How to Backup Cydia Apps in Preparation for the iOS 5.1.1 Jailbreak [Video Tutorial]


If you’re familiar with jailbreaking, you know what a hassle and how time consuming it is to get all your Cydia apps back onto your device after you’ve had to restore it. From trying to remember all the apps you’ve installed or dealing with all the resprings and reboots, it can be frustrating.

Thankfully there are several backup apps in Cydia to help you deal with this. They can backup all your apps and then reinstall them with a single tap.

The two I’m using right now are PKGBackup and OpenBackup. I use two just in case something happens with one backup and it doesn’t work.

You may recall we have a very detailed instruction guide on how to use PKGBackup, so if you’re thinking of using it for your backup needs, I highly recommend you go back and give it a read. I’ll also have a demonstration in the upcoming video. The only drawback about PKGBackup is its price. It comes in at $7.99 – but with all the features it offers, it’s well worth the price.

The other option I use – OpenBackup – is free. It’s a simple one tap process. While it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles like PKGBackup, it does its job very well, and for most people it’s all they’ll need.

Again, I have a quick demonstration of OpenBackup in my video. Here’s a quick look at both backup apps in action.

These aren’t the only backup options in Cydia. For $1.50 you can pickup xBackup. Or you can give AptBackup a try for free.

So there are no shortage of backup solutions within Cydia. The main point is to make sure you’re using one of them. Trust me, it’s going to save you a lot of time and hassle to get all your Cydia apps back onto your device.

Let me know which backup option you prefer and why. And make sure to stay tuned, I’ll have a video walkthrough of the new iOS 5.1.1 jailbreak once it’s released.


  • DL

    Hey what dock theme or app you using for the 7 icon dock to look like that.

  • Jreid2375

    Thanks for this!!! I used appbackup before and it didn’t work, will try openbackup.

  • sly

    Hi Kris, thanks for this. I purchased PKGBackup and proceeded to make a backup in dropbox. However, the backup only took a few seconds (for 87 apps!?!?) and doesn’t have the actual cydia apps, it only seems to reference to them. Is this normal? I thought the backup would actually backup the apps and the settings.


  • Kris Meador

    Yeah, mine have been super quick too. But I’ve had no troubles restoring everything.
    Maybe try a backup, delete a cydia app or two and then try the restore.
    I’m not sure how that would work.
    Hope that helps.

  • Kris Meador

    I hope it all works for you.

  • Kris Meador

    It’s a combination of Cascade and Infinidock.

  • Christopher Burgess

    Just updated to 5.11 and jailbroke via Absinthe 2.0 today. I had both OpenBackup and AptBackup installed and backed up Cydia settings with each multiple times before the update. After the update, both apps failed to completely restore Cydia apps, leaving out a healthy proportion of what I had in place before moving to 5.11 and re-jailbreaking. I can’t speak for PKGBackup but for the $8, it had better work miracles as these free solutions are, at least in part, grand failures.

  • chicoquente

     OpenBackup completely failed for me. Not a single app or source was restore. Less than impressed. I wish I had been smart enough to use another option but I am hesitant to pay $8 when I have no idea what the reliability is like

  • Circuitstar29

    Would like to know which app is working effectively.  Used to utilize AptBackup with success but I’m hearing that with iOS 5.1.1 there are issues with incompatibility…. 

  • George Georgiou

    Hello Kris,

    I have tried APTBackup before upgrading to 5.1.1 and it never worked for me. Thank God my iPhone was new and I didn’t have as many apps as you do! 🙂 But this really worries me for the future.

    I did a little bit of research and I have ended up in a nice way to backup all Cydia apps. Installed OpenSSH (make sure to also install a toggle to on/off this , and of course change your default password!!!!) then using WinSCP I have downloaded into my PC (DropBox would also be great place) the contents of the folder 
    var/stash/Applications , that’s where all Cydia apps are living. 

    When you want to restore make sure to transfer into the above location all your apps and voila! (Make sure to change CHMOD back to 777!!!)

    The only really issue with this way is that the icons glow & transparency are gone when you restore and this sucks … 🙁

    Another way, is to save all your .IPA files and install them through Installous, This solves the issues with the icons. But … in this way you need to keep a copy of your .ipa files … in some cases you may not have them .. 🙁 

  • Asyd_Rayn

    Been using PKGBackup for a few years it works great. Keep in mind if a backup app doesn’t install previously backed-up apps, it may be because that app hasn’t been updated for the new iOS, at least that’s been the case for me. Cydia, now prevents installing apps that you own that haven’t been updated and that’s a good thing, for I’ve installed non-working things and had my JB hosed.

  • Thekman

    As of 6/5/12, PkgBackup is now $9.99…   blah  🙂