Jailbreaking is nice and all, but sometimes you do need to remove the jailbreak from your device, a process called “unjailbreaking”. This process, if done right, cleans out the device from any jailbreak-related file. Or at least that’s what the theory says.
Each jailbreak tool, be it Unc0ver Jailbreak, Taurine Jailbreak, CheckRa1n, or otherwise, will have a different mechanism for removing its files once the user decides to unjailbreak. Some files may, however, remain leftover and can cause real issues that I will discuss further down.
How to remove Unc0ver Jailbreak?
Unc0ver is designed well and has its own good if not a bit hidden mechanism for unjailbreaking. Starting with iOS 11 all jailbreaks or at least all good jailbreaks create a ROOT FS Snapshot right before the jailbreak is installed for the first time. This allows the user to fully restore the device to the state before the device was jailbroken without affecting the user data.
The ROOT FS Snapshots are facilitated by the APFS Snapshot feature introduced with iOS 11 and Unc0ver Jailbreak pretty much takes advantage of that feature right from day one.
If you wanna remove Unc0ver Jailbreak completely from your device, all you have to do is follow these simple steps:
- Reboot your device.
- Open Unc0ver Jailbreak on your phone.
- Navigate to the Settings (the gear icon on the top-left corner).
- Toggle “Restore ROOT FS” on. and go back to the main screen of Unc0ver.
- Press the big blue button that says “Restore ROOT FS”.
That’s all. Your device should reboot.
Behind this sophisticated mechanism lies the APFS Snapshot feature which allows the device to restore only the System partition while leaving your photos, music, contacts, apps, and other user data alone.
Can I jailbreak again in the future?
Yes, as long as you do not update your device to a newer iOS version. Now that your device is no longer jailbroken, iOS updates might have been re-enabled automatically which can cause your device to update overnight to whatever is the latest iOS version. If that happens, you won’t be able to jailbreak for a while until a new iOS jailbreak is released. You can always check which jailbreaks are available for what iOS versions here.
You can make sure this won’t happen by navigating to your iOS Settings, Software Update, and toggling off the automatic updates.
Other than that, you can jailbreak and unjailbreak as many times as you please.
Will my personal data be affected?
No. Your photos, music, contacts, applications, messages, etc. will stay unchanged unless something horrible went wrong. Still, before unjailbreaking maybe it’s a good idea to make a backup either to iCloud or to a computer, just in case.
However, all your installed Cydia tweaks will be removed along with their configuration files and other jailbreak-related stuff. If you decide you want to re-jailbreak, you will have to re-install all your tweaks.
Known problems that may appear
The jailbreak may leave files in the user partition which can cause some applications to know you have been jailbroken and deny service long after you are no longer jailbroken. Some banking apps may do this.
My personal banking app still can see I used to be jailbroken because I restored the ROOT FS with Unc0ver back on iOS 14.3. I am now on iOS 15.3 now, but because iOS updates do not remove anything from the user partition those leftover jailbreak files are still there triggering jailbreak detection.
In such cases, nothing short of doing an erase restore would help. You would also have to put back your photos manually from a backup because if you restore a full backup from the PC it will likely also contain those leftover files.
Overall restoring ROOT FS is a good way to unjailbreak, but it’s not failproof.