Saurik is on a roll with his Cydia updates today. Earlier this morning he rolled out a new version of WinterBoard. And now we’re going to take a look at the also-new-today Mobile Substrate update.

For those that aren’t familiar with it, Mobile Substrate is the de facto framework that allows 3rd-party developers to provide extensions to system functions. And it just received a killer new feature…

Saurik added the following message in Mobile Substrate’s Cydia description to explain the new addition:

“As of version 0.9.3997, you can now disable Substrate entirely by holding down Volume Up as the device boots.

This feature allows you to bypass horribly broken extensions (ones that prevent the device from starting up at all) that you may have installed so you can open Cydia and uninstall them.

To support devices that do not have a Volume Up button (the first-generation iPod touch), you can alternatively hold down the “Clicker” (not Volume Up) button on your headset or earphones.”

This is a great failsafe for jailbreakers who like to experiment with a lot of new tweaks and extensions. It kind of reminds me of when you had to hold down “F8” when starting Windows XP to get into Safe Mode (before I became a Mac person).

Unless you’ve gone out of your way to remove it, chances are you already have Mobile Substrate on your device. To update it, simply launch Cydia and scroll to the top of the list in the Changes tab.

  • i can really see this being useful πŸ˜€

    • Safe mode FTW!! Nice work Jay. Can’t wait to shake your hand at WWJC 2012 πŸ˜€

  • Luis Finke

    oh my god this is great for when you get in reboot loops

  • I don’t know what I’m asking but, what if you Enable or Disable Mobile Subtrate?

    • Anonymous

      You’ll get safe mode or basically springboard minus your tweaks

  • Anonymous

    MobileSubstrate is not a “safe mode” it is the platform on which most cyia tweaks run. Safe mode is mobileSubstrate’s protection against tweaks crashing. Just saying…

  • Asger Drewsen

    Mobile Substrate is essentially a β€œSafe Mode”

    This is so wrong. You use MobileSubstrate to create tweaks, so if you disable MobileSubstrate you disable the tweaks. It is not just a safe mode.

  • Siddharth Desai


  • Anonymous

    May I correct you guys? Mobile substrate is not safe mode. Safe mode is triggered when mobile substrate tries to apply too many tweaks to springboard or if springboard “breaks” for some reason. Mobile substrate is basically a tweak handler that sits between springboard and cydia. When you install a tweak, mobile substrate “injects” it into springboard.
    Up until now mobile substrate applied the tweaks on boot/respring no matter what, which in some cases caused the bootloop/springloop (springboard was breaking before the safe mode triggered could initialized I guess).
    P.s. this is the first time I found mistakes in your articles (considering I’ve been reading for a coupla years, that’s a good thing). It doesn’t really make a difference but while you’re already explaining what something is, why not be accurate.

  • cool.

  • You guys are way off. MobileSubstrate is not a safe mode, it is an extension to build upon for jailbreak tweaks. MobileSubstrate Safe-Mode, a separate package, is the one that protects your device from a bad tweak.

    That said, MobileSubstrate isn’t safe mode by itself, safe mode is the extension of a extension. More people will understand even less what MobileSubstrate is if you keep that there -_-.

  • Y U NO release it earlier~~~

    i had just recently crashed my phone with a tweak, not having way to enter the cydia properly to remove it, i forced to restore my phone to 5.1, lost my jailbreak =(
    this would be good for me that time if it had been released…
    It’s too late…

    • There are many other ways to get out of reboot loop or to remove tweaks without using cydia, check it out, google.

  • Anonymous

    So we have updated the article to include the proper definition, as per the iPhoneDev Wiki page, of Mobile Substrate. Our previous definition of “essentially a safe mode” was apparently far too narrow, as several readers have pointed out here in the comments.

    We apologize for the misunderstanding, and appreciate the heads up.

    • Anonymous


    • Anonymous


    • Anonymous


  • Anonymous

    great i had a respring loop today..

  • I’m sorry for commenting here but i didn’t know where comment this. I have an iPhone 4s with ios 5.1 and today i saw the settings for developer in the settings app but i’m not a developer. I hope you can tell me what can i do (how delete it or anything else)

  • This feature allows you to bypass horribly broken extensions (ones that prevent the device from starting up at all) that you may have installed so you can open Cydia and uninstall them…… Pardon my ignorance but how does one know d HORRIBLY BROKEN EXTENSIONS? How do I detect which tweak is giving me trouble?

    • You will either have to remember which last tweaks you installed or use crash reporter to see which tweaks are conflicting, lots of time wasting for trial and errors

  • Anonymous

    I fu**ing love this update;)

  • Anonymous

    Five Icon Dock

  • Donte

    My problem was my winter board !!!!!!

  • Hey guys, I desperately need help! Is there any way to manually install mobile substrate on my iPad? It’s stuck in a boot loop and the volume up button doesn’t work, so my guess is that Mobile Substrate wasn’t installed.

    Please help!

  • Bill Gittings

    Question. Would someone install Mobile Substrate before or after jailbreaking the device?