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The PwnageTool was one of the first Jailbreaking tools released, and it dates back all the way to the iOS 1 firmware generation. It is the oldest Jailbreaking tool that is still maintained by the iPhone Dev-Team.
The PwnageTool can be used to Jailbreak the iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad and even Apple TV 2G, but is limited to to iOS devices featuring an A4 chip. This means devices older than the iPhone 4S, iPad 2 or Apple TV 3G. This is because there is no bootrom exploit for newer chips.
One of the benefits of PwnageTool is that it allows for greater Jailbreak customization. This is because unlike tools like RedSn0w or GreenPois0n that Jailbreak your device in its current state, PwnageTool creates a custom iOS firmware file (IPSW) that will need to be restored to your iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad or Apple TV before it will become Jailbroken. This is has its pros and cons, with the biggest con being that you will lose all the data on your iOS device.
The PwnageTool is only compatible with Mac OS X, but a Windows version is available and it is called Sn0wBreeze. Both tools are essentially clones, but are maintained by different developers.
PwnageTool Device Compatibility
The PwnageTool is only compatible with A4 iOS devices and does not support newer devices like the iPhone 4S, iPad 2 or Apple TV 3G. You can take a look at the devices and firmware versions PwnageTool currently supports below. Keep in mind that we will update the PwnageTool compatibility chart when new versions of PwnageTool are released to ensure it is always up to date.
Latest PwnageTool Untethered Jailbreak: iOS 5.1.1
PwnageTool iPhone Support
iPhone 6s Plus: Not Supported
iPhone 6s: Not Supported
iPhone 6 Plus: Not Supported
iPhone 6: Not Supported
iPhone 5s: Not Supported
iPhone 5c: Not Supported
iPhone 5: Not Supported
iPhone 4S: Not Supported
iPhone 4: iOS 5 (iOS 5.1.1, 5.0.1) + iOS 4 (4.3.3, 4.3.2, 4.3.1, 4.2.1, 4.1, 4.0)
iPhone 3GS: iOS 5 (iOS 5.1.1, 5.0.1) + iOS 4 (4.3.3, 4.3.2, 4.3.1, 4.2.1, 4.1, 4.0) + iOS 3 (iOS 3.1.3, 3.1.2, 3.1.1, 3.0.1, 3.0)
iPhone 3G: iOS 4 (4.2.1, 4.1, 4.0.2, 4.0.1, 4.0) + iOS 3 (3.1.3, 3.1.2, 3.1.1, 3.0.1, 3.0) + iOS 2 (iOS 2.2.1, 2.2, 2.1, 2.0.2, 2.0.1, 2.0)
iPhone 2G: iOS 3 (3.1.3, 3.1.2, 3.1.1, 3.0.1, 3.0) + iOS 2 (iOS 2.2.1, 2.2, 2.1, 2.0.2, 2.0.1, 2.0) + iOS 1 (iOS 1.1.4)
PwnageTool iPad Support
iPad Pro: Not Supported
iPad Air 2: Not Supported
iPad Air: Not Supported
iPad Mini 4: Not Supported
iPad Mini 3: Not Supported
iPad Mini 2: Not Supported
iPad Mini: Not Supported
iPad 4: Not Supported
iPad 3: Not Supported
iPad 2: Not Supported
iPad 1: iOS 5 (iOS 5.1.1, 5.0.1) + iOS 4 (iOS 4.3.3, 4.3.2, 4.3.1)
PwnageTool iPod Touch Support
iPod Touch 6G: Not Supported
iPod Touch 5G: Not Supported
iPod Touch 4G: iOS 5 (iOS 5.1.1, 5.0.1) + iOS 4 (4.3.3, 4.3.2, 4.3.1, 4.2.1, 4.1)
iPod Touch 3G: iOS 5 (iOS 5.1.1, 5.0.1) + iOS 4 (4.3.3, 4.3.2, 4.3.1, 4.2.1, 4.1, 4.0) + iOS 3 (iOS 3.1.3, 3.1.2, 3.1.1, 3.0.1, 3.0)
iPod Touch 2G: iOS 4 (4.2.1, 4.1, 4.0.2, 4.0.1, 4.0) + iOS 3 (3.1.3, 3.1.2, 3.1.1, 3.0.1, 3.0) + iOS 2 (iOS 2.2.1, 2.2, 2.1, 2.0.2, 2.0.1, 2.0)
iPod Touch 1G: iOS 3 (3.1.3, 3.1.2, 3.1.1, 3.0.1, 3.0) + iOS 2 (iOS 2.2.1, 2.2, 2.1, 2.0.2, 2.0.1, 2.0) + iOS 1 (iOS 1.1.4)
PwnageTool Apple TV Support
Apple TV 4G: Not Supported
Apple TV 3G: Not Supported
Apple TV 2G: iOS 4 (iOS 4.1)
How To Download PwnageTool
The PwnageTool was created by the iPhone Dev-Team and continues to be maintained by the iPhone Dev-Team to this day. You can download the latest version of The PwnageTool from the iPhone Dev-Team blog. iJailbreak also maintains a downloads section that always contains the latest version of The PwnageTool. Visit the iJailbreak Downloads Section and download the version of PwnageTool that is bold. This signifies that it is the latest version.
The Basics Of PwnageTool
The PwnageTool is different from other Jailbreaking solutions, in terms of how it Jailbreaks your iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad or Apple TV. PwnageTool actually creates custom firmware files (IPSW) that upon being restored to your iOS device, will Jailbreak it. This method of Jailbreaking allows you to specify advanced features like the root partition size, pre-installed packages and custom boot logos. It can also remove the baseband update found in iPhone iOS updates, which is useful for unlockers. The downsides to using The PwnageTool is that it indeed means your device must be restored, thus losing all your data currently residing on the device. It is also common to run into iTunes errors when trying to restore the custom firmware file it creates for a number of reasons including not entering DFU mode correctly, USB port malfunction and firmware corruption.
The difference between a Tethered and Untethered Jailbreak
Due to the fact that PwnageTool supports a wide variety of firmware versions, it will Jailbreak both Tethered and Untethered. This is because not all firmware versions are able to be Jailbroken Untethered. An Untethered Jailbreak means that your device will function as normal once Jailbroken. A Tethered Jailbreak on the other hand is different. It means that when you Jailbreak you cannot power your device off. When you do this while your Jailbreak is Tethered it means in order for your device to turn back on you will need to plug it into the computer and re-run RedSn0w over again. Once you do this your device functions as normal… no data is lost. Hence the term tethered, because you are Tethered to your computer.
Now why would a Jailbreak be Tethered? Well the only reason a Jailbreak would be Tethered is if the developers behind the Jailbreak for a specific firmware version are having a hard time Jailbreaking it. If this is the case often times they will release a Tethered Jailbreak and then an Untethered Jailbreak later on once they find a suitable exploit.
How to launch PwnageTool correctly
If you are running The PwnageTool on OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion then you will need to launch The PwnageTool a certain way to get past the new Gatekeeper security mechanism. In order to launch PwnageTool you will need hold down the control button on your keyboard and click on the Open option.
Navigating Around PwnageTool
Upon launching the PwnageTool you will come to a screen where you will need to select the iOS device you are trying to Jailbreak. If you look towards the top of the screen however, you will see four buttons – Simple Mode, Expert Mode, Log and DFU. Simple Mode is activated by default and will not show you any Jailbreak customization options, Expert Mode will show you options to customize your Jailbreak, Log will show another window beneath the PwnageTool that can help you debug if you experience any errors and DFU will present to you instructions for entering DFU mode.
When going through the Jailbreak process with Simple Mode enabled, you will simply need to answer the on-screen questions and then The PwnageTool will begin creating your pre-Jailbroken IPSW. If you select the Expert Mode option you will come to a screen with four additional sections. Here is a better explanation of what the four available options will do.
- General Settings: In this section you can customize features of your Jailbreak such as root partition size (the amount of space dedicated to Jailbroken apps), activation options for those of you using an unofficial carrier on your iPhone and you can also re-enable functionality for those on you Jailbreaking older iOS devices.
- Cydia Packages: In this section you can select Cydia packages to be pre-installed when you restore the custom firmware file to your iOS device.
- Custom Packages: The only thing you need to ensure you do in this section, is that Cydia is selected to be installed. Cydia is how you manage all of the 3rd party tweaks and utilities available after you Jailbreak.
- Build: Upon clicking the Build option your custom firmware file will begin being created.
How To Jailbreak With PwnageTool
The PwnageTool is a Jailbreaking tool that should be used by advanced users who who don’t mind restoring their iOS device. Now that you understand all of the features of PwnageTool you can Jailbreak your iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad or Apple TV with PwnageTool, as long as it is supported (check the PwnageTool compatibility section near the beginning of this article). The process for Jailbreaking your device is often different depending on the generation of your iOS device and firmware version you are running. As such, we have written how to guides for each specific scenario that can be accessed from our How To Jailbreak Section.
For those that are more technologically inclined however, you will probably be fine just following PwnageTool’s on-screen instructions. With all the knowledge you have learned by reading about all of PwnageTool’s features, you should not find it very difficult.