Jailbreak Apple TV 4 on TV OS 13 / 13.2 with Checkra1n

By | November 18, 2019

Hey, what’s up? Today I’m going to show you guys how to Jailbreak Apple TV 4 (fourth-generation Apple TV) on TV OS 13 up to even the latest version, 13.2 and this will work for future updates as well!

I just wonder why now this is a Checkra1n based jailbreak so huge shout out to hacker Nitto TV who has done a ton of work around this and also of course, Luca Tedesco axiom and everyone else who has helped the Checkra1n development team and has collaborated with them on this project.

You might be wondering why would you want to jailbreak your Apple TV?, essentially why would you want to jailbreak your iOS device? For customization obviously as there are packages that you can install on your Apple TV that essentially open up additional functionality, for instance you can get Kody on your Apple TV and hopefully we should receive a number of new third-party packages as well in light of this permanent jailbreak.

Like I said at the beginning of this post, this is going to work on future versions of TV OS as well for the lifetime of the device as long as Apple supports this thing it’s gonna be jailbroken and again it does include support for the Apple TV 4 generation but not the Apple TV 4k yet. That’s the fifth-generation Apple TV and it is powered by a processor that is susceptible to the primary checkmate exploit utilized by Checkra1n. It has a 10x CPU but the big problem with that is it doesn’t actually have a USB C port so there is talk that potentially we could receive a jailbreak for that at some point, but just be sure to follow us and I will keep you guys in the loop once we know more on that.

Jailbreak Apple TV 4 – What do you need:

  • Access to a computer. At this point you do need a Mac, eventually, this might make its way over to Windows so stay tuned for details on that but you do need a Mac
  • You also need your power cable, you’re going to need a USB type-c cable to connect it to the back of your Apple TV
  • You’re going to need the proper I/O to connect it to your computer, whether it’s USB C or another type, based on which apple computer you have
  • And then, of course, you’re also going to need an HDMI cable and you’re going to have to do this close to a TV or at least a monitor where you’re going to connect your device so that way you can get everything set up and move through the on-screen prompts

With that said let’s go ahead and just get straight into Jailbreak Apple TV 4.
You will need to download Checkra1n from the official Checkra1n site and for now, it’s basically just utilitarian. Look for the main download on that page and once you do have it downloaded it’s going to come in a disk image format or dmg. You’re just going to mount it by double-clicking it and you’re going to drag it over into your Applications folder.

Jailbreak Apple TV 4

If you already have Checkra1n installed, maybe you jailbroke on your iOS device, then you’re going to just hit replace and once it does replace it you’re going to open your Applications folder and you’re going to launch Checkra1n. You’ll notice that the first time we do open it you’re going to receive this message right here it’s going to say Checkra1n cannot be open because the developer cannot be verified. This is just a default system message that Apple puts in place when you download things from the internet. It’s letting you know that hey, this was obtained online, you might want to check to make sure that it’s free of malware. Of course Checkra1n definitely is, so we can click cancel and what we need to do is basically authenticate that so we have to launch the System Preferences app and then we’re going to go to security and privacy and we’re going to click where it says open anyway, followed by open again to the prompt and now we can open Checkra1n.

Remember, open it from the Applications folder. Now this version of Checkra1n looks a little bit different than the one for iOS. Up at the top it says that it is for TV OS and this is the first release candidate. Now because we replace the Checkra1n app for iOS the next time you want to boot your iOS device tethered you’re going to have to redownload Checkra1n and/or just keep a copy in your Applications folder under a different name because the two are not compatible with one another, they are two separate utilities, at least for now by the same name.

Jailbreak Apple TV 4 – Let’s Start!

So let’s go ahead and connect our Apple TV to our computer and also a power source. I have mine right here and I’m just going to connect it to USB C and once it is connected it should pop up inside of Checkra1n. Momentarily you can see here that it says Apple TV for running TV OS 13.2 so it has confirmed that this Apple TV is in fact running the latest version of TV OS.

Let’s go to the home screen on the Apple TV and now inside of Checkra1n on our computer we’re just going to hit start now. You do have the option to enable verbose boot, however, in my testing I found that this can actually persist through the boot into the actual interface and the springboard itself and you receive random scrolling text throughout so we’re not going to boot with this option checked, at least right now and before I begin I also wanted to say that make sure you’re connecting your device near a TV.

I actually even have mine already plugged into HDMI so I can see what’s going on and so we can go through the prompts once we do receive them on the device itself. So whether you have a laptop or whether you need to plug your desktop in temporarily near your TV, then you’re going to have to just do that and then you can continue.

So let’s go ahead and hit start inside of Checkra1n and it’s going to send the device into recovery mode after we click on next and once you’re in recovery mode then we need to enter DFU mode so grab your Apple TV remote!

Now that we have a remote, what we’re going to do is just hold down the menu and pause play buttons together for seven seconds. You can hit start inside of the interface and follow along with that or you can just do it on your own but hold down those two buttons simultaneously and you’ll know it’s been seven seconds once the light starts flashing more rapidly, then you can release the two buttons and you’ll see here it says DFU mode entered successfully.

Now it’s going through the boot process. It already finished exploitation so this is incredibly fast here on the fourth-gen Apple TV and once it does actually go through this it’s going to boot back up into TV OS but it should start installing after you disconnect USB C from your computer.

You’re going to need to do that but wait until it says done inside of the Checkra1n interface. This is why I wanted you guys to connect it to HDMI in advance so now that it says all done we can go ahead and disconnect from USB C and if you don’t see anything on your TV or whatever HDMI you have connected to it, then just go ahead and disconnect HDMI and reconnect it.

After we wait for a little bit, it’s going to pop up with Checkra1n rc1 installer. Just give it some time. Don’t unplug it, you’re just going to be at the devices springboard. Remember like I said, you do need to be connected to HDMI so that way you can see the progress and also respring once it asks you to, so just wait for this to complete.

Now that it’s finished, it says that we can raise spring so you’re just going to push in on your Apple TV remote in the main selection area and it’s just going to respring the device. Okay, so here we are! It says Nitto and this is going to put us inside of the nitoTV app and this is essentially the Cydia equivalent for TV OS. This is your third party package manager. It’s going to be how you install everything and right off the bat it pops up with this message saying legacy block settings legacy update block settings were detected, would you like to update to the new proper method? This will install the TV OS beta profile to prevent OTA updates from working even if the Jailbreak Apple TV 4 isn’t active so to do this we can just swipe up and then tap in to update settings and you can also change that if you just swipe up all the way to the top and then over to settings.

You can see software updates disabled or enabled so we’re just going to keep them at disabled and then go back and I’m going to go to updates and show you guys exactly how you install updates here so let’s go over to updates again and we’re going to go down to update all and then yes it’s just going to go out download the package install it and it’s either going to ask you to respring or reload and it’ll just put us back after it reloads all applications.

It’ll put us back into the NITO TV interface. We’re back now and we can just go ahead and press the mini button to go back and I’m gonna show you guys how to install Codi now so just click on it and then click on install, install again or you can add it to the queue if you want additional packages.

This is it guys, how awesome is this? we are now jailbroken as I said toward the beginning of this post. Hopefully more developers will come on to the jailbreak scene for TV OS. We really need some more devs to come on to create awesome packages and give us even more reasons to jailbreak.

How awesome would it be to be able to theme your Apple TV?

I’m gonna show you guys Kodi on the 4th gen Apple TV jailbroken on TV OS 13.2. This is a fairly easy process but do also remember that anytime your device reboots, so for instance if you do lose power and it turns off and you have to turn it back on, in order to actually use anything, any of your jailbreak stuff, so to speak, including even Nito TV, you’re going to have to reconnect to a computer and run through that process again, the exact same jailbreak process.

But don’t worry even if it does reboot you can still use everything stock just not your jailbreak stuff until you boot tethered again.

That’s it. Enjoy!

We have also a tutorial for iCloud Bypass with CHECKRA1N if you are interested.

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