Update: Everything in this guide also works for iOS 8.4 now. Just be sure to download TaiG 2.2.0.
You can now jailbreak iOS 8.3, the second-latest firmware available for iPhone and iPad. However, you’d better do it fast because this guide will only be good for a certain amount of time before Apple closes the jailbreak window.
Here’s how to upgrade your iPhone or iPad to iOS 8.3 and jailbreak it. I tested the process on my iPhone 5 and it worked perfectly. It takes a couple steps, but it’s all there.
How to Jailbreak iOS 8.3 on Windows
Here’s the part you have to rush- you’ll only be able to download and use iOS 8.3 for a little while before Apple stops digitally signing the firmware. Once that happens, it’s 8.4 or bust.
To download iOS 8.3, visit this website, find your device and select the 8.3 firmware. It’ll take a while to download, so don’t worry if the file seems huge.
Next, we’ll need TaiG, the helpful jailbreak tool developed by the eponymous Chinese group. You can download TaiG from the developer’s website.
Fair warning: TaiG is a Windows executable. Jailbreaking a device on Mac, which I did, takes a few more steps.
If you have a Windows machine with administrator access, your process is much simpler. Connect your iPhone to iTunes and backup your device.
Next, prepare your device for jailbreaking. Disable Find My iPhone, turn off your passcode, disable Auto Lock, and turn on Airplane Mode.
Close iTunes and start up TaiG. Be sure to uncheck “3K Assistant” and just follow the install wizard. Your phone will be out of commission for a while as the software installs, so sit back and wait.
After it finishes, Cydia will appear on the home screen. Open it. You’ll see a “Restoring file system” bit- leave your phone alone and let it run there as well.
Once that finishes, go to the updates tab and download the update for TaiG Untether. It’ll keep your jailbreak fully updated.
How to Jailbreak iOS 8.3 on Mac and Linux
Replicating the same jailbreak process on Mac is a little tricky. It requires some spare space, but you can do it with virtual machines made entirely of free software.
The easiest way to do it on a Mac is to use Bootcamp to dual-boot into Windows. From there, just follow the process I outlined above.
However, if you don’t have a Bootcamp partition, you can quickly set up a basic Windows virtual machine that will get the job done. This process should also work on Linux, but I have not tested that.
First, download Virtualbox. It’s a free virtualization program that’ll let you run Windows on any system.
Next, we’ll install a stripped-down virtual version of Windows used for testing websites in Internet Explorer. In this case, it’ll run TaiG.
Once Virtualbox is installed, open Terminal and enter:
curl -s https://raw.githubusercontent.com/xdissent/ievms/master/ievms.sh | IEVMS_VERSIONS=“10” bash
This will take a long time to download and install. Don’t worry if it looks like it’s hanging- the process just takes a while.
Now open Virtualbox. You should have a VM labeled IE10 – Win7. Click on that one, then click the Settings gear at the top. Go to Ports > USB and make sure “Enable USB Controller” and “Enable USB 2.0” are both checked. Press OK to save and start up the VM.
Now we have to input the iPhone into the virtual machine. To do that, install the Virtualbox Guest Additions first. In the Mac menu bar for the virtual machine, go to Devices > Insert Guest Additions CD.
This will add a CD within your Windows VM. Open it and install the software there, and reboot.
Once that’s done, click on the third icon from the left that looks like a USB plug. Select your iPhone from the list of USB devices and it’ll pass the iPhone into the VM.
You’ll have to download TaiG within the VM to use it, but after that it should work fine. Only precaution needed here is that when the iPhone reboots, it’ll automatically attach to the host Mac instead of the VM. Just remember to click the button in Virtualbox to pass it through.
If you already downloaded TaiG on the host PC, don’t worry. There’s a way to fix that too. Guest Additions will also add shared folders.
To enable shared folders, shut down the VM and go to Settings > Shared Folders. Click the folder icon with a plus and select the folder you want to share (the one with TaiG). Set it to auto-mount and give it full access.
Now, when you open the VM, the shared folder will appear as a network drive in the left-hand column in Windows Explorer. You can copy TaiG out of there onto the Windows drive.
The only downside to this whole process is it’ll reset your installed tweaks. Be sure to write them down beforehand or re-download them like I did.
And above all, be sure to do it quickly. Once Apple stops signing iOS 8.3, there’s no way to get it.
Update: You’re good until they stop signing iOS 8.4, which should last until iOS 9 releases this fall.