Tethered Jailbreak for iPad 4.2.1 on a Mac


First, you should know this is a tethered jailbreak, which means you will need to plug your iPad into your computers and run RedSn0w anytime the iPad reboots.

I recommend for most people to wait for a untethered jailbreak because not only will your iPad need a computers assistance to boot but you will need to jailbreak your device again when the untethered jailbreak is released.

We still do not know how long it will be before the untethered jailbreak is released. For the ones who don’t want to wait, here is how to jailbreak your iPad 4.2.1 using RedSn0w on a Mac.

    1. Download RedSn0w from here to your desktop.
    2. Download the latest 4.2.1 firmware from here to your desktop.
    3. Connect your iPad to the computer and launch iTunes.
    4. Select your iPad from the list of devices on the left. Now hold down Option and click the Restore button.

    1. Navigate to the 4.2.1 firmware ipsw on your desktop and click choose to continue.

    1. Once iTunes has finished updating your iPad to the 4.2.1 firmware, launch the redsn0w application from your desktop.


    1. Once RedSn0w opens, click the Browse button, select the 4.2.1 firmware ipsw on your desktop, then click Open.
    2. After the firmware has been verified, click the Next button to continue. RedSn0w should now prepare the jailbreak data.
    3. From this window you can select the jailbreak options you would like. Make sure Cydia is selected and click the Next button to continue.

    1. Plug your iPad into the computer and make sure its OFF (not asleep), then click the Next button.
    2. RedSn0w will now guide you through the steps to get into DFU mode. These are the steps you will be asked to do, when you click next.
      • Hold down the Power (corner button for 2 seconds)
      • Without releasing the power button, also hold down the Home button and for 10 seconds.
      • Without releasing the Home button, release the power button, keep holding the home button until RedSnow detects your device.

  1. Once this is complete you will be notified that RedSn0w is done. Click the Finish button. When your iPad finishes rebooting it will be jailbroken with Cydia on the SpringBoard.
  2. Since this is a tethered jailbreak, you will need RedSnow to reboot your iPad. It will be necessary to do this now, if Cydia will not open. To reboot with RedSnow, go through steps 6 -8 again. When you get to step 9, select only “Just boot tethered right now”. Then continue with steps 10 -12. This will need to be done anytime the iPad is required to reboot. Keep Redsn0w and the ipsw file until there is a untethered jailbreak released.

  • Ray

    hi. i used RedSn0w to jailbreak my 4.2.1 ipad. since i could not connect to wifi network i reset netwok settings. this caused the ipad 2 reboot (which i was not aware it would do). now the ipad wont switch on beyond the apple symbol. i tried connecting it to my macbook but it wont show on itunes. i tried pressin the home and pwr button to reset but it would only switch off. when i turn it back on the same apple symbol and then nothin……. i’m totally stuck. desparate 4 any help. pls help. thanx

  • http://ipadhelp.com Phil

    You need to plug your ipad into your computer. You don’t need itunes open, you will need to use redsn0w and the ipsw file you used when you jailbroke the device.

    If you deleted it, you can download them again from this webpage. You will need to use steps 7 – 12 in this post. The difference is instead of selecting “Install Cydia”, you will need to select “Just Boot Tethered Right Now”. Keep the files handy until there is a untethered jailbreak available.


  • Ray

    @ Phil…….Dude ur a genius. UR Suggestion Worked!!!!!!!. thanx a tonne. Cheers to U :))) what a relief.

  • Ash

    The Problem i have is i used redsn0w on my IPAD, installed cydia, then i selected ”just tethered right now’ but i still seem to be stuck with a pineapple on my screen :-/

    Someone help pls….

  • http://ipadhelp.com Phil


    What iOS version did you have on your iPad before you started the jailbreak?