There are a ton of great games to play on the iPhone. Most of them have multiple levels and achievements to unlock. You wouldn’t want to lose your game progress and achievements in the event that you have to restore your iPhone.

For jailbreakers, backing up data is essential. To upgrade to a new version of iOS, a jailbroken iPhone is completely wiped and updated to the default setup of the next iOS release. A new jailbreak has to then be applied, and all personal data (media, contacts, jailbreak apps, etc) has to be synced back onto the iPhone.

Through the magic of SSH, you can save your iOS game data on your computer in the event that you have to restore. Here’s how to do it…

1. Download AppLinks for free from Cydia

2. Launch AppLinks

You will be greeted by a blank window with a circular arrow at the bottom left corner and an info icon at the bottom right corner.

3. Tap the circular arrow to have AppLinks scan your directory of installed apps

AppLinks will create a list of all of your currently installed apps in the blank window. This creates an easily-viewable method of viewing your app’s data when we use SSH to access your game info.

4. Hook your iPhone up to your computer and open your SSH client

(Cyberduck, WinSCP) I prefer iPhone Explorer.

5. Navigate in your iPhone’s file directory to/var/mobile/AppLinks”

Here you will see a list of all your currently installed apps and their data on your iPhone.

6. Open the folder that corresponds to the game you want to backup

(For example, “The Incident.app“)

When you open the folder, you will see several files and folders.

7.  Copy all of these folders and files to your computer

Use this method for any games that you don’t want to lose your progress in. Once you are done, feel free to restore and wipe your iPhone clean. After you re-jailbreak and re-sync all of your apps back onto your iPhone through iTunes, you can copy this data back into each game’s respective folder through your SSH client.

Progress and achievement data is normally stored under “Documents” in each game’s folder, but sometimes this data can also be saved under Library/Preferences. If that happens, you will have to copy all of the “Preferences” folder (except for the com.apple.PeoplePicker.plist file), then drag that content back onto the iPhone again once the device has been restored.

Sometimes the “Preferences” folder will only have the com.apple.PeoplePicker.plist file. That means that the game has its files saved in a different path. If that is the case for you, all you can do is look at the names of the files and figure out which contains the game’s save information.

And remember, once you’re jailbroken, you can always just hack the Game Center achievement boards to trick all of your friends.

Let us know in the comments if this tutorial worked for you. Do you play a lot of games that rely on saved progress? Was this tutorial helpful?

  • Burge

    And if your out and about and need to save a app info use ifile to send the applink save file in a email to yourself .. 

    • ytgh

      That doesnt work. If you try e-mailing the IPAs nothing get attached

  • galleyrod

    Wouldn’t it be easier to use i-FunBox which has an option to repack an already installed app back to IPA for later reinstall?? Why bother and waste time doing ant work??

  • Thanks for the guide, but is there really no way to update to a new iOS version without losing all your saved data?

    If regular apps aren’t changed by the jailbreak, why isn’t that data just brought over like in a regular update from a non jaibroken device?

    For example I have a jailbroken iPhone 4 on 4.1. I want to update to a tethered jailbreak on 4.2.1, what should I do? If I just told my iTunes to update my iPhone when it prompted it (every time I plug it in), would it erase my data or would it break my phone? If I don’t do that and tell it to “Only Download” 4.2.1 what do I do for a tethered jailbreak then?

    • G

      Do not update. You are on the best jailbreak ATM basically . Stay untethered it’s better!!! Only new feature is findmyphone. That’s nothing worth updating firmware for. I’m Om iPhone 4 4.1 jailbroken and I’m so glad to be. I may never upgrade again unless apple offer some really useful things. I hear that 4.3 allows using Yr iPhone or idevice as hotspot

      • I will feel like a complete fool if I lose or get my iPhone stolen before I update to 4.2.1 with FindMyiPhone.

        Also I want to use Airplay!

    • DomPerignon

      If you want to update to 4.2.1 go ahead; if you have your shsh’s saved you can always go back to 4.1. If you are a cautious person you won’t have any problem with the tethered jailbreak.

      • But which jailbreak tool do I use for tethered 4.2.1?

  • Sy

    Does this work for iPad?

  • G

    Do not update. You are on the best jailbreak ATM basically . Stay untethered it’s better!!! Only new feature is findmyphone. That’s nothing worth updating firmware for. I’m Om iPhone 4 4.1 jailbroken and I’m so glad to be. I may never upgrade again unless apple offer some really useful things. I hear that 4.3 allows using Yr iPhone or idevice as hotspot. Well even that is no reason to update in my eyes because I can do that already. Apple will do anything to con you out of your jailbreak !!!!
    

  • Dabe

    I’m on 4.0 unlocked untethered but I really want that new 8mm vintage video app so I’m thinking about going to 4.1 if it’s possible without too much trouble. A way to save game progress and switch it between phones would be great, after going through 3 or 4 iPhones I’ve had to replay cut the rope so many times lol.

  • goofygreek

    not sure if im doing something different, or maybe im just getting lucky, but, when ever i update my iphone, i just use itunes update, and i dont loose any of my info, it just updates the os like its suppose to. then i just re-jailbreak and reinstall thoose apps, and im good to go. no waiting for music or app store apps to re-install.

    • goofygreek

      oh, its has only done this since ios 3.1.3. before then, it would wipe the phone and re-install everything.

      • Yeah I don’t get why you have to restore and wipe everything.

        Won’t an update work normally saving all your non-JB app data and then you just JB again?

    • pn2bade

      Ya, you can choose backup and restore from backup, but it’s generally a good idea to do a full restore to completely wipe the phone and start fresh. I usually get at least 500mb of more space from all of the stuff the iPhone has accumulated. But keep in mind that you will lose all of your contacts (unless they are on your computer), camera roll photos (same), and anything you may have saved. Personally I use pkgbackup and it backs up not only all of my jailbreak apps, but also my contacts, photos, phone records, calendar info, notes, safari, and tons of preferences. Costs money, but well worth it. If you don’t want to pay anything, you can use another jailbreak backup app, and manually find all of the contacts, safari, etc. (google) and copy to your computer to copy back after restore.

  • Thanks for such helpful tutorial. It was really informative.

  • The dude

    Why not just back the phone up before a restore and reinstall the backup after a new jailbreak? That’s what I did. Everything was just the way I had it before the restore.

  • john

    i tried but infinity blade wasnt there in the list! how to backup my game data? please… i really want to restore my iphone.. 🙁

    • lanatus

      var/mobile/applinks/swordgame

  • Irha

    Wouldn’t AppBackup backup all apps, including game data? I think all the AppBackup data is under /var/mobile/Library/Preferences/AppBackup, so wouldn’t it be easier to backup and restore this directory instead of backing up individual game files?

  • Chirag Patel

    iPhone application is the great and we have a strategy for the developing the iphone application and give the good suggestion for the improvement the business.