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 may 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. For much older firmwares, check out our more general introduction to jailbreaking.

Contents

iOS 12.1.3 and higher

You’re out of luck for now. The current jailbreaks support up to iOS 12.1.2 and are patched in iOS 12.1.3 and above. To have the best chance of a future jailbreak, we recommend downgrading to the lowest firmware which is currently signed. Older firmwares have more public bugs and are likely to receive a jailbreak sooner than newer firmwares. Check which firmwares are currently signed, download the IPSW for the oldest one, and then restore your device with it in iTunes. Once on the lowest firmware possible, turn off automatic updates on your device, block updates, and wait on your current firmware for a tool. Start saving blobs with TSS Saver for current and all future firmwares.

iOS 12.0-12.1.2

There are jailbreaks for your firmware! If you’re already on iOS 12.0-12.1.2, stay there. Do not update, turn off automatic updates on your device and block updates. Save blobs with TSS Saver for current and all future firmwares.

Jailbreak now with unc0ver for iOS 12.0-12.1.2, for all devices excluding A12 and A12X.

Jailbreak now with Chimera for iOS 12.0-12.1.2, for all devices.

Our recommendation is to use unc0ver where possible, as it uses the tried and tested Cydia Substrate for tweak injection, and has received regular stability updates over a long period. Devices up to and including the iPhone X can use unc0ver. However, if you have an A12 or A12X device, that is to say, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone XR, iPad mini (2019), iPad Air (2019), 11″ iPad Pro (2018), or 3rd generation 12.9″ iPad Pro (2018), then Chimera is the only tool which will support you. It uses Sileo instead of Cydia as a package manager and Substitute instead of Substrate for injection, but is maturing as time goes on and its support for the newer devices is a major plus.

iOS 11.0-11.4.1

There are jailbreaks for your firmware! If you’re already on iOS 11.0-11.4.1, stay there. Do not update, and save blobs with TSS Saver for current and all future firmwares.

Jailbreak now with unc0ver for iOS 11.0-11.4.1, for all devices.

If you do not like unc0ver for some reason, you can also jailbreak iOS 11.0-11.4.1 with Electra, though we recommend unc0ver due to its active support, and use of Saurik’s Substrate instead of the workaround Substitute.

iOS 10.0.1-10.3.3

There are jailbreaks for your firmware! If you’re already on iOS 10.0.1-10.3.3, stay there. Do not update, and save blobs with TSS Saver immediately for current and all future firmwares.

All 64-bit devices (RECOMMENDED)
TotallyNotSpyware. Rather than an app-based jailbreak, this is a webpage hosting both Meridian and doubleh3lix. It automatically selects which tool to jailbreak with and jailbreaks directly via the website.

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. must use one of the other options. Grab it now from the official website.

iPhone 7 and iPhone 7+ (and other A10(X) devices)
You can jailbreak with Meridian, which supports all 64-bit devices on all iOS 10.x firmwares.

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

There are jailbreaks for your firmware! If you’re on iOS 10.0, save blobs with TSS Saver for current and all future firmwares.

All 64-bit devices (RECOMMENDED)
TotallyNotSpyware. Rather than an app-based jailbreak, this is a webpage hosting both Meridian and doubleh3lix. It automatically selects which tool to jailbreak with and jailbreaks directly via the website.

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. must use one of the other options. Grab it now from the official website.

iPhone 7 and iPhone 7+ (and other A10(X) devices)
You can jailbreak with Meridian, which supports all 64-bit devices on all iOS 10.x firmwares.

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 9.3.5

64-bit devices
You’re out of luck; there’s no jailbreak for this firmware, and no interest in making one. Choose between waiting and hoping someone makes one, and updating to the newest firmware. If you update, turn off automatic updates on your device and block updates afterwards. 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
You’re out of luck; there’s no jailbreak for this firmware, and no interest in making one. Choose between waiting and hoping someone makes one, and updating to the newest firmware. If you update, turn off automatic updates on your device and block updates afterwards. 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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
You’re out of luck; there’s no jailbreak for this firmware, and no interest in making one. Choose between waiting and hoping someone makes one, and updating to the newest firmware. If you update, turn off automatic updates on your device and block updates afterwards. 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.

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.

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 12.1.2+

  • Apple TV 4: If you want a jailbreak, downgrade immediately to tvOS 10.2.2. Jailbreak there with backr00m!
    As an added bonus, if you have previously saved blobs for tvOS 12 you can use futurerestore to jump from tvOS 10.2.2 up to tvOS 12.0-12.1.1. Then follow the instructions below for tvOS 12.0-12.1.1.
    If you prefer tvOS 12 features to a jailbreak, then stay where you are and wait.
    As always, all users should block updates and not update. Start saving blobs with TSS Saver for all current and future firmwares.
  • Apple TV 4K: You’re out of luck I’m afraid. Block updates and do not update. Start saving blobs for all current and future firmwares.

tvOS 12.0-12.1.1

tvOS 11.0-11.4.1

tvOS 10.2.2

Jailbreak now with backr00m!
As an added bonus, if you have previously saved blobs for tvOS 12 you can use futurerestore to jump from tvOS 10.2.2 up to tvOS 12.0-12.1.1. Then follow the instructions above for tvOS 12.0-12.1.1.
If you can’t go the futurerestore route because you didn’t save tvOS 12 blobs, and you’d prefer tvOS 12 features to a jailbreak, then upgrade to the lowest currently signed tvOS 12.x version and wait there instead.
As always, all users should block updates and not update. Start saving blobs with TSS Saver for all current and future firmwares.

tvOS 9.0-10.2.1

Restore immediately to tvOS 10.2.2. Jailbreak there with backr00m!
As an added bonus, if you have previously saved blobs for tvOS 12 you can use futurerestore to jump from tvOS 10.2.2 up to tvOS 12.0-12.1.1. Then follow the instructions above for tvOS 12.0-12.1.1.
If you can’t go the futurerestore route because you didn’t save tvOS 12 blobs, and you’d prefer tvOS 12 features to a jailbreak, then upgrade to the lowest currently signed tvOS 12.x version and wait there instead.
As always, all users should block updates and not update. Start saving blobs with TSS Saver for all current and future firmwares.

Apple TV 3

There is currently no jailbreak available on any firmware, though there may be one coming soon. Downgrade immediately to tvOS 8.4.2, build (12H606) specifically, and wait.

Apple TV 2 and below

There is currently no jailbreak available for any signed firmware, 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 firmware version, model, or happiness with your current setup, save blobs for all firmware 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 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 most devices, .shsh2 blobs can be saved with TSS Saver in a matter of moments. Apple TV 4K blobs can be saved with tsschecker. Devices with an A12, A12X, or newer chip (iPhone XS and above), must follow a slightly more involved process to save valid blobs.

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 see something I haven’t addressed, send me a message in the comments below and I’ll see what I can do. Remember, for much older firmwares, check out our more general introduction to jailbreaking. Good luck!