How to jailbreak iOS 6.1 (5.2) on the Apple TV 2

By , Feb 14, 2013

Apple TV in Hand

A little over a week after the evasi0n jailbreak tool for iOS 6 devices initially dropped, the hardworking folks over at FireCore have finally provided us with a tool to do likewise for our Apple TV 2′s.

The big upgrade this time around regarding the Apple TV’s latest firmware, is Bluetooth keyboard support. It, along with a few additional minor features certainly makes it worth upgrading to the latest and greatest. Thanks to the Seas0nPass update released yesterday, you can now enjoy those new features along with an untethered jailbreak. Take a look past the break as we show you how to jailbreak the Apple TV running iOS 6.1…

Video Tutorial

How to jailbreak the Apple TV 2

Notes: This jailbreak is for the Apple TV 2 only. It does not work with the newer 1080p enabled Apple TV 3 devices. There’s still no word on an Apple TV 3 jailbreak, as providing one would be significantly more difficult due to the minimum amount of services running on that device. If an ATV3 jailbreak ever does surface, be rest assured that you’ll be the first to know. You will also need a USB micro cable in order to connect your Apple TV 2 to your computer. You’ll need your Apple TV remote as well.

Step 1: Head over to our downloads page and scroll down to the Seas0nPass section. There you can download Seas0nPass for your operating system of choice. This tutorial was performed on a Mac, but the same principal applies to Windows users.

Step 2: Drag the Seas0nPass app icon to your desktop and double click it to open it up. Click the Create IPSW button and Seas0nPass will begin downloading the Apple TV 5.2 (iOS 6.1) firmware. This will take a while to complete. Once the download is completed, Seas0nPass will create a custom IPSW from the downloaded file. This custom IPSW is jailbroken for use with your Apple TV 2.

Step 3: Plug in your USB Micro cable into the Apple TV 2 and plug the other end of it into your computer. You should see the LED light flash on the front of the device.

Step 4: Hold the Menu and Play/Pause buttons on your Apple TV remote for 7 seconds to place your Apple TV 2 into DFU mode.

Step 5: After a few seconds, Seas0nPass will recognize your device in DFU mode and start the recovery process with the custom firmware. This process is entirely automated. It will actually open up iTunes and point to the exact location of the custom firmware. You don’t need to click anything, just be patient and let the automated process complete. Again, this portion is quite lengthy, be patient. Close Seas0nPass when the restore process is completed.

Step 6: Disconnect your Apple TV 2 from your computer, and plug in the power cable for the Apple TV 2. You should verify that the LED light is active once power is supplied. Hook up the HDMI cable between the Apple TV and the television.

Step 7: Since this process performs a full restore, you’ll have to go back through the initial configuration process (Wifi network, etc.). Once you are at the Home screen for the Apple TV 2, you should see the FireCore logo residing on the settings app. If this logo is there, then congratulations, you successfully jailbroke your Apple TV 2 using Seas0nPass.

What next?

That’s probably the most common question I get from Apple TV jailbreakers, because it’s not readily apparent as to what you can do with a jailbroken Apple TV like it is with a jailbroken iPhone. There’s no “Cydia” app to speak of to help get your started.

Trust me, though; there’s a ton of awesome things that you can do with an Apple TV 2. I’ve covered it many times on iDB in the past, so I encourage you to read and watch in order to learn more.

If you’re an absolute beginner with the Apple TV 2 jailbreak, then its hard to go wrong with aTV Flash (black). It too, is produced by FireCore, and it too was updated with iOS 6.1 compatibility in mind. There is a fee to use aTV Flash (black), but if you’re a beginner, I think you’ll agree that the price of admission is worth it.

What do you think? Have you jailbroken your Apple TV 2 on the latest firmware? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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  • Siddharth Desai

    Evanston huh? That’s really close to where i work! Anywho! I recently purchased an AppleTV so I’m definitely going to give this a shot!

    • http://www.facebook.com/zacksloane Zachary Sloane

      Only works on AT2, not 3

      • Siddharth Desai

        Yea I read that. I bought a used 2. So I’m good. Thanks!

  • Zip

    question: XBMC does not work with this jailbreak? or more specifically 6.1?

    • http://twitter.com/e420kush e420Kush

      Who said XBMC does not work? Your stating a question as if it was somewhere else in the article….

      • Zip

        Well the article mentioned aTV Flash (black) and I remembered reading somewhere that some things still don’t work with it.
        Thanks for the response Burge.

      • http://www.facebook.com/antman217 Anthony Antunez

        Firecore (the people who make seas0npass) said it doesn’t work yet and neither does Plex. I jailbroke yesterday and XBMC and Plex aren’t even available to download.

      • http://twitter.com/e420kush e420Kush

        That sux, def waiting to update until XBMC is updated.

    • http://twitter.com/oneBurge Burge

      No it don’t work yet..is it worth updating just yet..?

    • Donovan Davis

      Xbmc doesn’t work on this version of 6.1(5.2 ATV) it does still work on 6.1 idevices. i.e. iPhone/pad/pod. But only with confluence skin.

  • http://www.facebook.com/paulfevo Paul Featherstone

    Wen is Apple TV 3 going to be jailbroken..?

    • http://twitter.com/_lemonhead94_ lemonhead

      when they find a low boot level exploit, which is highly unlikely in the next few years…
      So my best bet is never ;-)

      • Marius

        Why is that unlikely?

      • http://twitter.com/_lemonhead94_ lemonhead

        because finding a exploit in the bootloader is almost impossible…

  • disqus_n5A7mOqtnh

    Hey Jeff, I received a Verizon iphone 5 from my brother yesterday. Im aware that it is GSM unlocked but i have a question about the cdma network. Is it a possible way to unlock the phone for sprint? Since i have a 4S, i would have to contact sprint to get a nano-sim. but before i go through the trouble is it even possible? I have heard that the ESN’s are not in each other’s databases(networks) even though they are both on cdma networks; therefore cannot be activated on each other’s networks; but is there a workaround for this issue. it would be greatly appreciated.

    • genXhippie

      Wrong article, so Jeff ain’t answerin’. ;)

  • Qlobster

    Done everything in the video and all went the same but when iTunes starts Seasonpass does nothing. It doesn’t look for the file it just stalls. The only thing i can do is hit the restore button and iTunes restores my ATV, but no jailbreak. Even when i hold down the option key en look for the right file it doesn’t install the jailbreak. is anyone able to help? i waited at least 45 minutes before i gave up, so it’s not that i tried to rush it.

    • http://www.facebook.com/halasima Isaac Halasima

      Did you put Season Pass on your desktop? I had the same thing happen then did that… and it worked.

  • Snidler

    You may have wanted to tell us that after doing this our XBMC will no longer work, which is the only reason to jailbreak!!!!!

  • http://twitter.com/pedro2nr Pedro Nieto

    Don’t update if you rely on XBMC. XBMC needs to be updated to support 6.1 (5.2)

    • http://twitter.com/uwner Cesar Rios

      install ATVflash black, I just did it yesterdeay and XBMC is working without any problems

  • Bernardo

    I couldn’t do the DFU mode. My led light doens’t blink so fast and all of this blinks.
    It just blink twice or so and nothing goes one.
    Please help me on that.

    • http://www.facebook.com/yogy11 Guy Florack

      Temporarily connect the power when connecting the USB. Then when in DFU mode unplug the power.

  • Luizmazutti

    Ok, procces complet..and FC Logo appears for me. But i dont see nothing about jailbreak or nito tv or xmbc… Only FC logo in red on setings….help

  • Bünni71

    how can i install xbmc on my apple tv?

  • Luizmazutti

    Jeff… Why you dont continue the video about apple tv 2 jailbrooken…. You show only steps for jailbreak but dont show your apt 2 working on jailbreak…. Guys DONT upgrade and jailbreak if you use xbmc or nito because this items not upgrade yet…..

  • Mikael Johansson

    Atv 3 jailbreak fake or not? What info is there about à real jailbreak for Atv3

  • Mikael Johansson

    Atv 3 jailbreak fake or not? What info is there about à real jailbreak for Atv3

  • Binh Ngo

    Hi, Jeff.
    I got this message “Process failed with reason: Filesystem patches failed!!” went running Seas0nPass. Can i move to step 3….???

    • Matt Ormond

      i got the same error… did you have any luck?

    • http://twitter.com/CallMeGizz gizza

      hey did anyone find a fix for this? i still cant get passed the failing filesystem patches….

  • Ryan Rohena Diaz

    Do i need to update first to 5.2 before Jailbreaking it? or can i Jailbreak it on 5.1.1?

  • Tobias

    When i jailbreak to this new 5.2 to atv2 does it have to be original firmwere update before i can plug it in to the computer and create à custom ispw?

  • http://twitter.com/neal_evan Neal

    Help! Using my buddies Apple TV 2 as guinea pig, I was able to jailbreak it using season pass with ease. But when I tried to jailbreak mine , I had this problem.. Upon clicking Season Pass, Create IPSW. I had this error message:

    Seas0n pass is unable to modify hosts file. Firmware restore may fail. Please ensure no conflicting software is running and try again.

    I still continued but no success this time.. I tried several moretimes but I still get the same error. WHat should I do?

  • http://www.facebook.com/steve.berry86 Steve Berry

    how do you make the menus look like lists rather than icons iv looked everywhere and cant figure it out

  • http://twitter.com/uwner Cesar Rios

    For XBMC, you have to install ATV flash black 2.2 through you Mac, when its done go to Maintenance on your ATV and there you will find the installation of XBMC

  • Noel

    Can’t get the menu to show weather like in the video

  • SJ

    I see the FireCore log on settings, but that’s it, no other change in my apple TV. There are no custom settings button or anything else.

    • http://www.facebook.com/yogy11 Guy Florack

      That’s correct you can now install FireCore’s ATV Flash or other third party software for ATV

  • http://www.facebook.com/helmi.khaldi Helmi Khaldi

    step 3, but no LED flash light i can’t pass to the DFU mode

    • http://www.facebook.com/yogy11 Guy Florack

      Temporarily connect the power when connecting the USB. Then when in DFU mode unplug the power.

  • Stuart M

    Just got a hold of a Apple TV 2 5.2 firmware but getting error about not eligible for this build? I didn’t do an update whats going on?

    • http://www.facebook.com/paul.crespo.33 Paul Crespo

      me too did he how to fix it

      • Stuart M

        I Wish I knew Paul . I spend more time trying to fix it than actually watching it.

  • Cary

    3194 error – please help!

  • Erinn

    I did what you said and now my ATV2 is broke and wont restore in iTunes. Thanks for nothing!

  • Newlands

    Will this method still work now that 5.2.1 is out?

  • SoonerXpress

    I am getting an error message Apple tv could not be restored This device isnt eligible for the requested build…can someone please tell me a way around this problem…thanks

  • http://www.facebook.com/chrisdebonis Chris De Bonis

    my apple tv wont turn on anymore after connecting it back to the tv…..suggestions so that I can finish the process?

  • beverly

    I went through everything as explained and it all worked the way it said
    it should. However, when I connect my atv back to the TV an Apple comes
    up for a second and then it is just black. The light is also flashing
    on the atv. I tried it twice and then did the regular restore through
    itunes to see if it would even work at all anymore or if it was just
    broken and it did go back to normal, but wasn’t jail broken. I tried the
    jailbraking one more time after that and it did the same thing as
    before, apple then black. Pushing buttons on the remote do nothing. Any
    idea what the problem could be? Thanks btw, my par number begins with
    MC57xxxx. I was under the impression that it is an atv2 not 3….

    • g000ze

      I am having exactly the same issue as you do beverly. Everything worked just as explained in this article, but as soon as I connect my ATV to the power and HDMI cable, the apple shows up for some seconds, the LED is flashing but the TV remains black. After 10 minutes or so ATV appears to reboot, meaning that the apple shows up again for a second (and so on…). Help is appreciated.

      • http://www.facebook.com/vector66 Mike Carnevale

        I am having the same issue….

      • Boudie

        Got the same problem! All is good untill I plug it in to my TV and just wont start up… Help me please! :D

      • Boudie

        Oke just left it plugged in for a while when done with de restoring process and sim sala bim all of a sudden it worked… I could tell because of the light that stopped blinking while connected to the comp.

      • http://twitter.com/DarrenDickey Darren Dickey

        Wow, I’m having the same issue as well. I updated to 5.2.1, then did the update. Everything appeared to go fine. When I plug it in to my TV, I get the flashing light of death. I’ve restored it and tried a number of times, all with the same outcome. Is this something that can be fixed?

      • Marc

        5.2 is untethered version, 5.2.1 is a tethered version. meaning the version you have patched to needs a tethered boot when powering on/restarting.

        the 5.2 untethered version was only up for ~6 weeks until apple patched the exploit and made 5.2.1, so everyone who came late to the party updated to the tethered version.

        if you had backed up your shsh blobs (unique to your atv) you could rollback to a previously untethered version of firmware, otherwise you will have to wait until the next release (after the next major OS update).

  • http://www.facebook.com/emilio.montalvo Emilio Montalvo

    Hi, I a noob here, so i wanted to know is there one speceific model that i need to buy, like a version of apple tv 2 gen, or will any apple tv 2 gen out there will work?? thanks

  • http://www.facebook.com/LuisMaTL Luis M. Tejada

    Do not update to 5.1 you will have a lot of problem with APTV2 will be slow and sometime it will not boot… stay in 5.0.2

  • JUSTIN

    The program crashes for me when I hold the play and pause down for 7 seconds.

  • Guest

    After i conect the apple tv to the tv its show the apple for a couple of minutes and then nothing, what can i do ?

  • jared314

    I went through the process a few times and had no problems. But when I plug the atv back into my TV, it won’t boot. I see the apple logo, then nothing. Just a black screen and a flashed LED. When I restore to normal through itunes, it boots up okay, but after re-jailbreaking, no luck. Any suggestions?

    • kbearsystems

      You are like I am; stuck with a tethered boot. You will need to connect your USB cable to your computer and follow the tethered boot process whenever your ATV loses power. Not the end of the world, but another reason to hate Apple.

  • Tommy

    My ATV won’t start up after breaking. See the apple logo and then the led is just flashing. what to do?

  • Billy Franklin

    I’m having issues completing the Jailbreak. Running current software through out. Everytime it sends the ATV into recovery mode.

    Suggestions?

  • Andrew G

    I saw a section for “In Theaters” under movies in the video. Can you watch movies that are still in theaters on a jailbroken Apple TV?

  • CamTrotter

    Hey i’m having troubles with this I have AT2 and have tried doing everything i can think of i tried following the steps and have done this a couple of times and all that happens is it comes up with the normal settings symbol nothing will jailbreak, please help!!!!

  • Angelo Arco

    i am getting stuck during the season pass download. It says it cant restore the apple tv 2 through the itunes, what am i doing wrong? what do i need to do differently????? PLEASE???????????????????????????????????????

    An unknown error has occured. The Apple TV 2 cannot be restored. Error (1604)

    ???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

  • Angelo Arco

    My Apple TV 2 has been updated, can I still jailbreak it?????

  • John Montgomery

    If you start the jailbreak on apple tv2 and it stopscan you still save your SHSH files if you restored ATV2 ?

  • roro Rod

    Hello I have a bug ( process failed with reason:filesystem patches failed!! ) You can help me