Cydia is the most popular jailbreak package manage in existence, despite others now being used for recent jailbreaks. It was the first unofficial app store, beating even Apple’s attempts, and offers tons of third-party apps, mods, tweaks, and much more to help users change how their devices look and work.
Why? Because Apple significantly restricts what users can do to their devices and Cydia is a way to get around that.
Cydia is completely free and is easy to install and use. Here’s everything you need to know:
How to Download Cydia:
To get Cydia on your device, you must first install a jailbreak. You can find all the working jailbreaks listed on the linked Cydia Download page – simply choose one, tap it and follow the instructions to install it. Some of the best available jailbreaks are:
How to Use Cydia:
Once installed, Cydia is easy to use. Just tap the Cydia icon on your home page, and the home screen will open, where you will find several options:
- Sources – this is where you add or edit repositories
- Search – this is where you find tweaks, apps, and more from the installed repositories
- Installed – this shows you every app, tweak, mod, etc., you downloaded
- Changes – this is where you find updates to your installed content
How to Add a Repository to Cydia App
- Launch Cydia and tap Sources
- Tap on Edit > Add and type the repository URL into the field
- Tap Add Source, and your repository will be installed
How to Download Tweaks:
- Launch Cydia and tap Search
- Type the name of your tweak and make sure your device supports it
- Tap on Modify > Install > Confirm
- When the tweak is installed, tap on Restart Springboard
Deleting Tweaks From Cydia:
- Launch Cydia and tap Installed
- Tap on Recent and tap the tweak to be deleted
- Tap Modify > Remove > Confirm
- Tap Restart Springboard
Cydia was named after the Codling Moth, scientific name Cydia Pomonella, which means “the worm in the apple.”
What Cydia Offers
Cydia provides users with lots of different ways to change how their devices look and feel:
- Themes – one of the more popular benefits, giving you a lot of ways to theme your device
- Tweaks –also popular, you can modify certain things on your device, such as your lock screen, icons, fonts, battery indicator, etc.
- Apps –change your app switcher, your icon layout, message app, and lots of other functionalities.
- Lock Screen Themes –very popular, these allow you to change how your lock screen functions
Cydia gives you the functionality that Apple won’t, and one of the best examples is FaceTime. Apple restricted it to Wi-Fi only on older iOS firmware but a simple Cydia tweak tricks your device into thinking it is on Wi-Fi when it is actually on data, allowing you to use many more apps.
In all honesty, if you can think of something you want to do, Cydia likely has an app for it. Most of Apple’s restrictions can be unlocked allowing you to do what you want with your device.
Frequently Asked Questions
Cydia maybe something of a household name but we still get asked questions about it, especially from those new to jailbreaking:
What is Cydia?
Cydia is an unofficial app store filled with game mods, tweaks, apps and more. You can only get it by jailbreaking your device.
Who Created Cydia?
Cydia was the brainchild of Jay Freeman (Saurik), built to rival Apple’s first app store called Install.app. By 2011 it had become incredibly popular, with over 4 million users every month and it remains the most used package manager to date.
Why Do I Need Cydia?
If you want to do things on your device that Apple won’t allow, you need Cydia. You can:
- Use tweaks and themes to change how your device looks
- Use tweaks and apps to change how your device functions
- Give your stock apps new functions
- Download unofficial apps
- Download from tons of themes, ringtones, wallpapers and more
Do I Need to Jailbreak to Install Cydia App?
Yes, because it is a jailbreak app store that needs root access to work.
Is Cydia Free?
Yes, you can download and install Cydia for free with any jailbreak.
Is Cydia Safe?
Yes, so long as you install the jailbreaks using the official sources and only use preinstalled sources, because third-party repositories may contain malware.
What Benefits Do I Get from Jailbreaking?
Installing a jailbreak automatically gives you a package manager, such as Cydia, which contains plenty of mods, tweaks, apps, and more to help you get past Apple’s restrictions and do pretty much what you want with your device. You can only do this with a jailbreak as none of these apps or mods are authorized by Apple.
Is Jailbreaking Legal?
In most places, yes. In 2012, The Library of Congress ruled it legal in the USA but you would need to check with your own country’s rules and regulations.
Can I Download the Tweaks for Free?
Most of them are free, some charge a dollar or so and a few are more expensive. You don’t have to download the paid ones but you will likely find a Donate button on the free ones. The developers give freely of their time and expertise and it’s up to you whether you want to send a donation to support their work.
Are there any Alternatives to Cydia?
Yes, there are plenty of third-party app stores but you won’t get the same experience from them as you do with Cydia. That’s because most alternatives do not need a jailbreak – because root access is not required, you won’t get the full range of features you get with Cydia.
What is a Repository?
Repositories are storage places where tweaks, themes, mods and apps are stored for your use. There are a few pre-installed repos in Cydia but you can add third-party ones as well, at your own risk.
How Do I Delete it?
Easily – there are two ways to do this. You can use iTunes to restore your device to the latest iOS version, or you can download and use Cydia Impactor to remove the jailbreak while keeping your current iOS version. The last option means you can reinstall your jailbreak if you need to.
Cydia is still as popular today as it was when it was first released and there are still plenty of options to use it. Jailbreak your device today and gain full access to everything this unofficial app store offers.