Have you ever noticed this issue on your jailbroken installation of iOS 5? Chances are, if you’ve installed Activator, you have.

The issue — one that causes your apps to be reduced in size to take up only one fourth of the screen — impacts the Settings app, Cydia, and various other apps.

Thankfully, we’ve found a method to circumvent the issue. Take a look inside for the full video tutorial…

The issue rears its head after installing Activator from Cydia, which comes with the majority of jailbreak tweaks and apps. Currently, there’s an issue with Activator that causes the problem with iOS 5.

How to Fix the Quarter Screen Issue:

Step 1: Open SBSettings
Step 2: Tap “Power”, and select “Safe Mode”
Step 3: Once booted into safe mode, tap the status bar when it says “Safe Mode”. This will bring up a prompt; tap “Restart” to restart into normal mode
Step 4: Launch an offending app, and the issue should be resolved

The only bad thing, is that this fix is only temporary. Upon reboot, or perhaps other factors, you will have to rinse, wash, and repeat. Still, it should hold you over until Activator is updated to support iOS 5 properly.

Have you experienced this annoying issue? If so, did this tutorial help you to resolve it?

  • Jessie

    I ran into this problem a couple of weeks ago. Couldn’t fix it until my springboard crashed. When it launched in safe mode the issue was solved. Looks like I wasn’t the only one with this problem

  • carter

    I am using activator with sbsettings on ios 5 with noissues at all.

    • rdqronos

      The issue is only on Retina devices, AKA iPhone 4, iPod Touch 4.

      • carter

        I am on a Retina device, AKA my iphone 4.

      • I never considered this. Makes total sense though, thanks for pointing that out. (I no longer own a 3GS, 3G or 2G.)

  • Ramy

    There is a simple fix in Cydia for this problem …it is called winterfix…enjoy:))

    • Mathieu R.

      Did not work, actually it installed Winterboard with it and made my go in 1/4 mode.

    • rdqronos

      Winterfix makes Winterboard work on iOS 5. It doesn’t fix anything else.

  • Notice : This isssue only applies on Retina Devices, Not on the 3Gs, and iPod Touch 3G.

    • Mounir

      I’m safe then, thnx

  • Alem

    Hi Jeff,

    I also suffer from this odd behavior. I figured your proposed solution on my own, but some times even this does not help. I have to switch several times between safe and normal mode before things would go back to normal. I researched the issue a little bit more and then found a post (I don’t remember where I found it and who wrote it) saying that the cause for this is Cydia extension called Retinasizer.
    Only problem was that I didn’t have it on my phone. Well, I decided to give it a try and after I installed Retinasizer this issue was gone. On the next power up this issue was back, and again after few flips between safe mode and normal mode I was unable to get rid of it. Then I decided to reinstall Retinasizer in safe mode and again it helped. Now whenever this problem occurs I just go to safe mode to reinstall Retinasizer and the problem doesn’t come back (at least until next power up).
    The source of this issue obviously has nothing to do with Retinasizer, but reinstalling it helps to get rid of it on the first try.

    • Interesting. Very interesting… Yeah, iOS 5 jailbreak will be a lot better once the public version is released. That way, all of the jailbreak devs will feel compelled to update their work.

  • Mathieu R.

    I installed BBSettings instead of SBSettings.
    Thats my fix 😛

    • Gato


  • L.Williams

    If you running DreamBoard remove it while in safe mode then respiring. if you have iFile installed, then remove all the files from the mobilesubstrate folder (this will solve the issue) you can add each file back one-by-one to find the offending file. in my case, the offering application was DreamBoard.

  • ConsistencyPlease

    *fourth, not forth

  • rdqronos

    …..aaaaaaaaaaand this is why I’m on my official GM, not jailbroken at all.
    The official release of iOS 5 is in 4 days, and the Chronic Dev team is gonna release a jailbreak basically the day it comes out.
    Also, expect every major jailbreak developer to release iOS 5 compatible updates to all their apps the day of, or after, and within the week that follows.

  • Kevin

    Can anyone else confirm with iOS 5 jailbreak with or without bitesms unable to send video mms?

  • Kareem

    Good article! However, did anybody notice that the picture in the iPhone at the top actually says iPod in the status bar? Just saying.

    • Nogggin1

      Haha it’s because they just photoshop it in 😛

  • Dave

    This quarter screen thing is making me worried. I think I’ll hold off on jailbreaking iOS 5 for a week or two once its released so that all the jailbreak app/tweak devs can come out with compatible updates.

    • That wouldn’t be a bad idea. iOS 5 comes out in a few days anyway. If you waited this long, it wouldn’t hurt to wait a bit longer. But you guys know me, I like to jump the gun on things a bit.

    • Mathieu R.

      With beta I always install Cydelete, so if something goes wrong I can delete it in “fullscreen”.

  • 2035 A.D


  • Kjeldor

    i tried restart on spring board, still the same, wont work

    • Kjeldor

      my bad, forgot to go to safe mode..

  • Spencer

    I can’t do anything! I have it on my iPad but I can’t select or type anything to delete it and I don’t have sbsettings installed. What do I do?

    • kokhean

      Here’s how to get into Safe Mode if you don’t have SBSettings installed. I’ve only tried this on an older beta on a factory unlocked iPhone 4 (GSM) so don’t expect it to work if nothing happens. Drag an icon into another and quickly tap on the folder that it being created. SpringBoard will crash and you can enter Cydia to disable whatever tweak that is causing this problem. There is NO need to restore.

      • Anonymous

        IT WORKED!!!!!!! ur a life saver!!!!!!! I thought i was going to have to do a restore and re-jailbreak. Found out it was Ultrasn0w that was my problem. when i looked a little closer i noticed my baseband wasn’t compatible lol.. well thanx much.

  • Random

    Is it possible that the problem occurs because the app itself adjusts to 480×320 resolution?
    That’s probably why the original iPhone, 3G and 3GS don’t have that problem.
    Maybe it’s a slight fault with the way the app is handled in iOS 5

  • in iphone 4s sìri e in inglese o anche in italiano?

    • Siri è in beta e supporta solo inglese (USA, UK, Canada), francese e tedesco. Presto arriverà anche l’italiano.

  • Britta

    Hm, see http://www.reddit.com/r/iphone/comments/l3ay9/upgrade_to_ios_5_now/c2pj77c for some of saurik’s comments about the iOS 5 GM – “Apple has not yet released this build of iOS to the general public, and the number of people who like to redistribute it anyway and install it gives a lot of us in the iOS-interest community a bad name for ‘redistributing Apple’s copyrighted work’. I therefore would implore users to just wait until there is a legit way to get this build.”

  • Applefanboylee

    Peeps cdt are not goner rel as soon as ios5 drops they would be stupid too they are goner wait for the 4s no doubt they will give it a few weeks after that they dont want apple patching it the jb they have used has 5 exploits

  • Xverzo

    Jeff… I’m having a lot of troubles with mobilesubstrae,
    once I install almost ANYTHING with it, my iphone goes
    into safe mode and cant make it ran out of it, not even uninstalling
    the pakages that use mobil substrae, the only way is to uninstall
    mobil substrae, but it looks like most of you doesnt have
    this issue…

  • Spencer

    Follow up: I fixed it. On the iPad, it did the 1/4 think sideways in the upper right but only allowed touch on the bottom part of what it showed and if you went left/right it went up down on the screen. Almost like if you put down 2 iPhone sized cards on the ipad, one up/down, one on its side and only where it over lapped was responsive.
    I opened Cydia and managed to install activator. Once that was installed, I set the home button to double press = safe mode. After that, I installed sbsettings and everything was fine.
    I hope this helps somebody out there. Forums have helped me more than I can count so I am happy to contribute my knowledge.

  • Nick

    Ugh I could not do it I jailbreak it and it did not go into safe mode

  • 3r!k

    I used iFunBox to search and delete any filetype named activator, rebooted, then when into Cydia and performed a full removal of the remaining files. I will wait for an update prior to reinstalling. [Device: iPhone 4 CDMA / OS: iOS 5 GM]

  • LDK

    And what about those of us who didn’t install SB Settings before jail breaking???

    • David Lago

      Yeah, what about them? (us)

      • ncnoman

        just one more thing to add to the list of awesome things SBSettings can do… like AmEx, dont leave home without it…
        Thanks Jeff B for the fix!

    • ncnoman

      i noticed the touchscreen still plays at full size. Try seeing if you can manage to navigate cydia…. SBSettings is a Featured Cydia App so maybe you can get the right touch input to get it installed…?

  • how can you do that? i can’t get my sbsetting looking like that. and my screen it’s already in the quarter display. help!

    • never mind, i figured it out. Thank you!

  • Renato GOLDEN

    Hi!!! i’m doind this, but when i click in safe mode, my iphone stop to work and i have to do the “just boot” in redsn0w to work again. But every time that i’m try to enter in safe mode my iphone 4 IOS5 stop to work. How can i fix it?

    • Renato GOLDEN

      hi guys! I fix it with the app safe mode laucher in cydia!!! Another suggestion??

  • My issue is that I don’t have SB Settings and even though I do have PowerUp I don’t have safe mode enabled. So I’m left with the quarter screen and an inability to manually enter safe mode. Does anyone know of a way I can manually enter safe mode? Please help

    • Anonymous

      follhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CqwVnLHpRQ8&feature=relatedow this step by step, it work for me

    • Anonymous

      follhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CqwVnLHpRQ8&feature=relatedow this step by step, it work for me

  • Harrison Sutcliffe

    I don’t have spring board- what can i do

    • Springboard is basically what you ‘see’ on the screen, you do have it. Every iPhone has it. Every iPod and every iPad.

    • ncnoman

      that’s kinda like saying “i don’t have a diving board” when you’re standing on a diving board.

  • Hai guys my mobile in safe mode to get normal mode i hav jst tapped on restart rven after restarting my pn am still getng safe mode could u guys can u solve it plzz alll my cydia products nott working even it is jail brokeen 1

  • Ted

    Happening with new iOS 6.1 jailbreak and CYdia on iPad Mini. Tried it out and it worked great. Thanks!

    • For reference for anyone else finding this old post, note that Activator does not cause this issue on iOS 6.x. If you’re getting the quarter screen issue, it means that some other installed tweak is incompatible or buggy.

      Known tweaks that cause this issue are the current versions of Deck and Binary Clock, and old versions of SubtleLock, Incarcerapp, NowListening, Transparency, and RetinaPad (so please update them if you have them installed).

  • Xenon

    This works on iOS 6.1 Jailbreak (evasi0n) too. Was having the same problem on iPad 2 (Wifi). Cydia was of the resolution on iPhone (kinda) and at the center of the screen. This workaround works.

    Thanks !

  • CityOfCydia

    Okay, what if you don’t have SBSettings and Activator installed? I have iOS 6 and this is happening to me.

  • jay

    This worked great!
    for me, it was only mt twitter app that was 1/4 of the screen. I didn’t think it worked but I thought it was worth a shot!
    thank you so much !

  • nir

    How can I enter in to siif mode Without SB settings

    • You can reboot your device while holding the volume up button to disable Mobile Substrate and all tweaks. Then you can go into Cydia and uninstall the incompatible tweak causing the issue.

      Just note that Activator does not cause this issue on iOS 6.x – instead, it’s caused by having some other tweak installed that is incompatible or buggy.