Apple has tried its best to make jailbreaking more difficult over the years, which is why the recent revelation that there is a somewhat-easy way to jailbreak iOS 12.4 is pretty exciting. At least you now have an opportunity to jailbreak your device if you didn’t update to iOS 12.4.1 or iOS 13, which fixes a vulnerability that they accidentally unpatched — hence the resurrected jailbreak technique.
Jailbreaking your iPhone — removing Apple’s built-in restrictions that prevent you from customizing your device or messing with internal settings that are otherwise inaccessible — isn’t for everyone. It can be a bit risky if you aren’t familiar with the process, but it’s a great way to really unlock the full potential of your device.
Let’s get this jailbreak started!
To jailbreak iOS 12.4 you’ll be using the popular unc0ver tool by famed iOS hacker pwn20wnd. As jailbreaking has a bit of a learning curve, you may want to follow along with one of the many video tutorials that have popped up for iOS 12.4 if you’ve never done it before. If you prefer a step-by-step tutorial, read on.
To start the process – make sure you’re running iOS 12.4, which you can check via your device’s Settings > General > About screen. This jailbreak will now work on all devices using one of the A7–A12 chips. This means that you aren’t yet able to perform the hack on your newest iPhone 11 or iPhone 11 Pro / Max. These ship with iOS 13 and we will need to wait for the developers to work on those.
Sideloading unc0ver onto your iOS device
If your device is eligible, download Cydia Impactor and the latest version of the Undecimus .ipa file. Unzip and run Cydia Impactor, then plug your iPhone or iPad into your Windows PC or Mac using a genuine Apple lightning cable. Make sure your computer “trusts” your device, or vice versa, if you haven’t allowed that already.
Drag the .ipa file you downloaded into the Cydia Impactor app window and then enter your Apple ID and password. (If your account has multi-factor authentication enabled, check out the article on iMore.com to learn how to generate a one-time app password to use instead of your Apple ID password.) Once the unc0ver app installs onto your device, go to Settings on your device, tap on General, scroll down and tap on Profiles & Device Management. Tap on your Apple ID and tap the option to “trust” that email address.
Running the jailbreak tool
Turn on Airplane Mode and launch the unc0ver app. Tap the big blue “Jailbreak” button and wait for the prompt to reboot your device. Do that, then launch the unc0ver app again and hit the Jailbreak button. If successful, you should see a confirmation that the device is now jailbroken. It will then respring (soft restart) and you should see the Cydia app on your device. Cydia is the most well-known jailbreak package manager where you can install unofficial apps and tweaks from.
- This is a semi-tethered jailbreak so you will need to launch unc0ver and tap Jailbreak each time you reboot.
- If you don’t have a developer account, you will need to install the Reprovision app from the Incendio repo to keep the unc0ver app signed. Otherwise you will need to reinstall it every seven days.
We never said jailbreaking your device was easy. However, this is the price you pay for hacking your iPhone or iPad to run whatever you want.
If you’re having trouble getting the jailbreak to work, I recommend checking out the community on Reddit over at /r/jailbreak, which might be able to answer any questions you have (assuming someone else hasn’t also encountered any bugs you’re seeing).