How to Get to the iPhone Root Directory

by Brandon Getty
Jupiterimages/Creatas/Getty Images

Though the iPhone is a powerful tool, one of its drawbacks is that you can't browse the file contents like a standard disc drive. If you jailbreak your phone, you will be able to navigate its various directories and folders, including the root directory where much of your user data is stored. Root access gives you more options for copying music or other media files stored on the phone, and a range of apps not approved by Apple's App Store are available for jailbroken phones. Jailbreaking your phone is legal, but it immediately voids the manufacturer's warranty. Jailbreaking or running unapproved apps may cause your iPhone to malfunctions.

Step 1

Visit the first link in the Resources section to jailbreak your iPhone. There are various types of jailbreaking software available including redsn0w, Absinthe and Spirit. Your phone must be jailbroken in order to access the root directory.

Step 2

Download and install an iPhone browser software program (links in Resources). iPhone Folders and iPhone Folder are free to download and use, while DiskAid offers a free trial.

Step 3

Connect your iPhone to your computer using the provided data cable. Run the the iPhone browser software. If you are using iPhone Folders, access your Start menu, select "Computer," and then double-click on your iPhone's icon.

Step 4

Select the folder you wish to view the contents of from the left column. From within the software or your Explorer window, you can copy, delete or edit any of your iPhone's files.

Click the "Root" folder from the left column to access your phone's root directory. Depending on which software you are using, a warning prompt may appear. Click "OK" or "Proceed" to view the contents of the root directory.


  • Unless you are experienced with iPhone software and the contents of the root directory, avoid deleting or editing any of this folder's contents. Mistakes in the root directory may cause the phone to lock up permanently.


Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Creatas/Getty Images

About the Author

Brandon Getty began writing professionally in 2008, with columns appearing in "Thrasher" magazine. He received a Bachelor of Arts in literature from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and lives in Stockton, Calif.

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