What is Jailbreak?

what is jailbreak

by Alex Gustman

Updated: July 13, 2021

iOS is a functional, but limited, operating system. Customization options look modest against the background of Android, and if you have root rights, iOS loses in all respects. Therefore, users who do not want to measure themselves with such an inequality resort to Jailbreak – root analogue on Android. This article will let you know what opportunities are opened with Jailbreak, its main advantages and disadvantages, as well as how they are legal for the owner and safe for the mobile device.

Jailbreak in English literally means the escape from prison. The name implies an exemption from the restrictions imposed by Apple because the Jailbreak procedure opens access to the iPhone, iPad, and iPod file system. This opens up previously unavailable opportunities. At the same time, you should not confuse Jailbreak with unlocking, since the procedure is access to the file system through hacking the firmware, which Apple does not approve of.

Legality, consequences and warranty obligations

In the United States and Russia, the procedure for obtaining access to the file system is not illegal. The legality of Jailbreak overseas is determined by the Library of Congress. Since 2012, there has been a ruling that Jailbreak on the iPhone is not a copyright infringement, and since 2015, a similar decision applies to iPad tablets. At the same time, every 3 years, the previously made exceptions are reviewed. In other countries, owners of hacked iPhones/iPads are not brought to administrative and criminal responsibility, if they do not violate copyright.

Another thing is the developers and distributors of hacking software, as well as attackers who use vulnerabilities to steal information, spy and other illegal actions. In this case, the laws of the country where the offense was committed apply.

Despite the legality of Jailbreak, Apple does not approve of this procedure. Since hacking the system opens up much vulnerability for attackers, as well as violates the prohibitions established by the company. Therefore, warranty obligations, firmware updates and user support do not apply to hacked products. On the other hand, it is always possible to install the official firmware via iTunes, which removes traces of hacking, and also renews warranty and other obligations.

What features does Jailbreak provide?

Open access to the file system allows you to install applications from other sources, not just from the AppStore. Such software contains inaccessible functions, which significantly expands the iOS capabilities. Here are a few of these utilities with a brief description:

  • AdBlocker blocks ads on YouTube, in the Safari browser, and other apps.
  • Barrel adds 18 animation options when scrolling through desktop screens.
  • BrowserChooser selects the default browser. Initially, all links open only in Safari.
  • F.lux reduces the blue radiation of the screen by increasing the warmth of the image, which contributes to less stress and eye fatigue.
  • iFile is a file explorer with basic operations and the ability to manage archives.

For the convenience of the user, all processes are regulated through the Cydia utility, which appears in the program menu immediately after Jailbreak. Cydia contains programs that were not included in the AppStore due to strict selection or the content of invalid features. In addition to applications, patches, graphical shells, and other customization utilities, Cydia contains resources for adding: ring tones, background images, games, modifications, etc. Most packages are distributed free of charge, but there is also paid content.

Main advantages of Jailbreak

  • More freedom of action.
  • Configuring the appearance of the system.
  • A wide number of add-ons.
  • Access to apps and patches that are not available in the AppStore.

Main disadvantages of Jailbreak

  • Loss of warranty service and access to updates. Solved by installing the official firmware.
  • The probability of getting a brick in the process of hacking. Most of the problematic devices are restored by installing the official firmware via iTunes.
  • The vulnerabilities increase the possibility of hacking and data theft.
  • The probability of installing a spyware or virus application, since the official programs are not monitored or checked.
  • Some unofficial applications do not receive updates, so they are not available on the latest firmware versions.

Types and methods of getting Jailbreak

There are three types of Jailbreak:

  1. Tethered. This type requires performing the procedure every time you restart the device. Until then, the device remains inoperable.
  2. Semitethered. After restarting the system, the smartphone functions without restrictions, and the changes made are lost.
  3. Untethered. After a reboot, all changes and functionality of the smartphone are saved.

The ways to get Jailbreak are affected by the iOS version with the availability of certain vulnerabilities for hacking. Therefore, it is not possible to use the same tools for different versions of the system. The process itself is quite simple. In most cases, it is needed to connect your mobile device to a PC and run the hacking application. The exact instructions and procedure for a particular version of iOS are slightly different.

Jailbreak vs Root

When comparing Jailbreak in iOS and Root in Android, there are certain similarities. Both procedures remove the basic limitations and offer advanced features for the user. If we compare the degree of freedom of action, then Jailbreak in iOS is noticeably inferior. And all because on Android, by default, most of the actions that appear in iOS only after Jailbreak are available: selecting the browser and other default applications, progressing when installing programs, applying filters to reduce blue radiation, etc. Moreover, the installation of applications is not limited to Google Play alone.

To configure the design on Android, no additional manipulations are required. It is enough to choose a suitable launcher shell, and then change the position of icons and other elements at your own discretion, download ready-made or create your own themes. And with root rights, the number of settings increases, access to the adjustment of the processor scheduler, the choice of frequency for processor cores and the graphics accelerator is opened.

In addition, some manufacturers allow you to unlock the bootloader for free and get root rights. For iOS, this feature is not provided for app developers either. Finally, the open source Android code allows you to create and install various firmware, use modified system cores, etc. In iOS with closed source code, it is not possible to perform such manipulations on a hacked firmware.

Relevance and need for Jailbreak

Every year, the need to hack the firmware disappears, which is an undoubted merit of Apple. The company is making a lot of effort to exclude any mention of Jailbreak, up to and including legal proceedings. At the same time, an aggressive policy of bans is not always effective, so alternative solutions are used, which was successfully used by Google. The number of devices with root is decreasing every year, which is facilitated by: incentives, security issues and the active introduction of new features.

rom toolbox

The search, implementation and publication of hacking methods are carried out by enthusiasts on a voluntary basis. Sometimes users encourage the authors of hacking, but more often you have to work for nothing. Therefore, instead of publishing other vulnerability for free, it is more logical to inform Apple and get a monetary reward. And for the gifted hackers of yesterday, there is a place in the company’s staff with a decent salary and a prospect for the future. Having lured away well-known hackers, the release of new hacking methods was delayed for several months, and sometimes for six months.

cpu control

If the firmware is hacked, there is a risk of damaging the device beyond repair. And taking into account the cost of new models over $ 1000, there are not so many people who want to lose their smartphone by negligence. In addition, there is a high probability of installing a virus on your phone, losing important information or money.

Finally, Apple as a company is listening more to the opinions of users. With each version of the system, useful and dog-eaten functions are added, which helps to reduce those who want to hack the firmware. And since unofficial apps need to be updated regularly to be used on modern versions of iOS, owners are more likely to remain interested in the latest software.


What is jailbreak a firestick?

This is analogous to Root on Android. The user is provided with additional features, in particular an additional application store.

What does jailbreak do?

The user has full access to the file system, it is possible to install programs not only from the App Store. As well as the ability to unlink the phone from a particular mobile operator.

What is jailbreak untethered?

A permanent solution that is not lost after rebooting the system.

What is jailbreak detection?

A set of actions aimed at finding a hacked device.

What is the best jailbreak for iPhone?

The best is the untethered version. Compared to other types, there is no jailbreak after rebooting the system.

What is jailbreak in android?

Android jailbreak is referred to as root. Having root rights opens up vast possibilities for controlling the phone. And the configuration possibilities with the root are much higher than with jailbreak.

Can jailbreak break your iPhone?

If the jailbreak procedure fails, the phone can turn into a brick. This problem is quite common, in particular on phones with a complicated jailbreaking procedure.

What is semi untethered jailbreak?

Allows you to jailbreak the phone after rebooting and use the phone. However, jailbreak functionality is lost after a reboot and you must connect the phone to your computer to reactivate it.

Will jailbreak unlock iPhone?

With jailbreak you can disconnect your phone from the cellular service provider.

Will jailbreak remove the activation lock?

Yes, with the use of certain tools.

What is tethered jailbreak?

After rebooting the system, you need to jailbreak again. Applications do not need to be reinstalled. In this case, until the jailbreak is activated, you will not be able to use the phone.

What is jailbreak app?

After the hack, an alternative app store appears for installing programs. The most popular store is Cydia.

Is jailbreaking illegal?

No, the law does not prohibit you from hacking and modifying your device at your own discretion.

Is Jailbreaking a crime?

Jailbreaking into your personal device is not a crime. But it is a crime to use hacking for some benefit. In particular, obtaining paid content or violating intellectual property is punishable.

Is jailbreaking dangerous?

Yes, it is dangerous. Jailbreaking can disable the device. In addition, some types of hacks do not allow you to use the phone after rebooting the system.

Is jailbreaking an iPhone illegal in USA?

No, it is not. The law allows jailbreaking of a personal device for customization. However, the law prohibits using hacking to access paid content or other paid information.

Is jailbreaking legal in Europe?

Hacking is legal in certain countries.

Is it worth jailbreaking iPhone?

If you want to try something new or if the phone’s capabilities are insufficient, you can jailbreak it. Otherwise, it is not recommended to hack the device, as hacking may disrupt its operation. Whether it is worth it or not depends on whether you are willing to risk losing your device for the sake of jailbreaking.

What are the bad things about jailbreaking your iPhone?

For a company, a hack is a loss of reputation and possible profits. The same loss of income for app developers. In addition, hacking can turn the phone into a brick or make it unsafe to use.

What are the benefits of jailbreaking an iPhone?

The biggest advantage is the ability to install programs, add-ons, or extensions that are not available on the App Store. But are they worth it?

Will I lose everything if I jailbreak iPhone?

You can lose data, so it’s important to back up important data.


This article describes in detail what a Jailbreak is. The method by hacking opens access to the file system, which allows you to install unofficial applications and other modifications to expand the functionality of the OS. The procedure is legal, but it is associated with certain difficulties in the availability of up-to-date tools. Such devices are more at risk of hacking by intruders and are deprived of the right to warranty service. And in the process of hacking, the device can easily be damaged beyond repair.

What do you think about Jailbreak? Is it worth hacking the firmware for additional benefits, or is it better to use a limited but secure version? Share your opinion in the comments below the article.

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About the author 

Alex Gustman

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