Is Untethered Jailbreaking Dead With iOS 5?



It took the iPhone Dev-Team less than 24 hours to successfully perform a tethered jailbreak of the first iOS 5 beta, but hopes that an untethered jailbreak would be developed before iOS 5 goes public later this year have now been crushed.

Stefan Esser, better known as i0nic of the iPhone Dev-Team, announced in a recent tweet that Apple may have killed the exploit that allowed untethered jailbreaking with the iOS 5 firmware:

R.I.P. – I just heard Apple killed the ndrv_setspec() integeroverflow and his friends in iOS 5.0b1 – if this is true the untether is dead.

The first successful iOS 5 jailbreak used the Limera1n bootrom exploit, which cannot be patched with a software update. Meaning, until Apple updates the current hardware, a tethered jailbreak should always be feasible.

As for an untethered jailbreak, however, whether it’s possible for hackers to develop a new exploit remains to be seen. iOS 5 could be the end of untethered jailbreaking.

The idea of having a device that could crash while I’m out and about and cannot be booted up again until I reach a computer is, for me, enough to drop jailbreaking. Would this be enough to put you off?

[via iDB]

  • Ephimetheuss

    Not cool.

  • Metroview

    That tweet meant that i0n1c’s current method of having the untethered jailbreak with 4.3.x might not work in iOS 5, and that a new method will have to be found.

    Just sayin’.

  • KillianBell

    Sure, that’s why I left the question open to debate and wrote:

    “…whether it’s possible for hackers to develop a new exploit remains to be seen.”

  • davidk

    Not cool that Apple patched a security vulnerability? I’d prefer my platform to be secure, if you don’t you should sign up for the PlayStation Network.

  • highlightshadow

    Didn’t they always say that they still had the SH4tter exploit still waiting in the wings? Which isn’t what the current crop of JB’s use

  • Hristo Dzhendov

    Off course is enough to put me off. Exactly the jailbreak never put me on :)

  • Gar1G

    to be honest, the features introduced in iOS 5 now cover a few reasons why someone would jailbreak. right now, i only use jailbreaking for the free apps and i’m willing ot give that up. i think that apple has finally killed jailbreaking for future devices

  • Hampus

    Nah, I’ll still want my FolderEnhcnaer and SwitherBoard to improve the multitaskingbar

  • JDWages

    Thanks for explaining what in the world an “untethered jailbreak” even is, for crying out loud!  Sheesh.

  • Hamuga

    Whats the chance that if you iOS device crashes and you can’t re-teather it easily that you could just set it up without the jailbreak similar to how the iOS device could be booted up without a computer. Using the cloud info and what not?

  • johncar

    Even though the latest jailbreaks have been painless, for me a tethered-only jailbreak is next to useless. What happens if you are away from your computer when the phone hangs up?

    In the past, I’ve seriously contemplated to stop jailbreaking, but some  (very few) jb programs I use and like kept me doing it again. However, this is a deal-breaker.

  • Dilbert A

    that’s exactly what was stated in the article.

  • Dilbert A

    do you enjoy bitching about nothing?

    yes. yes you do.

  • Don Pope

    Apple has already broken iBooks on Jailbroken phones twice (there is no fix yet for the latest break as far as I know). Jaibreaking is too much of a pain in the ass for me now. I just restored my phone two days ago and probably won’t go back.

  • MattSTKC

    I think in iOS5, besides spoof-tethering to avoid paying AT&T any money, all my other reasons for JB’ing (different notifications, customizations, etc) are gone.

  • Attila Bokor

    Handy Light still works… so tethering can be done even without MyWi..

  • Isaac65


  • Zach Cardwell

    Nope, I have to unlock.

  • KillianBell

    Thanks for your comment.

    Just because you know what an untethered jailbreak is, doesn’t mean all of our readers do. Those new to jailbreaking may not be aware that there are tethered and untethered jailbreaks, so we like to make our stories clear for everyone.

  • Josh

    Well…that would make me really think about jailbreaking in the future.  However, many of the features that iOS 5 will have in it are reasons for my current jailbreak.  I think a tethered jailbreak is fine, considering that the phone will work just fine after a reboot, I just wouldn’t have access to MyWi…which is the MAIN reason to jailbreak for me.  I don’t use it much, but it came in handy yesterday when my local Starbucks’ wifi was down!  :)

  • Archer Sully

    It would drive me to Android. Which sucks, because it doesn’t have the software that I enjoy using on iOS.

  • Sean Liu

    Aw man, how am I going to get SBSettings or FolderEnhancer or My3G or BrowserChanger? I think I’m going to wait this out. Hopefully they’ll figure out another exploit and I won’t have to switch to Android or something.

  • View

    I would really like to know when the Dev-Team are gonna learn to keep their freaking mouths shut about any new jailbreak until the final version of the OS is released, seriously just keep your mouths shut. You already making it know that you can jailbreak IOS-5 and its not even ready yet obviously Apple is gonna find a way to patch it before the final version is released, it don’t take a rocket scientist to figure that out. But i guess just cause you’re a nerd don’t mean you have common sense.

  • dnyank1

    This is a HORRIBLE ARTICLE. Apple has patched about 47 different untether exploits in 5 years of iphones, and this one they just didn’t patch. OF COURSE untethering will still be possible, just not with this exploit.

    Its akin to saying “You will NEVER be able do drive from chicago to california, they closed route 66 after we have used it for so long!!!!” But in reality, there are 100s of different roads from chicago to cali.

  • dnyank1

    Wow… thanks SO much for that little slip in. hackers WILL ALWAYS be able to find an untether glitch. New features = new holes. Its like having an expert lock picker, no matter how good of a lock you put in, he’ll find a way in. 

  • dnyank1

    thats not really how it works.. If you put in any mobile substrate apps (like mywi, winter board) anything that won’t run in a “sandbox” the phone will not boot AT ALL. a untether hole is just a way for apple’s code signing check of the firmware (at boot) to be bypassed.

  • dnyank1

    no, you will still have a tethered jailbreak (you need to run limera1n or some other tool to boot, from COLD, not respring or lock/unlock) and they WILL find another software exploit.

  • dnyank1

    THEY CANNOT PATCH LIMERA1N. IT IS A HARDWARE EXPLOIT. THAT MEANS YOU WILL ALWAYS HAVE A TETHERED JAILBREAK, REGARDLESS OF SOFTWARE. clear now??? and apple knows if they patched a vulnerablilty. thats not gonna slip past them. lol :)

  • dnyank1

    Shatter was leaked by an asshole. thus, it was patched in the ipad 2. 

    (OR the team is lying and is keeping it for the iphone)

  • dnyank1

    you do whats called a “ReSpring” its like restarting finder or explorer.exe

  • dnyank1

    yea… they fixed it themselves. by not having DRM on ibooks anymore. but please, keep the jail breakers to support the community.

  • dnyank1

    How about iFile? Resupported (chineese no chip video cables)? Genesis/NES/SNES/N64/PSX/DC/GB/GBC/GBA emulators??
    BiteSMS? VolumeBoost? Frash? and SO MUCH MORE!

  • Yun –

    hahahaha! The meaning of the term common sense diminishes every time I see someone like you use it. Always criticizing shit they don’t or can’t understand with the smuggest matter-of-fact tone. Not only is it common knowledge to jbers that limera1n is unpatchable but its stated in the article YOU’RE commenting on! So either your amazing common sense has allowed you misunderstand the entire article ( as amazingly long and confusing as it is ;) ) OR gave you the confidence to bypass doing something silly like actually reading it. I commend your common sense, Short Change.

  • Brandon

    By “free apps” you mean stolen? Not exactly what jailbreaking was meant for.

  • JDWages

    Here, friends, we have a man who apparently knows what an “untethered jailbreak” is, yet rather than being helpful in providing answers, he instead flames anyone else who dares to ask what it means.  This is the epitome of selfishness. Such also applies to each of the knowledge-elitists who clicked “Like” on his post too.  Hopefully each of you will discover that life becomes more fulfilling and meaningful when you seek to patiently help others, not lambast them for having asked a simple question.

  • djrobsd

    And yet again, Apple continues to neglect the lock screen, and will still not offer a calendar on my lock screen… Until they do that, I will continue to jailbreak my phone… And also BiteSMS is far superior to the new notification center… BiteSMS allows me to respond to a text from ANY app, even when my phone is locked I can still quickly respond to a text.   Hopefully the jailbreak community will find another way to exploit the ios5 phone and offer untethered jailbreak.  

  • Timothy Williamson
  • JDWages

    Thank you for the hand-holding.  :-)

    I read the information presented there, but I still don’t fully understand.  I mean, what’s the big deal?  Why is “untethered” something to die for relative to a “tethered” jailbreak?  That’s what I really want to know.


  • Timothy Williamson

    Tethered means if your phone restarts/battery dies/you turn it off, you must plug it into your computer to get it to start. (I’ve read that your phone can be restarted without being connected to a computer, but you’ll lose the jailbreak features until the next time you restart it while plugged into a computer.)

    Untethered means that you can restart your phone and you won’t have to plug it into a computer to get it to start.

  • Mitchell Bienusa

    Its very simple… just don’t update. 4.3.3 is fine. just like 3.1.3 before it. People rush to update then whine about jailbreaking. Just wait, keep you ispn file and enjoy the chaos

  • jj

    The reason you are lambasted for asking a simple question is because you ask it like a douche. Instead of asking “what is unthethered jailbreaking” you chose to sound like a bitch.

  • JDWages

    LOL.  I clicked Like on your post by accident.  Then again, I do like it because it illustrates a point.  Folks who use terms like “douche” or “bitch” against others illustrate just how inadequately they were educated.

    My question may have come off rather forceful having been written sarcastically, but my intent was to provoke more thoughtfulness in the author, not a flame war.  Thankfully, T_Will was kind enough to answer my question below.  His cordial reply and tremendous helpfulness is greatly appreciated.  

  • Som Tin

    its funny how you are actually a jackass, why read the article if you dont know what untethered jailbreaking is? i bet you dont even know what jailbreaking is

  • JDWages

    And so we now add “jackass” to the uneducated “douche” and “bitch”name-calling list.  Your mother would be proud.

  • cheesy11

    personally they will always find a way, but thank god you can always jailbreak it tethered ie hooked up to your laptop

  • Christian Harris

    You just fail. simple as that.

  • Christian Harris

    ispn file? Its IPSW, for IPhone SoftWare

  • Christian Harris

    Finally someone who doesnt say “Well, why didn’t apple fix limera1n”. Then I have to go posting on those articles telling them so. Finally a poster with knowledge

  • jdog25

    Or get a Nexus S with Wireless Tethering built right in, just sayin.

  • Rasit Aslim


  • jdog25

    Things are getting so simple that you can even tell that your vocabulary has taken a hit. Please tell me more of how you feel, in two words at a time.

  • Rasit Aslim


  • jordanclark1993

    Just letting you know that i0nic is not apart of the iPhone Dev-Team, he is his own dev team.

    Plus, go to, it is most likely the new (old) site that will host the new iOS 5.0 jailbreak, untethered, and done ON the device it self. So not only will iOS 5 be PC-free, but the jailbreak will be too :D Yay!

  • Mohsin

    There is NO perfect Software or hardware, so i think untethered jailbreak is going to come sooner or later.  

  • Daniel Danger Smith

    Oh man… you’re such a bitchy douche. Hilarious.  Time to go read some other articles about shit you don’t understand, huh?

  • Andre Hui

    Why not instead of being a loser, actually go onto google and find out? Or r u just too much of a lazy idiot to type something into the bloody searchbar? Retarded. I’ll even give u a step by step guide to finding out!

    1. Double click your internet browser.
    2. Type into the adress bar:
    3. In the searchbar (middle of the page), type in “Untethered Jailbreak”
    4. Look on all the pages or at least until you find the definition.
    See, it’s not that hard!

  • JDWages

    Quite amusing.  Had your eyes glanced down but 2-3cm in this thread you would have seen that my question had been answer by T_Will and I was completely satisfied.  Or perhaps you did read it but pretended you do not only to satisfy a personal lust to demote others?  Ditto for Mr. Daniel Danger Smith who posted before you.  Yet more amusing is how you both have chosen to even comment here, long after the original posts were made.  And to think some have the audacity proclaim me the “retard”!

    Even so, I am sure others will appreciate your 4 steps to success. But take some advice. Provide the steps without the flames. More people will appreciate your advice that way.

  • JoeBiancofiori

    It’s people like you James that do Untethered Jailbreaks and then bitch about the hacking  community cause they messed up your iDevice.  You were right to get flamed. Google is your friend so the next time you decide to ask a questions in a Tech blog, maybe…just maybe you should look up the answer first instead of posting a comment that just makes you look like a uneducated hipster trying to fit in.  We in the community of dev and tech understand these terms and have no problem teaching people about them, except in cases such as yours where your first post is 

    “Thanks for explaining what in the world an “untethered jailbreak” even is, for crying out loud!  Sheesh”This was in no way a comment that would show respect nor gather it.  The interwebs are huge my friend, WIKI, Google, hell even BING could of helped you on this one particular subject, but your lack of REAL interest in the subject made you choose otherwise. You decided to reach out, be lazyand take a short cut by posting comment on this site without even considering the fact that MAYBE you could do your own research and stop bogging threads down with questions that are eaisly searchable. You flamed our community and we flamed you back, this is how it all started….yes it was YOUR comment that started it. Once you understand us and realize why we are here, you will see why this whole thing happened. Until that times comes, please go back to your life where what we do doesn’t matter except when your board and have nothing else to read.   When you are ready to respect the community you are always welcome back just as everyone else is.  Thanks for your time!

  • JDWages

    Mr. Biancofiori, 
    One cannot help but realize your lone reason for being here is to beat a dead horse.  As stated in my previous post, the original problem has already been solved.  Please live and let live.

    As to your comment about “people like you,” you’re misinformed.  I don’t even own an iPhone.

    Have a nice day.

  • Jom De Ocera Tadlock

    ur all dumb, arguing over this! 4real.
    If they ask wtf is Untethered Jailbreak is, well obviously
    its their first time having an experience on jailbreak stuff.
    Just tell them wtf is the difference, which can help them know
    what the hell their doing.

    I’ve known Jailbreak for almost  a year now:)

  • Lucas Phillips

    Are you a professional?  Do you have an untethered solution besides intoverflow?  It’s not like you think it is.  Apple patches exploits all the time, and there will always be a new exploit.  But that exploit is always tethered.  To make it untethered, you need to add code to the boot sequence to re-jailbreak it every time you restart (in other words, untethered is just tethered, but it connects to itself rather than the computer to boot tethered).  But in 5, apple removed the ability to add that code to the boot.  It could take years to get untethered again.

  • Lucas Phillips

    Thanks for explaining what in the world an “epitome” even is, for crying out loud!  Sheesh.

    Yes, I am joking

  • dnyank1

    You really have no clue WTF you are talking about. do me a favor and learn something. 

    When new code is added (like PDF support , wow jailbreak me was created) new exploits are found, (i.e. jailbreak me) , what i0n1c said was that HIS untether is dead. apple didn’t remove the ability to run code before the boot (as it was never really an ability, it was just a hack), just HIS PARTICULAR exploit was nixed. After I wrote this comment months ago, JBME 3.0 was released, and untethered previously tethered jailbreak (and was able to jailbreak iPad 2) . It won’t take years, just a little while for the devs to tweak it out.

    BTW, I’ve been hacking my iPhone (And everyone’s i know) since 1.0.1, 5 years ago. every year this happens, and it doesn’t take more than a few months. (with iOS 3.x it was done in like 2 weeks…)

  • Jailbreaker

    PEOPLE. Are any of you iPhonejailbreak developers??? The ndrv_setspec() integeroverflow is the ONLY method we have used for untether in iOS!!! This includes iOS 1-4!

  • Jailbreaker

    Only say untethering in iOS 5 is possible when you have an untether exploit to show the rest of us, would you? Basically talking to @dnyank1 below me. And Chicago to California is a horrible comparison. Because the federal government didn’t want people to stop traveling between Chicago and LA, now did they? In this case, “traveling between Chicago and LA” is jailbreaking, and “the federal government” is Apple. Jailbreaking isn’t as easy as it seems! You basically have to hack Apple, decode the encryptions that Apple has put into its software, infiltrate it, and place specific coding (Cydia) into the software in the form of the encryption of Apple’s software.

  • Jailbreaker

    I’m not saying it won’t ever happen, or that @dnyank is an idiot. He isn’t. It just won’t be untethered for a while. I would probably say that iOS 5 will be untethered by at least January. Just an educated guess. But here’s a thought: FORGET ABOUT JAILBREAKING!!!! Apple basically used many of the common jailbreak softwares, such as LockInfo, MobileNotifier, etc.

  • Rorintosh

    Freedom will be lost if jailbreak dies T.T There has to be another way, dammit! (Good thing i got my ipod at 4.2.1 ^^)

  • Greg Gooseman

    its not dead! pod2g just tweeted that he and the chronic dev team r working on the ios 5 untethered jailbreak, look

  • danialmlk

    Greater effort by Chronic Dev Team man…. They are doing well for iDevices Users for their ease thanx for updates man

  • AppleBlowz

    For me, it’s enough to drop Apple products altogether

  • 47

    fuck fuck fuck fuck…………

  • Samgoodson44

    At least there is a semi-tethered thing out now but and untethered is definitely better