With Apple’s ever-turning iOS signing machine, jailbreakers are forever wondering what the best strategy is for their device.

Should they stick with their jailbroken firmware or upgrade? If they’re already without a jailbreak, which iOS version do they need to be on to make sure they get one? What do they need to do to be able to upgrade from a lower jailbroken firmware?

In this article, we’ll quickly go through what we consider the smartest options for each device and iOS version, so that you can make an informed decision. Please read the conclusion too, for additional tips which apply to all jailbreakers.

We’ll be keeping this guide updated to reflect new iOS releases, jailbreaks, and downgrade tools.

Simply go to the section for the iOS version that you currently have on your device, and find the part that refers to your device type and situation. You’ll need to know whether your device is 64-bit or 32-bit.

Remember, all these are recommendations based on current information. If a jailbreak is released tomorrow or some other unlikely event occurs, some of this advice may be temporarily incorrect. I take no responsibility for events outside my control. I only give what I consider to be the best and most cautious advice based on the current reliable information available.

Contents

iOS 11.4 and higher

You’re out of luck. Signing for iOS 11.3.1 is now closed, and that is the last firmware for which a public exploit is available. There is currently no public jailbreak for iOS 11.4 and higher, though we know it’s possible. Follow the basic rule of jailbreaking: lower is better. Downgrade to the lowest currently signed firmware, and wait there. Do not update, and wait for a tool to be released. Save blobs with TSS Saver for current and all future firmwares.

There is one exception to this lockout: users on iOS 11.4 Beta 1, 2, or 3 can jailbreak with Electra. If for some reason you have a device still on those betas, then jailbreak away! However, you cannot restore to those firmwares as they are not signed, so if you’re not already there, forget it. Betas above 3 are not vulnerable to Electra.

iOS 11.2-11.3.1

There are jailbreaks for your firmware!  If you’re already on iOS 11.2-11.3.1, stay there. Do not update, and save blobs with TSS Saver for current and all future firmwares.

Jailbreak now with Electra for iOS 11.2-11.3.1, for all devices.

iOS 11.0-11.1.2

There are jailbreaks for your firmware! If you’re already on iOS 11.0-11.1.2, stay there. Do not update, and save blobs with TSS Saver for current and all future firmwares.

Jailbreak now with Electra for iOS 11.0-11.1.2, for all devices.

As an extra bonus, if you saved your blobs for iOS 11.3.x you can jailbreak on iOS 11.0-11.1.2 with Electra1112, then use futurerestore to move to iOS 11.3.x. You will need to take various files from a currently signing compatible firmware to do this. At present, that means iOS 11.4.1. Do not use –latest-sep, –latest baseband options; instead, specify the necessary files manually after downloading the iOS 11.4.1 IPSW and extracting them.

Once on iOS 11.3.x, you can jailbreak that newer firmware as detailed in the section iOS 11.2-11.3.1, above.

iOS 10.2-10.3.3

There are jailbreaks for your firmware! If you’re already on iOS 10.2-10.3.3, stay there. Do not update, and save blobs with TSS Saver for current and all future firmwares. For comprehensive information about the difference between the tools below, check out my article on the subject.

64-bit devices excluding iP7(+)/A10(X)
Check out tihmstar’s doubleh3lix jailbreak for all 10.x firmwares. A traditional jailbreak with a KPP bypass, it boasts a working Cydia and Substrate. The only downside is lack of support for chips newer than A9. That means that the iPhone 7 (Plus), iPad Pro, etc. will have to wait for Meridian for their jailbreak. All other 64-bit devices up to and including the iPhone 6s are supported. Grab it now from the official website. Meridian will also become an option for these devices at some point, but you should use doubleh3lix instead for now due to its more finished state.

As an extra bonus, if you saved your blobs for iOS 11.3.x you can jailbreak on iOS 10.2-10.3.3 with doubleh3lix, then use futurerestore to move to iOS 11.3.x. You will need to take various files from a currently signing compatible firmware to do this. At present, that means iOS 11.4.1. Do not use –latest-sep, –latest baseband options; instead, specify the necessary files manually after downloading the iOS 11.4.1 IPSW and extracting them.

Once on iOS 11.3.x, you can jailbreak that newer firmware as detailed in the section iOS 11.2-11.3.1, above.

iPhone 7 and iPhone 7+ (and other A10(X) devices)
Your only option is to jailbreak with Meridian, which supports all 64-bit devices on all iOS 10.x firmwares, but you might want to wait for it to mature a little before jumping in; it’s still in beta.

As an extra bonus, if you saved your blobs for iOS 11.3.x you can jailbreak on iOS 10.2-10.3.3 with Meridian, then use futurerestore to move to iOS 11.3.x. You will need to take various files from a currently signing compatible firmware to do this. At present, that means iOS 11.4.1. Do not use –latest-sep, –latest baseband options; instead, specify the necessary files manually after downloading the iOS 11.4.1 IPSW and extracting them.

Once on iOS 11.3.x, you can jailbreak that newer firmware as detailed in the section iOS 11.2-11.3.1, above.

32-bit devices
You can use tihmstar’s h3lix tool for iOS 10.x to jailbreak your device semi-untethered. Also, as iOS 10.3.3 is the last signed version for 32-bit, you could update from iOS 10.x to iOS 10.3.3 to get the most bug fixes, and then jailbreak with h3lix there.

If you have blobs for iOS 9.1-9.3.4 and prefer untethered jailbreaks, you can downgrade from iOS 10 to iOS 9.1-9.3.4, then jailbreak with Home Depot. Untether that jailbreak with UntetherHomeDepot!

iOS 10.0.1-10.1.1

iPhone 7 and iPhone 7+ (and other A10(X) devices)
Stay where you are, do not update! There is an updated version of yalu+mach_portal called extra_recipe, which will support you from iOS 10.0.1-10.1.1. You may need to compile the .ipa from source code for some device/firmware combos such as iOS 10.0.x. extra_recipe fixes some of the stability problems with mach_portal. Jailbreak now with extra_recipe! When Meridian is ready, you can switch to that if it offers better stability. Save blobs with TSS Saver for current and all future firmwares.

As an extra bonus, if you saved your blobs for iOS 11.3.x you can jailbreak on iOS 10.0.1-10.1.1 with extra_recipe or Meridian, then use futurerestore to move to iOS 11.3.x. You will need to take various files from a currently signing compatible firmware to do this. At present, that means iOS 11.4.1. Do not use –latest-sep, –latest baseband options; instead, specify the necessary files manually after downloading the iOS 11.4.1 IPSW and extracting them.

Once on iOS 11.3.x, you can jailbreak that newer firmware as detailed in the section iOS 11.2-11.3.1, above.

64-bit devices, excluding iP7(+)/A10(X)
Stay where you are, do not update! Jailbreak now with tihmstar’s doubleh3lix jailbreak for iOS 10.x. When Meridian is ready, you can switch to that if it offers better stability. Save blobs with TSS Saver for current and all future firmwares.

As an extra bonus, if you saved your blobs for iOS 11.3.x you can jailbreak on iOS 10.0.1-10.1.1 with doubleh3lix or Meridian, then use futurerestore to move to iOS 11.3.x. You will need to take various files from a currently signing compatible firmware to do this. At present, that means iOS 11.4.1. Do not use –latest-sep, –latest baseband options; instead, specify the necessary files manually after downloading the iOS 11.4.1 IPSW and extracting them.

Once on iOS 11.3.x, you can jailbreak that newer firmware as detailed in the section iOS 11.2-11.3.1, above.

32-bit devices
You can jailbreak this firmware! Use tihmstar’s h3lix tool for iOS 10.x to jailbreak your device semi-untethered. Alternatively, since iOS 10.3.3 is the last signed version for 32-bit, you could update from iOS 10.x to iOS 10.3.3 to get the most bug fixes, and then jailbreak with h3lix there.

If you have blobs for iOS 9.1-9.3.4 and prefer untethered jailbreaks, you can downgrade from iOS 10 to iOS 9.1-9.3.4, then jailbreak with Home Depot. Untether that jailbreak with UntetherHomeDepot!

iOS 10.0

iPhone 7 and iPhone 7+ (and other A10(X) devices)
There are conflicting reports here. The updated version of yalu+mach_portal, called extra_recipe, might support you on iOS 10.0. You will need to compile the .ipa from source code using my guide, and change the minimum OS version of the Xcode project to 10.0. However, some reports state that the firmware is not supported at all, so give it a go and see. If that doesn’t work, try Meridian instead, though it’s still in beta. Save blobs with TSS Saver for current and all future firmwares.

As an extra bonus, if you saved your blobs for iOS 11.3.x you can jailbreak on iOS 10.0 with extra_recipe or Meridian, then use futurerestore to move to iOS 11.3.x. You will need to take various files from a currently signing compatible firmware to do this. At present, that means iOS 11.4.1. Do not use –latest-sep, –latest baseband options; instead, specify the necessary files manually after downloading the iOS 11.4.1 IPSW and extracting them.

Once on iOS 11.3.x, you can jailbreak that newer firmware as detailed in the section iOS 11.2-11.3.1, above.

64-bit devices, excluding iP7(+)/A10(X)
Stay where you are, do not update! Jailbreak now with tihmstar’s doubleh3lix jailbreak for iOS 10.x. When Meridian is ready, you can switch to that if it offers better stability. Save blobs with TSS Saver for current and all future firmwares.

As an extra bonus, if you saved your blobs for iOS 11.3.x you can jailbreak on iOS 10.0 with doubleh3lix, then use futurerestore to move to iOS 11.3.x. You will need to take various files from a currently signing compatible firmware to do this. At present, that means iOS 11.4.1. Do not use –latest-sep, –latest baseband options; instead, specify the necessary files manually after downloading the iOS 11.4.1 IPSW and extracting them.

Once on iOS 11.3.x, you can jailbreak that newer firmware as detailed in the section iOS 11.2-11.3.1, above.

32-bit devices
You can jailbreak this firmware! Use tihmstar’s h3lix tool for iOS 10.x to jailbreak your device semi-untethered. Alternatively, since iOS 10.3.3 is the last signed version for 32-bit, you could update from iOS 10.x to iOS 10.3.3 to get the most bug fixes, and then jailbreak with h3lix there.

If you have blobs for iOS 9.1-9.3.4 and prefer untethered jailbreaks, you can downgrade from iOS 10 to iOS 9.1-9.3.4, then jailbreak with Home Depot. Untether that jailbreak with UntetherHomeDepot!

iOS 9.3.5

64-bit devices
There is no jailbreak for your current firmware. Interest in your firmware is non-existent, but you can’t move to any of the firmwares which are being worked on now. Your only choice is to jump to the currently signed firmware and begin a long wait. Save blobs with TSS Saver for current and all future firmwares.

32-bit devices
You can jailbreak already! Use tihmstar and siguza’s Phœnix tool to jailbreak your device semi-untethered.

Alternatively, if your device handles iOS 10 well and you want its features and fixes, upgrade to iOS 10.3.3 and jailbreak with tihmstar’s h3lix tool for iOS 10.x.

If you have blobs for iOS 9.1-9.3.4 and prefer untethered jailbreaks, you can downgrade from iOS 9.3.5 to iOS 9.1-9.3.4, then jailbreak with Home Depot. Untether that jailbreak with UntetherHomeDepot!

iOS 9.3.4

64-bit devices
There is no jailbreak for your current firmware. Interest in your firmware is non-existent, but you can’t move to any of the firmwares which are being worked on now. Your only choice is to jump to the currently signed firmware and begin a long wait. Save blobs with TSS Saver for current and all future firmwares.

32-bit devices
You can jailbreak already! Use Home Depot to jailbreak your device. Untether the jailbreak with UntetherHomeDepot!

Alternatively, if your device handles iOS 10 well and you want its features and fixes, upgrade to iOS 10.3.3 and jailbreak with tihmstar’s h3lix tool for iOS 10.x. This is swapping an untethered jailbreak for a semi-untethered one, so consider carefully whether you want to or not.

iOS 9.2-9.3.3

64-bit devices
You can jailbreak with Pangu 9.2-9.3.3. If you like, you can stick on 9.2-9.3.3, live long and prosper with your jailbreak.

Alternatively, and only if you have blobs saved for your destination firmware, you can jailbreak on iOS 9.2-9.3.3 with Pangu, then use futurerestore to move to iOS 11.3.x. This is recommended if you have blobs and are confident in tackling futurerestore, as iOS 9 is getting a little long in the tooth.

You will need to take various files from a currently signing compatible firmware to do this. At present, that means iOS 11.4.1. Do not use –latest-sep, –latest baseband options; instead, specify the necessary files manually after downloading the iOS 11.4.1 IPSW and extracting them.

Once on iOS 11.3.x, you can jailbreak that newer firmware as detailed in the section iOS 11.2-11.3.1, above.

A7 devices (such as the iPhone 5s and iPad Air) can jump to iOS 10.1.1-10.3.3 using custom files with futurerestore, as detailed here, though if you have iOS 11.3.x blobs you may prefer to just futurerestore to iOS 11.3.x, as detailed above.

32-bit devices
You can jailbreak already! Use Home Depot to jailbreak your device. Untether the jailbreak with UntetherHomeDepot!

Alternatively, if your device handles iOS 10 well and you want its features and fixes, upgrade to iOS 10.3.3 and jailbreak with tihmstar’s h3lix tool for iOS 10.x. This is swapping an untethered jailbreak for a semi-untethered one, so consider carefully whether you want to or not.

iOS 9.1

64-bit devices
You can jailbreak with Pangu9. If you like, you can stick on 9.1, live long and prosper with your jailbreak.

Alternatively, and only if you have blobs saved for your destination firmware, you can jailbreak on iOS 9.1 with Pangu, then use futurerestore to move to iOS 11.3.x. This is recommended if you have blobs and are confident in tackling futurerestore, as iOS 9 is getting a little long in the tooth.

You will need to take various files from a currently signing compatible firmware to do this. At present, that means iOS 11.4.1. Do not use –latest-sep, –latest baseband options; instead, specify the necessary files manually after downloading the iOS 11.4.1 IPSW and extracting them.

Once on iOS 11.3.x, you can jailbreak that newer firmware as detailed in the section iOS 11.2-11.3.1, above.

A7 devices (such as the iPhone 5s and iPad Air) can jump to iOS 10.1.1-10.3.3 using custom files with futurerestore, as detailed here, though if you have iOS 11.3.x blobs you may prefer to just futurerestore to iOS 11.3.x, as detailed above.

32-bit devices
You can jailbreak already! Use Home Depot to jailbreak your device. Untether the jailbreak with UntetherHomeDepot!

Alternatively, if your device handles iOS 10 well and you want its features and fixes, upgrade to iOS 10.3.3 and jailbreak with tihmstar’s h3lix tool for iOS 10.x. This is swapping an untethered jailbreak for a semi-untethered one, so consider carefully whether you want to or not.

iOS 9.0-9.0.2

64-bit devices
You can jailbreak with Pangu9. If you like, you can stick on 9.0-9.0.2, live long and prosper with your jailbreak.

Alternatively, and only if you have blobs saved for your destination firmware, you can jailbreak on iOS 9.0-9.0.2 with Pangu, then use futurerestore to move to iOS 11.3.x. This is recommended if you have blobs and are confident in tackling futurerestore, as iOS 9 is getting a little long in the tooth.

You will need to take various files from a currently signing compatible firmware to do this. At present, that means iOS 11.4.1. Do not use –latest-sep, –latest baseband options; instead, specify the necessary files manually after downloading the iOS 11.4.1 IPSW and extracting them.

Once on iOS 11.3.x, you can jailbreak that newer firmware as detailed in the section iOS 11.2-11.3.1, above.

A7 devices (such as the iPhone 5s and iPad Air) can jump to iOS 10.1.1-10.3.3 using custom files with futurerestore, as detailed here, though if you have iOS 11.3.x blobs you may prefer to just futurerestore to iOS 11.3.x, as detailed above.

32-bit
You can jailbreak already with Pangu9!

If you want to be on the highest possible firmware that’s untetherable and you have blobs for iOS 9.1-9.3.4, you can upgrade to any of them and then jailbreak with Home Depot. Untether that jailbreak with UntetherHomeDepot!

Alternatively, if your device handles iOS 10 well and you want its features and fixes, upgrade to iOS 10.3.3 and jailbreak semi-untethered with tihmstar’s h3lix tool for iOS 10.x.

iOS 8.4.1

64-bit devices
There is no jailbreak for your current firmware. Interest in your firmware is non-existent, but you can’t move to any of the firmwares which are being worked on now. Your only choice is to jump to the currently signed firmware and begin a long wait. Save blobs with TSS Saver for current and all future firmwares.

32-bit devices
Jailbreak now with tihmstar’s EtasonJB for iOS 8.4.1!

If you have blobs for iOS 9.0-9.3.4, you can upgrade to any of them by jailbreaking with EtasonJB and using futurerestore.

If you want to be on the highest possible firmware that’s untetherable and you have blobs for iOS 9.1-9.3.4, you can upgrade to any of them and then jailbreak with Home Depot. Untether that jailbreak with UntetherHomeDepot!

If you only have blobs for iOS 9.3.5, you can upgrade to that and use tihmstar and siguza’s Phœnix tool to jailbreak your device semi-untethered.

Alternatively, if your device handles iOS 10 well and you want its features and fixes, upgrade to iOS 10.3.3 and jailbreak semi-untethered with tihmstar’s h3lix tool for iOS 10.x.

iOS 8.4 and below

64-bit devices
You can jailbreak already, with various tools, depending on your firmware version. If you don’t mind the considerable compatibility problems you’ll be experiencing by now and love solid, untethered jailbreaks, stay where you are.

Alternatively, and only if you have blobs saved for your destination firmware, you can jailbreak on your current firmware, then use futurerestore to move to iOS 11.3.x. This is recommended if you have blobs and are confident in tackling futurerestore, as iOS 8.4 and below are ancient in extremis by now.

You will need to take various files from a currently signing compatible firmware to do this. At present, that means iOS 11.4.1. Do not use –latest-sep, –latest baseband options; instead, specify the necessary files manually after downloading the iOS 11.4.1 IPSW and extracting them.

Once on iOS 11.3.x, you can jailbreak that newer firmware as detailed in the section iOS 11.2-11.3.1, above.

A7 devices (such as the iPhone 5s and iPad Air) can jump to iOS 10.1.1-10.3.3 using custom files with futurerestore, as detailed here, though if you have iOS 11.3.x blobs you may prefer to just futurerestore to iOS 11.3.x, as detailed above.

32-bit
You have options. You can jailbreak already, with various tools, depending on your firmware version.

Otherwise, if you have iOS 9 blobs and want to upgrade for better compatibility, you can upgrade to any iOS 9 firmware and then jailbreak with either Pangu (9.0-9.0.2), Home Depot (9.1-9.3.4), or Phœnix (9.3.5).

Upgrading to Phœnix (9.3.5) will be swapping an untethered for a semi-untethered jailbreak however, so you’ll have to choose between a newer iOS with better app support and an untethered jailbreak, unless you go with 9.0-9.3.4.

Alternatively, if your device handles iOS 10 well and you want its features and fixes, upgrade to iOS 10.3.3 and jailbreak semi-untethered with tihmstar’s h3lix tool for iOS 10.x.

tvOS and Apple TV

tvOS 11.4+

Once jailbroken on 10.2.2, and only if you have saved blobs for tvOS 11.3, you can use futurerestore to move to tvOS 11.3. Jailbreak there with ElectraTV.

Block software updates and do not update. Start saving blobs with TSS Saver.

  • Apple TV 4K: You’re out of luck I’m afraid. Block software updates and do not update. Start saving blobs with TSS Saver.

tvOS 11.2-11.3

Jailbreak now with ElectraTV!

Block software updates and do not update. Start saving blobs with TSS Saver.

tvOS 11.0-11.1

Block software updates and do not update. Start saving blobs with TSS Saver.

tvOS 10.2.2

Jailbreak now with backr00m!

Once jailbroken on 10.2.2, and only if you have saved blobs for tvOS 11.3, you can use futurerestore to move to tvOS 11.3. Jailbreak there with ElectraTV.

Block software updates and do not update. Start saving blobs with TSS Saver.

tvOS 9.0-10.2.1

Restore immediately to tvOS 10.2.2.
Jailbreak there with backr00m.

Once jailbroken on 10.2.2, and only if you have saved blobs for tvOS 11.3, you can use futurerestore to move to tvOS 11.3. Jailbreak there with ElectraTV.

Block software updates and do not update. Start saving blobs with TSS Saver.

Apple TV 3 and below
There’s nothing you can do. You will not be supported by any upcoming jailbreak, so carry on as you were.

watchOS and Apple Watch

The developer of Meridian, PsychoTea, has started preliminary work on a watchOS 3 jailbreak named OverCl0ck. There is no release estimate, no watchOS 4 support, and no promise of eventual functionality.

Conclusion

All that is left to say is that regardless of device, current iOS version, model, or happiness with your current setup, save blobs for all iOS versions from now on. They open up more options in this guide, and they might allow you to jailbreak in the future too. Do not wait until it’s too late to find out their uses. We’ve seen Prometheus/futurerestore, as well as a jailbreak-less iOS 9.x downgrade tool for 32-bit and another 32-bit downgrader with Odysseus functionality. All require blobs, which people kept saying were useless. Developers of these tools have always advised you to save blobs as they can come in handy, and they’re right.

For 64-bit devices, .shsh2 blobs can be saved with TSS Saver in a matter of moments. For 32-bit devices, TSS Saver can also be used. These blobs can be converted to normal .shsh blobs easily if required, and contain extra information that may be of use in future. If you want to be doubly safe and save a normal .shsh too, try savethemblobs, forget Tiny Umbrella.

Remember, blobs can only be saved for an iOS version while that version is signed by Apple. You do not have to actually have your device on the iOS version to save blobs for it, it just needs to be currently signed. Get saving!

That just about wraps it up. Hopefully this advice covers you (it should cover all recent situations) but if you’re on a very old firmware, or see something I haven’t addressed, send me a message in the comments below and I’ll see what I can do. Good luck!