A Jailbroken phone can give you access to third-party apps and tweaks for your iPhone that aren't available in the App Store. While jailbreaking can expand your phone's horizons, it can also cause instability and prevent you from receiving updates.
If you have a jailbroken phone and decide you would rather have a regular iPhone, you can rejoin the Apple fold by restoring your phone's factory settings. The reset will wipe everything you have installed on your jailbroken phone, except data you backed up on a cloud drive.
You must back up important data like pictures, videos, and messages to your iTunes, iCloud, or Google Drive. Then, you can restore factory settings by connecting your phone to your computer. However, if that doesn't work, you can try booting into recovery mode.
Before you go forward, you should understand what it means to jailbreak your device or what it means if you got a jailbroken phone from another person. You might have read the term "jailbreak" used interchangeably with "cracking" and "rooting."
These terms all refer to the same thing - breaking past the limitations a designer places on a device. However, "jailbreaking" is used regarding Apple devices as they are the most "locked down" devices on the market.
When you jailbreak your phone, you immediately access all its administrative and security features, which Apple prefers to keep locked and proprietary. Jailbreaking allows access to apps and tweaks from alternative App Stores. If you have a jailbroken phone, you have access to interface customization, you can install GPS security systems to catch thieves, and you can find advanced apps with features like VoIP, or Voice over Internet Protocol, to change your phone number.
Even with all of this, the device's core features remain unaffected. Thus, you can still download apps from Apple's App Store or use essential services on the iPhone.
There's no point trying to restore factory settings on a regular iPhone. But, how do you know if you have a jailbroken iPhone or the factory fit? There are two ways to determine this.
The first way to confirm your device's jailbroken status is to get a jailbreaker checker app like "System and Security Info" from the App Store. This app will scan your device thoroughly and show a "yes" or "no," depending on its findings.
While this first method is the most straightforward, jailbreaker scanner apps cost money. If you prefer to save money, you can perform a manual scan. To do this, look through your app list to see if any essential apps like Weather or Stocks are missing. Then, check to see if an app like Cydia is on it as well.
If any essential app is missing and you find an app like Cydia, you can conclude that you have a jailbroken device.
Jailbreaking your device comes with many advantages. It gives you more control over what happens to your phone and lets you access all the unauthorized apps you want. You also get to delete proprietary apps like the Weather or iWatch apps which can take up space. However, having a jailbroken device comes with some disadvantages, such as:
Modifying an Apple device without authorization violates the iOS end-user software license agreement. Thus, Apple warns users not to jailbreak their devices as they will not repair jailbroken devices that get damaged.
Since they have tampered with Apple's proprietary software, anyone who takes a jailbroken iPhone or iPad to an Apple Store will not receive Apple's services to iPhone owners.
Every device needs regular updates to stay functional and ahead of security challenges, and Apple sends out regular iOS updates to all its devices. However, jailbroken devices lose their connection to Apple's ecosystem and the ability to update automatically.
As such, people with jailbroken phones have to wait (sometimes for months) after an official iOS update to get the jailbroken version for their devices.
Apple's hardware and software all work together in a way that allows devices to have long battery cycles. By jailbreaking your phone, you introduce untested software into the system - causing battery drain and messing up your device's battery cycle.
A phone becomes bricked when it will not come on, receive input, or make calls. With its technology and high cost, the device becomes as useful as a brick.
Jailbreaking your phone does not directly lead to bricking. However, jailbreaking your device leaves it open to risks that could result in bricking.
Most people jailbreak their phones to access a richer pool of content and services. Sometimes, however, jailbreaking creates the opposite effect - cutting the device away from basic (and essential services). In some cases, jailbroken devices cannot run proprietary apps like iMessage, FaceTime, Apple Pay, Stocks, and Weather.
Some jailbroken devices may also lose connection to Apple's services like Push Notification Service. A person using such a device would not be able to receive any notifications. Also, jailbroken devices may not be able to access some third-party apps that are wholly dependent on Apple's ecosystem.
Apple ensures that every app on its App Store goes through rigorous stability testing to ensure that it can run on iOS devices without causing crashes.
Jailbroken apps, however, do not always go through this process. Apple may have rejected some due to stability issues. When you jailbreak your device and download such apps, you might be opening the door to instability. Frequent crashes undermine your data and could damage your device.
Most phone carriers optimize their services for standard Apple devices. If you jailbreak your phone, the new settings may not accurately match your carrier's. This mismatch might lead to poor connectivity, lost calls, or inaccurate mapping.
To jailbreak your device, you have to exploit its security gaps. Once broken, these gaps can let other problems in - such as hacker attacks. Hackers have reportedly taken over jailbroken devices and stolen the owner's details, including data backed up on iCloud.
Before beginning the restoration process for your device, you should use iTunes or iCloud to backup all the files on your device. This precaution cannot be overemphasized. Backing up your device is essential as restoring factory settings will reset your device to stock configuration and delete all existing files.
Second, you should plug in your device throughout the entire process. If you cannot, ensure your device has a sufficiently charged battery - about 70% - before attempting a factory reset. The restoration process can be time-consuming. The last thing you want is for your device to go off before it finishes.
Finally, before resetting your device, consider disabling the "Find My iPhone" setting. Doing so will stave off potential challenges. To disable "Find My iPhone" on your device, open Settings, navigate to your name, and choose "iCloud."
If you use a device with iOS 10.2 or below, simply go to Settings and choose iCloud. Then, from the iCloud page, tap "Find My iPhone" and turn it off. You will have to input your Apple ID password to confirm the decision.
There are four methods that you can use to un-jailbreak your device.
One way to restore your device is to download a tweak from the Cydia app. Cydia is a jailbroken alternative to Apple's App Store. You can find and install unauthorized apps from Cydia.
The tweak to download from Cydia is called Rollectra. Rollectra is a reset application that can work without connecting your device to iTunes or updating your firmware. However, it only works on jailbroken devices running iOS 11.3 through 11.4 beta3. If your device runs a different firmware, Cydia will not let you download Rollectra.
If you have a compatible device, you can:
This reset process might take a while, so be patient. Meanwhile, if your device freezes during the restoration, wait a minute or two to confirm it is indeed frozen. Then, force a restart by pressing the power and volume buttons at once.
The device will boot up into the standard welcome screen.
The second and easiest way to restore your jailbroken device is by using iTunes. To do this:
iTunes will restore your device to stock mode. Likewise, this process might take some time. So, be patient and wait for the process to finish. If successful, your device will boot up and display the welcome page.
Unfortunately, un-jailbreaking your phone using the iTunes method is far from foolproof and may not work for various reasons. To avoid this problem, you can boot your phone into recovery mode and perform the restoration process from there.
To enter recovery mode, connect your device to your PC and open iTunes. Once iTunes recognizes your device, perform one of the following combinations on your respective device:
If all three methods above fail, you can put your device into Device Firmware Upgrade mode, or DFU mode, for short. This method will restore your iPhone to factory settings. Only choose this option if your device becomes bricked because of a faulty restoration.
To restore via DFU, you will need iTunes. Connect your device to your computer and run iTunes. Once iTunes recognizes your device, enter one of the following button combinations:
If you use an iPhone X, 8, or 8 Plus, quick-press the Volume Up button and the Volume Down button in succession. Then, press-and-hold the Side button until the screen switches off. Release the side button and simultaneously press-and-hold the Side and Volume Down buttons for five seconds.
After five seconds, let go of the Side Button, but not the Volume Down Button. Keep pressing the Volume Down (-) button for another five seconds.
Simultaneously press and hold the Volume Down and Sleep/Wake buttons till your screen goes off. Then let go of the volume button and press and hold the Sleep/Wake button for three seconds.
Still holding the Sleep Button, press and hold the Volume Down button. Hold both buttons, then let go of the Sleep Button alone. Keep holding the Volume Down button for another five seconds.
Simultaneously press and hold the Sleep/Wake and Home buttons till your screen goes dark. Let go, and then press and hold the Sleep/Wake button for three seconds. At the same time, keeping the Sleep/Wake button down, press and hold the Home button.
Hold both buttons for ten seconds, then let go of the Sleep/Wake button alone. Keep holding the Home button for another five seconds.
Following these procedures on the respective iPhones will successfully boot them into DFU mode. Once in DFU mode, you can restore your device's factory settings by going to iPhone Recovery Mode inside iTunes and clicking "Restore iPhone."
Once the restoration process is complete, your device will exit DFU mode and boot up the welcome screen.
Once you un-jailbreak your phone and restore it to its original state, you can access all the privileges in your iOS end-user software license agreement.
You will get automatic updates, and you can go to any Apple Store to make warranty claims or Genius Bar support. But remember, best not tell the team that your device was previously jailbroken.