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Did you upgrade your iPad to iOS 4.2 and are now regretting it? Are you tired of waiting for a decent jailbreak to come out for 4.2?

Well, I was; so last week I decided to downgrade back to 3.2.2. Read on if you’d like to do the same.

Will I miss all the incredible new features that 4.2 brought with it A First Look At The iOS 4.2 On The iPad A First Look At The iOS 4.2 On The iPad Read More ? Not really – let’s recap what exactly they were.

  • Air Printing: Was canceled anyway, and support is limited to a few new HP printer models.
  • Folders: Sure, I’ll miss that. But not in a life-changing way.
  • Mute button: Absolutely not – give me a physical screen lock button any day!
  • “Multi-tasking”: Quick switching between Safari and other apps was about all this was good for, otherwise the majority of the apps I use already save their state when they are closed. Also, collecting apps in the never ending multitasking screen really annoys me. Frankly, I never wanted them to multitask in the first place – having to close them manually? No, thank you.
  • Incompatibilities: Perhaps the best feature of 4.2 are those critical apps you have that now crash!

The process is surprisingly simple, and will work on both Windows or Mac.

NOTE: Downgrading will mean you cannot restore from your current iPad backup, so you will have to start from scratch without your most recent settings – unless you have a restore saved from before the 4.2 upgrade, as I do.

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Disclaimer: Jailbreaking is never a 100% safe process, but we will only ever relate to you what has worked for us. However, I can tell you as a veteran iPhone and iPad jailbreaker, there were numerous occasions when I thought that I bricked my device but there has always been a solution. As a general rule though, if you cannot afford to buy another one should the worst happen, you should stay away from hacking any kind of hardware.

Now that’s out of the way, let’s start the actual tutorial.

Step 1: Restore to iOS 3.2.2

Download the 3.2.2 firmware (official Apple link) and save it somewhere.

Edit your hosts file to include the following line – this will redirect attempts by Apple to verify your restore.

For Windows users

Open Notepad with Administrator privileges by right-clicking on the notepad icon in your start menu and clicking “Run As Administrator”. From within notepad, open the HOSTS file located at C:/WINDOWS/system32/drivers/etc

Add the following line at the end of the file, then save.

74.208.105.171 gs.apple.com

Done, move on to step 3.

For Mac users

Open up a Finder window and from the “Go” menu, choose “Go to Folder”. Type in the following, and enter when the dialog appears:

/etc

From there, find and open the “hosts” file with TextEditor. Add this line at the end of the file. You will get a warning about the file being read only, just edit anyway.

74.208.105.171 gs.apple.com

Save the file to your desktop, then drag the one you saved into the /etc folder to overwrite the read-only one. You will need to authenticate as an Admin user to do this.

Turn your iPad off, then hold down the power and home keys simultaneously for 10 seconds. After 10 seconds, keep holding the Home button, but release the Power button. Your iPad will enter what is known as DFU mode, and iTunes will ask you to restore the firmware from somewhere. Do not let iTunes download and install the latest firmware for you.

Option-click on restore (Mac) or Shift-click on Restore (Win) to bring up the choose a firmware file dialog. Choose the 3.2.2 firmware file you downloaded and saved to your desktop earlier.

This worked fine for me first time, but others have reported getting an error along the lines of “The iPad could not be restored. An unknown error occurred (1004)” or “iTunes has detected an iPad in recovery mode. You must restore this iPad before it can be used with iTunes“. In this case, download TinyUmbrella from here, run it, and click on the “Kick Device Out Of Recovery” button.

Step 2: Jailbreak 3.2.2

Now that you’re back on 3.2.2, don’t bother restoring from your backup yet if you’d like to jailbreak that thing too. We’ve covered jailbreaking via methods before, but I’m going to add these instructions here because they worked for me, specifically on the iPad.

  1. Download limera1n from this page, run the app, and click “make it rain”.
  2. After a while, the button will change to “hold power and home button”. Do so, and be ready for the next step.
  3. After about ten seconds, the app will tell you to “release the power button, but keep holding home”. Do so, and your iPad will enter recovery mode, Limera1n will install its happiness onto your iPad, and all will be good with the world once again. When everything has finished, your iPad will be off.

  4. Turn it on, and connect the iPad to your Wi-fi network as your settings would have been deleted.
  5. Once connected, launch the Limerain app (the app will be installed onto your second home screen, not first, don’t panic! Also, the icon may be blank).
  6. Select Cydia, then hit the Install button.

  7. You should now have Cydia. Congratulations, your iPad is jailbroken. Just to be on the safe side, perform a reboot before running Cydia for the first time. You can restore from a backup if you have one.

Download links

Hope that this tutorial was useful to some of you who upgraded and regretted it. We will, of course, show you how to jailbreak your iPad on iOS 4.2 once a suitably-tested and established method has been released, but sadly that day has not yet come at the time of writing and downgrading was simply the only option for me.

Please post in the comments if you’re having problems within the scope of this article, and I’ll try to help as best I can. If you’re question is more a general jailbreak question, or related to other firmware version, search the site or ask away in MakeUseOf Answers.

  1. Itsme213
    January 13, 2011 at 4:12 am

    Which iTunes did you use? I tried this with iTunes 10.1 and it fails during restore. [I did the hosts editing, and the dscacheutil -flushcache first].

  2. Itsme213
    January 13, 2011 at 5:12 am

    Which iTunes did you use? I tried this with iTunes 10.1 and it fails during restore. [I did the hosts editing, and the dscacheutil -flushcache first].

  3. Nellooz
    January 12, 2011 at 2:01 am

    I am a windows user and cannot find step 3 as in "Done, move on to step 3."

    • James Bruce
      January 12, 2011 at 8:30 am

      sorry, structural changes to the article.... you should continue from just underneath the mac picture, where it says.. "Turn your iPad off, then hold down the power and home keys simultaneously for 10 seconds. After 10 seconds, keep holding the Home button, but release the Power button. Your iPad will enter what is known as DFU mode, and iTunes will ask you to restore the firmware from somewhere. Do not let iTunes download and install the latest firmware for you."

  4. Nellooz
    January 12, 2011 at 3:01 am

    I am a windows user and cannot find step 3 as in "Done, move on to step 3."

  5. James Bruce
    January 9, 2011 at 10:25 am

    If you had a developer account and were lucky enough to save your SHSH blobs from 4.2b3, you can do untethered jailbreak as of a few days ago:

    http://www.redmondpie.com/jail...

    but still nothing the masses yet... Geohot has promised something so very very soon though. Maybe he's waiting for the release of ipad 2 on February 1st?!

  6. cr0ft
    January 7, 2011 at 11:13 pm

    Yeah, who needs the plethora of security fixes that have been brought to the platform since 3.2.2; there were 80 of those in the 4.2.1 update alone. Oh... wait...

    http://www.theipadguide.com/co...

  7. Thanksfortutorial
    January 7, 2011 at 10:36 am

    Great tutorial. Thanks

  8. Android Tablet PC
    January 7, 2011 at 12:21 pm

    Pretty good post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts. Any way I'll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you post again soon.

  9. Ksavai
    January 7, 2011 at 6:02 am

    Or wait for another week or two for 4.2.1 jailbreak

    • James Bruce
      January 7, 2011 at 9:11 am

      Arggh, I've been waiting and waiting, and I canna wai' no more!

    • Aibek
      January 9, 2011 at 8:14 am

      I am waiting for this one as well. Any ideas on release date?

      • James Bruce
        January 9, 2011 at 9:25 am

        If you had a developer account and were lucky enough to save your SHSH blobs from 4.2b3, you can do untethered jailbreak as of a few days ago:

        http://www.redmondpie.com/jailbreak-ios-4.2.1-untethered-with-redsn0w-0.9.7b1-how-to-guide/

        but still nothing the masses yet... Geohot has promised something so very very soon though. Maybe he's waiting for the release of ipad 2 on February 1st?!

        • Aibek
          January 9, 2011 at 5:57 pm

          thanks for heads up, will keep waiting then.

  10. B Sdf
    January 7, 2011 at 2:22 am

    Wonderful.

    Share a website with you ,

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  11. jjprvt
    January 6, 2011 at 10:41 pm

    Doesn't this require the SHSH Blobs to be saved to Cydia before hand?

    • James Bruce
      January 7, 2011 at 9:10 am

      Hmm. Doesn't that only apply to iPhones regarding the baseband? You could be right, I'm afraid I can't say as I don't remember saving the SHSH blobs, but might have done. I'm fairly sure I upgraded and downgraded a few times though, even before saving blobs.

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