[Windows 8] How to jailbreak Windows RT tablets to install desktop apps

windows_rt“Can I run desktop apps on Windows RT devices (such as Microsoft Surface RT)?” That is the main question most users are confused by when it comes to Windows RT. And officially, the answer is “No.” That means Windows Store is the only source of apps for Windows RT tablets. Because of the ARM architecture of Windows RT, legacy desktop apps need to be reconstructed and must be available through Windows Store to be run on Windows RT tablets. However, every rule can be broken. People at XDA-Developers have found a way that allows you to install uncertified reconstructed desktop apps on Windows RT devices. In other words, they have found out how to ‘jailbreak’ Windows RT and in this article I will show you how to do it.


First of all, take note that jailbreaking allows you to run desktop (i.e. non-Windows Store) apps on your Windows RT tablet. However, that does not mean you will be running traditional Windows programs like Photoshop, AutoCad, etc. The catch with jailbreaking your tablet is you can only install desktop apps specifically designed to run on ARM architecture. That means developers need to reconfigure their apps to specifically run on Windows RT. The conundrum is most developers that are reconfiguring their apps for Windows RT are offering the apps through Windows Store. So, in a way, jailbreaking won’t be useful until more developers release ARM-based desktops apps for Windows RT. Still, it is good to know how to do it.

Also, take note this method *should* work for all Windows RT tablets. However, proceed further at your own risk. Not only may jailbreaking void your warranty, but it may cause Blue Screen of Death or other issues. dotTech and its writers are not responsible for any gain or harm incurred by following this guide.

Lastly, take note Microsoft has said they may disable jailbreaking in the near future, if they want to.


Typically jailbreaking is a very complicated process. However, thanks to a tool created by netham45 of XDA-Developers, it is very easy.

To jailbreak your Windows RT tablet, do the following:

  • Download Windows RT Jailbreak Tool on your Windows RT tablet.
  • Once downloaded, right click/long tap on the downloaded file and choose “Extract all.” Select the destination folder where you want to extract the files and extract them.
  • Now restart your device. Let it boot normally until it reaches the login screen. Login and go to the desktop. Now you must wait about two minutes at the desktop before doing the next step.
  • Once you have waited two minutes, find the files that you extracted earlier and run the file “runExploit.bat”.
  • Once you run the file, you need to follow on-screen instructions to do the jailbreak. You may be prompted multiple times, with things like being asked to run jailbreak on login, uninstall the jailbreak, or to run the jailbreak only once, asked about a ‘Developer License’ (which you have to tap ‘I Agree’), asked to login to your account (which you must login), and asked if you want to continue (to which you have to say say yes). Simply follow whatever on-screen instructions you receive and you will have a jailbroken device in no time.
  • Done!



[via XDA-Developers, image via ASUS]

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