Troubleshooting Your iPhone 4S And iPad 2 Jailbreak


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The first jailbreak for the iPhone 4S and iPad 2 became available to the public last week, and many are jailbreaking their A5-based iOS devices and trying out new tweaks from Cydia, the jailbreak equivalent of the App Store.

Whether you’re new to jailbreaking or an experienced veteran, it’s easy to run into problems. We’ve collected some useful tips and tricks for jailbreaking your iPhone 4S and iPad 2.

Tips And Tricks

Backup And Restore

Before you jailbreak with Absinthe, you want to back up your iOS setup and data to either iCloud or iTunes. If something happens to go wrong during or after the jailbreak, you’ll want to have a recent backup to restore to. If you backup to iCloud and restore your iOS device to jailbreak, you can easily restore from your iCloud backup and get all your data back once you’ve jailbroken.

You also need to save your device’s SHSH blobs (unique identifier for Apple) with TinyUmbrella on your desktop computer. Downgrading iOS versions will be impossible without saved SHSH blobs once Apple closes the signing window.

Once you have everything backed up, we recommend restoring to a stock version of iOS 5.0.1 for the optimal jailbreak experience. It’s better to not have anything installed (apps, personal data, etc.) or tweaked on your iOS device before you jailbreak, but it’s not absolutely essential to nuke iOS before you begin. In the Settings app, you can navigate to General > Reset > Reset all settings to restore all iOS system defaults and keep your personal data. This step is recommended if you don’t want to totally restore your device.

Getting Started

Make sure you have the latest version of iTunes installed when you plug your iPhone 4S or iPad 2 into your computer to jailbreak. It would be a good idea to restart your computer and iOS device before you run Absinthe.

If you’re on Windows, make sure to run Absinthe as administrator. On the Mac, just open the Absinthe app and wait till the tool recognizes your iOS device. You’ll want to be running the latest version of Absinthe, iOS 5.0.1 (although the jailbreak does work on 5.0 as well), and iTunes for this to work properly. Remember, Absinthe is only for A5-based iOS devices, meaning the iPhone 4S and iPad 2.

When you jailbreak, do not have a passcode set on your iOS device. Make sure you turn off your passcode and any VPN setups in the Settings app. Absinthe will not be able to jailbreak properly with these things turned on.

Bugs And Errors

My Camera Roll is empty after jailbreaking.

If you’re Camera Roll has mysterious emptied itself after jailbreaking with Absinthe, then you probably didn’t complete the jailbreak. Rerun Absinthe once to fix the error, and then another time to finish the jailbreak.

Absinthe crashes while jailbreaking my iOS device.

Reboot your iOS device if Absinthe crashes while jailbreaking on your Mac or Windows computer. Try jailbreaking again. If Absinthe is still acting up, restart your computer. Restarting your devices will fix most of these errors.

My app icons are randomly turning white.

While the latest version of Absinthe is supposed to fix this error, users have reported that reinstalling Mobile Substrate in Cydia also addresses the problem. If you’re already successfully jailbroken with Absinthe, re-jailbreaking with a new version is pointless. Open Cydia and search for “Mobile Substrate.” Then tap “Modify” and “Reinstall.”

Nothing is available to install in Cydia.

If you can’t search for any packages in Cydia, there’s a chance that serves could be down. However, there’s most likely a problem with your device’s libactivator package, and you need to reset your network settings to fix it. Navigate to Settings > General > Reset > Reset network settings.

Try Again

If all else fails, you can always restore iOS again, delete Absinthe from your computer, download the latest version, and try again. Don’t run Absinthe over and over on the same version of iOS, but there’s no harm in restoring everything until it works. This latest jailbreak is a pretty easy one, so you shouldn’t run into too much trouble.

In case you didn’t know, we have tutorials for jailbreaking the iPhone 4S and jailbreaking the iPad 2 with Absinthe. Check those out if you need more help.

We realize that there are other errors and bugs out there that people are experiencing, but these tips and tricks cover most of the issues that jailbreakers can run into when liberating the iPhone 4S and iPad 2. If you’re aware of another bug or tip you’d like to share, please let us all know in the comments below.

  • Hugo ?

    What about the “Absinthe quits unexpectedly trying to open windows” on OSX 10.7.2? Any solution? Thanks.

  • Mike Alexander

    My 4S is jailbroken, Cydia installed, biteSMS installed and working but no Camera Roll. When I try to run Absinthe again it says my device is already jailbroken. I have done multiple restores, reboots, erase settings but nothing brings it back. And my iCloud backup still shows 500+ MB of pictures that are backing up. Don’t know what else to do.

  • omgwutsthat

    Any fix on playing purchased music on a jailbroken 4S?

  • Lowell R.

    If we restore and re-jailbreak, I’m assuming we have to go reinstall all of the cydia apps we had before? and set them up all over again? I’m having music playing issues as well….it plays the song below the one I click on, if it plays at all (which is rare).

  • kevinelliott

    iBooks and iTunes U are not working. They quit after a 30 second pause.

  • Genetta_Adams

    My phone kept freezing up after I would reboot the device even with version 3 of Absinthe. I get to the Apple, then the white spinning wheel and then … freeze. I would then have to restore the phone with a ipsw and run the back up. After having this happen multiple times, I just stopped trying to jailbreak. Makes me sad because this will be the first device i didn’t jailbreak.

  • Srome95

    Delete them, then go to the purchased section in the mobile iTunes on your phone and re download them. Don’t worry all the ones you purchased previously will be free to download. I had this same problem. Simple fix

  • Clark Wallace

    Yeah I figured that out earlier but thanks for the response! Hopefully anybody else who is suffering the same situation will find your comment :)

  • Srome95

    Lol thanks

  • raghiid

    i successfully jail broke my 4S and installed sbsettings and installous but now 4 new white icons appear on my home screen (Adsheet, Fieldtest, iOS diagnostics and Setup) and i can’t remove them. please help

  • Travis Johnson

    I made it to the step of pressing the Cydia icon for the first time after the jailbreak. It started doing it’s thing and then once it was done my phone rebooted, and most of my default apple icons were gone. No SMS, phone, safari, settings, google maps, app store, contacts, calendar and I’m sure others.

    I can receive texts, phone calls and calendar alerts but I can’t view them or go to the app itself. It gives am error thats says “Unsupported URL – The URL wasn’t loaded:…..”.

    I feel like I’ve tried everything… Restarted phone and computer… Went into DFU mode and tried to restore but Itunes says it can’t restore it… I tried to reinstall the jailbreak but Absinthe says it has already been jailbroken. I downloaded TinyUmbrella and thought I saved the SHSH’s, but I assume since I can’t restore my phone that I didn’t do it correctly.

    I have no idea what to do at this point. If I can’t restore via Itunes or my phones Settings, and can’t reinstall the jailbreak, am I at a complete loss?

    Any help will be greatly appreciated! If the Chronic Dev Team is listening, I’d be willing to pay for support :)

  • kevinelliott

    Oh, I’m on an iPhone 4 jailbroken with redsn0w.

  • truth863

    Here is a step by step video Jailbreak Ipad  2 Iphone 4s  (5.0.1) windows…

  • supersaianwu

    Hi, I got the same problem. Did you resolved now?