Apple TV 2 5.3 untethered jailbreak

At iDB, we’ve been singing the praises of the Apple TV for years, especially one of the jailbroken variety. With a jailbroken Apple TV 2, you can do tons of cool stuff, like run XBMC, ATV Flash (black), and loads of other interesting apps and tweaks.

Simply put, the Apple TV hardware in and of itself is good, but jailbreaking the Apple TV 2 sends its value through the roof. Yesterday, FireCore, the creators of the Seas0nPass Apple TV jailbreak tool, released an untethered jailbreak for iOS 5.3 thanks to some help from winocm and iH8sn0w. Check inside for the full video walkthrough that shows how to jailbreak your Apple TV 2 untethered.

We’ve been able to jailbreak iOS 5.3 on the Apple TV 2 for quite some time now, but that jailbreak has always been one of the tethered variety. With this new and improved untethered jailbreak, users can reboot the Apple TV without having to have a computer handy to perform a tethered boot. An untethered jailbreak is always more desirable when compared to a tethered jailbreak, because it doesn’t require a computer when rebooting the device.

Keep in mind that this tutorial will only work with the second generation Apple TV device. Third generation Apple TV’s (Apple TV 3) have yet to be jailbroken in any form or fashion. Unfortunately you can’t walk into an Apple Store to buy an Apple TV 2, because this model has been discontinued in favor of the Apple TV 3 with 1080p output capability. You can still find an Apple TV 2 if you look for a used model on Amazon, or perhaps Craigslist. Be prepared to pay a markup for the Apple TV 2, because most sellers are aware of its value since it can be jailbroken.

How to jailbreak the Apple TV 2 (untethered) running iOS 5.3:

Step 1: Download the latest version of Seas0nPass from our downloads page. This tutorial and video is for the Mac, but the same basic principles apply to Windows users as well.

Step 2: Connect your Apple TV 2 to your Mac using a USB micro cable (it’s the USB cable with the thin connector on the opposite end). You should see a flashing white LED light on the front of the Apple TV 2. No power cord is required. If iTunes pops up, just close it.

Step 3: Extract the file and drag the file to the Applications folder.

Step 4: Go to the Applications folder, right-click on, and select open. If you’re promoted with another open dialogue, click open again.

Step 5: Once Seas0nPass is opened, click Create IPSW, and Seas0nPass should start downloading the iOS 5.3 firmware if it’s not already detected on your computer.

Step 6: After a few minutes, you’ll be prompted to press the Menu+Play/Pause buttons on your remote control simultaneously for seven seconds.

Step 7: After releasing the Menu+Play/Pause buttons, the jailbreak should continue to progress to completion.

Step 8: Once the jailbreak is completed, click done on Seas0nPass and quit Seas0nPass using Command+Q.

Step 9: Connect your Apple TV 2 to your television via HDMI, and plug in the power cable. Once the system boots up, you’ll need to configure your Wi-Fi connection. After the Apple TV 2 Home screen appears you should see the “FC” FireCore logo on the Settings app. If you do, then you’ve successfully jailbroken the Apple TV 2 on iOS 5.3 untethered.

This is just the first step in jailbreaking the Apple TV 2. Now you need to load it up with some cool apps like XBMC. Stay tuned for future tutorials that show you how to do just that. In the meantime, share your thoughts on the Apple TV 2. Do you jailbreak your Apple TV? If so, why?

  • Scott Bondeson

    I did the jail break successfully closed the program but when I plug my ATV2 into the tv it doesn’t boot up or anything. The only thing that happens is the light blinks constantly. What’s going on?

  • Jayant

    Hi there. I am following your instructions. And I have download season pass, but when i go to open it, all I am getting is a message saying please connect the apply tv via USB cable, which I have. All cables connected. Please help. Thanks

  • mike herron

    i have followed all of the instructions and i keep gettin an error message statting that “the device is not supported by seasonpass”
    any sugestions?

  • simon

    Have fallen behind in the technology race and need a bit of help, please…
    I have a Mac, I-pad (not the latest but the one with the bigger connector), apple TV 2 (not jb), iPhone 5s for personal and 4 for work. We have sky at the moment but want to get rid of to save money.
    Now you know what I’ve got, HELP, whats the best way forward, I need kids channels and films but haven’t got a clue on the best route, i’ve looked at a few sites but they all seem to conflict, is it best to jb my ATV2 and sell for premium and buy 3 and do something on my mac to allow me to do stuff or something different all together, I don’t mind spending money to get to were i need, just don’t want to be filling Mr Murdoch’s pockets anymore and would be nice to use computer in front room (the keyboard and mouse work but there seems to be a massive delay on the mouse, don’t know if that can also be resolved).
    Finally would ideally like in HD as have 55″ TV and want to get surround sound connected soon.
    If anyone wants to help it would be appreciated but i’m not that tech savvy at moment and need to get up to speed, cheers

  • Pim

    Hi I ran the proces from your instruction. Now with the Nito app, I am trying to put XMBC on my jailbroken Apple TV2, only, it says the device isn’t jailbroken. I have tried this many times now, but get the same all the time. Pls help!

  • Dany Caron

    Hi, is this normal that after my jailbreak on my ATV2, that nothing as change, except the icone of setting (see picture) ? What should i do to get the interface of the Jailbreak 5.3 ??

  • Original Username

    So I did the whole season pass process. Created the IPSW and says is restored my ATV 2 to 5.3 but when I go to see if it works it still says its in 6.2.1. Any suggestions?

  • Reggie Mcneil

    when trying to create ipsw its says my device is not supported

  • nikki

    once i got to the point to put in DFU it pops up and says error putting in DFU mode this device is not supported? what did I do wrong

  • Debra Harrington McKee

    I used a cord to connect my apple tv and the light doesn’t come on nor does seasonpass find my apple tv