What's new

Guide to RedSn0w: Understand and Utilizing


Super Moderator
Staff member
Aug 15, 2012
Reaction score
New York
RedSn0w is a commonly used application developed by the iPhone Dev-Team to jailbreak your device and such. Or at least that's what it's commonly known for. There are also other features and uses of RedSn0w that makes it such a great app for both jailbroken and non-jailbroken iPhones, iPod Touches and iPads. RedSn0w in itself is a very simple and versatile tool as well as very limited on bugs (if any) compared to other utilities like Sn0wBreeze, which makes it my go-to recommendation for solving 90% of problems. But nevertheless, here's a real introduction to what RedSn0w is capable of.

Table of Contents:
  1. Latest Version of RedSn0w
  2. The Main Screen
  3. Extras
  4. SHSH Blobs
  5. Even More
  6. Restore
  7. Preferences
  8. Conclusion and relevant links

Latest Version of RedSn0w: 0.9.15 beta 3

OSX Download: https://sites.google.com/a/iphone-dev.com/files/home/redsn0w_mac_0.9.15b3.zip?attredirects=0&d=1
Windows Download: https://sites.google.com/a/iphone-dev.com/files/home/redsn0w_win_0.9.15b3.zip?attredirects=0&d=1

^These links will be updated to the latest versions when they're released. Always use the latest version of RedSn0w. Whatever the previous versions can do, the latest ones can do the same or better (depending on whether there's a new method discovered to do it better or not)

The Main Screen


The most basic screen you'll ever see on RedSn0w. The main screen. Very simple. A brief intro from the Dev Team about their product, 2 buttons and a single line on the bottom.
  • Jailbreak: Pretty self explanatory. When applicable, you would click on this button to jailbreak your device. If your device's current iOS is incompatible with your device, you will either get an error upfront when starting RedSn0w, or when clicking on the Jailbreak button, you will receive a pop-up notifying you that your device and/or iOS is incompatible with this current version of RedSn0w. If that's the case, either upgrade the version of RedSn0w (the links above will be the latest and most up to date version), or if it's already the latest, wait for the next available supporting version.
  • Extras: This section of RedSn0w contains all the goodies and useful tools that can be used for jailbroken and non-jailbroken devices. We'll get more into detail on this part of RedSn0w is the next section.
  • The Red Circle: This, in my opinion, is the MOST UNDERRATED feature of RedSn0w. By plugging your device in, your device's profile will be shown here. In the sample picture, it's displaying my iPhone's information. iPhone (5.1.1, 2.0.12). This is a brief profiling of your device. It's an iPhone, it's running iOS 5.1.1, and it's on the baseband 2.0.12. In some cases, it'll show your carrier and even model as well. But you can almost immediately tell which device it is by looking at the baseband. Now that aside, this line is also very important in my opinion, for newbies that're trying to put their device into DFU mode. When your device is placed into DFU mode, it should look something like this.

If this does not say 'DFU mode' and says 'Recovery mode', then it's in Recovery Mode. This feature of RedSn0w is what I advise newbies to do when putting their device into DFU mode. Make sure your device is in DFU mode or your jailbreak/restore/etc will not work if it requires DFU mode. So keep performing the steps until it says 'DFU mode' before proceeding with what you're doing.



Now we get into the goodies. Here are a few prominent utilities that can be used for your devices depending on your needs, and a few tricks that many users may not know or never explored.
  • Just Boot: As it says, it "just boot" your device. This is used only for devices with a tethered or semi-tethered jailbreak. Using this function will allow you full access to your device again. If you're on a stock or an untethered device, you don't need to use this.
    [*]Pwned DFU: This feature is used to put your device into 'pwned DFU mode'. As the description suggests, this is used to restore to custom firmwares. This feature at the moment only supports pre-A5 devices, meaning the iPhone 4 and below, the iPad 1 and the iPod Touch 4th gen and below.
    [*]Recovery Fix: This is used to get out of Recovery Mode. Sometimes, users will experience a Recovery Loop, where your device either keeps restarting itself, enters Recovery Mode and repeats again. This can be used to fix that issue. Or if you performed a downgrade in your iOS, you'll most likely end up in Recovery Mode after the initial boot, so you'll need this to get back on your feet to the Springboard.
    [*]SHSH Blobs: Check in the next section for more details on this feature.
    [*]Select IPSW: This feature is a fairly underrated feature, but very useful/crucial in doing certain activities using RedSn0w. What this does is it will prompt you to look for an IPSW upon clicking. You would then browse your computer to find an IPSW that matches the device you're trying to work on. You should always select your IPSW before jailbreaking to ensure a smooth journey.
    [*]Custom IPSW: Simple, you'll create a custom IPSW that can be used to upgrade your iOS on your device but retain the baseband. This is mainly useful for unlocking an iPhone using a method where the baseband or modem firmware matters such as an interposer unlock like the Gevey SIM or UltraSn0w for the iPhone 4, which is only applicable to baseband 01.59.00, so you would want to preserve that baseband but still upgrade your iOS so you can stay unlocked.
SHSH blobs


This window is an extremely useful utility. Do consult f4780y's (Leigh) sticky here about the importance of blobs.

  • Fetch: Simple. Cydia will fetch your blobs from your device if you have any, and will save them on their servers. Not all devices will have blobs saved on them.
  • New: Select an IPSW, and it'll upload blobs to Cydia's servers. This is used mainly for non-jailbroken devices. You can be non-jailbroken and still upload your blobs to Cydia's server for safe keeping and 'Cloud' access
  • Verify: This is basically a 'checker' for your current blobs. This will require your device in DFU mode and plugged in. Very rarely will you use this.
  • Submit: If you have SHSH blobs saved on your computer using other utilities like TinyUmbrella, you can upload them manually to Cydia.
  • Query: Plug your device in or enter your device's ECID and see which blobs you have on their servers. If you have blobs that aren't on Cydia, you can use 'Submit' to add them on and they'll appear on the top of your Cydia main screen's list of iOS blobs on their servers.
  • Stitch: An different type of 'custom IPSW'. This is used when you want to restore to an iOS that's no longer being signed. This requires SHSH blobs to do. For example, if you want to restore back to iOS 5.0.1, which is no longer being signed, you'll need the iOS 5.0.1 blobs for your device, and the iOS 5.0.1 IPSW for your device (which can be downloaded on this forum). If you do not have blobs, you cannot stitch an IPSW. However, the Dev-Team has added a 'Restore' function that does this automatically, which we'll get to next.
Even More


One of the more useful and well-rounded feature of RedSn0w. This portion basically replaces the need of iTunes to identify and to restore your device.
  • Restore: As I mentioned this feature basically replaces the need of iTunes for restoring and such. I will go more in-depth about this feature below, it deserves its own section.
  • Identify: This shows the info of the device that's connected. This includes serial, phone number, IMEI number, current carrier, baseband, iOS, name of the iPhone, which iPhone, color of the iPhone, etc etc. This requires your device to be in a normal state. In DFU mode, you'll receive only a few lines of information that's impertinent to most users.
  • Backup: This was originally used to retrieve SAM tickets for an old unlock backdoor exploit. That method of unlocking has been patched. Now, this feature can be used to backup directories if you know which directory you're looking for. An easier alternative would be to SSH into your device, or use an application for your computer like iFun-Box or iExplorer that basically roots your device. Neither of these applications for your computer require a jailbroken device, so you can use it on a 'straight out of the box' idevice.
  • Tickets: This is used to place SAM tickets saved back into your iPhone to re-unlock it again. This is only used for that purpose.
  • DFU IPSW: You'll be creating an IPSW file that you use to put your device into DFU mode. This is used to put your device into DFU mode if your home or sleep buttons are broken, and you cannot enter DFU mode physically/manually.
  • Preferences: This section will be discussed at the very end after the 'Restore' function


A very powerful feature of RedSn0w. As I said, this basically replaces the need to use iTunes to restore your device, whether if it's a clean installation, restoring to an iOS that's no longer being signed and downgrading (exceptions). This is also the simplest feature to use in my opinion.
  • IPSW: Simple. Like "Select IPSW" in the 'Extras' menu, you select the IPSW that you want to work with. Not just any IPSW, it has to be the one that you have SHSH blobs for. Or if it's a pre-stitched IPSW that already has blobs, you can use that as well, this includes the custom IPSW that preserves your baseband.
  • Blobs: Blobs are crucial to restoring to an iOS that's no longer being signed. These MUST BE PRESENT when upgrading or downgrading an iOS. Note that not all devices are downgradable.
    • Local: By clicking this, you'll be fetching your device's SHSH blobs from your computer. You'll browse your computer and select the blobs for RedSn0w to verify.
    • Remote" By clicking this, RedSn0w will fetch your blobs from Cydia's server. Note that if the blobs are not saved on Cydia, this feature will return with an error upon checking.
  • Red Box: As it says, your ECID of the connected device will be displayed.
The routine for this feature would be to select 'IPSW' and browse for your iOS IPSW that you want to work with and the iOS IPSW that matches the blobs. Then for blobs, select either Remote or Local depending on which method you want to retrieve your blobs. Normally Remote will work. Or if they're not on Cydia but are on your computer, select Local. Then select Next. Prompts will show up saying something along the lines of "Your device is about to be updated, and your device is wiped, are you sure you want to proceed?" and the other will be "Your device's baseband will be upgraded in the process, if you want to preserve your baseband, come back with a custom IPSW. Are you sure you want to proceed?". You must say that you want to proceed and are aware of the warnings in order for the restoration process to occur.

The above section outlines the basic instructions for downgrading (on certain devices only) and restoring to an iOS that's no longer being signed. For those that want to restore to the latest firmware and have the IPSW, simply select 'IPSW' point it to the latest firmware's IPSW, then for blobs, select Remote. Sometimes, this feature will not work for the latest firmwares and you'll have to use iTunes unfortunately.



Rarely will a user venture to this portion of RedSn0w. It's mainly for more advanced users that want to play around with RedSn0w preferences. They're fairly self explanatory:
  • ECID: Shows a list of ECIDs of devices that this version or instance of RedSn0w is acquainted with.
  • Boot args: This is used for advanced users. You can run advanced commands with the ipt4g tool. If you don't know what you're doing, do not fiddle with this.
  • Boot logo: Changes the boot logo of your device for tethered jailbroken devices.
  • Clear cache: If you selected an IPSW using Extras > Select IPSW, clicking this button will basically clear the 'cache' or the IPSW that's being targeted or used by RedSn0w.
The rest of the features are just for personal appearances and well, preferences.
  • 'Automate restores' will basically start the restore process after selecting your blobs in the 'Restore' feature without having to press 'Next'.
  • 'Auto-exit WTF mode is a secondary-like DFU mode. This is mainly (if not only) applicable for the 3G and 3GS. If your device enters WTF mode, it'll automatically be kicked out of it. It's a 'slower' form of DFU mode and allows more data in bulk to be uploaded onto the device. Again, an advanced feature that doesn't really play a part unless you're an advanced user.
  • 'Beep on connects/disconnects', just like the system sounds when you plug in a device, only it's for RedSn0w.
  • 'Move applications during jailbreak' controls whether Cydia is added on the next available slot on your springboard or put onto a springboard page/screen of its own. This isn't life changing, you can move the Cydia app and other jailbroken apps installed along with it by tapping and holding until they jiggle and drag them around.
  • Show ECID in hexadecimal. Instead of showing it as it normally does, it'll convert it to hexadecimal. It doesn't matter which way your ECID is displayed, you can use it either ways.
  • Show device's iTunes name, not its model. On the main screen on the bottom, unticking this will show the true 'nature' of your iPhone like it's model and such. What you saw in the picture in the Main Screen section earlier was with this feature ticked. If it was unticked, in my case, it would've said "iPhone 4S (5.1.1)" instead. Not much of a difference but if you need a device identifier to tell if you have a 3G or 3GS, this is one way to tell.
  • Use DFU ramdisk method whenever possible. This is mainly used for iOS 5.1.1 to inject Rocky Raccoon to create an untethered jailbreak instead of a tethered jailbreak and have the user manually install Rocky Raccoon through Cydia for an untethered jailbreak. This is basically a 'use limera1n or not' option. You don't need to fiddle with this at all really.

This is just a basic guide to understanding what RedSn0w is capable of. Of course, to learn how to jailbreak and such, peruse through the following links based on your needs and for more information.

Hacking/Jailbreaking Guides and Tuts: Hacking Tutorials & Guides

Download Offical iOS IPSW: http://www.iphoneforums.net/forum/i...ple-ios-firmware-download-links-iphone-17213/

Jailbreak this device on this iOS: http://www.iphoneforums.net/forum/i...i-jailbreak-my-iphone-ios-x-x-x-thread-51577/
Last edited:

Most reactions