Whether you want to just start from a clean slate or you’re selling your jailbroken iPhone, you’ll want to completely restore the device. However, restoring your iPhone through iTunes will force you to update the device to iOS 8, and since iOS 8 isn’t jailbreakable yet, you’ll want to somehow stick to iOS 7.1.2. Luckily, there’s a way to restore your iPhone while keeping your iOS 7 jailbreak intact.
You may be asking, “Why not just go into Settings and select Erase All Content and Settings?” However, doing so on a jailbroken iPhone or iPad will result in a bootloop, for which you’ll have to do a hard restart to get back to the lock screen. The only way to restore your iPhone back to factory settings while keeping the jailbreak intact is to use special software.
SemiRestore and iLEX RAT are two of the best options to use when it comes to wiping your iPhone while keeping the jailbreak intact, and I’ll show you how to use these apps to restore your iPhone within minutes without destroying the jailbreak.
SemiRestore vs. iLEX RAT
Both of these apps accomplish the same thing in the end, but they each use different methods that users may prefer over the other.
With iLEX RAT, you simply download the app from Cydia and run the Restore feature on your iPhone. You don’t have to plug the device into anything, which is a really nice convenience to have.
For SemiRestore, you don’t have to download anything onto your iPhone, but rather you download the SemiRestore app on your computer. From there, you plug your iPhone into your computer and run the software to restore your iPhone.
How to Use SemiRestore
With SemiRestore, there’s nothing that you need to install on your iPhone. All you need to do is download the SemiRestore program onto your computer and run it with your iPhone plugged in. As of this writing, SemiRestore only works on Windows and Linux machines, with an OS X version coming very shortly.
You’ll also want to make sure that your iPhone has OpenSSH installed, which can be downloaded through Cydia.
Once the SemiRestore program is downloaded, extract the .ZIP folder and you’ll see that there are two files. One is a .DLL file and the other is an .EXE file. Double-click on the .EXE file to open up the program. Make sure your iPhone is plugged in and click Restore.
Let the program do its thing, and your iPhone will reboot and restore. You’ll then see the iOS Setup Assistant appear to indicate the device has been officially restored to factory settings, while still keeping the jailbreak intact.
How to Use iLEX RAT
What you’ll want to do first is install iLEX RAT from Cydia. To do this, you’ll need to add a repo first. Open up Cydia and tap on the Sources tab at the bottom, then tap Edit in the top-right corner. Now tap Add in the top-left corner and type in the following URL into the text box: http://cydia.myrepospace.com/ilexinfo/. Tap on Add Source to officially add it to your repo list.
Now search for iLEX RAT in Cydia and several options should pop up. Be sure to select the one that just says “iLEX R.A.T.”. Once installed, open up the app and tap on iLEX RESTORE to begin the restoring process. You’ll get a warning pop-up that tells you that you’ll lose all of your data and settings. If you’re okay with this, just tap Yes to begin the process.
Your iPhone will reboot and you’ll eventually be brought to the iOS Setup Assistant. Go through this process to get to the home screen and make sure that you see the Cydia icon on the home screen. Sometimes iLEX RAT will hide the icon for some reason, but it will still be installed (and can still be accessed by going into Safari and typing in Cydia:// in the address bar).
If this is happening to you, using SemiRestore will usually fix the problem.