Daily Tip: How to diagnose and fix springboard crashes [jailbreak]

Jailbroken and curious how you can diagnose those annoying springboard crashes that plague jailbreakers? While the benefits of jailbreaking outweigh the annoyances for many users, a crashing springboard can still be beyond frustrating. If your springboard is crashing sporadically, there can be several reasons why. There is also an easier way to fix it than to completely restore your phone. Hit the jump for some helpful tips and tricks on ridding yourself of evil crashing springboards!

Resprings are, of course, a necessary evil when it comes to jailbreaking. While stock apps don't typically have access to lower level parts of the phone, jailbreak apps do. Anytime you install something that changes lower level files, you'll typically have to restart the springboard in order for those changes to take affect. But what happens when your springboard starts resprining on its own? Or if your jailbroken iPhone starts crashing into safe mode? I know it can be frustrating, but there's typically a reason.

An app you installed is not compatible with your version of iOS

I know this is easy to point out, but it's something a lot of beginning jailbreakers overlook. Most jailbreak apps will tell you in the app description if you need to stay away from it based on your version of iOS. They probably mean it. Running an app that doesn't play nice with your iOS version can cause considerable headaches, so heed their warnings. A lot of people had issues related to compatibility on 4.2.1 after the tethered jailbreak was released.

Most apps were not updated for 4.2.1 so if you installed them, the odds your springboard was going to crash or your phone was going to start rebooting randomly was pretty good.

You have certain apps installed that don't play nice together

This one is a bit harder to diagnose. Sometimes the best to do is ask around a jailbreak forum. If your device just recently started producing random crashes, uninstall any apps you've installed recently. If the issue goes away, one of the apps you uninstalled was the issue. I typically start installing them again one by one. When the crashes start occurring again, I know what app is the culprit.

And as a common courtesy, shoot an e-mail to the developer and let them know what apps you have installed, what iOS version your'e on, and what issues you were having. Feedback is crucial when it comes to making good apps. The more a developer knows, the better their apps can be.

It's also worth noting that jailbreak developers typically will list issues with other apps in the release notes. Always read those before updated a jailbroken application. That brings us to our next culprit.

A recent app update is causing the crashes

This isn't typical but sometimes app updates can cause compatibility issues either with your iOS version or with another app. This is far less common but still an issue from time to time. If you recently updated an app and your iPhone starting misbevaving afterwards, uninstall that app completely. If the issue resolves itself, the update was an issue. Again, report the issue to the developer so they can fix it. Most developers (especially jailbreak) are extremely responsive to user feedback.

This is another example of why it is important to read update release notes as well. If the developer knows the update creates an issue with another app, they'll list it. You can save yourself the headache by passing up that update.

You installed a bad app from an untrusted repository

Cydia allows you to add repositories at your own will. For new users or easily gullible users, this can be dangerous. I can not stress this one enough - do not EVER, EVER install an app from a repository that you are not 100% positive is safe. Adding a repository for a beta from a trusted developer is one thing, but don't add random repos on your device unless you either know the person hosting it, or know the app you are downloading is tested and from a trusted developer.

If you do happen to install an app from an untrusted source, immediately remove the app from your phone and delete the repository.

You restored from a backup that was previously jailbroken

This is the big one. And typically the most common cause of crashy springboards. I never recommend jailbroken users to restore from a backup. For example, if you are jailbroken on iOS 4.1 and want to upgrade to 4.2.1 and jailbreak using greenpois0n, you should not restore from a backup.

Never ever restore from a backup that could potentially have bits of an old jailbreak in it. I see this cause issues more than anything. And unfortunately, the only remedy is to completely restore your phone and start over. Not fun for anyone.

If you guys have any other springboard issues and remedies, be sure to share them with us in the comments. We'd love to hear them!

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...)

Allyson Kazmucha

Editor for iMore, Potter pundit, and the ninja in your iOS

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There are 45 comments. Add yours.

wcarlson40 says:

"You restored from a backup that was previously jailbroken"
Ok, this one makes my head spin. So, if I've synced to Itunes after I've jailbreaked, a backup automatically happens during a sync, right?...
So, when I upgrade to 4.3 when it comes out, I have to wipe everything and start from scratch? (i.e. I'll lose all my non-jailbreak settings, email settings, contacts, game high scores, etc)???

BLiNK says:

sounds crazy i know, but it's just the nature of the beast. i've been doing this for a while now and the best results have always came after a restore as new w/o backup. of course you do not have to do it but peace of mind can also go a long way

Allyson Kazmucha says:

YOu can use apps like appbackup and aptbackup in order to save game data and jailbreak settings. They save the bundles on your computer. Once you restore, you drop them back.
aptbackup = jailbreak settings
appbackup = game and app data
The only other thing you'd need ot worry about it saving pictures from your camera roll on your computer, and your contacts. I use mobileme so my contacts are always a non-issue. if you use google sync, your wont be either. (or save them on your computer) there are tons of ways of backing up contacts.

adagio says:

just to be sure i understand, Allyson, all else (except for contacts & pics) will be backed up if i use appbackup & aptbackup? like notes, email settings, texts, screen layout? where is the data from appbackup & aptbackup stored so it can be dropped back in if we're wiping the phone clean and not restoring from a backup? thanks.

swooshme says:

On my 3GS l ALWAYS restored from backup that was previously jailbroken. From 3.1.2 all the way to 4.0. ZERO problems. And used aptbackup to restore my jailbroken apps and settings. Same with my iPhone 4 from 4.0 incrementally to 4.2.1 restored from the previous jailbroken backup. ZERO PROBLEMS. Maybe I'm just lucky. But I don't install a bunch of jailbreak crap either. No themes, carrier name mods, I don't use winterboard stuff after several bad experiences on my 3G.

Allyson Kazmucha says:

You probably are not using anything that would save bits of a jailbreak in your backup then. 90% of people do.

Gerald Todd says:

Just use ibackupbot after restoring as a new phone. It allows you to restore individual parts of a backup, like contacts and text messages etc. No headache at all. And no nasty jailbreak remnants.

Khalid Shameer says:

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Sweeeet says:

Thanks for the tips... But a friend of mine added a repo to my phone, can you tellme a bit more about the (untrusted) repository's?

Allyson Kazmucha says:

There is nothing wrong with adding repositories as long as the source hosting them is one you trust. Ask your friend when exactly he added the repo for and what it contains.

fastlane says:

I've restored every jailbroken iPhone I've had from jailbroken backups every time. Never had any issues.
Perhaps the people having these problems are the same people who use cases because they claim to constantly drop their phones. :roll:

Allyson Kazmucha says:

or maybe you aren't installing things that would leave remnants in a backup. your situation is not everyone's. i have seen tons of people have issues after restoring from a previously jailbroken back-up. Even as far as a springboard that just continually crashes.
As a side note, there's really no need to tack a rude comment on the end of every single comment you leave on a post.

sting7k says:

This looks like a list of all the reasons why not to jailbreak. All that pain and headache just to figure out why the springboard crashes. No thanks.

fastlane says:

Yeah... well, something has to destroy the time you save using SBSettings and Lockinfo. :lol:
It's like those people who turn around and drive an extra five miles to avoid a train... that'll be long gone anyway, by the time they've avoided it.

PetTheo says:

I ran across a new mini gaming site that has myriads of categories and games. It allows its users
to challenge and share their scores on the homepage. Many cool features; a sure favorite in my book. http://www.gamerkosmos.com

Kenzu says:

I got a problem with the Ipod touch Notes app, whenever i try to send an email spring board crashes, i already tried extracting the notes from the iphone but i dont know how? anyone know how?

kelly says:

I upgraded my phone and let my son use my old iphone as an ipod...it was jailbroken, but i only used that for the ringtones. he downloaded an app that let him text for free, it was working fine and then he got an "unhappy iphone" (have no clue what that was about) alert, and the springboard crashed. The next day it worked for a bit then just turned off... wont turn on wont charge... just dead!!! any words of wisdom?? hope for recovery?? im not very technically inclined.. need help!!

dg says:

“You restored from a backup that was previously jailbroken”
Okay, I have a 3GS on 4.3.3, 6.15.00, TMobile. Springboard crashes constantly....and I did try and set it up using my backup of my JBed 3G in itunes - just to get my apps back. Is that exactly what you are saying causes problems?

dinnan says:

MY IPHONE 3G KEEP GOING CRASH MESSAGE SPRING BORAD AND I CANT CONNECT WIFI, I HOPE THE REASON IS RECENTLY UPDATE CYDIA AFTER THAT I HAVE PROBLEM , PLEASE HELP ME TO FIX WIFI AND SPRING BORD PROB. PHONE RUNNING 4.0 VERSION

Hrlygal says:

I have 4.2.6 stuck in safe mode springboard crashed no access to fix anything.., it's been more than two weeks and I can't figure out how to uninstall any apps because I no longer have safari I have no Internet access from my iPhone. I can't seem to get an answer.. My phone will not reboot restart respring or anything.. My phone doesn't work mail safari texts my whole first Page is gone.. And many others. I have a few games is all.., how can I uninstall ?? I'm new of course I've already. Tried to backup and restore with iTunes to no avail plz help

Priyanka Lajpal says:

every time there is an application redirect to safari... the spring board crashes.. please tell me why does that happen and how can i get out of it?
I recently jailbroke my phone using green poison and the crash started happening after that..... Need help.

Tonycaple says:

@ Hrlygal trying going to firmware on google normally 1st one is okay and get say 4.2.1 and then do install make sure u save the 4.2.1 on a place u know on ur compouter best place really is desktop and do it that way i no u will have to re jail break but that way u will be gd look on internet how to put iphone into dfu etc ur gd to go

Tonycaple says:

if anyone need any more help send me a msg to email below ok if i can help i will get back to u asap ok all the best and happy jailbreaking lol
iPhone 4 16 gig " Lustrous Black" Fimware 4.2.1

Brigitte1327 says:

Hi I have the iphone 3g and ever since jailbreaking it for Tmobile, I cannot click on links to the internet outside of Safari. Do you know how I can diagnose the problem? I didnt notice it after installing anything - i think it was just after jailbreaking. I had a really hard time jailbreaking this phone for some reason. I work with a bunch of IT - very tech savy people and about 6 people tried and couldnt unlock it. Finally someone did but now this happens. Do you think my only option is to start over because if I have to do that, I may never get it unlocked again (so i would just live with the springboard crashes). Do you know any Cydia apps or other apps that dont play nice together that i could check and remove one or the other?

Stavro says:

Hey i'm having a problem, everything's working fine, until i am forced to restart springboard, when i do so and when it restarts springboard, there is nothing on the menu apart from newsstand, nothing else, no other icons, not even safari etc. How do i fix this?

Ehab-Ahmad says:

Why can't I ever "transfer purchased" in iTunes?
Of course they're not really purchased but stolen apps. So, do I've to reinstall everything once I update my software all over again? -.-

Bachsau says:

Lol. Without MobileSubstrate there were no crashes, so indeed it IS caused by MobileSubstrate. If it were coded carefully, applications were unable to execute code that results in a springboard crash.

Brian says:

But you're missing the point. Yes, without MobileSubstrate, there weren't any SpringBoard crashes. There were device crashes where you had to completely hard boot the device. It's not necessarily MobileSubstrate causing the issue, but rather crashing SpringBoard in order to keep whatever app is actually causing the real issue to keep from crashing your device.

Brock says:

What I have figured out is when you are in safe mode and you know what app has caused the problem all you have to do is go into cydia and remove the app. It resprings your ipod and takes you out of saff mode and back to whatever setup you had before.

ThuyDoan says:

Thank you very much for your help. Actually, I haven't installed any tweaks or extensions in cydia but my ipod touch keeps crashing and requiring to restart everytime when I click to NEWSSTAND app. I can't explain it :(((( Please help me!!! Thank you in advance

Mohamed Kamal says:

my way to fix any SB issue after you install wrong tweak or cydia app.

  • uppose you were trying to install SBrotate cydia tweak and after restart sbringboard it refused to come up and that logo keeps spinning forever, don't freak out, it is easy.

1- connect your iphone to laptop with Itune and ifunbox application installed.
2- start ifunbox, it will show you your device on the left side of the application, click on it to expand.
3- click on SSH Terminal
4- in the right side, a black screen will show up, at the bottom there is an > symbol, type this command ( dpkg -l |grep -i rotate ) without the brackets. and make sure you replace rotate with the tweak name, i used rotate because here i am trying to fix SBrotate tweak.
5- it will show you the list of installed apps or tweaks with the name rotate, e.g ( ii com.ihackstore.sbrotate etc. ).
6- run this command to uninstall the broken tweak > dpkg -r com.ihackstore.sbrotate
7- it will uninstall the tweak or the app and now reboot and you are safe.
thanks
kamal

sameer says:

All time springboard crash, when open a minimize app and stream videos.
Help me plzzzzz mail me how to restore.
Im getting 1015 error while restoring.
Plzzzzz mail me any suggestion .

sameer says:

I haven't installed any tweaks in cydia ,but keep crashing every time requiring restart help me plzzzzz mail on this ID: Zinccord@gmail.com.
Plzzzzz hlp. :(

Bill says:

Just switching apps will crash my iPhone. For example pushing the support button for an app in the AppStore. Or clicking to view a new text message while in safari. The problem is not mobilesubstrait. That simply saves me from having to go through a reboot cycle. Rather I believe the cause is having the iPad 6.15 firmware on a iPhone 3G. Unfortunately there is no way to revert firmware to even test that hypothosis.

navid says:

HELLLPPP PLZZ!
after ive added d repo to install limesnow for ios 5, i waited to install and i saw some parts failed to install, then d cydia wants to update and i agreed, after alittle while, iphone got slowed and hanged, when i restart d fon, after apple logo, i just see a black screen with a loading circle in middle, each 5min d circle runs but never ends! what can i do? how can i fix cydia?! i even couldnt restore my fon, im gettin 1604 error! PLzzz.. send a solution to my mail plzz

rafiezul says:

My springboard was crash, then i see at crash report, it says that ( apt 0.7 strict library ) that make my springboard crash, do i have to remove it? when i wanna remove it which is apt 0.7 strict lib, ive to delete many things, including cydia installer. do i have to remove? and my phone is iphone 4s

Zainab says:

My apps dont delete on my 4s. does it have anything to do with the fact that it is jailbroken? Also how can i fix it? please contact me back asap.thanks

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Joe says:

I backed up my iPhone with a jailbroken back up and my iPhone keeps crashing so I restored it and its still crashing

Jessi says:

Hey Allyson, I usually jailbreak with greenpoisi0n, and it's greet. But recently I started using redsn0w bc I wasn't getting multitasking with greenpoisi0n somehow. When I used the first one, I had maybe 1 crash at all? Now I have redsn0w and I'm lucky if I can open a text w/out it crashing. If I want to click 'open' when a new text comes in, crash. If I want to add fb chat to textfree (I have a second generation iPod touch), crash. If I want to post something on a friends fb wall, crash. I only have sbsettings installed from cydia. How can I stop all these crashes? Theyre Luke every hour now.

karan says:

i had this issue of springboard crash.
i deleted mobilesubstrate and it works perfectly fine.

Pennie Pinkley says:

Yes, all themes will get the IDX-MLS integration.

Mohammad Al Mansoori says:

well, i recently jailbroken my iphone 5, i dont know what the problem is, but every time i try to delete an app, IT CRASHES!!!!! please help