Back in the day, there was a jailbreak tweak called Backgrounder, which brought true app backgrounding to users before iOS even had native multitasking. That tweak no longer works for the latest firmware, but a new tweak called Watchdog aims to make true app backgrounding available today on iOS 8.

Watchdog is a beta tweak that’s available via developer Allan Kerr’s third-party repo. In this post, I’ll show you how you can get Watchdog on your jailbroken device, and share a few use case scenarios.


Tapping an app icon in the App Switcher toggles backgrounding

To install Watchdog, add the following repo to your Cydia sources:

Once you add this repo, search for Watchdog and install it. Keep in mind that this tweak is still very much in beta, so your mileage may vary.

Using Watchdog

After Watchdog is installed, open up the App Switcher, and tap an app icon associated with the app that you wish to background. Once you do, a small dot will be placed beside the app to denote that it’s in a backgrounded state. To remove an app from its backgrounded state, simply tap the app icon in the App Switcher again.

Once an app is backgrounded, it will continue running while in the background as if it was in the foreground. This will obviously have some negative effect on your battery life, but that pretty much goes without saying. The benefits that you derive from backgrounding apps may make the battery life trade-off worth it to you.


The little yellow dot denotes backgrounded apps

For example, if you background the Safari app while a video is playing, the video will continue playing even when the Safari app is minimized. Watchdog can also be used to help prevent apps from automatically refreshing, which can cause them to take a longer time to resume when reopening the app.

Another benefit of Watchdog is that backgrounded apps will automatically start upon restart  or respring. if you wish to prevent such behavior, you’ll need to deselect the app prior to rebooting or respringing.

Again, Watchdog is still in beta, but it’s an extremely promising tweak that brings a highly-requested feature to jailbroken iOS 8 devices.

Does Watchdog sound like the type of tweak that interests you? Let us know in the comment section.

  • Antzboogie

    This Tweak has so much potential it’s crazy!! You know how much I find this Tweak useful. This can truly push the iPhone to its limits lets go I cant wait!!

    • iPhoneWINS

      yup he just needs to add control options

  • paten

    Finally, after all this time, i wish it keeps updating till IOS 9 tough,,

  • madrigalz

    This was hot in reddit in the am. Is pretty great alternative to auki

    • Mr_Coldharbour

      Auki is a quick-reply tweak, Watchdog is for individual app backgrounding. Not related.

  • Does this tweak heat up the phone?

    • KinkyNothing

      Depends on how you use it and what applications you have running in the background i suppose

    • leart

      I’m petty much sure that it will, that’s the whole point, making the iphone run more stuff in background and this will cause inevitably the CPU to overload and to increase the heat, which will degrade all the phone internals starting with the battery . not worth at all

      • I think the 1GB bottleneck would severely effect the app functioning. People should just get the next 6S with native multitasking support on iOS 9.

      • iPhoneWINS

        nah this is perfect and works fine since my 6+ is more power full that the 5 and backgrounder worked fine on the

      • Niclas

        Lol, overload? Degrade internal components?
        Stop giving advices if you don’t have a clue about what you’re talking about.
        OnT: Yes it might decrease your battery life depending on how you use it.

      • Dan

        He forgot to mention the Flux capacitor.

      • leart

        meh, thnx god we have you to judge what is wrong and what is right. so at the end are safe

      • Mr_Coldharbour

        He makes a valid point, in my opinion. Of course over time, internal components will degrade especially if devices run warm/hot most of the time. This also won’t be easy on battery life, for obvious reasons. Also, since every internal component is so tightly packed close to one another, if one component gets hot, others will to. This tweak definitely fits such a category. If the current iPhones 6/6Plus came with the extra 1GB of RAM this tweak coupled with true multitasking will make magic happen.

      • Niclas

        No he doesen’t, the components are rated for much higher load.
        If my device lasts 20 years or 18 years is irrelevant. But even that degradation is overrated.
        The only thing that will happen is you loose a bit of battery,

    • throttle clutch e brake


      It’s not as heavy as you would think. It’s nowhere running that much processes, such as winterboard or aquaboard would.

  • I’m going to try this out, I’m hoping it’ll allow uploading of photos and videos to google photos without the need to keep the app open and the screen on

    • KinkyNothing

      Hm.. Good call!

  • regkilla

    I wish to have Watchdog on the iPhone 6s Plus with its 2GB of RAM.

  • Gabriel Anaya

    Does anybody know the tweak that lets you disable certain sources in Cydia?

    • Shaw


      • Gabriel Anaya


    • Niclas

      Coming in a new pheromone update soon.

      • Gabriel Anaya

        Thank you 🙂

  • regkilla

    I see why it’s in beta. Watchdog made my iPhone 5s completely non responsive and refused to wake up to lockscreen forcing me to manually reboot.

    • GzyOnline

      lol.. bummer :-/

  • Muhammad Ali Zali Zadeh

    is anyone ever gonna update graviboard to iOS 8 compatibility or is it a lost cause?

  • Oliver Fish

    YES! I missed Background Manager so this great to have the camera app on while the device is locked! 😀

    If you have Dotter installed, you’ll have to change its behavior from background indicator for Watchdog to work. The dots don’t turn blue with Dotter either so if anyone knows how to contact him about this please pass it on 🙂

  • Gordon Smith

    Doesn’t seem to work with GridSwitcher.

    • Oliver Fish

      It does, you just have to hold the app icon for two or three seconds then let go. You could also disable Grid Switcher if you want to do the single tap.

      • iPhoneWINS


  • M_Hawke

    YES! I missed Backgrounder. I love having some key apps running in the foreground because I just hate how apps have to reload when you “switch” back to them.

  • Shaw

    Does not work at all. Can not find out why……

  • port87

    it kind of reminds me of the music controls pro tweak from ios 5/6 days. it was such a pleasure having backgrounding on youtube videos, no jump skip when switching out of watching a video like how its implemented these days on protube or youtube using mikoto.

  • throttle clutch e brake

    Works great with settings and messages app!

  • Favna

    What was the last OS that Backgrounder worked on anyway? 5? 6?

  • Dan

    And that’s where more RAM would come in.

  • nonchalont

    This is great! Been waiting for an update backgrounder. Definitely be adding to my list.

  • Mecatrônicos Salê

    Yes!!! Very, very cool 😀

  • Alex

    Bad that no notifications from active programs.

    • iPhoneWINS

      all bang grounders had that issue cause the program is truly open but am sure they will fix it.. I love this it solves so man y annoying program issues

  • iPhoneWINS

    I installed it works great … Just needs a little more tweaking

  • Your Mother

    2015 and people still jailreak? lmfao.

    • iFlasher

      2015 and you can’t yet write “Jailbreak”?

  • iLegend

    I never loved iOS devices because of Apple, I loved them because of the awesome devs and jailbreak community.

  • Alex Marwaha

    I dont understand – what other purposes can this tweak be used for? I need common examples…

  • M2

    This has been very helpful with torrent downloaded itransmission. Even with the background downloading check, it never stays connected. This keeps the downloading goi g. Well done.

  • Rafael Diego Gomes

    Im new to iOS and dont understand much. How the Prevent Suspension works? I would like to have my apps sync with dropbox when i turn the screen off, but they dont keep syncing after i lock the phone. The “native background” would solve this?


  • omkar kumar

    oh!! thank you very much, i did’nt know what to do, i was trying backgrounder but it didnot work, watch dog works perfectly!!!