How to Jailbreak iPhone OS 3.0

by Leo PangLeo Pang on 1245909185|%e %B %Y
rating: 0, tags: 2g 3.0 3g how-to iphone jailbreak unlock


Now that iPhone's new OS 3.0 is available with all its nifty features like spotlight search, copy and paste, push notifications and maybe one day MMS and tethering, many users have happily upgraded their devices. For most people, upgrading to the new OS is as technical as they want to get. For others, however, a true upgrade isn't complete until the jailbreak is done.

After waiting for a few days, the fabulous iPhone dev team at last provided us with a new set of jailbreaking tools. If you're ready to dive in, you can use this guide to get going. And unlike some of the other guides on the net, we'll share our personal experience and tips so you know just what you're getting into…and what to avoid.

PwnageTool versus Redsn0w versus Ultrasn0w: What?!?

If you're new to jailbreaking, you might be confused by the names being tossed around out there: PwnageTool? Redsn0w? ultrasn0w? What are these people talking about?! Simply put, they're all tools that either jailbreak (allow you to install 3rd-party applications) or unlock (make the phone work on other GSM-based cellular networks) your device.

For expert hackers wanting to create their own custom firmware, the Mac OS X-only PwnageTool is the right one for the job. But if all you care about is jailbreaking, then you'll probably want the new tool called "redsn0w." Although you can certainly jailbreak using the PwnageTool (LifeHacker shows you how), Windows users have no choice but to use redsn0w - it's the only option.

Also of note, redsn0w is the replacement for the jailbreaking tool "QuickPwn," which in the past delivered similar functionality. Although the Dev Team didn't specifically come out and say so (besides this tweet), it looks like QuickPwn is no more.

Finally, Ultrasn0w is the tool that unlocks the iPhone to allow it to work on other cellular networks. (In the U.S., that means T-Mobile.) Before you can unlock the phone, though, you have to jailbreak it. Then you can follow the simple instructions here to complete the unlock process.


Jailbreaking 101



Now you're ready to jailbreak your phone. Before doing this, you should make sure you have a recent iPhone backup just in case something goes horribly wrong (not likely, but better safe than sorry). Your iPhone is automatically backed up when you sync with iTunes - unless you're the impatient type who always cancels that step of the syncing process. In any case, do one more sync before starting your jailbreak.

Get Redsn0w

The next step is to obtain the software known as redsn0w. If you're familiar with using bittorrent software, the fastest way to get the download is through the torrent file. The Mac torrent is here and the Windows torrent is here. If you're not comfortable torrenting files, then you can head over to one of the mirror sites hosting the zip file. The Dev Team blog lists them all here at the bottom of the post. Make sure you get the correct one for your PC - either the one for Mac or the one for Windows.

After downloading the file, unzip its contents to a folder.


1) With your iPhone connected to your computer, you can now launch the redsn0w.exe application.

For Windows 7 users, take note: for best results you'll want to run the app in "compatibility mode." Right-click on the file, go to Properties, then click the "Compatibility" tab. Check the "run this program in compatibility mode for:" checkbox and choose Windows XP (Service Pack 2) from the list provided. Click "OK" to close the window. You may also want to run redsn0w as an Administrator (right-click, then choose "run as Administrator"). I didn't do this, but some users have reported this as necessary to keep the app from crashing.

2) On the first screen of the redsn0w application, you're prompted to browse for your IPSW (iPhone firmware) file. A lot of online tutorials first provide you with this file and make you place it in some sort of easy-to-find folder. That seems like a lot of extra steps considering that the IPSW is already on your computer. Why not just browse to it?

For Windows users, the file will be located in:

Windows XP: C:\Documents and Settings\<user name>\Application Data\Apple Computer\iTunes\iPhone Software Updates

Windows Vista or Windows 7: C:\Users\<user name>\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\iTunes\iPhone Software Updates

Note: replace <user name> with your username on the computer.

For Mac users, the file will be here: ~/Library/iTunes/iPhone Software Updates/

If multiple IPSW files are listed, make sure you grab the one with the most recent timestamp.

3) On the following screen, you're prompted to select your options. "Install Cydia" is already checked for you (Cydia is an app you use to download jailbroken apps). The other box, "Icy" (another app like Cydia) is not.

It's best to NOT install Icy at this point. For me, doing so led to a lot of issues including problems installing jailbroken apps, tons of error messages, and even crazy flashing screens. Don't risk it! You can always install Icy later (see bottom of post).

4) For the next step, you're told to power off your device. Hold down the button on the top of the phone until "Slide to Power off" appears. Once the device is completely off, click "Next."

5) OK, now for the fun part. The steps on this screen appear quickly, so you'll need to be prepared to follow the instructions.

The first step is to hold down the power button (the one at the top of the device) for the time specified. (The software will display a countdown next to each step.)

Next, while still holding the power button down, you'll press the "Home" button (the round button at the bottom) for the time specified.

While still holding the Home button down, release the power button for the time specified.

This will force your iPhone into a special mode which allows it to be jailbroken. Don't worry if you see the screen flash, it's all part of the process.

6) Assuming you did everything right, redsn0w will start the jailbreaking process. You'll see the status bar on the app moving and soon you'll be taken to a screen where you can finally click "Finish." However, your jailbreak isn't over yet.

Even though clicking "Finish" closes redsn0w, your jailbreak is likely still running at this point. You'll notice that on your iPhone's screen it says it's "downloading jailbreak data." You need to leave it alone until the phone reboots and returns you to the lock screen. Don't worry if this seems to be taking a while - it could take several minutes to finish - but it's not frozen, so let it do its thing.


After the phone reboots, you can use it as usual, except now you'll have a new app on your springboard for "Cydia" where you can find a treasure trove of jailbroken applications to install.

That's it! Congratulations, you're a jailbreaker!
Update Cydida, Install Icy from Cydia

For extra points, you'll want to now install the other app called "Icy," which, like Cydia, helps you locate apps for jailbroken phones. To do so, you'll first have to launch Cydia and update it. After telling Cydia what kind of user you are (I'm just a plain ol' end user - you probably are too), you'll be prompted to update the app. Choose "Upgrade Essential" and let Cydia download its updates.

When it's finished, return to the app and select "Manage" from the set of buttons at the bottom of the screen. Tap "Sources," "Edit," then "Add." Type in and hit "Add Source" when done. Tap the "done" button and exit out of the "Manage" section.

Now, using the Search button, search for "Icy." A lot of results come up, but the one you want is simply called "Icy," nothing else. Install this application and you'll now have a second app on your screen for finding jailbroken programs. (Note: Icy replaces "Installer," the prior Cydia alternative).


Basically, instead of "downloading and installing" the 3.0 firmware from iTunes, you just download it to your computer. Then you choose "Restore" in iTunes to set your device back to factory settings. (Remember to have a recent backup first!). When you see a screen asking to choose which backup to be used to restore your iPhone, stop.

Next, close iTunes and run redsn0w as described above. Once the jailbreak is complete, re-open iTunes and choose "Restore from Backup." Choose your latest backup, and click "Continue". This will keep your jailbreak, but restore your settings and applications (not Jailbreak applications) to your last setting when you did your backup. You do have to reinstall all jailbreak applications manually.

Either way you jailbreak, the end result is an iPhone that can do all sorts of new tricks like record video and upload it to YouTube, let you install custom themes, icon sets, and even different battery indicators, and, of course, tweak away at system preferences like nobody's business. Some people don't see the point of jailbreaking, but it's hard for true jailbreakers to imagine their phones without it. Maybe now, you'll feel that way too!



Things You'll Need

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