How to Jailbreak Apple TV 2 with Seas0nPass [Mac]

How to Jailbreak Apple TV 2 with Seas0nPass [Mac]

Seas0nPass is a new jailbreak utility designed specifically for the second generation Apple TV (2010). It's comparable to utilities like PwnageTool. I've used both and I personally find Seas0nPass to make the process much simpler when it comes to the Apple TV. Not only does it jailbreak 4.1.1 (4.2.1), it offers a pretty easy tethered boot mode as well. Hit the jump for a walkthrough on how to jailbreak the Apple TV 2 using Seas0nPass.

For this example, I'll be jailbreaking an Apple TV 2 running iOS 4.2.1 (4.1.1), which requires a tethered boot. Here is what you'll need in order to jailbreak your Apple TV -

  • A Mac running the most current version of iTunes
  • Newest version of Seas0nPass
  • A micro-USB cable

Once you've got all the above, we're ready to start.

Jailbreak your Apple TV

  1. After you've downloaded Seas0nPass, open it and save it.
  2. Place it in your dock, you don't have to but I've done this as it makes it easy to access for tethered boots.
  3. Open Seas0nPass.
  4. First you'll want to click "Create IPSW".
  5. This process will take a second, but once it's complete, it will prompt you to plug your Apple TV into your computer via USB and boot it into DFU mode by holding down the play and menu buttons on your AppleTV remote for 7 seconds. You can tell it worked when the light on your Apple TV blinks rapidly. After that, it's ok to release the buttons. Make sure you don't have your power cable plugged in for this part.
  6. Seas0nPass will recognize that your Apple TV is in DFU and do the rest on its own. You'll see it open and restore in iTunes and navigate itself to the firmware bundle it created.
  7. If all goes as planned, you should get a message saying your jailbreak was successful. You can now move on to perform a tethered boot.

Perform a tethered boot

  1. Launch Seas0nPass again if you had already closed it out.
  2. This time choose "Boot Tethered".
  3. Seas0nPass will prompt you to connect via USB and put your Apple TV back into DFU again, same as earlier.
  4. After it performs a tethered boot, it will reboot in 10 seconds. In those 10 seconds, you'll need to reconnect your Apple TV's power cable and HDMI cord. (You can remove the USB cable now.) If you don't do it fast enough, don't panic. Simply repeat the tethered boot process.
  5. You should now be able to turn your Apple TV on like normal. You'll be guided through the setup again. This should only happen after your initial jailbreak, not every time you need to do a tethered boot.

The Apple TV is a little bit more friendly to a tethered jailbreak. You don't need to reboot it as much as you would an iPhone, iPad, or iPhone. I've set mine not to sleep and just use a screensaver as well. If you'd like to do that, simply to go "Settings" and change the sleep option to never. This is always nice if you want to be able to rapidly change inputs on your television. Give it a try and let us know how Seas0nPass works for you!

If you have any questions or need any extra help, jump on in to our Apple TV Forums.

Allyson Kazmucha

Help and how to editor for iMore. I can take apart an iPhone in less than 6 minutes. I also like coffee and Harry Potter more than anyone really should.

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Reader comments

How to Jailbreak Apple TV 2 with Seas0nPass [Mac]

23 Comments

It's really not that much hassle at all compared to other product hacking - Seas0nPass makes it quite easy.
But, yes, it is early in the game for big benefits to a JB ATV2 but as the other poster mentioned, XBMC is a great start to utilizing the awesome hardware of the cheap ATV2.

Ten seconds to plug in power and HDMI? that seems rather short if you're connecting it to a TV in another room.

Check out my Channel if you want to learn more on ipod touch / iphones I have tulroiats on jailbroken ipods and regular ipods.Click on my name below and Check it ouut = D !

Great write-up and information. Unfortunately I had trouble yesterday at the DFU stage and having Seas0nPass recognize DFU and perform Jailbreak. I'm gonna try a new microUSB cable and different Mac later. I even bought another ATV2 as well.
At only $99, the jailbroken ATV2 will be the perfect media center for every TV in the home. I love XBMC but am curious if we'll see a Boxee port on the ATV2 as well.

I've heard a few people say they had this issue. I'm assuming it's a setting on certain people's macs. I'd say e-mail firecore support and see if they know what causes that. otherwise, you can always manually navigate to that IPSW.

The jailbreak write-up is great! Thank you, Allyson. :)
I'm having the same issue with the 10-second "window of opportunity". I only have tried it once to do the tethered boot so far, but my new addition to the Apple family is definitely jailbroken. Seas0nPass really does make it extremely easy.
For those of you in need of the right cable, consider this: Before switching to the iPhone 3GS in 12/09, I used to have a BlackBerry Bold and I also tried a BB Storm very briefly several years ago. Besides plenty of miniUSB cables, I knew that I had one microUSB cable lying around somewhere and sure enough, I found it last night and it worked like a charm. :)
The moral of that story: Even if you don't happen to have a microUSB cable yourself, fret not and ask your friends if you can borrow theirs. You know, the ones with those non-Apple smart phones often times use standardized connectors. How ridiculous, I know! But maybe their treasonous actions can finally be put to some good use. :D

After the jailbreak, I boot tethered then when I plug in the HDMI cable I get the USB to iTunes screen on my television. Anyone else have this issue? I am doing it on a MacBook next to my tv so I'm beating the 10 second window for sure.

3- when it shows unrecogonized build error, ciqukly shutdown your iphone while its on apple logo by holding the home and sleep button.4- now go to extras and select IPSW of 5.0 and then just boot .it should work, i just did that. just remember use 5.0.1 to upgrade ur iphone on itune and use 5.0 to jailbreak

Hey, I am trying to jailbreak my apple tv 2 which I just bought on 6/20/11. I've tried it with greenpois0n since I don't want to have to install xmbc myself but that doesn't work and now I'm using seasonpass. It's currently downloading apptv2,14.38F30_Restore.ipsw. Should I be worried or even care about that? Please help! I've tried greenpois0n several times now and I've gotten it all the way through but I might have disconnected it too early after it said complete, since you're suppose to wait 40 seconds and now nothing works.

I just bought an apple tv and I am happy with most of the options it provides original non jail broken system. But right. I was wondering the options are on a jail broken atv2. Apparently there are may option to hang on to the media that was either bought or rented. You can save it on your computer and use all the media where you can send the media from your computer skipping the rental fees you would normally without the jailbreak. I have heard and read about the jailbreak and have yet to try it out for myself. The real question is..... Will itnwork or not
Cheers and good luck

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hey, I just did everything and it all went thru, till the last step and after ntbooeirg the apple icon just shows and freeze, phone won't start. Why was that and what should I do? thanks

there's a small fix for this. Turn off your Windows 8 Machine, plug in your iDevice WHILE the machine is off, boot up with the iDevice cctoenned. It should detect it then.I'm not exactly sure why this works but it has for me, multiple times.

I talked with dsIDXpress a couple of months ago, and they don't have our MLS included and it would take over $6,000 for them to add us. Then it's another $99 for them to get it going for each person and then their monthly fee. Has this changed?