Upgrade a jailbroken iPhone

Later today I posted the QuickPwn 2.1 tutorial and I was reminded by a commenter that this type of tutorial is only good if you’re already on an “up-to-date iPhone”, meaning that in this case, this tutorial is only good if you already have 2.1 running.

Now what happens if you are still running on an older firmware, let’s say 2.0? Well, if you hit this Restore button, you will lose all your Cydia apps and cool customizations. Do you really want that? Of course not.

As highlighted by BigBoss, you never want to upgrade on a jailbroken iPhone. If you upgrade, you will lose about 500MB of space. If you do that again on the other update, you will lose another 500MB, and so on. This space will only be recovered after a restore. The data loss is because Cydia moves your files around to free up space. The moved files become inaccessible but stay on your disk which means you essentially just lose the space.

To prevent this from happening, simply restore! Do not upgrade! Follow these few steps to upgrade from 2.X to 2.1 without losing any of your apps.

  1. If you haven’t yet, upgrade your iTunes to iTunes 8. You can find the direct link from our iPhone Downloads section.
  2. Install AptBackup from Cydia and run it. It will backup all your apps and put them in a location that will be backed up by iTunes in the next step.
  3. Sync/backup your iPhone with iTunes. Do the full on backup. Yes, I know, it’s probably gonna take a while but you have to.
  4. Restore. Just click “Restore” in iTunes and let iTunes put the latest firmware on your iPhone. Again, this might take some time but be patient.
  5. If you are a legit iPhone user, meaning that you have a legit AT&T contract, activate your iPhone with iTunes. If you are an “unlocker” (this is for iPhone 2G users), you will see the “slide for emergency” message. Do not do anything else. Do not restore your backup yet. Simply unplug your iPhone.
  6. Now let’s jailbreak the phone. Again, do not restore your backup yet! To jailbreak your iPhone, use QuickPwn by following this QuickPwn tutorial for Windows and this QuickPwn for Mac guide.
  7. Once your iPhone is jailbroken, go to Cydia and install AptBackup again. It is the most important step so don’t fuck it up! Again, go to Cydia and install AptBackup. Also install Open SSH and BossPrefs.
  8. Ok, now we can restore the backup. So plug your iPhone in and iTunes will ask you to set up as a new phone or restore from backup. Restore from your latest backup.
  9. If everything goes fine, iTunes will restore all your stuff, such as notes, photos, email accounts, etc… Now we have to restore your Cydia apps. Open AptBackup and tap “Restore”. It should reinstall all your apps from Cydia. AptBackup may not be visible. To see it, just open BossPrefs, and look it up in the “hidden icons” section. Tap it to unhide it. You may also unhide any other hidden icons.
  10. Done!

I would like to thank BigBoss for showing me the way, although he doesn’t know… Bigups to the B O S S, aka BigBoss.