Given the recent news that a jailbreak for tvOS 10.1.1 may be coming after all, we recently advised all Apple TV 4 owners to downgrade from tvOS 10.2 to tvOS 10.1.1 immediately before signing closes.
Hand in hand with the possibility of a jailbreak comes the necessity of saving blobs for your device, which will allow you to upgrade, downgrade, or restore your device at a later date, without worrying about signing windows. This guide will walk you through how to save blobs for your Apple TV.
Before we begin, a few pieces of general advice are in order, to let you know what you should be doing to stand the best chance of an enduring jailbreak.
- Everyone should save blobs for all their devices. Not just for the Apple TV, not just for the devices that don’t currently have a jailbreak, all of them.
- All Apple TV owners should follow this guide to save their blobs now, before tvOS 10.1.1 is no longer signed, and should continue to do so for future firmwares.
- Apple TV owners on tvOS 10.2 should downgrade immediately to tvOS 10.1.1 while it is signed, in addition to saving blobs. You can follow my guide to restore your Apple TV. (Remember to download the tvOS 10.1.1 IPSW for this).
- Apple TV owners on tvOS 10.0-10.1 should not update, they can already jailbreak. Disable auto-updates in settings. They should still save blobs.
- Apple TV owners on tvOS 10.1.1 should not update, they can hope for a jailbreak. Disable auto-updates in settings. Save blobs.
How to save blobs for Apple TV
1) Connect your Apple TV to your computer via USB-C or micro-USB (depending on the generation of Apple TV you own).
2) Open iTunes and select your Apple TV in the devices section.
3) A summary page will appear, showing the serial number and current tvOS version of your device. Click on the serial number field until a value entitled ECID appears.
4) Right-click the ECID field, which will be a string of letters and numbers, and copy it.
5) Paste the value somewhere safe on your computer. This way, the next time you want to save blobs you won’t need to connect your Apple TV to your computer at all. (Once you’ve got your ECID, you can click Eject Apple TV… in iTunes and reconnect it to your TV. It doesn’t need to be connected in future to save blobs).
6) Open a browser and go to the TSS Saver website by /u/1Conan. This is an easy-to-use interface for tihmstar’s TSS Checker, and can save .shsh2 blobs for all devices.
7) We will now fill in the form. First, paste the ECID you copied in Step 4 into the relevant field. This field should be set to Hex rather than Dec if you got your ECID from iTunes (which we do in this guide).
8) Select the identifier for your Apple TV. The first menu will obviously be AppleTV, the second must be the correct generation for your device. Mine was Apple TV 4 (2015), but you’ll know which Apple TV you have.
9) Leave the Manually specify an apnonce… field blank, we do not want this feature for the Apple TV.
10) Tick the I’m not a robot box. The finished form should look something like this:
11) Hit the Submit button to send the request and save your Apple TV blobs.
12) Once saved, the following screen will appear with a download link for your blobs. You can copy it down for later and have your blobs saved online for you, or you can click the link to download them to your computer now. I recommend downloading them so that you have a hard copy.
13) If you clicked the link to download now, it will now show you all the blobs you’ve ever saved for this device. You can select individual firmwares to download them, or click Download ZIP to download an archive of all the blobs ever saved for this device. You can save to Dropbox or OneDrive, or direct to the computer.
And that’s all there is to it. As you can see, my Apple TV 4 now has blobs saved for tvOS 10.1.1 and 10.2, the only signed firmwares at the time of writing.
- Blobs can only be saved for a firmware that is currently signed by Apple. There is no trick to save them later. Save them as soon as a new firmware is out.
- Blobs are not transferable to other devices. They are unique and can only be used for your device.
- You do not have to update your device to a firmware to save blobs for it. It doesn’t matter what firmware you’re running, only what firmwares are signed.
- Go back periodically to save blobs for new firmwares as they’re released.
With luck, everyone with an Apple TV 4 can downgrade to tvOS 10.1.1 in time now, and wait for a possible incoming jailbreak. Going forward, if you have your blobs saved, you can use Prometheus to upgrade to whatever you want if new jailbreaks are released.
Good luck, and good blob-saving!