Jailbreak Guide for iOS 4.2: TUAW’s Comprehensive Hands-On Review

Fueled by a mix of curiosity and the need to conduct some reviews that necessitated a jailbreak, I opted to experiment with the redsn0w 4.2 jailbreak. My device of choice was a 2nd generation iPod touch running 4.2 GM. The jailbreaking process itself was straightforward: simply download the 4.1 firmware from Apple, direct redsn0w to the firmware, and execute the steps to enter DFU mode.

Regrettably, the outcome was less than satisfactory.

The issue does not lie with redsn0w, which is optimized for 4.1 jailbreaks, not 4.2. Although the jailbreak was successful, it introduced several glitches on my device, making it difficult to endorse this method. Notably, there was a persistent screen flicker and Cydia was unable to launch, which prevented the installation of essential software like OpenSSH and the command-line apt-get utility.

On the upside, restoring the original firmware was a straightforward process.

A simple upgrade was all it took to revert my iPod to its original state, complete with all my music, apps, and videos. This quick restoration process was a relief, especially after having to jailbreak and restore the device twice due to the same issues encountered each time.

At this point, I would advise against using a 4.2 jailbreak, particularly on 2nd generation iPod touches. While other devices might have different results, the tools for jailbreaking, despite their robustness and potential, did not provide a stable or functional experience in this instance.

Update: The jailbreak on the 3rd gen iPod touch initially seemed promising with Cydia functioning and a complete upgrade underway.


Jeffrey is a dedicated writer for TUAW, bringing readers the latest news and insights on all things Apple. With a deep love for technology, Jeffrey has a knack for breaking down the complexities of the iPhone, iPad, MacBook, and Apple Watch into easy-to-understand articles. His engaging writing style and thorough research make him a trusted voice in the Apple community. When he’s not writing, Jeffrey enjoys exploring new apps and testing out the latest Apple gadgets.