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You’ve had your fun flouting Apple’s restrictions, and now you want vanilla iOS back in all its glory. Luckily the process is even easier than when you performed the jailbreak in the first place How To Jailbreak iOS 7.1.x & Install Cydia With Pangu How To Jailbreak iOS 7.1.x & Install Cydia With Pangu Last week a Chinese team called Pangu released an untethered jailbreak for iOS 7.1.1. Here's how to jailbreak your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch with the latest payload. Read More .

That’s not to say things don’t go wrong, and it might surprise you to learn there’s actually a “right way” to go about doing this. Here’s how to remove your jailbreak and restore stock iOS to your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch.

Before You Restore

Your reasons for restoring will vary, but one reason people often choose to get rid of their jailbreak is to install the latest (not yet jailbroken) version of iOS. At the time of writing, that’s 7.1.2 and it’s already been jailbroken – but that doesn’t mean you can simply upgrade using the option in Settings > General > Software Update.

For most, that option simply won’t work and others have reported experiencing battery life problems and activation issues when updating on top of a jailbreak. More to the point, most iOS software updates modify your hardware’s baseband version, which means if you’re dependent on your jailbreak for an unlock, you will lose your unlock when you finally do upgrade.

One way of potentially restoring your unlock is to save your SHSH blobs, which is what is used to authenticate your iPhone with Apple. This process is only possible using a downgrade, which can be a fairly difficult operation to complete (Apple authenticates all new software installs using their own servers). SHSH blobs are in the process of being phased out in favour of the tougher-to-beat APTicket.

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Important: For this reason, you shouldn’t upgrade the software on your phone or restoring to stock if you depend on your jailbreak for an unlock. Unless you’re making a warranty claim or passing the phone on to someone who can use it on the network it is locked to, you might as well keep an eye on the jailbreak scene to ensure you can still use your phone once you’ve upgraded and re-jailbroken.

This is probably why most people don’t bother jailbreaking, but that’s a whole other article!

Restoring The Right Way

Unless you want a headache, battery problems or an iPhone that won’t even turn on, don’t simply attempt to upgrade over-the-air. Do this instead:

  1. Download or update iTunes to the latest version.
  2. On the device, head to Settings > iCloud and disable Find my iPhone/iPad if it’s on.
  3. Connect your iOS device to your Mac or PC using the USB cable, and select it when it appears in iTunes.
  4. On the Summary tab, hit Restore.
  5. Decline the invitation to create a backup and continue anyway.
  6. Once the process has completed, leave the device connected until it is activated. You will need to connect your Apple ID at this point.
  7. Restore from a backup you made before jailbreaking if possible.

“But my iPhone won’t turn on!”

If you can’t get your iPhone to show up in iTunes when trying to restore, hope is not lost. You’ll simply need to put the device into DFU mode before restoring. This is done by:

  1. Power off your device.
  2. Press and hold the power button for three seconds.
  3. Press and hold the Home button but don’t let go of the Power button, for 10 seconds.
  4. Let go of the power button but keep holding Home for about 15 seconds.
  5. Your iPhone should appear in iTunes by now, and you can follow the instructions from step 3 above.

But What About Backups?

There are a lot of tales online – mainly anecdotal, which comes with the territory when it comes to jailbreaking – that creating a backup of a jailbroken device is a bad idea. There are a few reasons for this, one of which is that if you’re making a warranty claim it’s possible for Apple to tell that your device was jailbroken once some evidence of the jailbreak has been copied back to the freshly restored phone.

If you’re not making warranty claims, you still might want to hold off creating a backup. Jailbroken iOS firmware can run riot accessing different parts of the filesystem usually only reserved for apps and system components. If a tweak you were using has been storing data in an unorthodox place, and you create a backup of this data, when you restore the phone you might never be able to access (or delete) said data again.

This might not be a huge amount of data and pose little problem, or it might be a lot of temporary files that eats a good portion of your 16GB iPhone’s memory.

Do you jailbreak? Ever made a warranty claim  for a phone you had previously jailbroken? Share your tales in the comments, below.

Image credits: iConsumer (Ryan Tir)iPhone 5S white vs. iPhone 5 black/slate (Morid1n), iPhone 5S (K?rlis Dambr?ns)

  1. Unknown
    January 18, 2016 at 3:24 pm

    What does jailbreaking mean Tim?

  2. Ali Ahmad
    January 5, 2016 at 3:47 pm

    Hello Tim,
    I tried to factory reset (erase everything) my iPhone 5 (8.4 Jail broken) but it got stuck with apple logo.
    Also the battery is drained out.
    When I plug the charger in, after some time the reset process begins again with a progress bar underneath the apple logo, later again the phone freezes with the logo.
    While it is frozen, pressing home button and power button simultaneously force shuts down the iPhone but then again it requires recharging from 0 for some minutes to go up to the logo screen.
    I have tried to go for DFU, I can't. My laptop doesn't detect my iPhone in DFU mode anymore.
    A friend of mine's newest laptop detected my iPhone (once) but not in DFU mode (I had installed and signed in iTunes).
    If I leave the iPhone with the charging and frozen apple logo screen, it heats up...It doesn't charge the battery. :(
    Please help...

  3. Frannie
    December 15, 2015 at 5:17 pm

    I hooked up my iPhone and followed the directions but into the upgrade it says error. I have updated my Mac to current iTunes and all. What do I do panicked ? Cud is or other things aren't even icons now and won't run at all.

  4. Tyrell Ira Davidson
    October 2, 2015 at 1:38 am

    ok so i did those steps and the phone restarted to where i put in the language and wifi so what do i do. i got my phone jail broken today and im trying to activate the sim.... pls help !!!!

  5. Christian Chase
    August 13, 2015 at 5:12 am

    Okay. I jailbroke my iphone 4 a looooooong time ago. Before anyone had figured out the light bug or anything else. Now im trying to restore it and rejailbreak it to fix the bug. But i cannot get the thing to restore. I got rid of all the passwords, and went to go factory reset through settings and it resets itself and bootloops. It's currently in DFU mode and im running the newest version of itunes and it is not recognizing it. Please help me

  6. noahrobert10
    July 14, 2015 at 2:38 pm

    You can use Semi-Restore and FonePaw iPhone Data Recovery program to restore your jailbroken iPhone, you will need to download it to your computer and plug in your iPhone.

  7. john
    May 23, 2015 at 1:33 pm

    hy tim i have to jailbroke my iphone what i have to do

  8. Bill
    May 20, 2015 at 12:36 pm

    My iPhone is jail broken and I tried to sync it with my laptop and it kept coming up USB not recognised. So I went to the settings on the phone and tried to reset it through there so now all its doing is spinning like the phone is turning off!! Anyone got any ideas how to fix this?

  9. Jade
    May 8, 2015 at 11:51 am

    Hi,

    I'm getting an "unknown error" occurred (-1) on iTunes.

    Whilst trying to complete a restore and/or update on an iPhone 5s, which I think is an unlocked O2 phone of my sisters (I'm thinking it's a jailbreak).

    Could anyone help or suggest how I can try to get it to take a restore or update? (I've tried the power and home button).

    Many thanks

  10. Ryan Cardinez
    May 7, 2015 at 11:29 pm

    Hi Tim,

    So i jail broke my phone a couple years ago and I want to get my phone upgraded. After restoring my phone would I be able for that said upgrade?

  11. Tanya
    May 2, 2015 at 8:17 pm

    Hi there, thanks for this article it really helped me out. I have an iphone 4s and it's iOS was 7.1.2 and i had jailbroken it and it had been having these spells of turning off and not turning on even after charging for hours on end, most of the time it would come back but it didn't this time and it had been two days of charging on all sorts of outlets/ports, so I followed this article (including the my iphone won't turn on! bit).
    I put it in that DFU mode and managed to hook up to itunes and restore it up until the "Restoration complete, keep it plugged in until it activates blah blah" popup window. But the thing is that it won't turn on, it keeps showing the empty battery sign and looks like it's charging, I thought it would turn right on after since it had been charging for days already but it's still dead. I tried DFU mode again and went through the same process of restoration again until the popup and still nothing. I'm not sure what to do because it showed up with the apple icon and the bar loading the software and stuff during the restoration so I think it's functioning but it just won't turn on and I don't know what to do!
    Sorry this turned out so long, but I'd really appreciate the help, thank you so much!

  12. Mil
    April 30, 2015 at 11:45 am

    Hi Tim.

    quick question. Got an iPhone 5 with iOS 6.1.2 on it. it is jailbroken.
    i was livin in the UK and my contract is up with my carrier after 2 yrs. i requested an unlock to be able to give the phone to my brother here in hungary. just got the email from them that the phone is unlocked.
    can i use your method of restoring and upgrading to the latest software? will it stay unlocked if i do that? btw not planning on jailbreaking again after.

    thanks

  13. austin
    April 28, 2015 at 6:57 pm

    I want to just unjailbreak, if I update to ios 8 on the computer will it remove jailbreak and keep my music/pictures/info?

  14. brooklyn
    April 27, 2015 at 2:00 pm

    it only says "not enough free space" when I try to update it bc it automatically does back up. bc like I said it doesn't give me the option to not do back up. & when I try to update my phone on the actual phone itself, it doesn't come up with the update it just keeps saying "checking for update"

    • Tim Brookes
      April 28, 2015 at 1:06 am

      Have you tried turning it off and then on again, then checking for an update in Settings > General > Software Update?

      That might be your best bet. No idea why iTunes is forcing you to make a backup, but you might want to consider doing so if you want to minimise your risk of losing everything.

  15. brooklyn
    April 27, 2015 at 1:56 pm

    okay, when I try to update my phone with my Mac it won't work. It says "not enough free space on this computer" or something. And it doesn't give me the option to NOT do back up. I just want the new freaking emoji's on the new update :/

  16. Abdullah Aqeel
    April 26, 2015 at 4:45 am

    Hi Tim if I get the iTunes 3194 error then ??

  17. Ginsy
    April 24, 2015 at 9:37 am

    Is there any problem of I take a jailbroken ipad to the usa from india

  18. Ginsy
    April 24, 2015 at 9:35 am

    Is there any problem of I take a jailbroken ipad to the usa from india

  19. Anonymous
    April 23, 2015 at 8:44 am

    What I did for warranty claims was just restore the phone, but don't restore the backup so if Apple can see left over cydia stuff, it won't be there if you don't restore the backup. Just do that with the replacement.

  20. Lenox Hamilton
    April 20, 2015 at 1:55 am

    Can I choose to back it up now when I restore it?

    • Tim Brookes
      April 20, 2015 at 3:56 am

      If you choose to make a backup while your phone is jailbroken, then do a software restore and finally restore your backup — everything should work fine, though some theorise that Apple will be able to tell things were once jailbroken as that backup may contain signs of tampering.

      This shouldn't matter if your device is out of warranty (or you don't need your warranty, i.e. the device works fine). You should only really worry about this if you want to make a warranty claim or similar.

    • Lenox
      April 20, 2015 at 1:11 pm

      So if I were to do what your said then in what order would I do them

  21. Gsb0001
    April 18, 2015 at 3:42 pm

    My iphone was took by my brother and he did something called semi jailbreak . How to restore it i have 8.2 i want to upgrade to 8.1.3

    • Tim Brookes
      April 19, 2015 at 1:25 am

      Hi,

      As far as I'm aware there's no such thing as a "semi jailbreak" — jailbreaking essentially involves root access as it allows you to break free of Apple's restrictions. So you're either jailbroken or you're not.

      Secondly going from 8.2 to 8.1.3 would be a downgrade, not an upgrade, and that's no longer possible. Due to the way iOS firmware works, Apple must "sign" each installation over the Internet. After a certain period of time they stop signing old firmware, usually when new firmware is released.

      However if you just want to upgrade to 8.3 you can do so using the method in the article, it should go fine.

      Tim

  22. Joshua Hunt
    April 18, 2015 at 3:02 am

    I've tried to reset my iPad without plugging it in am I stuffed???...it was on iOS 8... Jailbroke it with pangu

    • Tim Brookes
      April 20, 2015 at 1:34 am

      No not necessarily — why, is it not working properly?

    • Joshua Hunt
      April 22, 2015 at 7:38 am

      No, it wasn't working but I got it into dsf mode so it's working now...

  23. moayad
    April 12, 2015 at 9:31 am

    can you help with error 3194 i've tried every possible way to restore my iphone but it did not work

  24. Lucca
    April 8, 2015 at 1:44 am

    Dude, so.. I have a jail broken 5s which I bought abroad and I live in Brazil and the outer part of it got screwed up, screen popping and I dented the outer rim somehow. My intent was to bring it in to an apple retailer to see what they could do for me and I know I'd at least have to restore it to factory default but the thing is that I have tons of media on it that I can't afford to lose.. How can I save these? I speak mostly of what's app conversations, photos, contacts, you know, the unreplacables. What can I do to save all that? It's still in warranty but abroad, and I don't know if it still applies to me here. Can you give me a hand? My phone is getting worse and I'm pretty desperate.

  25. Breezy
    April 6, 2015 at 7:26 pm

    I have a jailbroken iPhone5s running 7.0.4, trying to get back to 8.2 and no matter how I try and update/restore I keep getting an error message that says Apple is unable to verify the device. Whether I go through iTunes (latest version installed) or put the phone in DFU mode in matters not. I keep getting a variation of the message saying that the device cannot be found or apple is unable to verify. Please help, I'm ready to turn this one in and upgrade to the 6xl.

    • Tim Brookes
      April 7, 2015 at 5:19 am

      That's a very strange thing to be happening, almost as if the device itself has been blacklisted by Apple. I can't really think what to suggest beyond DFU mode? Apple needs to verify the device before it will download and install firmware, so you may be able to manually install from an .IPSW?

    • Mark
      April 12, 2015 at 10:09 am

      I had that problem. It was because I was trying to install a previous version of IOS. Apple blocks the updates of those after a while. You need to update to the latest version of IOS through itunes.

    • Tim Brookes
      April 13, 2015 at 11:54 pm

      Mark makes a great point. Apple stops "signing" old firmware, which means they won't allow old firmware onto a device once a newer version has been released. This is to stop jailbreaking but also for security reasons, as many iOS updates patch up security holes that Apple doesn't want people opening again.

      Try again using the "Update" button on the iTunes Summary screen.

  26. Falonne
    April 4, 2015 at 1:49 pm

    I have the same problem as Mira! PLEASE HELP> I unjailbroke my phone the wrong way!!! WHAT do i do. and my phone wont show up on itunes

    • Tim Brookes
      April 6, 2015 at 1:40 am

      Don't panic, just re-read the “But my iPhone won’t turn on!” section of this article and follow the steps provided. Your phone is likely fine and will come back to life soon enough.

  27. Mira
    April 4, 2015 at 4:49 am

    omg helpppp!! I pressed restore on my iPhone, not on the computer. I did not plug in my phone to the computer. I did it all on my phone. What do I do??? PLEASE HELP. it's been stuck on the same screen for hours!!! PLEASE HELP

    • Tim Brookes
      April 6, 2015 at 1:40 am

      Please re-read the article section titled “But my iPhone won’t turn on!” and follow the steps. You should be able to get your phone restored using this method.

  28. Kshitij Soni
    April 3, 2015 at 12:48 pm

    Hey you don't need to restore default just retire your apple device from a previous backup on iTunes then it will restring and will work the best.

  29. karen
    March 4, 2015 at 2:09 pm

    My iphone 4 is still in ios 5 because im too scared to update it on ios7. my iphone is jailbroken and still unlock. some people says that if im gonna update my ios my phone will not turn on. But i really want to update it but im scared it wont turn on again. what should i do? any suggestions?

  30. marcia
    March 2, 2015 at 3:51 pm

    I figured that part out, the ipsw i downloaded was wrong they are all mixed up on the page i went too.
    But even when i downloaded the right one after the extraction i get Error 3194 "This device isn't eligible for the requested build".
    i have tried to do it in DFU mode and still no luck.
    I am clicking on my apple computer alt and then restore.
    my itunes is up to date and so is my mac so those arent the problems.
    my iphone is a 5s running ios 7.0.4
    and i am trying to update it to ios 8.1

  31. marcia
    February 28, 2015 at 11:49 pm

    I keep getting ERROR message "itunes error firmware file is not compatible"

    • Tim Brookes
      March 2, 2015 at 3:10 am

      At what stage in the process do you get this error? What versions are you running? Are you hitting "Restore" or "Update" in iTunes?

      Did you try doing this in DFU mode (read the "But my phone won't turn on!" section above – just turn your phone off first)?

  32. Veko
    February 19, 2015 at 2:29 pm

    I accidentally tried to restore my jaibroken over the air.. now it wont turn on

    • Tim Brookes
      February 20, 2015 at 3:35 am

      Have you tried plugging it into a computer and restoring that way?

      Otherwise you may need to put it into DFU mode.

  33. Gam
    February 16, 2015 at 7:05 pm

    I have the ios 6 jailbreak on my iphone 4 btw!

  34. Gam
    February 16, 2015 at 7:04 pm

    Hey! great post! but i do all is said in your article above, but while in the process of restoring it, my itunes on my pc says " theres been an issue....... cant restore iphone right now" something like that and tel;s me to try later and when i do its the same issue. Any help?

    • Tim Brookes
      February 20, 2015 at 3:36 am

      Is this during the initial revert to Apple's stock iOS, or afterwards while trying to restore a backup?

      Have you tried putting the device into DFU mode and restoring it that way via iTunes?

  35. rana
    February 11, 2015 at 11:56 am

    i jailbreak my ipad nw cant open it after battery out cant even find it in itune laptop can tread it any tips ??

    • Tim Brookes
      February 20, 2015 at 3:38 am

      Have you tried charging it with a wall charger? Give it 15 minutes and see if it comes on.

      Otherwise hold the power and home buttons together for 10-20 seconds until you see the Apple logo, then release these.

      Let us know if that helps!

  36. Brandon western
    January 23, 2015 at 5:11 am

    I'm curious. I jail broke my phone today. I've owned the phone for a month. But I just signed into iCloud today. Do all my contacts and photos save from when I first got the phone?

    • DarKnight87
      January 28, 2015 at 5:16 am

      if you use the same icloud account as you were using before most definitely.

  37. Aditya Sharma
    January 17, 2015 at 4:52 am

    hey tim! i had aproblem that i had already jailbroken iphone and now i want to update it to te new version of ios ..pls help me for this

    • DarKnight87
      January 28, 2015 at 5:15 am

      not sure if you are trying to use itunes or ota... You will not be able to use ota if your device is jailbroken modern jailbreak utilities disable this feature to prevent accidental upgrades resulting in the loss of the jailbreak.

  38. chevy
    January 14, 2015 at 8:20 pm

    When I hit restore it then says restore and update but then does nothing I want to start fresh I am currently using ios 7.1.1 and want to uplate to ios 8 but it does nothing at all

  39. salim
    January 12, 2015 at 11:38 pm

    I already backed up my jailbroken ipad to itunes so now what ? how can i upgrade it safely to IOS8 ?

    • Tim Brookes
      January 13, 2015 at 2:11 am

      Is it under warranty? If not then you have little to lose by simply hitting "Restore" in iTunes (on the Summary tab for your device) then restoring the backup you made once iOS has been reset.

  40. zi
    January 12, 2015 at 9:03 pm

    If i backed up my jailbroken iphone to my computer
    (itunes) will my contacts not go back to my iphone once i restore

    • Tim Brookes
      January 13, 2015 at 2:10 am

      Do you use iCloud? Contacts should transfer over iCloud when you login to your phone again after the restore.

      Also if you restore the backup you made, you'll have your contacts (but also you might have some odd files in there that Apple could see and presume you've jailbroken, voiding your warranty).

  41. CMB
    January 8, 2015 at 4:03 am

    I really wanna try to do the restore and reinstall stock iOS8 (current version is 5.1.1) but this ipad doesn't belong to me...and yes this device is out of warranty. I doubt there is any backup done before the jailbreaking..so now i dunno what to do.

    CMB

    • Tim Brookes
      January 8, 2015 at 4:43 am

      Whoa, how old is the iPad out of interest?

      Everything will slow down when you upgrade, but then again you'll be able to use new (recent) apps again too.

      I can't really imagine what it's like still running iOS 5!

  42. CMB
    January 8, 2015 at 3:40 am

    can i still do restore if i dont have earlier backup?

    • Tim Brookes
      January 8, 2015 at 3:46 am

      If you mean "can I press Restore in iTunes and have it reinstall stock iOS 8 and take away my jailbreak" then yes, and you will be left with a "new" phone afterwards.

      You won't be able to copy old data back onto the phone, because as you said you have no backup.

      If your device is out of warranty, you might want to consider backing up with iTunes before and simply restoring that – but I do urge you to read the "What About Backups" section of this article again just so you're aware of what that means.

      Tim

    • chevy
      January 16, 2015 at 1:50 am

      Ya that doesn't work just hitting restore because then it says restore and update then u hit that then it does nothing at all please help me

    • DarKnight87
      January 28, 2015 at 5:09 am

      There is an extra key you must hold while hitting the restore button

  43. Unknown
    January 1, 2015 at 8:09 am

    Will my contract be lost if i restart my iphone or will it still be connected to the iphone please help me i really dont want jailbreak any more

    • Tim Brookes
      January 2, 2015 at 2:07 am

      Contract as in mobile contract, with a carrier (like AT&T or O2 or something)? This won't be affected by your jailbreak at all. If you have a mobile plan (pre-paid or monthly) then it will continue to work, regardless of whether you have an active jailbreak or not.

  44. Victor O
    August 28, 2014 at 7:14 pm

    Nice post! But you should clarify that you should plug the device into the computer before trying DFU mode. From the way I read it, it looks it can be done without plugging into iTunes first! :)

    Keep up the great work MUO!

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