The JBnator Diaries – scrap unused language packs to supercharge you iPhone

WWDC has just passed and Apple has just unveiled the iPhone 4. At the same moment the older models, namely iPhone 2G and 3G, are not available anymore barring bartering around the net. The net effect? devs may try to get away with creating apps for fast iDevices, leaving our oldies in the dust. If the latest iPhone 4 still is not reason enough for you to upgrade, here’s the closing article in my cycle of getting the maximum from your old and tested workhorse.

With this in mind let’s dig in to our today’s topic. iOS has support for over 3000 language packs. Realising the overhead these packs are supporting, clever people over at have created a special script that allows you to remove the excess language packs and significantly improve the performance of all iPhone applications. Improvements include everything from native apps to the springboard. Join me on a journey to strip away the language ability of iDevice.

Disclaimer: Proceed at your own risk. Neither I nor will not accept any responsibility for any damages to you iDevice, the data stored on it or your personal well-being should you follow this guide.

Our toolbox for today:

The process is quite simple, though I would caution you NOT to remove any langpacks that the script will mark as unknown. Also if you use Emoji – keep the Japanese file. Finally, don’t fret too much if you remove an excess langpack as on the installation of an app that uses it it will reinstall it.

Cross your fingers and dive in:

  1. Unpack the iPhone Language Pack Deleter V1.1
  2. Open iPhone Folders and navigate to \var\mobile
  3. Copy to \var\mobile
  4. Open MobileTerminal
  5. Now enter the following commands (*enter* means you press the “enter” key)
    1. su *enter*
    2. alpine (or other password if you’ve changed the default one – this will not appear on the screen, but don’t worry, it is normal) *enter*
    3. It should indicate you’re now working as root
    4. ./*enter*
    5. Follow instructions on-screen
  6. Reboot

You should see results all across the board, at least I did. But bear in mind, as I noted above, langpacks are installed with each new application so it’s recommended to run the script at least once a month to keep your iPhone nice and clean.


A project manager in a major telecommunications supplier, an iPhone junkie and lately - a TMA editor. Love long walks on the beach and my wife, who is the most beautiful girl on the face of this planet. You can also follow me on twitter for all things iPhone and project management (and some personal stuff as well):

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