Blog Post

Jailbreaking How-To: Enable Multitasking (and More) On iPhone 3G or iPod touch 2G

So, you want to enable multitasking and other iOS 4 features on your iPhone 3G or iPod touch 2G? Well then let’s get to it!

You’ll need an iPhone 3G or iPod touch 2nd-gen, as well as the redsn0w jailbreak, which you can download from here. Now you’re set to do the real work, but first a disclaimer: the procedure is rather simple, but be warned that you could easily brick your device if you’re not careful. Also, jailbreaking will void your warranty, so be smart and restore your device with iTunes before you take it down to the Genius Bar.

Got it? Great.

If your device is still running on iOS 3.x, you’ll need to upgrade to 4.0 before you proceed. Just go into iTunes, click on your device in the sidebar, and check for updates.

The Nitty Gritty

1. When you start-up redsn0w, you’ll need to point it to the iOS 4 IPSW, which, if you’ve already installed iOS 4 on your device, should be at ~/Library/iTunes/iPhone Software Updates/ and will be named something like iPhone1,2_4.0 for the iPhone and iPod2,1_4.0 for the iPod.

2. If you’re using an iPod, redsn0w will ask you to clarify whether it’s one of the newer models that start with “MC.” You can check this by going to General -> About on your iPod and scrolling down to “Model.”

3. Now you can decide what features you want redsn0w to enable. You can choose to install Cydia (which is like an unwalled version of the App Store), Verbose boot (which gives you every detail of what’s going on while your device boots), Custom boot logo, and Custom recovery logo. That’s nice, but you can also enable multitasking, home screen wallpapers, and the battery percentage indicator, which are the really great benefits from doing this.

4. Connect your device to your Mac and turn it off by holding down the lock button until a red slider appears, which you should then slide. Make sure your device is completely off before you continue, meaning there should be no spinning progress indicator, or anything, on the screen.

5. Be prepared for this part, because redsn0w will start on this step immediately once you click “Next.” You’ll need to put your device into Device Firmware Update (DFU) mode. redsn0w will walk you through it, but you’ll need to be quick. The process basically goes like this:

  • Hold down the lock button for 3 seconds
  • Without releasing the lock button, hold down the home button for 10 seconds
  • Without releasing the home button, let go of the lock button and continue holding the home button for 30 seconds, though redsn0w should start doing its thing before the 30 seconds are up. Once you see a grey background on your screen, you can let go of the home button.

6. Watch while redsn0w jailbreaks your device and enables all the features that Apple left out. Do not yank the device of the cord, no matter what happens. That’s a recipe for bricking your device. Just relax and go get some coffee, or drool over the new Mac mini. When you come back, your device will be running with all the features you envied the 3GS for. Tip: You can enable the battery percentage indicator by going into Settings -> General -> Usage and turning it on.

How does the old hardware handle multitasking?

4.0 was already sluggish for me without multitasking. Rest assured, your performance won’t improve if it was already sluggish. But it hasn’t gotten worse, at least on my device, and if you’re going to use a sluggish OS, you may as well have all the features enabled, right?

Is your device running faster after the 4.0 update? Slower? Tell us about your experience in the comments.

54 Responses to “Jailbreaking How-To: Enable Multitasking (and More) On iPhone 3G or iPod touch 2G”

  1. ive just jailbreaked my ipod 2nd gen, all is good, but i now find it wont connect to my docking station on my stereo…
    is there a hack to make it connect again, or is there something i need to do, my sister has also come across the same problem with hers.

  2. My iphone 3G is running extremely much slower after the software update…( iOS 4.0
    when I open a program, that normally would have taken 5 seconds to start,
    it now takes 15 seconds.
    Also; when clicking the home button, the iphone doesn´t respond after like 5 seconds…
    It should be a chance to downgrade the iphone, so it could perform as usually…:(
    feels like i have broken the phone..:(

  3. EllenP

    people are saying this won’t work with iPod 3g.
    I have a 3g 8gb iPod touch and cannot access multitasking normally. Will this method work? If not, are there any methods that do?

  4. Instead of downloading crap, look at my website that site had free jail breaking ulocking ipods, iphones, and ipad is not yet released on my website. if you want all free apps and new wallpaper on ur app’s page, go on then click offer box and type in “jailbreak apple secrets” then hit enter and click on the box that says “Enter Apple Device”. once you clicked that, you can download the file and it will process to itunes. Charge or put ur device in the usb cord to the PC and go to itunes, on itunes click “Cristella’s Apple Secrets” then you can allow it or so then you NOW FINALLY HAVE YOUR FREE APPS and DESIGN YOUR WALPAPER INTO UR IPHONE OR IPOD!

  5. If running third party applications is restricted in default settings by Apple then it is for some thing good. I think users may experience a security lapse in Apple Gadgets after jail breaking the device

  6. After 24 hours, I can safely say performance is the same. Everything is just as snappy with iOS 4 as it was pre-jailbreak, and the animation during fast app switching is nice and smooth. (Note, I only installed multi-tasking, not the custom wallpaper.)

    I would say battery life is taking a bit of a hit though. It’s not too bad, but definitely draining at a faster rate than before. Not unmanageable though.

    This will definitely tide me over until iPhone 4 is released here in Canada.

  7. so how long is this process supposed to take? Because my phone has been plugged in now and it’s been about an hour….and I don’t want to yank out the cord.

  8. So I followed the process above perfectly as far as I can tell. The drive logo and the words “donwloading jailbreak data” appeared on my phone. I got spooked when redsn0w shut down though immediately after the process began. Idk if that’s bad or not. Whatever the case about 10m later my phone just went black. I was under the assumption it was supposed to reboot itself. I’m scared to try to turn it on lol. I wasn’t watching it constantly so idk if it ever said anything about rebooting.

    • roninsilfar

      (logged in this time)
      Ok, so I finally worked up the nerve to just turn the phone on lol. Everything still works fine thankfully, but I don’t have any new features. I don’t see cydia and multitasking doesn’t work.

      Btw, this is a brand new 3g from the apple store because I just turned my old one in today for a replacement. It was all kinds of broken. :P

  9. I’m very interested in jailbreaking my 3G to get the multi-tasking feature. However, I’m not gonna lie, the thought of bricking my phone scares me sh!tless. When you say, “be warned that you could easily brick your device if you’re not careful,” how do you define “easily”?

    I mean, your steps sound pretty straightforward, what are the chances a computer-literate guy like me permanently ruins his phone, with no hope of restoring it from a backup?

    • By “easily” I mean all you have to do is take it off the cord when it’s jailbreaking.

      The chances of a computer-literate bricking theirs are not very high. I’ve never bricked any of my devices.

      • OK, you gave me the confidence to try it… went off without a hitch… working great so far! It’s early but performance seems to be about the same with multi-tasking.

        Thanks for the easy to follow instructions!

  10. krishna

    My device went sluggish after upgrading it to ios 4 even before multitasking. I was a bit hesitant to jailbreak but i went on doing it now i dont see any difference it was same as before.
    thanks for the jailbreak.

  11. dcroket2

    i jailbroke my iphone 3g 4.0 ios and i still do not have multi tasking, all other new features work but not the multi taskin, i have tryed to jailbreak it several times to see if that matter but it didnt… any suggestions?????

  12. Trevor

    I just jailbroke my 3G iPhone and it was working great but now many of my apps including phone messaging ipod etc. have vanished? What is the problem?

      • Trevor

        No I mean gone, off the phone. I tried searching for them in spotlight and they were nowhere to be found. I restored my phone and now might just wait for the iPhone4 to reach Canada…

  13. Trillian

    Is this a joke when you select that your iPod is an mc model it tells you that this version of redsn0w is not meant for your device. So why are you saying it works.

    And giving people the wrong info

    • Wow, you’re right. I don’t have an MC model, so I never checked what it would say. Sorry.

      Apparently, a new version of redsn0w is in the works that’ll support MC devices, though.

  14. Hello!
    just 3 questions before jb:
    1-Can I restore my iPod 2G to the original iOS4 after jailbreaking? how? (simply clicking restore on iTunes?)
    2-Can I enable/disable multitasking funcion?
    3-What happens when apple will send out the iOS4.1 update, and I’ll click on the “Update” button? (boom?!)

    thank you guys

  15. Jimmy

    I enabled multitasking and backgrounds on my 3G and it seems to be running OK. I have ordered the iPhone 4 and can’t wait to get rid of my 3G.

  16. My 3g runs just as fast with the ios4 and multitasking enabled I see no reason why apple left it out since it doesn’t work like other multitasking with the app constantly fully running so it is very little drain on the cpu so much as if you don’t even notice you have multitasking going on.

  17. Mike Perry

    Why should anyone have to do all this? The issue isn’t whether an iPhone 3G can handle every iOS4 feature that an iPhone 4 can handle. I am sure it can’t. It’s whether it’s given those features it can handle.

    Apple could have easily given 3G and iPod touch 2G devices the two things users want most: multi-tasking for music and a Bluetooth keyboard. Any hardware that can stream iTunes music in the background can stream Paradox music. Any hardware that can talk to stereo Bluetooth headsets can certainly talk with a much-lower-bitrate keyboard. The problem isn’t the hardware. The problem is Apple.

    Nor is jailbreaking a solution. Adequate, one-generation-back product support from Apple is what we need.

  18. OR…

    You could just buy the latest iteration of the product and use it as it was designed, rather than cheaping out and using it with a crappy user experience