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!

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Allyson Kazmucha

iMore senior editor from 2011 to 2015.