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Activating and Jailbreaking iPhone 3G

This tutorial will explain how to do the following to your iPhone (click on item for more details):

New! The SIM-lock will also be unlocked, meaning that the phone gets fully unlocked for use with any SIM-card!

This tutorial assumes you are on a PC with Windows XP or Windows Vista. After you are done you can of course use your iPhone with any PC or Mac.

Note: You may also follow this tutorial if you have an iPhone with old firmware, and want to upgrade to latest version (2.2). Even if you already upgraded by mistake, and your phone is not usable, following this tutorial will in most cases fix it. If not, just contact us and we'll help you.

This tutorial was last updated January 4th, 2009.

Preparation and software downloads

Before you start, you must remove the SIM-card from the iPhone. Also open iTunes and take a backup by clicking the synchronizing button.

You'll need to download two files - the PC software, and the iPhone software:

  1. Go to http://blog.iphone-dev.org/ to download the software that will be demonstrated in this tutorial.
  2. Click here to download latest iPhone firmware file - 246MB.
    Make sure you save it as a .ipsw file, and remember where you save it. You should not open it as an archive and extract files from it.

You will also need to have iTunes 8.0 or higher installed. If you do not already have that, you can download iTunes here: http://www.apple.com/itunes/download/ - You can check your version by clicking Help → About iTunes. Version number is shown on the first line that scrolls upwards.

Restoring/Upgrading Your iPhone 3G to Version 2.2

You must have version 2.2 to be able to unlock your phone. If you already know for sure you have 2.2 installed you may skip this step, but we recommend doing it anyway to ensure that your phone is in a completely fresh state.

Turn off your iPhone by holding the power button for 5 seconds, and then drag the slider to power it off. Disconnect the cable if it's connected (or remove it from the dock). Start up iTunes.

Hold down the Home button on the phone while connecting the USB-cable (or putting it in the dock). Keep holding the button, and after a few seconds the phone will show a picture of a cable and the iTunes icon.

When the PC detects the phone, iTunes will show a message telling you that the phone needs to be restored:

restore mode

Click OK, and then hold down the SHIFT-key on your keyboard while clicking the "Restore" button:

restoring iphone firmware manually

A file dialog will show, letting you pick a file firmware. You need to select the iPhone firmware file (.ipsw) you downloaded in the previous step (download link). Browse to the location of this file and double-click on it (filename should be iPhone1,2_2.2_5G77_Restore.ipsw):

picking iphone restore file manually

The restore process will now start. It will take around 10 minutes to complete. If you get an error message, please refer to the troubleshooting part.

When the restore is complete, your phone should show a picture of a cable and the iTunes icon, but now with a slider that says "Slide for emergency" in various languages. You may proceed to the next step.

Activating and Jailbreaking the iPhone 3G Using QuickPwn

Open the QuickPwn.exe application you downloaded earlier and make sure your iPhone is still connected to the PC.

Note: If you get error "The application failed to initialize properly (0xc0000135)" you need to install .NET Framework 2.0 first.

1: When the application starts, click the blue arrow.

quickpwn connect iphone


2: On the next screen the application needs to load the iPhone firmware file you downloaded earlier. If iTunes has already downloaded that file, it will be loaded automatically. If not, click the browse button, and navigate to the firmware file like you did previously (iPhone1,2_2.2_5G77_Restore.ipsw). Click the arrow button to continue.

loading iphone firmware in quickpwn 2 loading iphone firmware in quickpwn


3: On this screen you must check Add Installer, and we recommend to also Add Cydia - these are applications that lets you install third party applications and tweaks not approved by Apple - Installer will be used to perform the SIM-unlock. Click here for more info about Cydia and Installer. You can check Replace boot logos if you want the white apple that shows when your phone is starting, to be replaced by a pineapple. Click the arrow button to continue.

adding unlock, cydia and installer on iphone


4: Now you are told to ensure that your phone is connected. Before you click the button, hold your iPhone in your hand, and make sure the other hand is free. And remember that the Home button is the round one on the front, and the Power button is the one on the top of the phone. Now you can click the button:

ensuring iphone is connected in quickpwn


5: At this screen you must just follow the instructions, and try to avoid getting stressed. If you are successful, you'll see things starting to appear on your phone:

jailbreaking and unlocking iphone jailbreaking and unlocking iphone 2 

If you get an error message saying "Your device has connected in the wrong mode", don't click OK, just move it away. Then hold down both the home button and the power buttons until the phone screen turns black. Wait about 2 seconds after the screen turned black before you release the power button - but keep holding the Home button. After about 15 seconds, you should see that the application starts working again. Just wait, and still, do not click OK on the error message.

6: Now your phone firmware is getting modified. This will take about 5 minutes. When it's done it will reboot the phone and the Slide for emergency screen is gone. Your device is now activated and prepared for unlocking of the SIM-lock.

iphone unlocked  screenshot of unlocked iphone

Unlocking the SIM-lock

If you don't get any signal or carrier name in the upper left corner when inserting your SIM-card, that most likely means that your phone is SIM-locked. To unlock the SIM-lock you must install a tool made by the iPhone Dev Team called Yellowsn0w:

(See below for screenshots of this process)

  1. Internet access (Wi-Fi) is required to install Yellowsn0w, so make sure that your phone is connected to a Wi-Fi network.
  2. Insert wanted SIM-card in your phone, and disable PIN-code from your SIM if it's enabled: Settings → Phone → SIM-PIN → Disable.
  3. Tap on the blue Installer icon on your phone.
  4. Tap on Sources.
  5. Tap on Edit, then the +.
  6. Type in i.yellowsn0w.com - Notice the 0 - that is the number zero, not the letter o.
  7. When the repository is loaded, tap on Categories.
  8. Scroll down and tap on System.
  9. Scroll down and tap on yellowsn0w.
  10. Tap Install, and OK on the message about reboot.
  11. Hold down the power button on top of the phone for 5 seconds, and slide to power it off.
  12. If you haven't already, insert your SIM-card now, and turn the phone on again.
  13. When your phone is started you should get signal within a minute. If not, refer to the troubleshooting section.

If your iPhone has signal and you can make calls that means that it's fully unlocked and activated. Congratulations!

IMPORTANT: Your phone will get locked again if you upgrade or restore the iPhone software in iTunes. So make sure you do not do that before you have made sure that the new version is possible to unlock. If you just want to restore the phone in an attempt to repair problems, just follow this tutorial from the start again.

Screenshots of the SIM-unlock process:

iphone 3g sim unlock 1 iphone 3g sim unlock 2

iphone 3g sim unlock 3 iphone 3g sim unlock 4

iphone 3g sim unlock 5 iphone 3g sim unlock 6

iphone 3g sim unlock 7 iphone 3g sim unlock 8


Troubleshooting and Frequently Asked Questions

My iPhone does not get signal after I unlocked it using Yellowsn0w

It's essential that you have the latest version of yellowsn0w installed. So make sure of this first by opening the Installer application. If there's a red number in Sources, wait for it to go away (meaning all sources are updated). Then tap Categories and see if Yellowsn0w is in the Updates category. If it is, update it.

Confirm that your phone has modem firmware 02.28.00 in Settings → General → About → Modem Firmware (at bottom).

Here are some other things to try (no particular order):

If you still have problems, please contact us and let us know the name and country of your carrier.

Problem with "Different SIM detected" and "Slide for emergency"

In some very rare cases, the phone will not get activated properly, causing a "Different SIM detected" message and you are stuck at the "Slide for emergency" screen.
Solution: This problem is solved if you remove the SIM-card and go through the entire tutorial from the beginning once more - including restoring the iPhone software in iTunes. Don't insert the SIM-card again until everything is complete, and the phone is showing Slide to Unlock. Even if you didn't have the SIM-card in the first time you did this, please try it one more time.

This section is under construction. If you have any questions or problems, please contact us.

Explanations for iPhone Words and Phrases

Additional Information and Tips

How to move and reorder icons

If you hold down any icon in two seconds, the icons starts to wiggle, and you can drag them around to change the order of the icons. Drag the icon to the right if you want to move it to a new page.

Setting menu and writing language

To change the menu language on your phone, and selecting which dictionary it should use, go to Settings → General → International

Taking a screenshot of your iPhone display

To take a screenshot of the current display on your iPhone, hold down the Home button then press the Power button. The screen will flash white, and the image is saved into your camera roll.

Download links for all iPhone firmware files

Below you'll find a list of all firmwares and baseband versions available for the iPhone, and download links to them.

If you don't want to use the 2.2 firmware as this tutorial tells you to, you may choose to download either 2.0.1, 2.0.2 or 2.1 instead, but the SIM-lock can't be unlocked for these versions (unless you have the new baseband).

Firmwares for the original iPhone:

Baseband version in parenthesis.

Firmwares for the new iPhone 3G: