Does restoring remove jailbreak?

Jailbreaking an iPhone or other iOS device gives you access to features and customizations that are not available on a stock iOS device. However, jailbreaking also comes with some risks, like potential instability or security vulnerabilities. Sometimes iOS users may want to remove a jailbreak and restore their device back to a stock, non-jailbroken state. So does restoring an iPhone remove the jailbreak?

Does restoring an iPhone remove jailbreak?

Yes, restoring an iPhone through iTunes or Finder will remove a jailbreak and return the device to a non-jailbroken state. The restore process erases the device completely and installs a stock, unmodified version of iOS. This removes any files or modifications that were made during the jailbreak process.

There are a few different restore options in iTunes/Finder:

  • Restore iPhone – This will wipe the device and reinstall the latest iOS version that is compatible. All data, settings and jailbreak mods will be erased.
  • Restore to factory settings – This option brings the device back to day one factory settings. It’s the same as above but does not install the latest iOS.
  • Restore from backup – This installs a backup snapshot of iOS over the device, removing any jailbreak.

So in short, yes – restoring through official Apple software like iTunes or Finder will remove a jailbreak entirely and return the iPhone to stock iOS.

Why does restoring remove jailbreak?

Restoring removes a jailbreak because it completely replaces the entire iOS software system. Here’s a more detailed look at what happens during an iPhone restore:

  • The existing iOS installation is wiped clean, including any jailbreak mods.
  • Stock iOS system files are downloaded and installed, overwriting any modified files.
  • Settings are reset to default values, removing any jailbreak settings/prefs.
  • Data like photos or app data may be erased, depending on restore type.

Essentially, a full restore reverts the iPhone back to the state it was in when it originally left the Apple factory. This removes any unofficial jailbreak files, settings or tools that were added after the fact.

What happens when you restore a jailbroken iPhone?

Here is an overview of what happens when you restore an iPhone that is currently jailbroken:

  1. Backup data – It’s wise to backup your data before restoring, as all content can be erased.
  2. Connect to iTunes/Finder – Connect the device to a computer with iTunes (Windows) or Finder (Mac).
  3. Enter restore mode – Follow prompts to put device into restore mode.
  4. Choose restore option – Pick “Restore” or “Restore from backup” on the computer.
  5. iOS is reinstalled – Software will be downloaded and installed, erasing old iOS.
  6. Jailbreak is removed – Any jailbreak files or settings are wiped out.
  7. Stock iOS is running – When done, plain iOS will be running with no jailbreak.

The whole process usually only takes a few minutes to complete. Some data can be restored from a backup after, but the jailbreak will be completely removed.

Can you keep jailbreak when restoring?

No, it is not possible to keep your jailbreak when restoring an iPhone through official Apple software like iTunes or Finder. The entire process is designed to completely wipe the iOS install and return it to stock condition without any mods.

There are a couple approaches that won’t remove a jailbreak on restore:

  • System snapshot – Some tools can save “snapshots” of the current iOS system to re-jailbreak later.
  • SHSH blobs – Special SHSH blob files can allow downgrading and re-jailbreaking.

However, these require advanced techniques and don’t integrate with the normal iTunes restore process. The only way to keep jailbreak when restoring via Apple’s tools is to immediately re-jailbreak the device again from scratch after the restore completes.

Can you remove jailbreak without restoring?

There are a few alternative options to remove a jailbreak without doing a full restore:

  • Semi-restore – Some tools can do a “semi-restore” – removing jailbreak but keeping data.
  • Cydia Impactor – Cydia Impactor can remove jailbreak while maintaining current iOS version.
  • Unc0ver restore rootFS – The unc0ver jailbreak tool has a “Restore RootFS” option to remove jailbreak.
  • Restore in non-jailbroken state – Manually reboot device, restore, then re-jailbreak.

However, none of these are as thorough as a full iTunes/Finder restore. Small remnants of jailbreak may still remain even after using semi-restore tools or Cydia Impactor. But these tools can be used if you urgently need to remove a bad or unstable jailbreak while staying on the same iOS version and keeping your data intact.

Can you still restore after jailbreaking?

Yes, you can still use iTunes or Finder to fully restore your device even after it has been jailbroken. The restore process will work the same way and effectively remove the jailbreak.

Occasionally very early jailbreaks would modify system files in a way that blocked official restores. But this has not been an issue for many years. Modern jailbreaks do not prevent you from being able to restore through Apple’s tools if desired.

One caveat is that restoring can update your iOS version, which may not yet be jailbreakable. So sometimes it’s wise to do a semi-restore type process instead to avoid updating iOS if you still want to re-jailbreak after.

Should you restore to remove jailbreak?

Here are some pros and cons to consider about fully restoring your device to remove jailbreak:

Pros Cons
– Completely removes all jailbreak components – Erases all device data and settings
– Stable and reliable process – Potentially updates iOS version
– Easy process through iTunes/Finder – Time consuming to reconfigure device
– Allows keeping data with restore backup – May lose ability to re-jailbreak if iOS updates

In general, fully restoring through iTunes or Finder is the most thorough way to remove a jailbreak. It wipes the slate completely clean. But it also takes time to redo device setup, and you risk updating to a non-jailbreakable iOS version in the process.

Alternative “semi-restore” tools can also remove jailbreak while maintaining your data and iOS version. But they may not do as complete of a clean up. Decide based on your personal priorities.


Restoring an iPhone through iTunes or Finder will reliably remove any existing jailbreak on the device. The whole iOS software gets wiped and replaced with a fresh stock copy that contains no trace of any previous mods or hacking.

Be sure to backup your data before restoring if you want to preserve your photos, app data, settings and other content. You’ll also want to carefully consider the potential iOS version upgrade before restoring, as you may lose your window to re-jailbreak after.

Overall, restoring is a straightforward and effective means to remove jailbreak. But it comes with the cost of erasing your device and starting from scratch. More advanced users may want to explore semi-restore third party tools as an alternative option when looking to remove jailbreak while maintaining their current iOS version.

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