Jailbreak and enable multitasking on iPod Touch 2g MC


I made the mistake of upgrading my iPod Touch 2g (MC Model) to iOS4 without having had any of the 3.1.2 or 3.1.3 SHSH blobs saved to Cydia. If you don’t have those blobs saved, you can’t downgrade from IO4.

Until yesterday there wasn’t a jailbreak for the MC iPods. @comex on Twitter released an “in-device” jailbreak for all devices (except iPad 3.2.1, which apparently is buggy and being worked on). By “in-device” I mean that all you need to do is go to http://jailbreakme.com in Safari on your device to jailbreak it. No fiddling with Windows or Mac apps, and it seems to work for most people.

The iPod Touch 2nd generation devices have multitasking and background support disabled, supposedly for performance reasons. I’ve enabled them both following the instructions I’ll put in this post and I have to say that both multitasking and background support work just fine. I’d even venture to say that the native multitasking is faster than when I was using Backgrounder installed via Cydia.

So, here are the steps to jailbreak your iPod Touch 2g (MC model) and enable multitasking and background support.

For battery percentage support, download the correct file in step 5 and follow the instructions for editing General.plist in Update 3 at the bottom of the post.

IMPORTANT: Plug your iPod into your computer and sync via iTunes. Always take a backup before trying anything like this so you have something to restore to! Also, I think this jailbreak is supposed to be done on an un-jailbroken device. I’m not sure what happens if you try running this on an iPod that’s already jailbroken.

1. On your iPod touch, load Safari and go to http://jailbreakme.com. If that site is overloaded, you can also try http://jailbreakme.modmyi.com.

2. Slide the slider bar on that page to the right to begin the jailbreak process. First it will download some files and then it will apply the jailbreak. This took a few minutes on my iPod, so please be patient. The download servers for the jailbreak have been hammered since yesterday. If you end up at a screen with a purple background and it does nothing else, reboot your iPod and try it again. I did have to do this reboot trick to get the download of the jailbreak to work.

3. When the jailbreak is done, you’ll see a message saying that Cydia has been added to your home screen. At this point, you can exit Safari and reboot your device.

NOTE: When I reboot my iPod after the jailbreak, I get a small line of multicolored pixels on the top of the display. This doesn’t seem to hurt anything, and as soon as everything is booted that line goes away (at least for me). So I’m just ignoring it. I rarely ever reboot my iPod anyways.

4. This step is optional. At this point you have a jailbroken iPod. If you want to be able to install .ipa files, launch Cydia on your iPod, go to Manage and then Sources, hit Edit and then Add and enter http://cydia.hackulo.us. When you’re finished adding that repository, search for AppSync and install it. Make sure you install the AppSync version for 4.0! Once that’s done you can install any .ipa file.

5. To enable multitasking and backgrounds, you’ll need to replace a file on your iPod. Download N72AP.plist by clicking HERE. I got this file from http://devonharvancik.com/plist.html which includes instructions on how to use SSH to replace this file. However, the site appears to be down at the moment, and I’m going to provide instructions on how to use iPhoneExplorer to replace this file, rather than installing and using SSH.

NOTE: The plist file has a different filename on some devices (starting with N8 in the filename). I only have a copy of N72AP.plist for 2nd generation MC model.

NOTE 2: If you would like battery percentage support as well, download THIS copy of N72AP.plist instead. This copy has all 3 options enabled. If you want to enable battery percentages, you’ll also need to edit /var/stash/Applications/Preferences.app/General.plist. Please see Update 3 for instructions on editing the General.plist file.

6. Download and install iPhoneExplorer (http://www.macroplant.com/iphoneexplorer/). I have only used the Windows version, so instructions will be for Windows. I imagine the Mac version is similar.

7. Plug your iPod into your computer and run iPhone Explorer. You should be prompted to select the root directory when you first run iPhone Explorer. If you’re not prompted, you can go to File and Select Root Directory. Since your iPod is now jailbroken, you should choose “/” as your root directory and click OK. You should see your “iPhone Root Directory” listed, with many subdirectories.

NOTE: Be careful what you do here as you’ve now mounted the entire filesystem on your iPod. Random clicking and deleting of files will surely brick your iPod, so use caution!

8. In iPhone Explorer, browse to System->Library->CoreServices->Springboard.app.

9. iPhone Explorer supports dragging and dropping files. So open up an Explorer window and create a backup directory. It doesn’t matter where you put this as long as you remember where it is. This should NOT be the same directory  where you put the downloaded copy of N72AP.plist (because then you’ll overwrite your downloaded copy with the normal version from your iPod). Once you have your newly created backup directory open in Windows Explorer, drag the N72AP.plist file from iPhone Explorer into your backup directory (just so you have it if you ever need it).

We’re also going to delete a few PNG files that will greatly speed up the Home screen once backgrounds are enabled. Drag and drop the following files from iPhone Explorer into your backup directory on your computer:

  • WallpaperGradientLandscapeBottomT.png
  • WallpaperGradientLandscapeTopT.png
  • WallpaperGradientPortraitBottomT.png
  • WallpaperGradientPortraitTopT.png
  • WallpaperIconDockShadow.png
  • WallpaperIconDockShadowT.png
  • WallpaperIconShadow.png
  • WallpaperIconShadowT.png

This should be all the PNG files that have filenames starting with “Wallpaper”. I have noticed no difference in display quality with these files gone, but I have noticed a huge increase in speed when they’ve been removed.

10. Now in Windows Explorer, browse to the directory where you saved the downloaded copy of N72AP.plist. Drag and drop that downloaded file into the SpringBoard.app directory in iPhone Explorer. Once the file is copied, and iPhone Explorer has finished syncing, delete those PNG files from your iPod by right clicking on each in iPhone Explorer and clicking Delete.

11. Once again reboot your iPod.

At this point you should have a jailbroken iPod Touch 2G that is able to install any .ipa files and has multitasking and backgrounds enabled. To multitask, open an app and double click the Home button. To set a background, use the Photos app.

You should also download TinyUmbrella (http://thefirmwareumbrella.blogspot.com/) and save your 4.0 SHSH blobs. It’s very likely that Apple will fix the bug that’s being used in the latest jailbreak. If you save your SHSH blobs to your computer, you should be able to jailbreak even after Apple fixes the bug.You can also do this from your iPod in Cydia.

Update: If something happens and it looks like your ipod is bricked, try rebooting. If that doesn’t work, you’ll probably have to restore via iTunes and try again. I have no idea why someones iPod would get bricked unless they followed these instructions for something other than an iPod Touch 2nd generation MC model, which is what this guide is written for. I don’t have any other devices, so I can’t say if this would work or not. TRY AT YOUR OWN RISK.

Update 2: When you set a custom lock screen, it only shows up when you don’t have the iPod plugged in. Plugging it in seems to switch it to the standard battery screen. Unplugging it (at least on mine) brings up my custom lock screen. Since I don’t have a newer iPod that natively has backgrounds turned on, I’m not sure if this is normal or not. Doesn’t bug me, as I only plug it in for syncing and charging.

Update 3: Some people have asked how to manually edit the N72AP.plist file and how to enable battery percentages. These plist files are binary, so you need to use a plist editor. If you’re on a Mac, Apple’s PlistEdit Pro is probably the best app to use and can be found HERE. For Windows, I used iPodRobot which can be downloaded HERE. Basically you want to open up iPhone Explorer, drag the N72AP.plist file to your local directory, and then open it with the plist edit. The keys that have been added to the capabilities section to add support for multitasking and backgrounds (and optionally battery percentages) were:




To fully enable battery percentages, once again in Iphone Explorer browse to /var/stash/Applications/Preferences.app. Drag and drop the General.plist file to your computer and edit it using one of the editors linked above.  Search for the word cellular-data. That section will look like this:


Make that section look like the following instead:


Once you’re done, save the file and drag General.plist back into the /var/stash/Applications/Preferences.app directory. If you manually modified the N72AP.plist file, drag it back into System/Library/CoreServices/Springboard.app directory. Then reboot your ipod.

Once you’ve changed both the N72AP.plist and General.plist files for battery percentage support, after your ipod is rebooted  go into Settings and then General. You’ll have a new menu option named Usage which you can use to turn on the battery percentages.

Additional info:

Clayton Braaschs Blog (FAQ on jailbreakme)

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67 Responses to “Jailbreak and enable multitasking on iPod Touch 2g MC”

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Miguel Chinchilla, Mindcryme.com. Mindcryme.com said: New Post: Jailbreak and enable multitasking on iPod Touch 2g MC – http://j.mp/c2ZhbE – #jailbreak #jailbreakme […]

  2. avatar Anonymous says:


    • avatar Melen says:

      The only thing I can suggest is to restore via iTunes and give it another try. Also, are you sure it’s bricked and not stuck in recovery mode? Was your ipod already jailbroken? This jailbreak should be done on a non-jailbroken device, as far as I know. Lastly, contact @comex on Twitter with details. He was requesting crash info and such be emailed to him (not sure what his email address is off the top of my head).

      I followed these steps exactly.

  3. avatar Davin says:

    I tried it and it mostly worked. I can change the background image on the home screen, but the change doesn’t reflect onto the lock screen … even if I say to set it for both, or even just the lock screen alone. Anybody else have that issue?

    • avatar Melen says:

      I noticed that as well. That only seems to be the case when you have your iPod plugged in. Unplug the cable, and your lock screen picture should show up. Plug it back in and it switches to the standard battery screen.

  4. avatar Kenneth says:

    every time i open the iphone explorer, there is an error and its closes itself down…

    • avatar Melen says:

      Unfortunately, I don’t have any idea what could be causing iPhone Explorer to do that. Only thing I could suggest is maybe trying a reinstall and reboot. Sorry. :/

  5. avatar Craig says:

    Awesome work around to enable the 2 features I like best on os4…

    Thanks for the instructions, worked like a charm!

  6. avatar Trevor says:

    does this work for non-MC models?

    • avatar Tyler says:

      Yes it will, but there is a much faster way for non-MC models, this is just a workaround that!
      Check out redsn0w.com it worked brilliantly with my non-MC iPod touch 🙂

  7. avatar jess says:

    I couldn’t find the / file in root directory in iPhone Explorer… where is it?

  8. avatar jess says:

    Ok well I’ve managed to do everything. Is it now possible for me to delete iPhone Explorer or do i have to keep it or everything will dissapear???

  9. avatar spyeye says:

    THANK you sooooo much !!! it worked perfectly !!!
    multitasking is super fast and everything is great.
    and my ipod is also running ios 4 jailbreak.

    btw- i didnt save my orginal files from “iphone explorer”
    because you didnt explain it clear , so i didnt make a backup.

    And if you know also how to add battery percentege..?
    its VERY important to me. – contact me.

  10. avatar Chathum says:

    Thanks a lot dude.. this worked for my ipod touch 2G MC model. thanks a lot bro 🙂

  11. avatar Chris says:

    When I try to multitask it puts my iPod into safety mode Once it’s in safety mode it works fine but is there any disadvantage of being in safety mode. Does anyone else have the same problem

  12. avatar Karthik says:

    Thanks a lot .. It worked perfectly 🙂

  13. avatar Tyler says:

    Great walkthrough, thanks so much 🙂

  14. avatar Derek says:

    Worked great with my jailbroken MB model running 4.0. Thanks a lot!

  15. avatar Lee says:

    Extremely helpful. Works perfectly. I have been wanting to do that for ages. Thanks.

  16. avatar spyeye says:

    how to add battery percentege??? does everyone know ??
    please help me guys it important !!!!!

  17. avatar lorian says:

    @spyeye yeah, just download SBSettings from cydia and theres an option to display battery in numeric. do that =)

    • avatar Melen says:

      I’ve seen some reports that installing SBSettings messes things up causing the need for a restore. I’m not sure of all the details, just use caution.

  18. avatar lorian says:

    please can i give you a big thanks btw? Trying to do this has been killing me. All i could do is the battery percentage and now I’m very happy =) oh and how did you find the N72AP.plist file? How was that made?

  19. avatar OddPodd Cheddar says:

    Very happy. Many thanks for the info. I did use Winscp to save/overwrite the file and it worked no problems. I did not delete wallpaper files, but will do shortly, and will report back if it causes any probs. This was done on a 8GB ipod touch 2g MC model. Many thanks again

  20. avatar ubaid ul hoque says:

    how do you create a backup directory

    • avatar Melen says:

      I meant to create a backup directory on your local computer to drag copies of the original files into. In Windows Explorer, right click, New, Folder, etc…

  21. avatar ubaid ul hoque says:

    its keeps saying dLL error on plist editor

    • avatar Melen says:

      That’s weird. No idea there. You can use any plist editor tho, so just search Google for Windows plist editor and you should be able to find something pretty quick.

  22. avatar ubaid ul hoque says:

    does this just use spring board coz apps do run a bit slow????

    • avatar Melen says:

      Not sure what you mean. If you mean apps run slow on the 2nd gen when multitasking, they definitely do. Apple disabled multitasking and such because of the lower CPU and RAM in the 2nd generation.

      I can multitask a few lightweight apps, but if I’m running any games swapping between apps isn’t particularly fast.

  23. avatar David says:

    This trick worked BEAUTIFULLY!! I cannot thank you enough! I now have all the goodies promised in the iOS4 release that I was denied because my iPod Touch is a 2g and was not supported by Apple. Screw them! Others, if you follw his directions EXACTLY… you will be greatly rewarded!

  24. avatar ca says:

    am i not understanding this?? is this a way to put my own pics as user wallpaprer like i do with my jb iphone?? cuz, for the life of me i cant get it to work on my ipod 2g mc model with 4.0??

    • avatar Melen says:

      You can use any picture saved to your iPod by using whatever method you want to copy pictures (i.e. you could even go into Safari and download some pictures that way). Anything that’s in the Photos app can be used as wallpaper.

  25. avatar Bob says:

    iPhone Explorer gives me this error. Is it Vista Compatiible.

  26. avatar Jack says:

    Okay please reply to this just a quick question, firstly i used winterboard to install “features” package to get multitasking and wallpapers. and the wallpaper ICONS had shadows behind them. but i realised winterboard really slowed down my itouch so i removed it and followed this guide to manually install multitasking and wallpapers. the multitasking is working fine but the icons dont seem to have any shadow behind them? i know this is only a little thing but it did make the homescreen look better and it would be nice if i could get them back somehow:)

    any ideas?

    • avatar Melen says:

      It’s possible that it’s those png files that provide those shadows. If you did the step of deleting the png files, you could always try copying them back.

      The thing is, tho, those png files slow everything way down, so in my case I’d rather have the speed.

  27. avatar Josh says:

    You still smell.

  28. avatar kimani says:

    how do u add TinyUmbrella using cydia

  29. avatar Dyl says:

    I tried on ipod MB and it worked perfectly. Everything went perfect. Got battery % and everything. I even cracked a few files for faster running!

    • avatar Ruben says:

      True enoughAnd yet Pages scaels really well?!?!The only downsides at present are trying to import photos, so simply swiping to the photo screen using the multitouch gestures and copying a photo, and then swiping back into pages and simply pasting into the place holder seems to workThere are a bunch of word processing apps on the app store, so figured using Apples own Pages would be coolDid you have any thoughts on the picture frame?

  30. avatar ipod touch ios 4.1 2g MC model says:

    first of all thanks a lot. I followed exactly what you’ve instructed and it’s working awesome. 🙂
    I’ve ipod touch ios 4.1 2g MC model. The only thing that didn’t work was battery percentage. But that’s alryt. 🙂 Multitasking and wallpaper works awesome. 🙂

  31. avatar Ali says:

    u crazy dude thats work tank u man i use disk aid and work tank u so much man

  32. avatar Eduardo Rossini says:

    Thank’s man!! It worked just well, people that had problem probably didn’t read that this file is only for Ipod 3Gen 8GB (that means Ipod 2gen Model MC0876)

    If it’s other ipod, you should use another .plist file!!

    Thank’s very much!!

  33. avatar KK says:

    Thanks a lot !!! it works perfectly … just used the trick on iPod Touch 2G MC on IOS4.1 !!

  34. avatar Andrew says:

    Tried to do this, think I missed a step and lost all myu apple stuff, safari, settings, music, video, mail etc. Tried everything so i am just doing a full restore.

  35. avatar GoogleBoy says:

    Great post! I have recently been disturbed by the limitation of the ipod and iphone! I hope this works out for me. I will post if it does!

  36. avatar The Deed says:

    When I used multitasking from app to app my itouch would just crash into safe mode. I just deleted that part thru iFile but I do want multitasking… I have and 8g 2g MC iPod Touch.

  37. avatar Vincent says:

    The best post ever! Thanks!

  38. avatar vickitech says:

    works perfectly well, i’m amazed. tanx 2 y’all

  39. avatar Lexi says:

    Its just a grey ish screen with tons of words and #s??

  40. avatar Anonymous says:

    After trying to enable it on my iPod Touch 2G MB model and having problems, I restored and rejailbroke it and then tried this only to get the same problem. When I try to switch between apps while in an app, springboard crashes. I can only switch between apps safely while looking at the home screen. Any help?

  41. avatar Anonymous says:

    Also when it crashes it enters safe mode, as some people have stated above. Basically it disables most packages you have installed such as SBSettings, and you can exit safe mode by tapping the time bar and then tapping “Restart” which restarts springboard.

  42. avatar ipad 3 guide says:

    ipad 3 guide…

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  43. avatar Kire says:

    thx bro 🙂

  44. avatar Tech Geek says:

    Thanks man. Really awesome guide 🙂

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