After installing the jailbreak app "Winterboard" just now and then rebooting as required, all my apps including settings and phone etc. only display in top left quarter of screen.

Only that screen quarter accepts touch input, but the touches are relative to the entire screen. This means I can't interact with the bottom and right halves of any apps, making it impossible to revert the installation.

Googling for this problem tells me that it was a problem with the version iOS 5 GM, which is a pre-release. But I'm not using that; I've just installed the newly released iOS 5.0.1.

Also, the recommended fix is to use SBSettings to start in failsafe mode, but I never had SBSettings installed, and I can't install it now with the screen acting up this way.

How can I fix this problem, apart from restoring from my PC? I know I can restore from backup and then re-do all the jailbreaking, but it'd be nice if there was a way to avoid that.

This is what I've done:

  • I first made a backup to my PC, then the iOS 5.0.1 upgrade, then a restore from the PC to make sure I had all the apps and data again (I didn't; somehow several apps were missing after the restore, but I just installed the rest manually).

  • After that, I did the jailbreak and started adding Cydia apps. One app required the installation of Winterboard, and that is what caused this problem.

  • I'm fairly sure Winterboard is the culprit because when it happened, I restored again, jailbroke again, and began reinstalling Cydia apps again in a different order. It broke like this again while installing a different Cydia app that also requires Winterboard.

  • There's a weird effect going on that indicates that although the size of the displayed image is reduced but the size of the touch area remains full-sized but unresponsive outside the displayed quarter of the screen. In a paint app, I can drag from inside the display quarter into outside, but I cannot start a touch outside the display quarter; nothing happens.

So I know that I can "fix" the problem by restoring from the PC again and avoiding any Cydia apps that require Winterboard. But I would like to avoid restoring if possible, to save myself the trouble. I'll keep that as a last option in case there's no other way to revert this.

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  • Interesting. Is it possible that the software falsely recognizes you are using an iPhone 3GS and therefore displays only the resolution of an iPhone 3GS?
    – gentmatt
    Dec 29, 2011 at 14:49
  • @Matt: I have no idea whether that is possible, I'm just a user. My iTunes correctly identifies it as an iPhone 4 (not S). Dec 29, 2011 at 15:19
  • 1
    He means that Winterboard incorrectly identified your phone.
    – daviesgeek
    Dec 29, 2011 at 15:59

7 Answers 7


He can't go to settings it's impossible the only way to fix is to restore everything and avoid winter board on ios 5.0.1 untetheted home screen is all that works after I went threw this once I found a cydia tweak app that can put my phone into safe mode and let me fix problem if it ever happens again since Im pretty sure u need winter board for sbsettings I can no longer use it for safe mode. Avoid winter board till there's a fix for ios 5.0.1 untethered.

  • I'm afraid you're correct with this. I'll wait a while more to see if some magical solution exists after all, otherwise this is the way I'll have to go. Thanks for the hint of a Cydia safe-boot app, that'll be a good one to keep for future emergencies. Dec 29, 2011 at 20:51

Ok, according to this Cydia thread, you have installed an iPhone 3GS wallpaper on your iPhone 4. Since the iPhone 4 has four times the resolution of the iPhone 3GS the apps will only show up in the left quarter of the screen.
Here's the fix:

Go to Settings>Wallpaper and choose any of the default wallpapers. Hopefully that will work.

And you don't need to restore. Winterboard makes no changes to the original OS files.

Since you can't press the Set button, you will need to restore and make sure that you avoid any apps that use Winterboard. Too bad!! I hope I've been helpful!

  • Good plan, but no luck! I can navigate to Settings>Wallpaper and even select one, but the "Set" button is in the lower right of the screen. I can see that corner (in the middle of the screen) but I can't press the button. Apparently the display size is reduced but the touch area remains full-sized but unresponsive outside the displayed quarter. Dec 29, 2011 at 20:46
  • @TorbenGundtofte-Bruun Ah...I see. I will update my answer to reflect that.
    – daviesgeek
    Dec 29, 2011 at 20:56

I'm hitting this issue too. I can work around by going to safe mode and then using the safe mode dialog to restart. The issue returns after the next respring though.


So I get this problem when I reboot the phone, easiest solution for me is to ssh into the phone and move the libraries in mobile substrate to a temp location - then respring, move back and respring again.


Go to power on sbsettings, go to safe mode, then when you enter your phone, it will ask if you are willing to restart. Then choose to restart, then you'll iphone will be back to normal. However, quater sized screen may happen again. Thus this is only temporary solution.


I downloaded an app killer that apparently did that to my iPhone. Just put it in SafeMode and uninstalled the app. Catastrophe avoided.


To remove it, you need to find where the winter board dilyb is on your phone and using an iPhone explorer on your computer remove it, then send then reboot and all should be good

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