How to Upgrade your Jailbroken iDevice to the Next iOS Version

I keep getting hung up on this, so this post is as much for me as it is for you. These are the steps for how to upgrade an already-jailbroken device to a new iOS version, preserve your Cydia apps, as well as restore it with all of your legit app-store apps and music and whatnot.


  • iTunes (probably the latest version would be a good move)
  • Jailbroken iDevice (duh)
  • iDevice USB cable
  • OpenIPSW
  • AptBackup
  • Jailbreak tool — RedsnOw or Absinthe (I read to keep up to date on this stuff)
    Seriously. Plug your iDevice into iTunes and right-click it and make a backup.
  2. Use AptBackup to preserve your list of Cydia apps.
    There are some paid options too, but this one is free and good enough.
    This time, iTunes will preserve the list of your Cydia apps that AptBackup makes.
  4. Use OpenIPSW to download the correct IPSW file for your device on your computer.
    Actually, you could probably do this as the first step since it’ll take a while to download.
  5. Restore your device with iTunes, selecting the IPSW file you downloaded.
  6. Don’t restore from the backup yet
  7. Re-Jailbreak your device while it’s freshly-restored.
  8. Assuming your jailbreak went well, you can try restoring from your iTunes/iCloud backup now.
  9. Once you’re jailbroken and running happily and all that, install AptBackup again and restore your Cydia purchases

YMMV. This worked for me last time (4.3.4 → 5.0.1), and hopefully it’s going to work again this time (5.0 → 5.1.1)