If you follow the checkra1n team closely on Twitter and pay attention to our news as the team releases updates to the tool, you would probably assume that you can’t do the checkra1n jailbreak unless you have a Mac or a computer running Linux. running. While the aforementioned state is still technically true, you can use a handy utility called bootra1n to perform the checkra1n jailbreak on your Windows PC.
While it takes a little more finesse than simply running the checkra1n application on a Mac or Linux box, using bootra1n is a great way to get jailbroken if you don’t have access to any of the above. In this tutorial, we will show you how to do it step by step.
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What You Need To Know
You will usually see us say that checkra1n currently only supports macOS and Linux, and this is still true. In fact, bootra1n actually uses a small amount of Linux to trick your PC into doing the checkra1n jailbreak in a Linux workspace.
For this to work, flash the bootra1n .ISO file to a blank USB flash drive or CD and then boot from it with your Windows PC. Basically, you boot a version of Linux from the removable disk instead of Windows on your main boot disk, but it still works on a Windows PC, and this can come in handy in a pinch.
What you will need
There are a few things you’ll need to get started with this tutorial. Those things include:
- An empty USB stick or CD with at least 512 MB of storage space
- A 64-bit or 32-bit AMD or Intel-equipped Windows PC
- A checkra1n compatible iPhone or iPad (A7-A11 chip)
- An MFi certified USB-A to Lightning cable (USB-C to Lightning does not work)
- The bootra1n utility (64-bit or 32-bit)
- The Rufus Utility
All the latest software downloads are available in the bootra1n GitHub repository and you’ll want to download them before continuing. Unfortunately, we cannot link to those files directly as they are constantly updated, and we always want to make sure our readers have access to the latest downloads available.
How To Use Checkra1n On A Windows Pc
If you are ready to perform the checkra1n jailbreak, follow these steps:
- After you’ve downloaded everything you need from the GitHub repository above, plug in both your iPhone/iPad and USB flash drive (or insert your CD if you’re going to be using one of these instead of a flash drive).
- Right-click on the Rufus utility you downloaded and click Run as administrator. When prompted, confirm that you intended to run the application:
- Before starting Rufus for the first time, you may be prompted to download additional files. If so, click Yes. When Rufus opens, it should automatically detect your drive. Click the Select button and then choose the bootra1n .ISO file you downloaded earlier through Windows Explorer:
- After setting the path to the bootra1n .ISO file in the Windows Explorer window, a prompt will appear. Select the Write in ISO image mode option (recommended) and click OK:
- The bootra1n .ISO path should appear in the Rufus application. Leave everything else alone, then click the Start button to continue:
- Rufus now warns you that your drive will be reformatted and flashed with the new .ISO file. Click OK to continue:
- After Rufus completes the process of reformatting the drive and flashing it with the ISO, you are done with Windows. Restart the PC and enter the BIOS (check your computer’s user manual if you are not sure how). You can usually enter the BIOS on a Windows PC by continuously pressing the F2 or Delete key while the computer restarts.
Note: The following process for reconfiguring the boot device order for your PC varies depending on the computer motherboard manufacturer, making it impossible for us to recommend the exact steps for your particular situation. If you don’t yet know how to change the boot order, please refer to your computer or motherboard user guide to learn how.
- In the BIOS, find the Boot option and make sure your newly formatted and bootra1n-ified USB flash drive is first in line:
- Save your changes and restart your computer. When it starts back up, you should see the following interface instead of Windows. Just press the Enter key on your keyboard to continue:
- The following interface looks like Terminal text. After loading is complete, it will ask for credentials. Fill in the following:
- After logging in, you can start entering commands after the “$”. Fill in the following:
- The checkra1n application will now load and look something like this:
- Use your keyboard navigation arrow keys to move right to highlight the Start option and then press the Enter key.
- The following interface will inform you to put your connected iPhone or iPad into DFU mode. Highlight the Next option and then press the Enter key:
- You now want to follow the on-screen instructions to enter DFU mode. Highlight the Start button, then press Enter and do exactly what the application says for your particular device:
- After successfully entering DFU mode, bootra1n will begin to exploit and jailbreak your device:
- Your iOS device should now display the checkra1n themed expanded splash screen. Do not disconnect it until the jailbreak is complete:
- After the jailbreak is complete, you can restart your computer and return to the BIOS to reconfigure the startup disk to your Windows disk.
Note: To reboot your computer from the bootra1n screen, run the following command when exiting the checkra1n UI:
sudo shutdown -r now
- Focus your attention on your iOS device and you should now see the checkra1n loader app on the home screen. Open it:
- Tap the Cydia cell and then the Install Cydia button that appears.
- The checkra1n loader will then start downloading the base system and installing Cydia:
- Launch Cydia and refresh all your resources, then install any updates that may be waiting:
When you’re done, you’re jailbroken and didn’t even need a Mac or a Linux computer to get the job done. Congratulations!
Jailbreak iPhone / iPad with checkra1n Windows startup.
Before doing these steps, you need to confirm and set your PC’s BIOS background to run the checkra1n jailbreak tool
Step #1: Restart your laptop/PC
Step #2: Press the BIOS button to enter the BIOS screen
BIOS key: brand
F2 key F2 Esc F1 F10
OR DELETE F2 F1
What if you can’t find your PC’s BIOS key? Please google it like <your laptop brand> + bios key
Step 3: Disable Secure Boot (listed in the Security or Startup tab)
Step #4: Press F10 and save the configuration settings (after your device reboots automatically)
Step #5: Immediately press the boot button
Boot Key: According to PC Brands
F12 key F12 F2 F12 Esc,
F8 OR F10 key OR F12 fn + F12 F9
If your brand isn’t listed, google it: <your laptop brand> + startup key
Step #6: Select your USB device and press Enter to boot
Step #7: After the Checkra1n tool is launched, connect your iPhone/iPad to the PC (using a lightning cable)
Step #8: Click the radio button
Step 9: Tap Allow Untrusted iOS/iPadOS/tvOS Versions, Allow Safe Mode, and then tap the Back button.
Step 10: Click the Start button to jailbreak it.
Step #11: Follow the on-screen prompts (enter DFU mode)
Step #12: You have successfully installed checkra1n Jailbreak on your device.
Is it difficult to follow these steps? Don’t worry, we’ve also listed two other easy ways to install checkra1n on your Windows PC.
While the process of using checkra1n is a bit more complicated on a Windows PC than it is on a Mac or a regular Linux machine, it’s still great that you can use this method if you don’t have any other options available to you. First-party Windows support is reportedly coming to the checkra1n jailbreak soon, but there is no official ETA at this time.
Whatever you do, please don’t be that guy who forgets to reset the boot disk to Windows via BIOS. Failure to do so will cause your computer to continuously boot to the flash drive, or removing it will likely result in an error.