How to unlock iPhone 3GS on iOS 5 and 5.0.1

If you've updated your iPhone 3GS to iOS 5 or 5.0.1 and lost your unlock we can help you get it back. The actual jailbreak will be tethered but you'll still be able to unlock and continue using your device in the mean time until an untethered jailbreak solution is released. iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S users should steer clear of this as it will not work.

Devices supported

  • iPhone 3GS

What you'll need

  • RedSn0w 0.9.9b5 or later, we recommend the most current version which is RedSn0w 0.9.9b8 - Mac Link, Windows Link
  • A working SIM card (doesn't matter what carrier as long as it's activated and working)

Jailbreak with RedSn0w and Install the iPad baseband

You'll follow the same steps are you would to jailbreak via Redsn0w except for one difference. Instead of just checking Install Cydia you'll need to check off Install iPad baseband. RedSn0w will warn you that this can not be undone. Agree and continue the jailbreak process.

Boot Tethered

After jailbreaking you'll need to perform one tethered boot before unlocking. Simply launch RedSn0w again and click Extras. Check the box for Just boot tethered right now. You'll be walked through DFU mode and your phone should reboot.

Install UltraSn0w

After your phone reboots you'll need to perform the following steps to unlock it:

  • Open Cydia and search for ultrasn0w
  • Install the ultrasn0w package to your device.
  • After installation is complete your phone should automatically ask you to reboot it. If it doesn't, reboot it manually.
  • You'll need to jump into RedSn0w one more time and perform a tethered boot like you did above.
  • Your phone should now be unlocked. It may say Searching... for a few minutes before finally connecting to the network.
  • Known Issues

    A few users have seen issues where their phone will not obtain service after using ultrasn0w on iOS 5 or iOS 5.0.1. If you have this issue, launch RedSn0w once more and choose jailbreak again. Instead of going through the whole process this time, you only want to check Deactivate. Do one more tethered boot and you should be good to go!

    If you need more help, visit our TiPb jailbreak & unlock forums for answers to many common questions and to ask your own!

    Update: Some users are pointing out that using RedSn0w 0.9.9b8 is breaking GPS functionality again but using RedSn0w 0.9

    Allyson Kazmucha

    Editor for iMore, Potter pundit, and the ninja in your iOS

    More Posts



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    There are 78 comments. Add yours.

    FrankDaddy says:

    The latest supported firmware for the 3G is 4.2.1.

    tb457 says:

    What does that have to do with a 3Gs?

    hfrank says:

    2 hrs ago the post read "3G and 3GS". Looks like they removed the 3G reference without noting the update.

    Kim_mah says:

    I got my iPhone unlocking by downloading the free iPhone Unlock Code generator (download it from here : ) and it took me less than 2 minutes to unlock my iPhone which put an end to all my iMiseries !

    Toma_lo says:

    Work with MC model?? Thaks

    ZS says:

    What's your experience with using the Semi-Tethered package from Cydia? It seems to allow you to boot the device back into a functioning without tethering, even though Cydia and some other things don't work. Has anyone tried this?

    tys says:

    Does the iPad baseband still cause issues with GPS or has that been resolved? Any other functionality issues?
    I'm currently on 5.0.1 jailbroken and untethered on my old bootrom 3GS. Do I just run redsn0w and only select the iPad baseband function, I assume?
    I'm traveling internationally next month, so an unlock would be great!

    Iskren Donev says:

    I think it's on a per-device basis. Personally my 3GS (new bootrom) has no problems with iPad basebands.

    Iskren Donev says:

    The link to the original JB guide is broken...

    Irwin says:

    I've used this guide and it worked for me you just got to fallow every step and make sure u have downloaded the right ipsw.

    Bijaya Adhikari says:

    Does it works with ios5 05.16.05?
    It was upgraded from iOS 4 and now carrier is locked.

    Bijaya Adhikari says:

    Is it compatible with firmware version 05.16.05 for iOS 5 on 3GS ?

    Kiloah92 says:

    mine just says no service...

    Kiloah92 says:

    p.s. i did the deactivate thing and it set me to the ios5 on phone setup thing and i couldnt activate

    Aligetor Raza says:

    Will this jailbreak also hactivate my 3gs?

    R. Long says:

    worked like a charm! thanks a lot guys.

    Scotus says:

    Will this work on an IPhone 3GS with a SIM card that has already been deactivated? I've upgraded to a new phone but want to unlock the old one to sell.

    Scotus says:

    I have baseband 05.16.05. I wish to unlock so it can be used on T-mobile. Thanks!

    Scotus says:

    I also have IOS 5.0 (9A334)

    Zac_west says:

    I have a new bootroom 3GS running 5.0.1 I have installed redsnow 0.9.9b8 and the 5.0 and 5.0.1 ipsws. When I try to jailbreak it gives me " ipsw not supported by redsnow". I have also tried snow breeze and get the same thing. I am leaving AT&T for t mobile and need to get jailbroken ASAP! I have tried everything I can think of, please help!

    shabazz says:

    It looks like you may be dragging the wrong IPSW file into Redsn0w. Or perhaps attempting to load back into it, an IPSW file that it already created. I would suggest that you re-download the orignial file, and load it into Redsnow when prompted.

    ZS says:

    It's not working for me. I installed the iPad baseband (it shows 06.15.00 in About -> Modem Firmware), booted, installed ultrasnow, booted again, put in SIM but it didn't work. Then I tried Deactivate, which guided me to the iOS setup screens (I had to put in my old AT&T SIM to get past this step since the new one wouldn't activate) ... then I booted again, but I still see No Service. Any ideas? What else can I try?

    Adam says:

    i keep getting 6000 error on my iPhone not on redsn0w.

    Irwin says:

    Try going back to your old firmware and then try again. So basicly downgrade then upgrade.

    Alsdj says:

    It still did not work for me so I follow that discussion
    and it finally worked.
    3gs 6.15.00

    ZS says:

    I did the Deactivate step ... now it's stuck on "Activating your iPhone" and it won't activate with my old (inactive) AT&T sim or with a new SIM. Meanwhile, my iPhone can't even be used in Airplane mode like before. Any tips on how to get it past the activation step (just to use it in Airplane)?

    Alimran154 says:

    i follow the steps and it was ok until jailbroken is installed and now my device stuck on restart screen after the apple logo and i cant do a thing :-( help please....

    Tbajaj says:

    I have the same problem. Stuck on Apple Logo

    Jongamez says:

    Put it on DUF mode and sync to iTunes and it will restore it. You will have to jailbreak again though.

    Pln says:

    I jailbroke and unlocked my 3gs (old bottom) from 5.0 and it was working. I mistakenly upgraded to 5.01 and lost my unlock. All attempts to re-break and unlock fail (using redsn0w 0.9.9b8) with the message:
    "Unrecognized build. Fingerprint: 38b5..........."
    What do I do now? Thanks.

    Ossian 1997 says:

    pece of shit when i download ultras0w is ses imposible tofind some shit

    Joe says:

    I did all the steps but when I open cydia I have problems with repo666 that said fetch faile what can I do

    Qcesarq says:

    So i take it. its not possible to jailbreak or unlock the iphone 3g on ios 5 ?

    john says:

    its possible to jailbreak or unlock iphone 3gs ios 5 version ?

    Junior Esco says:

    You guys are awsome, Its Genius's like you that make the world a better place, I uploaded my software here in Costa Rica and no one or place said they could set it to work with the carrier here, i followed your instructions promptly and vuola. Thanks again. Greatly apreciate this.

    KenJi says:

    Hi,some question I wan to ask~ my 3GS with BB 5.13.04~ and now stay on iOS 4 with unlock now~ should I update my BB to iPad BB? Or I just need to custom the ipsw then update to ios5.0.1 without update my baseband?@@" need help here plz.....

    Irwin says:

    Just make sure the baseband you have is supported by ultrasn0w

    Joshw says:

    You are a diamond!!! Was stuck with no service for days after a failed attempt. Restored through iTunes using standard method NOT custom ipsw and followed these instructions. And i used redsnow 0.9.9b3 Works an absolute treat!!! 3gs

    trudymj says:

    Now that there is an untethered jailbreak on redsnow for 5.0.1, can I just go into redsnow and choose the ipad baseband and then follow these instructions to unlock my 3gs on baseband 05.16.05?

    Klull3 says:

    I tried but got an error sayin something that i probaly missunderstood the instructions or something. I think I did as instructed bu now my phone is dead. Won't start or anything. Is there anything I can do or is my loss?

    Klull3 says:

    I got up and running but says that my firm ware is not supported. I have 5.0.1 (9A405)

    sahid says:

    how to jailbrake my iphone3gs in sony vaio ???

    sudheer says:

    My iphone 3gs is unlocked can i update ios 5. But now i'm using my ios 4.1..
    Can u solve it..

    Katy says:

    Now that the new red snow came out with the untethered jailbreak is there a way to do this with the untethered jailbreak?

    Harvey says:

    i have a 3GS with 05.16.05 BB and has a new bootrom, problem is, it does not have any service at all, i've read from forums that having a new bootrom is a deciding factor on getting the ipad BB, which in my case, they say is not recommended, please help!

    Harvey says:

    before i forget, i've already jailbroken this using redsnow

    Paolo says:

    So does this work at all ? Cause i dont want to be updating my iPhone and find out the sources are not working .. Please reply back asap .. Thanks :)

    captainflint says:

    Thanks for the share. I unlocked my iPhone through Remote unlock system from at affordable cost. I got easy step by step instructions on unlocking process.

    Abirmo says:

    Hi actually I did all the steps but my iPhone 3GS stopped working when I made just reboot from redsnow it' seems damaged with no service. Then when I chose the second option on the redsnow to put it in the dfu mode to connect it to iTunes and make restore it gave me a message that said there is unknown error and the restoring could not be complete error no -1 then my iPhone doesn't work. What should I do ?

    Doug says:

    Ive gone to follow the instructions and it warns me that baseband is not compatible with week 35 of 2011 or newer. And that i should not proceed. My unit is newer so will this not work or can i ignore it?

    Khanh says:

    Did anyone ever reply to this? I also have the new Iphone 3GS with 3rd, 4th, and 5th serial number > 135. So... would this work?
    Thanks everyone!

    Em Me says:

    Please I will like to know if this HACTIVATES as well? Thanks

    Sheet says:

    Damn I want to do this offline at the moment... No wi-fi!!!!

    Brittany says:

    Does my iPhone need to be not in derive when I try to jailbreak/unlock it to go to another service provider?

    Sujai says:

    i updated my iphone 3gs to version 5.o.1 via ituens unknownly. Now its nt activating. Can anyone help me to recover back or unlock the phone???????

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    Mira says:

    will this work to any iphone 3gs serial number?

    Mira says:

    does this work to any iphone 3gs serial number?

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    JillieDee says:

    I have ready many of these tutorials on various sites and they do not work for me. I am not tech savvy. I was really struggling with jailbreaking and unlocking my iphone, so I decided to spend a little money with For $29, I have a phone that's running smooth and working great. It was really worth it to me.

    Gentech says:

    c u unlocka 3gs on 6.0.1..firmware 05.16.07??

    Gentech says:

    can you unlock a 3gs on 6.0.1 with firmware 05.16.07??

    Adam Daieh1 says:

    I did mine using this
    Within 24 hrs my phone is unlock. Its really great, I can now use it to different carriers. Thanks to whoever suggested it to me. :)

    Abokobza says:

    Hi ! I'm writing here to share my unlock experience : I've done it with Solar Mecano. My Iphone was unlocked in a few days. The service is fast and reliable. Don't hesitate if you have any questions.

    Lokesh Bhattarai says:

    How do I upgrade ios to 6.1.2 after this process.

    Kim_mah says:

    This did not work for my but my sister forwarded me to this site where I downloaded a FREE program called iPhone Unlock Code Generator and it unlocked my iPhone in less than a minute. I had almost made my mind to pay 3rd party for the unlocking of my iPhone and now I have it unlocked for free which is absolutely great.

    A CG says:

    Great information here - i did exactly as described update my iPhone 3gs that was happily running my giffgaff sim :) ......these instructions look straight forward unlike the many other 1000's out there!


    Adam Daieh1 says:

    I have an iPhone 3gs and unlocks it for me in less than 24 hours. I just followed the guide here:

    Andrey Rivers says:

    I've used for AT&T unlocking. If you haveOUT OF CONTRACT device it would cost you almost nothing

    Aasen Urbanek says:

    if you guys want to unlock anything locked to ATT, you can check out attiphoneunlocking, its a great site, i have been using it for years