My iPhone 4 restarts itself exactly every 3 min, whether I use it or not (screen off). More precisely, it's respringing its springboard; I don't need to unlock my SIM card after each respring. Seems like a software issue as it restarts at such precise intervals, but a firmware restore has not helped.

Worth mentioning is that it's running iOS 4.2.1 jailbroken, and the problem started after a color swap I did myself. Everything else (all the hardware parts including cameras, antennas, Wi-Fi, etc.) works just fine—which makes it hard to believe that this problem would occur only because of opening the iPhone up. Because of all this, I can't rely on my warranty, so returning the phone is not an alternative.

  • What is a color swap? Do you experience such problem without jailbreak? Feb 21, 2011 at 15:11
  • Yes, I tried restoring to the original software without jailbreak, but with no luck. By color swap I mean changing the front and the back of the phone. Feb 21, 2011 at 15:26
  • Also could you include which Jailbreak you are using. That will probably make it easier to solve.
    – deiga
    Feb 21, 2011 at 16:13
  • @dori I don't think "restart" is the right term. @milosz didn't say the phone was restarting but only the springboard. Maybe "iPhone 4 Springboard is reset/restarted [...]". I'll let it up to you since I don't want to start an edit "war" :) Feb 22, 2011 at 10:28
  • @Loïc - the OP started the question with "My iPhone 4 shuts itself off." When he later said it wasn't rebooting but respringing, he didn't correct what he'd written about shutting off. All that makes it difficult to really know quite what's going on, imo. My own take is that once you replace the iPhone case and the iPhone OS, what you have isn't really an iPhone anymore—so the question is off-topic. But in the end, my thought was that "respring" isn't a commonly-used term for most iPhone users, and I thought broadening the question to get more input for the OP would help.
    – Dori
    Feb 22, 2011 at 12:08

3 Answers 3


Did your iPhone was jailbroken before the color swap?

If so, I'm afraid you broke something inside the phone. Something the OS is trying to access and since it's broken, respring the springboard (maybe that's a bug, but since you're not supposed to fiddle with the inside of the phone, it's not something you could use to replace it).

As a last resort, you could try to reopen it and see if there's anything that looks broken.

  • Thanks for your help! Makes sense what you're saying - I thought about it myself, but like I said everything seems to be working fine (both cameras, accelerometer, proximitymeter, wifi, antennas etc). I reopened it and everything looks ok. The only thing that looks off is a small scratch on the cable connecting the battery. Could that be it? I mean it turns on and it charges etc, so why would it shortcut the battery AFTER 3 min of working? Feb 21, 2011 at 16:26
  • 2
    Or there could be a contact problem with some of the parts after fiddling inside the phone :)
    – deiga
    Feb 21, 2011 at 16:27
  • Maybe there's a springboard process (different that the boot process) reading the battery information every 3 minutes, and since there's a time out, try to respring to "fix" it. Maybe the respring is a bug, a scratch on the battery cable is not something common and so maybe it's not tested. At that point, it's nearly impossible to determine for us. Feb 21, 2011 at 16:31
  • Try to go to an Apple Repair Shop, it won't be covered by the warranty, but your phone cannot really be used right now, so try to see if them repairing the phone is not too expensive. Feb 21, 2011 at 16:32
  • you have a point in the battery check process. I'm afraid I know what it's going to cost, since Apple dont repair iphones but simply send you a new one (what I heard). Such "repair" with warranty is 350USD. Feb 21, 2011 at 16:47

In my case it was the battery. I got a friend to lend me his iPhone and after switching the batteries, the problem was gone. Thus, make sure there aren't any scratches on the battery or the battery cable.

  • What battery did your friend lend you? As iPhones don't ave removable batteries..... am confused?!
    – garikapati
    Feb 24, 2011 at 19:57
  • @garikapati iphones do have replaceable batteries Feb 24, 2011 at 20:17

You said you did a firmware restore, what I believe is like a hard reset and having all software and firmware brand new and even without jailbreaking it still shows same issue - restarting every 3 minutes.

So it must be a hardware issue and you'd have to send it to repair. Replace possible broken parts, figure out which one is the culprit and fix it. That's a lot of work but there's not much else that could be done, unless whoever opened the iPhone knew exactly what as done and then you could optimize which parts to try out. Yes, this can cost you good money both for the replaced parts and the labor work.

In the small chance that it turns out to be some part not related to damage caused by opening it, I would try to repack everything as new and returning the phone to warranty.

Fair is fair.

If you ask me and I'd have opened my iPhone and then broken it, I'd save my self the headache sell it to someone who do handle this stuff and buy me a new one.

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