The age old questions remain: What’s an untethered jailbreak? Why is a tethered jailbreak undesirable?

What’s a tethered boot? Why does my iPhone keep rebooting over and over after I jailbreak?

If you’ve ever asked one of these questions, or you’re still looking for answers, then step inside to learn, and contribute your knowledge to the discussion…

Please watch the video above for a quick explanation of all three types of jailbreaks, and their pluses and minuses.

Here’s a quick textual overview of all three types of jailbreaks:

Untethered Jailbreak

The cream of the crop. The most desirable jailbreak of them all. An untethered jailbreak allows you to jailbreak your device, run Cydia apps and tweaks, and reboot your device at will with no consequences.

SemiTethered Jailbreak

This is a jailbreak that allows you to reboot your device, but not without some consequences. After rebooting, you may not be able to run any Cydia jailbreak apps, and even some stock apps like Safari may be inaccessible. A SemiTethered jailbreak is normally a tethered jailbreak with a package installed that allows you to reboot with limited use. You must perform a tethered boot (see video for explanation) to regain full functionality to your jailbroken device. Much better than a tethered jailbreak, but not quite as good as the untethered variety.

Tethered Jalbreak

The least desirable of the three. With a tethered jailbreak you cannot reboot your device at all without doing a tethered boot. A tethered boot requires access to a computer, so if you’re out an about, and your device reboots, you’re up a creek without a paddle.

Hopefully the video and additional explanations cleared up any lingering confusion. If you have anything else to add to the discussion, please leave a message in the comments below.

  • Will

    Really ? People don’t know the difference … God damn . Well that’s the good thing idb takes care of these peeps .

    • fdxgncgfn

      +1. Calm down. Its not good to make fun of n00bs

    • denbako

      hi bro…..i cannot sync with itunes….do you have the same problem…

    • DocAwesome

      We are very thankful

  • stormy

    Got all excited and then realized that it’s still not compatible with iDevices with A5 chip.

    • Josh

      Hell, at least you got an iPhone 4S, whether it’s jailbroken or not! I might get one, when I sell the car… and the house… and my wife’s body.

  • briseno

    not works in 3gs….

    • Doesnt need to work with the iPhone 3gs. The 3gs is able to use an untethered jailbreak on IOS 5 right now.

      • Briseno

        Only 3GS old bootrom runs jailbreak untether

  • Sam

    Can you make calls? I’m asking because I see that the Jeff’s phone has no service.

    • Benjamin

      It’s just because he’s on his iphone 4 and he only has a plan for his 4s.

      • Sam

        Cool. Thanks!


    Works flawlessly.. Did this for my customers. Very pleased at least

  • Chris

    What happens when the untethered jailbreak comes out and I’m semi tethered? Will I need to lose all my tweaks that I have installed, or will it be a simple step? And you didn’t tackle how to get web and cydia stuff to work again after you boot on a semi tethered. Also, will app store bought apps work when I reboot from a semi tethered boot? SO MANY QUESTIONS.

    • J

      “You must perform a tethered boot (see video for explanation) to regain full functionality to your jailbroken device. “

  • Tej Sodha

    This doesn’t work for the gsm version of iPhone 4

    • J

      The video says otherwise. It’s a gsm iPhone 4

      • Can you recommend someone to me so that I can learn how to do jailbreak my 4s? I know it is simple to you but I’m a rookie and need help.

  • I really need help! I have the iphone 4s and want to jailbreak it so I can do any and everything possible to do on the phone. Can anyone help me please? I need more than a video tutorial.

    • Tigo30

      The iPhone 4s can’t be jailbroken at the moment due to the new chip A5, you need to wait for a new exploit and an updated jailbreak utility, sorry bro!

    • i0nic

      I have found 5 untethered jailbreak exploits but they will be patched in the next software update so u will have 2 wait 🙁

  • Asad

    I couldnt sync afterwards
    and then I removed it and it was working again

  • 1337inside

    I will satisfy myself with this jailbreak at the moment, it doesn’t really matter to me because i almost never reboot my iphone, once in 2 months so… i will give it a try!

  • daniel

    Meh, tethered jailbreaks aren’t that bad, I mean how often do you reboot your phone? I usually only reboot if my battery dies completely and my device shuts off, but it’s easy to keep that from happening.

  • Emanuel

    This just fucked my 3gs up, it crashes for no reason so I had to disinstall it and now I have no service
    I reinstall untrasnow and nothing, thanks…..

  • Tanzil

    Malik Tanzil Do we have access to SIRI with this IOS jailbreak??

  • Phil

    Heya guys, I really don’t like tethered jailbreaks so I decided to get semi, but after the tethered jailbreak (not semi yet), the reminders and settings icon shows a blank one, like cydia when you don’t tethered boot. Any solutions?

    • Harris Naveed

      You have to tether boot again with redsn0w.

  • vineetm

    Question: Hey Jeff why do you still use iPhone 4 for your videos when you have got an iPhone 4S??

    Suggestion: When I was visiting your website on my iPhone I noticed at the bottom of the page there is a switch for Mobile Theme. Now the thing is as iOS 5 is out, the switch are all round shaped so i would really love to see the new round shaped switch over there.

    • Jeffwatson22

      The fact there is no jailbreak for the 4S is probably the reason he does not demo a jailbreak from it.

  • Stormy

    I am no expert on these things but the fact that they are releasing a semi tethered and not an all-tethered jailbreak might mean that they encounter difficulties. I am starting to worry now. I thought they had a tethered jailbreak waiting to be unleashed when the new iPhone come out but it’s been 10 days already.

    • iMarc

      BigBoss has released this Semitethered Jailbreak, it’s a new Cydia package that lets you reboot your iOS 5 jailbroken iPhone at will while away from your computer! This package probably has nothing at all with the dev team jailbreak exploits. So don’t worry.

  • Anon

    ^ You mean untethered jaibreak ;P

    • Stormy

      You know what I mean, and that’s what matters :))

  • Rui

    “After rebooting, you may not be able to run any
    Cydia jailbreak apps” … Does ultrasn0w conts as such?

    • Jacob Nørgaard

      @Rui: Well, do you see ultrasn0w in AppStore? You just answered your own question!

  • Me

    Jeff, can you please do one of these explaining the reason that this doesn’t work on the iPhone 4S and iPad 2 is NOT because the devices have an A5 chip, but because they have a new bootrom that is not vulnerable to the limera1n exlpoit. The A5 chip part is just an easy way to distinguish those devices not vulnerable.

    Seems to be a large amount of confusion on that, and iDB always seems to try be a helpful place for those that don’t understand 🙂

  • Marky Mark

    Hey I don’t get it Jeff has a jail broken iPhone 4s and people are saying you can’t jailbreak it?!?!

    • iMarc

      Don’t believe the hype. Nobody has a jailbroken 4S yet.

  • Jedimickey

    I heard iOS 5 jailbreak has problems , anyone having any issues

    • Marky Mark

      No not for me, do you want to update?

    • Marky Mark

      No not for me, do you want to update

  • Ethos

    you’re up a creek without a paddle
    hahahaha :DD

  • MHC (SK)

    I don’t actually think that Semi-tethered is better than tethered.

    • Jas God


  • Sondre Baller

    will semi-tether work if you rely on ultrasn0w to unlock your iphone?

    • Sondre Baller

      i have 3gs with 06.15 baseband

  • Josh

    God damn it, I HATE IT when people say “it dosn’t wurk”, “bricked my iphone” and other pathetic Net Noob things, just trying to scare people, NOT WARNING THEM. You obviously did something wrong or simply don’t know shit about jailbreaking.

  • Mark

    When u install semi tether it removes app sync and installous

  • Ru folk

    And once again, nobody cares about a5.

  • Sidney

    When you install it. It uninstalls installous 4 and installous app sync 5.0+ 🙁

    • gielk

      correct and when you install installous 4 after this tweak uninstalls the tweak isn’t working 🙁

      • Sidney

        It works. But they dont want people stealing apps. I just went back to stock iOS. Just going to have to wait!

  • pikCu

    downgrade to 4.3.3 and enjoy unthetered JB 😉

  • Dan

    actually this is my third jailbroken phone so I know what I’m doing… but this caused a bug where when I trued to respring, it would freeze up. I just removed the semi-tether and everything is back to normal.

  • JazzyNewbie

    Newbie here: Does the untethered jailbreak work with 3g iphone (yep I know its old!!!) ?

  • Jimmy

    Someone knows if I can re-spring my tethered jailbroken iPhone without having to boot tethered? Because I’m away from my computer and I want to download iFile from Cydia.

  • I really wanna update to iOS 5 but the whole semi-tethered leaves me a bit weary. When and if an untethered is released, can I just install that right over it? Any suggestions will be appreciated 🙂

    • don’t update cauz i updated to a stock ios5 and i miss my jailbreak 4.3.3 im not jailbreaking it until an untethered is out but it sucks stock. dont update till theres an untethered.

    • it’s safe to update by now

      • Ethan Barker

        Ya don’t say

  • Anonymous

    What’s the process when the phone dies due to low battery. I’ve had problems getting it into DFU mode when it can[t fully reboot

  • Anonymous

    I have a question, does jailbreaking reduce the quality of my iphone 4s’s battery(or any iphone) because i don’t want anything to affect my current weak battery iphone.

    • Kelvin Vuong

      Turns out free apps drain your battery really quickly

      • sam

        which one is better tethered or untethered???? confuseddd

      • sam

        i hav 4s btw

      • Satu0King

        untethered, if you want jailbreak to be permanent. Of course u can wipe out the jailbreak yourself if u want

  • Omg Wad Is That

    if i jailbreak it to semi tethered WILL I be able to jailbreak to Untethered when it release .????if so what is the ways

    • Yes if you save your shsh blobs. You can do this with “tinyumbrella” or easily with “ishshit”

  • how i know if its untethered

    • SeoDuck ru

      You will definitely see the message during the installation

    • it should say on the program you are using

    • well if you reboot and it comes back up from the apple screen and then you can open up all your apps then you have it budy

  • Harish Frnd

    Thanks a lot for your information , but i am having iPhone4 on firmware 5.0.1 with band band 4.11.08 , i still have to unlock the mobile to some other carrier , i updated my iphone from 4.3.3 to 5.0.1 when it got stuck on device reboot , so my question is there untethered jailbreak available for my config ?

  • hey guys i jailbroke and unlocked my iphone 3gs 4.2.1 with the apple baseband with redsnow and during the process it said that my iphone has now a tethered jailbreak but when i reboot it just reboots normally without connecting to computer ?? so is that normal ?? plz reply

  • Kelvin Vuong

    Whats the diffeeenc between tethered and unthethered iphone

  • is there Untethered Jailbreak for iPod Touh ios 5.1?

  • how do i get out of tethered jail break for my iPod 4(5.0.1)


    I restored it, without jailbreaking it after ward… and it STILL reboots!!
    How could such a smartphone be so DUMB??

  • Raud Tuli

    um i can reboot my iphone WITH THEDERD jailbreak i have iOS 5.1.1 and iphone 4

  • What happens if I update my iPod? I have a untethered jailbreak.

  • My iphone is terhered can i overwrite with untethered?

  • yes mines is and untethered jailbreak

  • can tethered jailbreak unlock iphone

  • Name :)

    im semi-tethered on ios 6 sn0wbreeze

  • Joske

    My jailbreak is thered , so say the program but i can reboot my device verry well ! I just cant open the cydia aplications. So its more like a semi thered ? :p ios 6.0.1 ;D