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Sideloading iPhone 5 on iOS 10.3.4

Planted 02020-12-08

I am explaining this for my future self, who is intelligent and interested, but has forgotten.

It’s okay, skip along, I know you’re not interested in modding ancient tech.

  1. Install AltStore
  2. Install Mail plugin
  3. Install nullxImpactor (or whatever side loader you can get to work)
  4. Sideload them IPAs

Most sideloading tools and efforts will not work on the iPhone 5 due to its 32 bit architecture. More on that below.

Jailbreaking iPhone 5 iOS 10.3.4

  1. Follow above steps so you can sideload
  2. Download H3lix (Browser will give warnings)
  3. Download the H3lix patch
  4. Put both files on the desktop
  5. Open a terminal and run cd ~/Desktop
  6. Then ./ h3lix-RC6.ipa h3lix-RC6-patch.ipa
  7. Use nullxImpactor to sideload h3lix-RC6-patch.ipa

It’s not the most solid jailbreak, but it’s easy enough to reset.

Thanks to tihmstar for h3lix, jakeajames for the patch and mstevo58 for telling people how to use it.

Limitations of Jailbreak

The iPhone 5 was the last of its kind:

  • The iPhone 5, iPhone 5C and iPad 4 with the A6 and A6X chips use armv7s (or Swift, not the language) A 32-bit ARM CPU.
  • The iPhone 5S and later (6, 6S, SE, 7, etc.), the iPad Air, Air 2 and Pro, with the A7 and later chips use arm64. A 64-bit ARM CPU.

Here’s the sad news: Things made for arm64 devices do not work on armv7s ones.

And few people are making things for armv7s today. It’s an old 32-bit architecture that hasn’t been in iOS devices after the iPhone 5s released in 2013.

So now I have a 1st Gen iPad stuck on iOS 5 and an iPhone 5 stuck on iOS 10. And a 2012 MacBook Pro stuck on macOS Catalina, but it’s still a daily driver for me alongside my 2018 MBP.