2g and [1] are well-known for their Jailbreaks.

Tethered Jailbreaking: QuickPwn, purplera1n, blackra1n, and sn0wbreeze 2.0, can jailbreak iOS 4.1 on devices older than iPhone 4 and iPod Touch 4G.

For Untethered Jailbreaking for iOS 4.1 and older versions, greenpois0n, PwnageTool, limera1n, and sn0wbreeze, Absinthe can be used.

Here's a list and history of popular jailbreaking software:

"Pwnapple" icon used by redsn0w, PwnageTool and other PWN tools for jailbreaking an iOS device
"Pwnapple" icon used by redsn0w, PwnageTool and other PWN tools for jailbreaking an iOS device


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"Tethered Jailbreak vs Untethered Jailbreak." Diffen.com. Diffen LLC, n.d. Web. 16 Jan 2019. < >