Daily Tip: How to remove the jailbreak on your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch

So you have jailbroken your beloved iPhone, iPad or iPod touch, installed lots of tweaks and now find it to be unstable, or you need to take your device into an Apple Store for service, what do you do? To find out how unjailbreak please stay with us after the break.

The good news is that reversing the Jailbreak process is relatively simple and painless, follow the steps below and your iPhone will be back to its virgin like state!

  1. Fire up iTunes on your Mac or PC.
  2. Connect your device via the USB cable.
  3. Either cancel the automatic backup with the on-screen slider or let it complete.
  4. Click on your device in the left column of iTunes on your PC or Mac screen.
  5. Click on Restore, select Backup if you cancelled it in step 3, if you didn’t cancel it, select Don’t Back Up.
  6. Your device will now be restored back to factory settings and the Jailbreak removed.
  7. When complete, select the backup you just created and iTunes will re-install all your apps and settings, leaving your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch how it was before venturing to the dark side!

Tips of the day will range from beginner-level 101 to advanced-level ninjary. If you already know this tip, keep the link handy as a quick way to help a friend. If you have a tip of your own you’d like to suggest, add them to the comments or send them in to news@tipb.com. (If it’s especially awesome and previously unknown to us, we’ll even give ya a reward…)

Have something to say about this story? Share your comments below! Need help with something else? Submit your question!

chrisoldroyd

UK editor at iMore, mobile technology lover and air conditioning design engineer.

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Reader comments

Daily Tip: How to remove the jailbreak on your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch

69 Comments

The only downside to this is I lose all my music and ringtones. I have over 30GB of music on iTunes so I only put some of it on my iPhone and it's a pain to go through and put the music I actually want on my phone. Just letting people know they will have to do this part to when you restore

You should create a playlist that you sync to the phone. That way, the playlist stays loaded with the selected music you want synced to the phone. I sync everything to my iPod but only my iPhone playlists syncs to my phone.

Restoring from backup will cause problems if you choose to rejailbreak. The best way to fully remove the jailbreak is to restore as a new device.

It can cause problems, but it's far from guaranteed. I've restored from backup and re-jailbroken three times with no real issues.

For some strange reason my "team pure" iPhone always fails to restore on my Mac; it even fails when upgrading to a new firmware. I can successfully restore or upgrade if I connect to another Mac (such as a roommate's or a laptop in the Apple Store, etc).
I've been saving my blobs with Tiny Umbrella just in case I do finally decide to jailbreak, but I'm getting more and more hesitant to try because of this. Am I worrying over nothing? Should I copy my blobs to my roommate's computer just in case? If so, is there any secret to doing this?

Tiny Umbrella has changed your hosts file. Remove the edits it has made and you will be able to restore and upgrade directly from iTunes.

Oh wow, that never occurred to me! (just spotted the change to gs.apple.com right now) Thanks for the heads up! =)

If I save a back up when the iPhone is jailbroken and then restore it to factory default, will I get the jailbreak back when I restore from a back up in a new iPhone ??..

I also recommend an additional step AFTER you have restored from the backup:
Step 8. In the iPhone Settings>General>Reset>"Reset All Settings"
This will remove customized wallpaper, reset warnings, but also more importantly it will remove system modifications that may be left over from Jailbreak substrate add-ons. It's a step that I found necessary after my last restore to 4.2.1 when things were still slow/unstable after the restore, the reset fixed it.

You need to DFU restore the iPhone and NOT use a JB created backup. Otherwise, remnants of the JB will carry over on the restore.
Put the iPhone in DFU mode, restore from iTunes. Don't select any backup and start from scratch. Or if you were smart enough to save the backup before the JB, locate that file and use it. This is the only 100% JB free restore.

Hi! I'd been hearing this jailbreak term to my friends who have iphones and now this... It makes me wonder on the legality of this jailbreaking thing. OF course the pros is free applications and unlimited but what are the cons?

I wish I could post a face palm picture here.
JAIL BREAKING DOES NOT MEAN PIRACY.
JE FREAKING CRAP.
Okay, sorry. But seriously. jail breaking is designed to allow you to customize and control your iDevice the way YOU want to. Having custom lock screens, access setting toggles with ease, etc., etc.
It is NOT an okay to pirate. Under any circumstances

uhmm apple allows jailbreak-__-
because the apps made by apple don't work through jailbreak such as ibooks doesn't work, but the apps made by other people do. Apple does not support jailbreak but they do allow you to jailbreak your iDevice it's your own misstake if something goes wrong :D

If you're gonna bring it in to Apple support, just restore the firmware but don't restore the backup. That's what you should do anyway before bringing it in (even if not jailbroken before)!
1) To see if the problem still persists even after that.
2) Because you shouldn't give your personal data away to others that easily.
3) Because (as mentioned here in the comments) restoring from the backup can also restore traces of the Jailbreak which might (if you have very bad luck) result in a refusal of warranty repair.
Of course always do a backup beforehand to be able to restore it to your new or repaired iPhone.

How would you like it if Apple would not allow you to download other programs on your Mac? When you jailbreak this allows you to purchase apps outside the Apple app store. It's legal and gives your iPhone more functionality. I also unlock because I travel to Europe for business and purchase a less expensive data plan via sim card. Thank you jailbreak developers!

I have used limera1n on iOS 4.1..
does it work on every jailbreaks..
It makes me wonder on the legality of this jail breaking thing. OF course the pros is free applications and unlimited but what are the cons?Price India

Hi there, no time to read all posts so apolgies if i have duplicated but I have tried this and it still has greenpoison on it? I jailbroke and found it to be slow, buggy and wow it drained my battery so bad. I would appreciate any help. My friend has the same issue as me, is there something else we can do or shall we wait for 4.3 and hope this wipes the jailbreak? Any assistance would be greatly appreciated guys x

One of the biggest reasons I do not jailbreak is the idea that restoring means starting over, or problematic restores. I have my apps and data as I like them, so jailbreaking just so I can add one or two nice functions that will eventually come in iOS just doesn't seem worth the time and effort.
Plus, it seems jailbreaks are only available about a month before the next iOS comes out... so you get a few weeks of cool notifications and mifi, then those features come available from Apple without all the futzing with your phone.
I'm glad jailbreak is there for people to open up their phone and tinker, and I like this entry as nobody has really explained how this works (although this could have been expanded upon) but its still not for me.

Nobody forces you to jailbreak, and i would say dont go near it unless you know your iphone inside out and how to fix things when they go wrong.
With regards to removing jailbreak this does indeed work, however it will still leave some files from your jailbroken state in the file system. You wont be able to access them but you should be ok.
TO fully clear yes a full wipe and no restore of backup is required, however if you are clever you can make use of iBackupBot (see google) to inject data into a backup of a fresh device.
For example you open your jailbroken backup, pull out the angry birds data files. Wipe phone, set up as new, install angry birds, backup unjailbroken phone. Then it will let you put your data back into your clean backup. Now restore that backup and hey presto your angry birds data is back.
Its not for the faint of heart but it is possible and I have tested it here should i ever need to do a full wipe without losing my save games.

I must say, I'm a little more freaked out than I was before I attempted the jail break. Everything that I had read prior to the jail break led me to believe it was possible to restore your phone to the way it was prior to the jail break. Now, I'm learning this is not necessarily true. I don't like the idea that jail break software or code remains on my device after I reset it.
So, just so I'm clear on this.
Even if I have a back up on iTunes of my device settings prior to the jail break.
Even if I reset all settings via the reset button in the settings folder.
Even if I erase all content and settings via the Reset button in the settings folder.
Even if I reset network settings via the Reset button in the settings folder.
I will STILL have jail broken code on my device?

Just restore using the "Set up as new iPhone" and there will be no trace of the jailbreak.
Then you can use the backup you made prior to jailbreak to bring back your settings and content.

I really really need help!!!
I live in the UK, and i purchased a Iphone 3G3 32G privately from amazon. The phone was jailbroken when i purchased it. Yesterday the phone decided to have a system update and installed version 4.3 on the phone and wiped my jailbreak- this means i could use the ipod and internet but no the phone. I read somewhere that if i did a system restore, and then tried to jailbreak myself with greenpoison vc6 then it will work. Now all my phone is saying is " No simcard installed. Insert a valid simcard with no pin lock to activate Iphone. When i do this, because i think the phone is from the states it will not recognise my simcard and therefore will not even work. At present i have an Iphone that is utterly useless- please please help me??!!

Hi guys need a little help i have an iphone4 which is jailbroken using limera1n 4.1 I want to now upgrade to ios 4.3 how do i go about doing this then re jailbreak with 4.3.1

My iPhone is unlocked, when I restore it back to the original factory settings, will it re-lock my iPhone? I bought my iPhone 3g second hand, and it was imported from America, the past owner had jailbroken it and un-locked it. I am currently on an o2 network, and if restoring the iPhone did re-lock it, would my sim card still work? My friend told me all iPhones are made to be used with o2, but is this true? Thanks.

I want to do this but my music thats on my ipod had to get deleted from my computer due to reinstalling windows and im scared if i do this i wont get my music back. Can i still keep my music if i do this process? Email me you response.Codybenedetto@yahoo.com

Just wandering but is there any way I can save the memory in the apps because it would be annoying redoing all my saved data again.

If you do a backup it will save.

If you don't it won't work

Although I used iCloud I would think iTunes does save data

ive done that and it wont let it update the new software, or reset to factory settings what should i do..i jail broke it and it put cydia on there but i could not open anything there and i cant use safari and now i reset and erased everything so now nothin is on the ipad like stetings or safari or anything

when i tried this during recovery it said error and now my ipod says connect to itunes but when i do it says "itunes has detecte d ipod in recovery mode.you must restore this ipod before it can be used with itunes" what do i do?

if it doesn't work than turn the ipod to dfu mode that is hold the power and home button until the screen shuts off then quickly let of the power button but keep the home button pressed and there you go hook it up to itunes and there you go the update or restore will work

i tried updating my iphone and my itunes is telling me my iphone service has not started yet and cannot be used. is there anything i can do?

I have an untethered iPhone 4S that I want to restore to factory settings. however, itunes nor my phone reset will restore. Please help!!

Hi, its been a great helpful for me. But still there is Cydia and its other APPs icon, although they dont work at all. Now I want to remove the all icons installed through jailbreak which is still showing in my device:
iPhone 4
iOS 5.1
Jailbroken from: redsnow (But removed jaibroken so easily with the help of this pos)
Thanks a lot to Chris for this pos.www.pyakurelyatree.blogspot.com

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i jailbroke my iphone then restored it to factory settings and now cannot get service! how to i fix that?

If I can remember correctly I made a backup with a jailbreak. Did recovery and said iTunes could not restore phone. Error 21 any thoughts ?

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Hi Allan, I think go with you sister... unique attracts more people, for example boring names I wouldn't go and see, try a word backwards like Retupmoc (computer) Its VERY unique HAha lol

I'm freaking out now. My iPod 3 was jailbroken two years ago. I haven't been using it much after I got my iphone. Now I need it for some work purpose, I want to unjailbreak it. However, I did not read any article before I did "Reset all settings". Now, it just keep resetting but could not start up. Can someone help? Thank you.

Hey guys help me..I'm using iphone 5 ios 6.0.1 mine is jail broken
So I have to uninstall the jailbrake from my phone...Iam asking is
Can I restore my phone with new version 6.1.4 becouse i dont have the old file with me 6.0.1..
Whn I restore its Asking the fireware file..so can I use the new version 6.1.4

Hi Everyone. This has been my experience with jailbreaking. This is my opinion so please don't grate me. I got my iPhone4 3gs about 2 and a half years ago. I decided to jailbreak, because I live in South Africa and I could get no cool apps... seriously nothing. No angry birds, no fruit ninja etc. So I was told there was no problem jailbreaking and that I could restore at any time. Not true. Every time there is an apple update, you will have to go through the process of jailbreaking and unjailbreaking. For me it's no simple process TRUST ME! I was stuck on 4.3.3 for almost two years, because every time I tried to restore I would get an error message. Eventually, I bricked my device, meaning it was stuck on the 'connect to iTunes' screen. It took me forever to figure out what to do. I still don't know exactly what I did, but I did manage to restore my phone. Now I'm on 6.1.3 and my phone is working great. Except for two apps that will not delete off the screen they are 1. Repo Cydia (which is just like a news update app) 2. Carbon X HD theme They will NOT delete! At all. The reset worked great and got rid of a few remnants of the jailbreak (% sign) Does anyone know how to get rid of these? I will never ever jailbreak my device again. It was not worth all the pain. Please help if you can? Many thanks! Jared

Please help! I had my ipad (first generation 5.1.1) and macbook jailbroken recently (cydia) and cannot get any of the apple apps purchased to work anymore, let alone install. They are just blank apps in "waiting". I really want to un jailbreak, but not sure if thats possible on 1st gen IPad? im a little blonde to all this....??