How To Unlock iPhone 4S, iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS Without Jailbreaking [Updated]

iOS 5

It looks like a bug in iOS 5 allows you to unlock iPhone 4S without the need to jailbreak it or using hardware methods such as GEVEY SIM.

The bug was discovered by Michael Capozzi. He managed to unlock his iPhone 4S to use it on T-Mobile USA’s network but according to him the method should also work with any GSM carrier.

He has been kind enough to also give the following step-by-step guide to unlock iPhone 4S using the bug in iOS 5 to work on T-Mobile USA:

Note: You will need to cut the T-Mobile SIM to micro-SIM size for it to fit iPhone 4S’s SIM tray.

  1. Insert original carrier AT&T SIM card
  2. Dial 611 for AT&T customer service hotline and drop the call
  3. Turn on Airplane Mode
  4. Take out AT&T SIM card
  5. Insert T-Mobile SIM card
  6. Make sure WiFi is off ( also tap on ‘Forget this Network” to make sure it doesn’t connect automatically later)
  7. Switch off Airplane Mode and iPhone will search for network. This is followed by the Apple splash screen appearing.
  8. Activation Required will be displayed on the screen
  9. EDGE network will activate automatically – notice the ‘E’ on the top left corner of the screen
  10. Wait for about 20-30 seconds and turn off the phone
  11. Turn on iPhone and the same Activation Required screen will be displayed
  12. When you see one signal bar, tap on Use Cellular Connection
  13. Eject SIM card
  14. Activation Required screen will be displayed the second time
  15. Insert SIM card
  16. Unlocked!

You can also checkout the video which shows that it works and suggests that the method could also work with iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS:


Gizmodo has also confirmed that this method works.

Update 1:

Gizmodo and Lg1, one of our regular readers has also confirmed that it works with AT&T iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS.

Update 2:

This method appears to be temporary, you can read all the details here.

As always, let us know how it goes.

[@chronic via Pastebin, Gizmodo, Thanks Luis for the tip!]

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  • tetra

    THIS IS GREAT BUT i dont have any other sim, can somebody confirm this is working?

  • Lg1

    Update: It also works with 3gs and iphone4…

    • sam

      is it confirmed tht it works on iphone 4?

      • nicky

        What verion of IOS 5 or 5.0.1?

    • susy

      does it need a att sim thats activated? how about if i have no att sim thats activated?

    • deep

      sir i am from India…there is no at&t network….i want to unlock my iphone…..please tell me what to do….call failed when i dial 611 becouse there is no at&t network……thanks in advance

    • Ruben

      Thanks, i will do this to my 3GS. Does it work on the latest version 5.1.1?

  • GreenTag

    How come when he restarts his iPhone the apple symbol expands towards you… I have had an iPhone since 3Gs model and I have never had my apple symbol expand towards you as its loading

    Is this possibly a jailbreak of some sort ??

    • sam

      the new logo shows up only on 4s n ipad 2

      • GreenTag

        I have the 4s and iPad 2 update to iOS 5.0.1 and I do not have glowing expanding apple logo… Tried on both devices… I think hes got something done to his phone

        • Brett

          No he does not. Thats the first start boot up from Ios5. Don’t jump to conclusions.

          • GreenTag

            Is that only after a restore because when I got my iphone 4s and turned it on for the very first time I never got that glowing expanding apple logo. I have never seen that before that is why I asked? But thanks for the explanation…

  • mackie

    It does not look right with the Apple logo glowing!

  • susy

    also once its unlock can the phone be turned off and still be on tmobile when powered back on?

    • Juan Carlos

      yes. I tried on 3gs 5.0. and turned off back on still unlocked

  • Mrl09

    Does the tmobile sim need to be actived line?

    • Apple

      Yes, I tried with an inactive sim and it didn’t work.

      Finally tried again with an active sim cars and it work.

  • Someone

    Is this working on iOS 5.0.1

    • Apple

      Yes worked on my iPhone 4S with 5.0.1

  • Danny

    Does this work on uk networks

    • Dan

      can you let me know if you had any luck with your query thank you so much

  • iRock

    Can someone please confirm this on an iPhone 4 running on baseband 04.11.08?

  • harry

    is this work for iPad 2?

  • Melvarius

    don’t at&t own t mobile and share networks now? in uk orange and t mobile have joined and you can activate a locked to orange phone with a t mobile sim. would be interesting to see if it works with another network.

    • A Black Dude

      no

  • Axe

    The apple logo on my 4s does expand & shine but only after a data erase before restore from icloud. It happens only once per erase/restore. Not every reboot. I’m not sure what happen to that video.

  • Pankaj

    I am in indian, i bought my at&t iphone 4 with BB 4.10.01. I am using a Airtel network. Till now i was using GEVEY sim and its working fine.

    I upgraded to iOS 5.0 while preserving the baseband so its working fine with GEVEY sim.

    I tried this method now. It didnt work for me on iphone 4. May be because there is no AT&T network in India. Also when I put my Airtel sim the activation required screen does not come.

    Any suggessions ???

    – Pankaj

    • Muzammil

      Hello pankaj, i too have a At&t iphone 4 with baseband 4.10.01, r u using teethered ot unteethered jailbreak, as i m really frustated with a teethered JB with IOS 4.3.5,
      Pls Reply

      • Robert

        M using iPhone 4.. Basenband as u…ver4.3.3.. could I unlock it? M in Cambodia …..

      • Robert

        M using iPhone 4.. Basenband as u. ver4.3.3. could I unlock it? M in Cambodia

      • Rw

        I live in Panama, I just unlocked my iPhone 4S with iOS 5.

        My carrier is Cable And Wireless, and it worked for me. I have also unlocked my girlfriend’s 4S.

        I tried to do it with my sister’s iPhone 4 and it didnt work.

        Does anybody knows if it only works with 4s and iOS 5?

        • http://www.garyamberths.com gam

          hermano yo tambn vivo en panama y estoy con el mismo problema, te funciono, porfavor dime como para arreglas esta vaina, estoy desesperado.

          Saludos men

  • Lex

    I wonder if an active T-mobile prepaid sim would do the trick or it needs to be postpaid.

  • andyd

    Hm, would this work on my japanese iphone? i have it unlocked w/ gevey at the moment, but i still have the original softbank sim, so could i unlock this with my at&t sim?

  • Sam

    I bought a Att iPhone without a contract from apple for $649 I activated it using a tmobile sim card and it unlocked the phone without going thorugh this hassle. The modern firmware was 01.xxx. If you activate a iPhone 4 using the att sim card the model firmare becomes 04.11.08 and that cannot be unlocked using this method. plus if the iPhone model is MC319LL you cannot unlock it

    • me

      iphone 4s moderm firmware being 1.0.11. Model MD257C
      wonder if that can be unlocked with this methood. signed up with fido a canadian provider.

      • Sam

        try it since your firm ware is 01. i think it should work

    • A Black Dude

      u can buy unlocked phones directly from apple…

  • P_NY

    Is a glitch and its more likely that apple will fix this on the upcoming software update

    • No Shit.

      No sh**.

  • froger

    how come when he has airplane mode on he can see wifi isnt it suppose to stop that

    • Peter

      No, you can go in and turn wifi on and still have the airplane mode active, I think it is killing the carrier signal only that way.

  • paradox1

    what baseband or firmware do you have to be on. Just tried it on my iphone4 04.xx.xx and no works.

    • paradox1

      I also used a prepaid at&t account…GoPhone. Does this also make a difference?

  • Kyle

    Looks intriguing, but raises many questions.

    1) What basebands can be use this method?
    2) What models can use this method?
    3) Is it a permanent unlock?
    4) Do you have to be in the US as there is a connection to AT&T in the video?
    5) Will the unlock work with other carriers besides T-Mobile?

    Seems exciting, yet I can’t help but feel suspicious.

    K

    • Joutinho

      Yeah, I posted almost the same questions below.
      Aparently it seems this works ONLY on 4S and for all other models like 3GS or 4 someone just said it works but is nothing but a false statement, a hoax !
      I’ve been browsing articles and forums since the original posting and did not find any reliable confirmation that someone proved to be able to unlock an iPhone 4
      There is a huge lack of information on this. Gizmodo website just posted the article&video and did not mention anything afterwards about it.
      And what is that crap about clicking the video and the message saying “This is a private video” ????

  • Jenn

    I did all the steps but the last step gives me invalid sim.
    I tried a few time, one time it gives me full bar signal at the set up phone page but when i use cellular connection to activate, it gave invalid sim again.

    • Jenn

      i guess you have to reject the sim and insert the sim right back in to see tmobile then it turn off right away. he said you have to have data in order for the sim to activate through cellular connection, so the phone can’t recognize it’s tmobile sim. however, I have data plan on mine, but it didn’t work either =[

  • Pamela

    will this work with 04.11.08?

  • lu

    is working in uk ?

  • JDM773

    it doesn’t work for iphone 4 bb 4.10.0 ios5. dont waste your time.

  • ricengga

    i tried it it worked but i guess cuz the sim card i have isn’t active it turns off after it says tmobile…

  • Rox

    I tried it on my iPhone 4S locked to Vodafone UK, rang Voda customer services 2345 and followed instructions but when inserting my O2 UK SIM it doesn’t work! Tried several times

    • Johnboy2012

      Hi there I’ve got the same problem as you I’m on vadafone and when insert my O2 sim it does the same as what said did you manage to sort the problem.

  • itsyaboy

    does it work on 5.0.1 ?

  • http://www.motorbeam.com/ fas

    Works only in US. A new update coming real soon.
    What is unlocker team doing? They could have easily used this to unlock.

    • Zoxxx

      What unlocker theam ?They love only 2 twitt nonsense !

  • HI5

    DOES IT WORK IN JAPAN SOFTBANK IPHONES OR AU I PHONES DID ANYONE TEST

  • Vixzor

    Does this work in Sweden?

  • bubaa

    does this only works for at&t and t-mobile? when i call with my swisscom-card (swiss-carrier) 611, i don’t get it, because swisscom has not the 611 defined.

  • MadBaztard

    Does this work on the moon?

    • Kalimente

      For me it did :D

      • Joutinho

        So please, tell us the following
        1) Is you phone an iPhone 4 or an iPhone 4S ?
        2) Which country are you located ?
        3) Did you try with a sim card from which carrier ?
        4) Did you dial 611 or the local number for your provider ?
        Thanks

  • Jon

    When I turn off Airplane Mode after putting in T-Mobile SIM, all I get is SIM FAILURE popup and the top left says Invalid sim. This is an iPhone 4 on ios 5.0

  • Mike

    Will it work on CDMA iPhone 4S

  • Richy33

    Why do we see some “does it work in Vladivostok” or wherever… ? Just give it a try !!! and tell us !

  • Kwopau

    Is it confirmed yet that it works on iOS5.0.1. Not that it matters for me because there is NO T-Mobile where I live.

  • L27027

    Guess it’s not working outside US, but may be working for phones locked in other places as well.
    Last week I bought an AT&T 4S in US contract free and it was already unlocked! Then I restored contents and settings and now it keeps asking for the activation if I try a non AT&T SIM. Anybody has ideas about what’s going on?

    • Joe Obvious

      It seems pretty obvious. Apple had a glitch in its system that didn’t lock the iPhone properly before sale. They released the unlocked iphone for 50 bucks more and then fixed whatever glitch let your phone be unlocked so that people who paid 649 didn’t feel ripped off.

    • canuck2012

      I would say it’s locked to AT&T

  • Dharmesh

    I have iphone 4s 64Gb on ios 5.0 – in last step it show “on service”. I m from NY
    Do i need at&t active sim? I have but can’t make call to 611. do this step is very important.
    Please help ASAP.

  • canuck2012

    Tried with iPhone 4 16GB ROGERS at 5.0 in Canada AND iPhone 4S 64GB ROGERS at 5.0 and BOTH get INVALID SIM after Airplane mode goes OFF… no searching… tried a few times each to be sure.

  • houston

    HI, I cut my old ATT sim to make it a micro sim and insert it into my jailbreak iphone 4 and it says “No Service”. (This ATT sim card is not active sim card). Anyone know why I got No service on my iphone and Do I need a active ATT sim card to make it works.
    Please help.
    thanks.

  • Ali

    Does this work on the CDMA iPhone 4s???
    Please reply I tried it and it didn’t work
    Help please

    • Mike

      I tried it and it didnt work on CDMA iPhone 4s. I got the signal bars and received msg on lock screen. When I unlock the screen it gives the apple splash screen. Did it work for u??

  • Dharmesh

    Do i need at$t active sim? I have at$t sim but it show no service & other shows network but can;t connect to 611… this step is very important… my phone is not getting unlocked… some problem in last two step.

  • http://quranexploreronline.com/ mazharshafiq

    it is very useful for all so keep it on.

  • John

    Does this work on iPhone 4? Not the 4s, haven’t seen much on the 4..
    Please confirm..
    Ios5
    4.11.08

    • Dan

      can you let me know if you had any luck with your query thank you so much..

  • Hacker

    Your best bet for unlocking is a gevey sim card on eBay for $10 because nobody has come up with an unlock solution like forever

  • Dan

    can you let me know if you had any luck with your query thank you so much !

  • Rw

    It worked perfectlyon my 4s.

    Phone: iPhone 4S
    Country: Panama
    Carrier: Cable and Wireless
    Version: 5.0 (9A334)
    Model: MD234E
    Firmware: 1.0.11

    Anybody any luck with iPhone 4?

    • http://www.garyamberths.com gam

      Tengo un 4S de 16gb con iOS 5.0.1
      que pasos utilizastes?

  • Yourgirl

    Does this work on a iPhone 4 on version 4.3.5 Model MC318LL Firmware 04.10.01? Please help Thanks :~}

  • Chandrakant Patel

    I have iPhone 3GS but I can’t download any software or any mp3 song, video song. Pls. Fever me.

  • amiablekev

    I got a basically New iPhone 4s ver. 5.0 with BB of 1.0.11 and at this time it is locked to Rogers in Ontario (inactive sim, so I’m UN-able to dial 611 and at this point and time I don’t have a Micro Sim to replace it with, wish to unlock it and take it to my provider Koodo.

    Any help would have much thanks

  • marius

    Hi,
    I bought a 3GS from AT&T and has firmware 4.3.5 (8L1) and baseband 5.16.02, model MC555LL. i jailbreak the phone with Cydia. I read on different sites that the only way unlock the baseband is tu upgrade to the ipod baseband.
    My question is that upgrading to the ipod baseband, it will work?

    Thanks.

    • Alex Ragwen

      Yes it will depending on which unlock u use. U should not upgrade to the ipad baseband 06.15.00 if your phone is past the 35th week of production of 2011. if you do you’ll brick ur phone.

  • jd virk

    .i also have a uk vodafone 4g locked 4 indian sims… Help me if smethng can hppn…plzzz

  • Dani

    i have i phone 4g AT&T n i m in pakistan so i have no at&t sim card so how can i unlock my iphone ?

  • ourgulf

    Step # 14 will not work after step #13…!!!!!!!!

  • Ashkie

    the video is private, i can’t see it

  • KC

    I got stuck after step 13.
    When eject the SIM I got message “No Sim” then loop step 12-13

  • Ricardo

    The idiot who wants to know y the phone is glowing shut up!!!!! gosh do u know how annoying u r!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! lets worry about unlocking the phone and not the glowing apple sign

  • Ervic

    I am from the Philippines. Should this work with any active philippine sim card?

  • prabal

    i have iphone 4s 5.1 OS locked to canada rogers and BB 2.0.10.
    i tried it using vodafone india SIM . i got edge signal but in the end it throws invalid sim.
    please help me in unlocking my iphone. even R-SIM3 was unable to unlock my iPhone

  • Jesse R

    Hi, I have an iphone 3gs with ios 5 n i tried this method but it didnt work for me, i dont know if its because the iphone was temperarly disconnected. any help?

  • Rachel

    Hi im using gevey and suddenly apple logo appeared and asked that i needed to activate the phone yet again. And now, it keeps on saying that there is no sim card when in fact there is already one inserted. Can you help me with this? :(