How to jailbreak your iPhone on iOS 12: A beginner’s guide

iPhone XS review
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

Jailbreaking is an essential part of the iOS experience for many. For others, it’s unknown and dangerous. Thankfully, for those new to jailbreaking, there are a multitude of ways to do it. Using tools such as Yalu102 and zJailbreak, jailbreaking is not only faster than ever but also easier. Whether you’re a hardened veteran of jailbreaking, or this is your first time trying it, this guide will help you jailbreak your iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad.

What is jailbreaking?

First and foremost, let’s take a moment to remember this guide is not a guarantee that you will successfully jailbreak your iPhone, iPod, or iPad. When dealing with something like a jailbreak, there is always a small chance something could go wrong with your phone, and we cannot be responsible for this. But, jailbreaking, especially with Pangu, is extremely easy and you should be perfectly fine.

To jailbreak your iPhone means you are freeing it from the limitations imposed by Apple. Freeing a device means that it can install applications from outside Apple’s iTunes App Store and you can fiddle with previously restricted aspects of an iOS device. Jailbreaking can also help you unlock your iPhone to make it available on other carriers.

Once you finish jailbreaking your iPhone, you can check out our picks for the best iPhone apps and games.

Backing up your precious data

When it comes to jailbreaking a device, it’s always best to back it up first. You can back up your iPhone wirelessly with iCloud, and iTunes should automatically back up your device every time you plug it in. Be sure to run a backup of your device before beginning the jailbreak process so that all your precious music, apps, movies, and everything in between are successfully stored on your computer or in the cloud. That way, once you complete the jailbreak process, you can run a restore and get everything back. Just make sure you’ve synced your device recently. Running a sync in iTunes will back up your device by default.

Starting the jailbreak process

In order to start the jailbreak process, you need to first update your device to the latest version of iOS. In this case, it’ll be iOS 12.1.2. You can use iTunes to manage your update, or use the more convenient over-the-air (OTA) update your device offers you (Settings > General > Software Update).

Once you plug in your device to iTunes, it’ll prompt you to download and run the iOS update for your device. If you haven’t already updated to the latest version of iTunes, then you should do that as well. If your device is not jailbroken, then you will update to iOS 12.1.2 without any problems. If your device is jailbroken, iOS will fail to complete the update and go into recovery mode. Don’t panic! Simply let iTunes run a recovery with the latest version of iOS. Once completed, the device will have been reset to factory settings.

In either case, do not sync your device just yet. Instead, quickly set up your device with Wi-Fi, your Apple ID, and everything else it prompts. You can also skip these for now and get back to them later. Make sure you get to the home screen before continuing.

For iOS 12 to iOS 12.1

how to jailbreak your iphone ziyu ios 12

For this next step, you don’t need a computer at all — just the iOS device you want jailbroken. Just to be safe, reboot your device.

Pangu8’s Jailbreak page is a great repository for a variety of jailbreaking methods for iOS 12.1 and on. Ziyu Jailbreak repo extractor is Pangu 8’s recommended jailbreaking method, and that’s the method we’ll walk you through here.

  1. First, you’ll need to download zJailbreak on your device. Make sure you access that link from your device, as it won’t work on a PC or MacBook.
  2. Head to Ziyu’s webpage and download the install package.
  3. Open the Ziyu app and tap Browse Jailbreak Repo List.
  4. Tap the Copy button on one of the compatible repos — Cydia is well thought of.
  5. Return to the Ziyu app and hit Extract repo. Paste the link you copied into the text box.
  6. Tap the Extract button.

Now the app is installed, you can use it to install other jailbreak apps, or install another marketplace for even more.

Other jailbreaking methods are available from Pangu 8’s page, and if you need to break an older version of iOS, there are pages for iOS 12, iOS 11.4.1, or even older.

Restoring your device from iTunes

Once you’ve completed the actual jailbreak process, it’s important you take the time to restore all your precious data back onto your iOS device. If you haven’t jailbroken your device before, you may not need to do this as your device will have carried over all your data in the jailbreak process. If you have jailbroken your device before, then this will be necessary as you’ll have to do a recovery to get your device to update.

Simply plug your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch back into iTunes, and it will do the rest. By the time your restore is finished, iTunes should have successfully placed all your apps, music, photos, and precious data where they belong.

Do a victory dance!

Congratulations! You’ve done it. Whether your victory dance involves Tebowing or not is up to you, but you have successfully completed the jailbreak and restore process for your iOS device. Be sure to run Cydia and check out all the amazing new apps and tools you can use.

Jailbreaking your iOS device is easier than ever, and if you’re an advanced user, it can be a lot of fun to unleash the true potential of your iPhone or iPad. Despite what Apple claims about the risks of jailbreaking, it’s an option you should consider to get the most out of your iOS device.

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