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Tethered Jailbreak vs. Untethered Jailbreak: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Harlon Moss || Published on March 21, 2024
Tethered jailbreak requires a computer connection to boot the device, while untethered jailbreak allows the device to boot independently.

Key Differences

A tethered jailbreak is a method of removing software restrictions imposed by iOS, Apple's operating system, on devices such as the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. However, this type of jailbreak has a significant limitation: every time the device is restarted, it must be connected to a computer running the jailbreak application to boot into its jailbroken state. Untethered jailbreak, on the other hand, is the preferred method for bypassing Apple's restrictions because it allows the device to remain jailbroken even after being rebooted.
The process of achieving a tethered jailbreak typically involves exploiting vulnerabilities in iOS that require external assistance (a computer) to take effect upon each boot. These jailbreaks are often seen as a temporary solution until an untethered method becomes available. In contrast, untethered jailbreaks exploit deeper system vulnerabilities that do not require external intervention after the initial jailbreak process. This means that the jailbreak is embedded within the device's operating system, enabling it to maintain its jailbroken status independently of external hardware.
Both tethered and untethered jailbreaks allow users to customize their iOS devices beyond what is officially permitted by Apple, installing unofficial apps and tweaks. However, the distinction between them significantly affects the user's convenience and the device's functionality after a reboot. While tethered jailbreaks offer an immediate but less convenient solution, untethered jailbreaks are highly sought after for their permanence and ease of use.

Comparison Chart

Boot Requirement

Requires computer connection to boot into jailbroken state.
Boots into jailbroken state without computer connection.

User Convenience

Less convenient due to dependency on a computer.
More convenient with no dependency.

Stability After Reboot

Loses jailbreak status after reboot unless reconnected.
Maintains jailbreak status independently after reboot.

Technical Complexity

Exploits may be simpler, requiring external boot assistance.
Exploits are more complex, allowing autonomous boot.


More commonly available but less desired.
Less frequent but highly sought after.

Tethered Jailbreak and Untethered Jailbreak Definitions

Tethered Jailbreak

Jailbreak that loses its effect upon device restart without a computer.
My tethered jailbreak means I avoid turning off my phone to keep the jailbreak active.

Untethered Jailbreak

Does not require a computer to maintain the jailbreak status.
The convenience of an untethered jailbreak means I can travel without my laptop.

Tethered Jailbreak

A less convenient method of jailbreaking due to reboot restrictions.
Dealing with a tethered jailbreak can be frustrating when away from my computer.

Untethered Jailbreak

Highly sought after for its seamless user experience.
I waited months for an untethered jailbreak because it offers the best user experience.

Tethered Jailbreak

A temporary bypass of iOS restrictions needing external boot support.
The tethered jailbreak offered a quick fix until an untethered version was released.

Untethered Jailbreak

Jailbreak that remains active after reboot without external help.
My device stays jailbroken with an untethered jailbreak, even after turning it off.

Tethered Jailbreak

A jailbreak requiring computer assistance on every boot.
After using a tethered jailbreak, my phone needs to connect to my laptop to start properly.

Untethered Jailbreak

Offers a permanent solution for bypassing iOS restrictions.
Once applied, the untethered jailbreak keeps my iPad in its enhanced state indefinitely.

Tethered Jailbreak

Requires specific software on a computer to enter jailbroken state.
Each reboot with a tethered jailbreak means running the software again on my computer.

Untethered Jailbreak

Exploits deep system vulnerabilities for independence.
Achieving an untethered jailbreak requires finding and exploiting more complex vulnerabilities.


What is a tethered jailbreak?

A jailbreak that requires a computer to assist the device in booting into the jailbroken state after every restart.

Which is more user-friendly, tethered or untethered jailbreak?

Untethered jailbreak is more user-friendly due to its independence from a computer.

Can I convert a tethered jailbreak to an untethered jailbreak?

Generally, this requires a new exploit or jailbreak method specific for untethered use.

Is it safe to jailbreak my device, tethered or untethered?

Jailbreaking can expose your device to security risks and void warranties, regardless of the method.

What is an untethered jailbreak?

A jailbreak that allows the device to boot into the jailbroken state independently, without the need for computer assistance.

Why are untethered jailbreaks rare?

They require finding more complex vulnerabilities in iOS, making them harder to achieve.

What happens if I reboot my device with a tethered jailbreak?

You'll need to reconnect it to a computer with the jailbreak software to boot into the jailbroken state.

Do both types of jailbreaks offer the same level of customization?

Yes, both allow for similar levels of customization, but differ in convenience and stability.

Can updating iOS remove my jailbreak?

Yes, updating iOS will typically remove any type of jailbreak and restore original restrictions.

How do I know if my jailbreak is tethered or untethered?

If your device cannot boot to its jailbroken state without a computer, it's tethered.

Do I need technical skills to apply a jailbreak?

Some technical understanding is beneficial, especially for troubleshooting issues that may arise.

Can jailbreaking make my device slower?

It's possible if you install many tweaks or apps that consume resources heavily.

What's the main benefit of a tethered jailbreak?

It allows immediate access to jailbreak features, though with the inconvenience of dependency on a computer.

How can I remove a tethered jailbreak?

Restoring your device to its factory settings via iTunes will remove any jailbreak.

Why might someone prefer an untethered jailbreak?

For the convenience of maintaining jailbreak features without needing a computer for every reboot.

Can I still use App Store apps with a jailbreak?

Yes, but jailbreaking may cause some apps to not function correctly due to security measures.

Is jailbreaking legal?

The legality of jailbreaking depends on your country's laws and may affect your device's warranty.

Are there more risks associated with tethered or untethered jailbreaks?

Both carry risks, but tethered jailbreaks add the inconvenience of potential lockout without a computer.

Can jailbreaking brick my device?

While rare, improper jailbreaking can lead to a non-functional device, often referred to as "bricking."

Will jailbreaking speed up my device?

Not necessarily; while you can remove unwanted apps, jailbreaking itself doesn't directly speed up the device.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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