Backup Cydia Applications

Every time you upgrade a jailbroken iPhone to a new version of firmware (or iPhone OS), as you know, it is required to go through the whole jailbreak process again. That means, all your iPhone applications and Cydia applications are completely removed. For iPhone applications, you can back them up by syncing via iTunes. But how about those cydia applications? iTunes will not take care this kind of applications. So, how can you backup these apps and restore them after iPhone upgrade?

One way is to use AptBackUp , which is available on cydia. The way how AptBackup works is that it saves a list of Cydia-installed applications, backup the list via iTunes and restore the list back to your iPhone. Later, cydia can refer to that list and install all the applications again.

As reported by some users, however, they just can’t get AptBackup work. Today, I am going to show you a manual way to backup and restore cydia applications. If AptBackup doesn’t work for you, you can use this manual approach to backup and restore the applications.

The manual approach requires you know about SSH. At least, you need to know how you can transfer file between iPhone and computer.

Backup Cydia Application

1. First, make sure you have installed OpenSSH, MobileTerminal and Gawk on your jailbroken iPhone. All these packages can be found on cydia if you miss any of them.

2. Launch Terminal app.

3. In terminal, type “su” and followed by the root password. Please note your password will not be echoed. If you haven’t changed the root password, just key in “alpine” and tap return.

4. Then type dpkg -l | grep ^ii | awk '{print $2}' > /var/root/cydiabkup.txt and then tapreturn key.

5. After you execute the command, it automatically retrieves the list of cydia applications installed on your iPhone and saves it into the cydiabkup.txt.

6. Next, transfer /var/root/cydiabkup.txt from iPhone to your computer using SSH. To let you have an idea of the backup file, here is how the file looks like:

The file just contains a list of cydia of applications you have installed. Later, you will need to use the file again after iPhone upgrade.

Once the cydiabkup.txt is copied to your computer, it is safe to upgrade your iPhone and jailbreak it again.

Restore Cydia Applications after iPhone Upgrade

Okay, now you have completed the iPhone upgrade and I assume you have already jailbroken the iPhone again with cydia installed.

1. Before you can restore the cydia applications, make sure you install OpenSSH, MobileTerminal, Gawk and APT 0.7 Strict packages from cydia. These packages are used during restoration process.

Note: Before you move on, make sure you disable Auto-Lock. You can go to Settings -> General -> Auto-Lock and tap “Never”.

2. Download and unzip it

3. By using SSH, transfer both “cydiabkup.txt” (the file that you have generated in the backup process) and “” (the file you just unzip in step 2) to your iPhone under /var/root folder.

4. Launch Terminal app and type “su” to logon as root. Same as before, use “alpine” as password.

5. Next, type sh /var/root/ and tap return key.

6. After running the command, it will automatically download the cydia applications and install them accordingly. When prompt “After this operation, xxMB of additional disk space will be used. Do you want to continue [Y/n]?“, simply key in “Y” and tap return. Depending on the number of cydia apps to install, the process may take five to ten minutes.

7. Once the installation completes, restart your iPhone and all cydia apps should be restored.


Thing normally goes straightforward. But it’s not uncommon you may encounter some hiccups. If you experience errors like Couldn't find package xxxx, that means the cydia application is no longer available for download. What you have to do is to edit the “cydiabkup.txt” on your computer and delete those obsolete packages. Afterwards, transfer the updated “cydiabkup.txt” back to your iPhone and continue with step 4 again.

As always, should you have any questions, please feel free to leave me comment below. If you find other ways to backup and restore cydia apps, feel free to share it with us.

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