How to Backup Your iPhone Cydia Applications Before Upgrading, and Restore Them Thereafter

What every iPhone user should know is that, whenever you upgrade your jailbroken gadget to a new iOS, you will need to run the whole jailbreak process again. That being said, you will understand that all of your Cydia applications, as well as those which are built into iPhone applications, will be deleted permanently. Thus, you can never retrieve them after your upgrade. A good thing is, you can back your applications so that when the process is done, you can restore them from easily.

iPhone applications can easily be backed up using iTunes, but what about the Cydia Applications? No, these ones will NOT be taken care by iTunes.

There are actually two ways to back Cydia applications.

1. AptBackup

The first one is by using AptBackup which you can also get from Cydia itself. This may be the easiest way but here’s the downside:

AptBackup makes a list of all your installed Cydia apps which you can backup through iTunes and restore it later. Now, when that list has been restored to your gadget after the upgrade, Cydia will take it as reference to automatically search and install all the apps in the list. HOWEVER, AptBackup is not really that successful in doing its job as there have been so many complaints about it. I am not discouraging you to use it, but if I were you, I will not depend solely on this method to back my apps.

2. The manual way

To be able to do this, you will need to be able to transfer files between your iPhone and computer. You can use OpenSSH or DiskAid to do that. Anyway, I have to assume that you already know how to do that. If not, read this post first so that you will know How to Copy Files To/From Your iPhone.

1. Make sure that your jailbroken iPhone has Gawk, MobileTerminal and OpenSSH installed in it. These can all be found in Cydia.

2. If you are ready, just launch the Terminal app, and carefully execute the following commands;

Type/Key in the command


followed by your password. Remember, your password will not be displayed. If you don’t remember changing the root password, then simply key in “alpine” (without quotes). After which, simply tap the Return Key.


Next, type this:

dpkg -l | grep ^ii | awk '{print $2}' > /var/root/cydiabkup.txt

and hit the Return Key. This command will automatically list down all your installed Cydia apps into a text file cydiabkup.txt.


The next important thing to do is to transfer cydiabkup.txt into your computer using SSH or DiskAid. This is how your text file looks like:


Once you have the cydiabkup.txt copied to your computer, you are free to do the upgrade process.

Restoring Cydia Applications

1. After you have upgraded and jailbroke your phone, reinstall OpenSSH, Gawk and MobileTerminal from Cydia. Additionally, you need to install APT 0.7 Strict which can also be found in Cydia. These packages are all required to transfer files from your computer to your iPhone.

Important Note: You need to disable the Auto-Lock first before you proceed with the rest of the steps. To do that, go to “Settings -> General -> Auto-Lock” and tap “Never.”

2. You will need to download the install-cydia-app package. After which, just unzip it, to find the

3. With the use of DiskAid or SSH, transfer the file cydiabkup.txt and to the /var/root directory of your iPhone.

4. Launch the Terminal App to execute the following;

Type/Key in the command


followed by your password.

Next, type this:

sh /var/root/

and tap the Return Key.


After running the command, your iPhone will automatically search, download and install the apps on the list. If you see the prompt “After this operation, xxxMB of additional disk space will be used. Do you want to continue [Y/n]?“, just tap the letter “Y” and Return Key. The installation time may very depending on the number of apps in the list.


Once the installation is done, just restart your iPhone and all your Cydia applications will be restored.

This process may seems geekery to most of you, but if you are able to jailbreak your iPhone, you shouldn’t have any problems getting this done too. Should you encounter any trouble and problems, don’t hesitate to leave your comments below.


Harold is a techno geek who writes Technology News. While technology is his passion, he also writes about travel tips, iPhone how-to's and other fresh news on the web. He is even very active in a News Community which seeks to bring the latest news for online readers around the world.

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