How To: Fix A Bad Cydia Tweak Installation Without Restoring Your iPhone, iPod Touch Or iPad

Yesterday I Jailbroken a friend of mine’s iPhone 5 and after a successful Jailbreak I went on to installing a tweak that I didn’t realize was not yet compatible with iOS 6, which made his device go into a endless boot loop. At first a feared the worst and thought I would have to restore his iPhone, certainly not ideal because a lot of his data was not backed up. Then I remembered that MobileSubstrate features a failsafe and I was able to correct the situation.

After this ordeal I thought to myself that a lot of other people will likely be in this same boat and I should write an article explaining a couple of ways to fix a bad Cydia tweak installation without actually have to restore or re-Jailbreak your device. This applies if you cannot get out of safe mode, are stuck in an endless boot loop, have installed a pattern lockscreen tweak that has locked you out and pretty much any other problem experienced after a bad Cydia tweak installation.

Fix A Bad Cydia Tweak Installation Without Restoring

Method #1: If you are simply stuck in Safe Mode then your solution is extremely simple. You will just need to launch Cydia, go into the Manage tab, then the Packages Section, find the Cydia tweak or tweaks that are giving you issues and uninstall them. Once they are uninstalled you can respring your device and it should be back to its normal Jailbroken state again.

Method #2: For those of you who are in reboot city and can’t get out of a boot loop there is actually a solution to the problem thanks to a recent update to Mobile Substrate from Saurik. When your device is rebooting hold down the Volume Up button and doing this will essentially cause Mobile Substrate to be disabled, which in-turn kills all of your tweaks temporarily. You can then launch Cydia, go into the Manage tab, then the Packages Section, find the Cydia tweak or tweaks that are giving you issues and uninstall them. Once this is complete reboot your device and make sure it reboots into a normal Jailbroken state again.

Method 1 or method 2 should allow you to fix most issues caused by a bad Cydia tweak installation. I know method 2 has saved me many times. Let us know if you have any other suggestions in the comments section.

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  • hundreds

    Excellent article. This feature should be something every jailbreaker knows about. Cydia provides freedom for our devices, but with freedom comes risks. This is a GREAT fail-safe for those risks. Great article.

  • nicknowsky

    Its a pretty flawless jailbreak I’ve tested out most A5x devices with out a hitch, issues usually come with someone messing with it the device. We gotta realize with more new iPhones and iPads comes more and more “n00bs” to the scene. Thank god it’s not like the old days or we’d be seeing a lot issues. With the iPhone 5 about as dummy proof as u can get so must the jailbreak methods. People shouldn’t just jump into jailbreaking for the sake of it. You’ve gone this long without ever using a jailbroken device.. Just a warning to new users…you CAN screw your device up if you DON’T know what you’re doing

  • nicknowsky

    I don’t mean “n00b” in an offensive way..just Internet lingo

  • Abi Manyu

    no need to apologize, this feature of cydia (Method #2) already there for a long time (it’s already there back then in ‘Absinthe-Period’), i’m surprised that a writer of ijailbreak didn’t even know about it. if those noobs jb their phone without any sufficient knowledge and messed up their device, its their own stupidity. nobody force them to jailbreak their iDevice.

  • http://twitter.com/dallasgroot Dallas Groot

    and if you can’t figure out which it was, removing mobile substrate (which will remove the problem) will fix it, then just reinstall it back.

  • Gtowndip

    wish i knew that 2 hours ago just finally restored my iphone 4 after installing siriport 6 on my iphone 4 running ios 6.1 *hint DONT DO THAT IT IS NOT COMPATABLE YET. thanks

  • JadenEllett

    I never said I didn’t know about it, I reported on it when it first came into existence, I said it slipped my mind for a few moments :P

  • grcobb

    I had a similar problem after jailbreaking to 6.1 where the phone would always boot into Safe Mode. I had about 30+ tweaks and had no idea where to begin. I did not want to delete them one-at-a-time to find the problem tweak and then have to reinstall everything.

    I stumbled onto a note in some forum that talked about the SBSetting app. It has an option to turn off Mobile Substrate Tweaks. I launched it, scrolled to bottom, went to System Wide Options>Mobile Substrate Tweaks and turned everything off so I got a good boot. Then back to Mobile Substrate Tweaks,turned 5 of them on and respring again. I kept doing this until it went into Safe Mode and then turned the last batch of 5 off. By turning them on one-by-one, and respringing, I found the bad one. Then immediately go to cydia and uninstall it. Then it was back to SBSettings to continue on through the list. I actually found 4 that were failed.

    This was a lot better than uninstalling everything to find the one that was causint the problem and then reinstalling the ones that had been deleted.

    Don’t do what I did: I actually didn’t go to Cydia right away to uninstall it. I uninstalled it later. SBSettings even says it must be turned on during an uninstall. So I had to do a reinstall, turn it on and then uninstall it again.

  • http://www.facebook.com/IronLocal86 Richard Willard

    Or have a mentor as i did.

  • nicknowsky

    i wasnt replying to you, if you are like me and tech blogger, youve got a grasp on it. I was merely stating the fact that jailbreaking isnt a MUST for everyone. As Saurik reported the other day Cydia has never seen so much traffic, about 3 million more hits than the absinthe jailbreak brought, more idevices more people who dont know what theyre doing/

  • http://www.facebook.com/matthis.scheil Matthis Scheil

    I´ve installed siriport on my ipod 4g. Now i´m in a bootloop, but pressing/holding the volume-up button has no effect. Any ideas?! :)

  • Vernon

    Very Useful Information, Thanks!!!

  • jake

    my problem is when i try to install a tweak it does not try to install it says running but the bar at the bottom does not even move a inch and it wont install plz help

  • Ken

    Thank you Jaden! You saved me. Had at least 150 new, un-backed up tweaks/packs/mods/repos, 75 roms/games, 50 photos & vids, 10%+ of Vice City, 100 bookmarks…etc. Grabbed a tweak, then boot city. I searched “boot logo forever” lol and everything said dfu mode-itunes restore. I was waiting for the ios ipsw to finish dnlding, probly 2 mins from restore when I found this article. Method #2 worked! I never would have remembered/found all my lost stuff. Don’t forget to backup!

  • Dylan

    I got on the computer today fully expecting to restore my iPod. It’s been screwed up for quite a while and I couldn’t find a way to fix it without losing my stuff. You saved my iPod. Thank you so much!

  • Dylan

    And I just remembered I had a halfway complete Oracle of Ages save file on GBC.emu.

  • Stevecat72

    I tried it and it’s still not working. How long should you hold the volume button down? Should you continue to hold the (sleep) button as your holding the volume button.