Jailbreak How-To: Back Up Apps in Rock and Cydia

In lieu of iOS4 and iPhone 4 next week, we know a lot of you will be upgrading to either a new OS or new hardware altogether.  Those of you that jailbreak may find backing up your jailbroken apps a lot easier than reinstalling everything once you re-jailbreak.  Now keep in mind, I wouldn't suggest upgrading if you're unlocked as unlocks are never a sure thing until they're released.  But if you're just jailbreaking, we're already aware of a working jailbreak that's ready for iOS4.  Given nothing changes, this should ease your transition.

Before we proceed, one more warning; as with any OS upgrade on iDevices, not all apps will be compatible immediately.  We saw this with 3.0 with things such as custom keyboards not working.  This may very well be the case again, so if you have jailbreak apps you just can't live without, make SURE they'll be compatible with iOS4 before you upgrade. Now hit the jump for Cydia and Rock back-up walkthroughs!


Now Cydia is a little bit more complicated than Rock, but a lot of users much prefer Cydia, so we'll cover this one first. It's still a pretty easy process. To backup your jailbroken apps via Cydia, you'll need to download a free app called Aptbackup.

Once you've got Aptbackup installed, you'll see this icon on your homescreen:

Tap that icon and you'll see 2 buttons, backup and restore. Before you upgrade or do anything, click backup.

After you do this, you'll need to sync with iTunes. This will allow Aptbackup to sync your jailbroken apps to your PC/Mac. After you've done this you are okay to go ahead and install iOS4. After your install is finished, go ahead and sync/backup with iTunes.

Once you've restored from your backup in iTunes, go ahead and re-jailbreak. Then go into Cydia and re-download Aptbackup. This time you'll click the restore button. This will restore all your jailbreak apps. Easy enough, right? Now lets cover Rock users...


Rock's process is dead simple. Every Rock user should already have a Rock ID, if you don't, you'll need to get one in order to save backups to it, so that after a new OS install or restore, you can just sign into your ID and have your backups waiting.  After you've saved everything to your Rock ID, you can do your restore.  After you re-jailbreak and install Rock, you'll just sign in and click on your settings tab like below:

You're going to want to click Settings and scroll down a ways. You'll see app backup options.  Now before you start installing a new OS, you need to make sure Rock is actually making backups for you. The option to save packages to your Rock ID should always be checked. If it isn't, check it and make SURE you have a backup if you're using Rock.

All you're going to do here is choose "Restore from Backup" - you'll then be presented with however many backups you have saved to your Rock ID. I normally choose the most recent under most circumstances.

That's pretty much it! Rock will do the rest for you. It may take a bit depending on how many packages you have installed, so if need be, turn your auto-lock to never and plug your phone in, leave Rock open, and let it do its thing!

Now you're all ready for a new jailbreak on iOS4! Questions, comments? Leave 'em below!

Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment! Need help with something else? Ask in our forums!

Allyson Kazmucha

Senior 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

Jailbreak How-To: Back Up Apps in Rock and Cydia


So if I get the new iPhone 4, can I restore from a backup from my jailbroken iPhone 3g or will it not work because it is different hardware?

You're restoring the apps you've downloaded from Cydia. Nothing more. What I mean is, you're not restoring your firmware or anything.

REMINDER: Mentioning pirating or stealing apps in any way will get your comment deleted. Developers deserve to get paid. You wouldn't like it if McDonalds stopped paying you!

Another reason why I ended my two-year jailbreak yesterday. Too much management hassle... even with these backups. Although, they do work very well if you don't mind the extra trouble. I've tried both, but prefer Cydia.

How do you end jailbreaking? I'm thinking of doing the same. Is there a thread in the forum that I can go to for instructions?

All you gotta do is plug your iPhone in, and restore it in iTunes. You'll be golden after that. Be sure to backup your phone with iTunes before you restore though!

So if you actually BOUGHT an app off cydia and you use aptbackup it will retain the information that says you bought the full version? Or is does this just work with free apps cause they don't matter? If there is another method for saving paid apps let me know plz.

It's a terrifying thing to jailbreak iphone without the help of apple, just do it by yourselves. Actually, I trust in iTunes more than Cydia, which collected apps paid or free, even i will get an software of third party company on their online store, but not Cydia, if it's an video converter I want to know who created it, ifunia or aneesoft and who can provide me after-sale service.

I downloaded Rock app on to my iphone and somehow i uninstalled it but when I go to install it again I can't find it on my phone at all. Is there an extra step that i have to take to get Rock back on my phone.

Thanks for the tutorial. =)
I was worried about that.
PS: Poeple who get there itouch jailbreaked usually don't do it for the games, well some do- but for the ability to cuztomise everything on there itouch.
That reason alone is a good one to get your itouch jailbreaked.

Hey bro restore your ipod and prbolem solved 1st step hold down home button and power button for like 20 seconds until it turns off and then keep holding i so it shuts down your ipod! 2nd step hold down home button then' . plug it in to computer and keep ho down then there you go it will say connect to itunes and then restore it!