What is the Cydia app? – Download Non-iOS Store applications

One of the handy features of Android phones is that you’re not limited to just one App store. Android devices can download apps from the Google Play store, Amazon and Samsung Galaxy App store amongst others.

However, if you’re an iPhone user, you’re pretty much limited to just the one App Store. It’s well known that you generally have less control over your apps when it comes to Apple devices.

But are there ways you can download other external apps? Well, the Cydia app allows you to find and download apps that you can’t find in the App store. In this article, we’re going to explore what the Cydia app is and if there are any risks involved. 

What is Cydia?

So, what is the Cydia app? As we explained above, the Cydia app allows you to download and use apps that aren’t available in the official Apple app store.

It’s the most popular app of its kind, and to many people’s surprise, it’s completely free.

However, the Cydia app can only be used on ‘jailbroken’ iPhones or iPads. Jailbroken iOS devices give you more options when it comes to customisation and downloads.

Many of the apps available on Cydia are those which can’t get approval from Apple to be available in the official App Store.

Apple doesn’t allow programmes that mimic functions that are already available on the device or use them in ways that might damage it. 

What does ‘jailbroken’ mean?

To jailbreak an iPhone means to break it away from the limitations imposed upon it by Apple or your phone carrier.

After a jailbreak, your phone can install unofficial apps from third-party app stores and change settings of the phone that were previously restricted.

Jailbreaking is the process of installing a software application on your computer and having it transfer some instructions to the phone so that it can break open the file system.

You’ll then be able to make changes on your device to what otherwise could not be changed.

Jailbreaking allows you to customise the look of your iOS device or install third-party apps. A third-party app can add functionality to your phone that you’d otherwise never see through the App Store.

Though, you must be very wary before deciding to jailbreak your iPhone. A jailbroken phone will no longer be covered by Apple’s or your service provider’s warranty.

Some users also report that their device has become disabled after jailbreaking it, so it’s really down to your own risk whether you want to go ahead.

Though, you’ll still have access to Apple’s App store after you jailbreak an iPhone – you’ll just have access to the Cydia Store and others too.

Can you undo a jailbreak?

Some users report being able to undo a jailbroken iPhone easily. However, others have reported that they’re unable to do so.

The easiest way to undo a jailbreak is by updating your iPhone.

To check if your iPhone needs an update. Go to your iPhone Settings > General > Software Update. You’ll see any available updates on this screen as shown below. 

However, if your phone is already up-to-date, there are a few other methods you can try to ‘un-jailbreak’ your iPhone. One of these is actually by doing so through the Cydia app.

It’s extremely important to stress that before you do this, you’ll need to fully back up your iPhone through the iCloud, as you’ll be restoring your phone to factory settings.

To do this, follow the following steps.

  • Make sure your phone is fully charged and is lower than 70% capacity. 
  • Download ‘Rollectra’ through Cydia.
  • Once downloaded, hit ‘Restart Springboard’.
  • Put your phone in airplane mode.
  • Open Rollectra. 
  • Hit ‘Unjailbreak’ then ‘Erase All’.

This will then remove the jailbreak from your device. 

Is Cydia legal or illegal?

While there’s nothing technically illegal about Cydia, it’s a bit of a grey area when it comes to the legalities of jailbreaking your devices. 

It’s legal to jailbreak your device to run legitimate software that Apple hasn’t allowed. Though, the truth is that it is illegal to run pirated software off of your jailbroken device, or download paid apps for free. 

It’s important to stress, though, that while it may technically be ‘legal’, jailbreaking your iPhone will completely void its warranty, so you’ll effectively be de-valuing it.

Is Cydia a virus?

Cydia itself is certainly not a virus and it won’t have any effect on your iPhone’s battery health, though it’s worth making sure you’re updated to the latest version if you want to ensure this.

This is because jailbroken devices are much more susceptible to viruses and malware when you’re using an outdated version of Cydia. So, it’s essential that you keep this in mind before following through with it.       

How do you download Cydia?

Although you won’t be able to download Cydia through the App Store – for obvious reasons – it’s very easy to do. 

All you need to do is the following:

Go to https://www.cydiacloud.com/ though Safari.


Hit ‘Download Cydia’. Then, check your devices compatibility.


Hit ‘Install Cydia’          



Cydia definitely seems like a pretty cool app if you’re keen to download apps that aren’t yet permitted in the Apple App Store. 

There are some risks associated with jailbreaking your iPhone or iPad to download the app. If you have an old iOS device lying around, it may be a good idea to test it out on here first before doing so on your newer device. 

And while there are remedies to undo a jailbreak, some users have reported that they have had difficulties reversing a jailbreak and their device has been rendered unusable. 

Photo of author

Connect: Twitter



By day he's an engineer and by night (well, evening or very early morning but night sounds way cooler) Alex runs the Apps UK ship. He has a keen interest in language, fitness & especially social media - he is always on the lookout for the next hot platform.

Read more from Alex


Apps UK
International House
12 Constance Street
London, E16 2DQ