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Updates to futurerestore allow unsigned restores to iOS and iPadOS 14 for jailbreakers

If you’ve been following our recent jailbreak coverage you’ll know that there is likely a jailbreak on the horizon for iOS and iPadOS 14, being worked on by CoolStar. However, the exploit which it uses will only work on iOS and iPadOS 14.0-14.3, not the current 14.4, nor Apple’s upcoming firmware, 14.5.

The problem for would-be jailbreakers had been that iOS and iPadOS 14.3 are no longer signed by Apple, which means users could no longer move to that firmware through traditional methods. It therefore looked like anyone who wasn’t already on iOS or iPadOS 14.0-14.3 was going to miss out on the first semi-untethered iOS 14 jailbreak.

Enter futurerestore

For those that don’t know, futurerestore is a tool used by the jailbreaking community which allows savvy users to move between firmwares, even ones which Apple is no longer signing. It requires a user to have .shsh2 blobs for the firmware they want to move to, and they must have saved them whilst that firmware was still being signed. It also normally requires a jailbreak on your starting firmware. If those criteria are satisfied, a user can jump between recent firmwares to their heart’s content, avoiding Apple’s signing system.

The problem was that until recently futurerestore was broken on all devices with an A11 or newer chip (that’s iPhone 8/X and newer). Even after fixes for iOS 14 were made, it was still only working for people with an iPhone 7(+) or older. When the news of an upcoming jailbreak for iOS and iPadOS 14.0-14.3 broke, it was too late for many users to restore to those firmwares via Apple’s permitted route, and then they found that futurerestore couldn’t help most of them either.

Luckily, after a bit of traction in the community and the crowdfunding of a bounty to encourage troubleshooting, a fix was posted. Most recent maintainer adam (marijuanARM) and Cryptic have so far resolved the issues for both A11 (iPhone 8(+) and iPhone X) and A12 (iPhone XS and iPhone XR). A13 (iPhone 11) is not currently working but testing is underway, with some optimism about a fix.

What’s the upshot of all of this?

Well, if you have a device on iOS, iPadOS, or tvOS 14.0-14.3 already, stay there and do not update it. You should have a jailbreak coming your way soon. If you have an iOS, iPadOS, or tvOS device on a lower firmware like 12.x or 13.x, and you have blobs already saved for 14.3, and your current firmware is jailbreakable, today’s news means you will be able to jump to 14.3 when the time comes, and enjoy CoolStar’s upcoming jailbreak, thanks to futurerestore.

A few things to note before jumping in

You need 14.3 blobs and a jailbreak on your current firmware for this to work. Blobs for iOS and iPadOS 14.0-14.2 do not work. Blobs for iOS and iPadOS 14.4 do work with futurerestore, but are useless as the upcoming jailbreak does not support 14.4. Currently, only A9-A12 (iPhone 6s(+) – iPhone XS/XR), plus iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 4, are working with futurerestore’s new fixes. Support for A13 (iPhone 11) is likely coming soon, support for A14 is currently untested and likely not coming soon.

What about Apple TV?

CoolStar has not yet mentioned Apple TV support for his jailbreak, but it is normally possible to achieve with the same exploit used for the iOS and iPadOS tool, so I’d be cautiously optimistic about tvOS support in the future. Keep your Apple TV 4 or 4K on the equivalent firmwares mentioned above for iOS, and if you have blobs saved for your Apple TV, you will likely be able to follow the advice in this article regarding futurerestore too.

If you do already have a comfortable jailbreak on 12.x or 13.x and have your blobs saved for 14.3, I wouldn’t advise updating right now. CoolStar’s jailbreak isn’t released yet, and futurerestore just bought you time to wait and see what happens. When the 14.0-14.3 jailbreak is released, you can then use futurerestore to move to 14.3 at your leisure, whilst keeping your current jailbreak in the meantime. The best of both worlds.

Do you have any questions about compatibility, using futurerestore, and the upcoming jailbreak? If so, put them in the comments section below and I’ll try to help out.

Also read: Can I jailbreak? A guide to all your jailbreaking options

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