How to manually set your iPhone or iPad carrier APN using the iPhone Configuration Utility

With the iPhone Configuration Utility you can set your iPad or iPhone carrier's APN manually in case it's not working properly, which can sometimes happen for developers running beta versions of iOS. It's a workaround to be sure, but if you need your device on-network for testing and can't wait for newer betas, sometimes a work around is just what you need.

Follow on after the break for step-by-step instructions.

  • If you haven't already, download, install, and run the iPhone Configuration Utility from Apple for Windows or Mac OS X.

  • Go to Configuration Profiles under Library in the sidebar and then hit New in the toolbar.

  • Under General (Mandatory) enter a name for the profile you're creating, and a unique identifier.

  • Google your carrier's APN settings. Take note of them.

  • Scroll all the way to the bottom and, under Advanced, fill in your carrier's APN info.

  • Plug in your iPad or iPhone and then select it in the sidebar under Devices.
  • Pick your profile and hit Install.
  • Approve the installation on your iPhone or iPad.
  • Start testing your apps on a working 3G network again!

Again, this isn't as good as having it work automagically, but it's better than not having it work at all. If you've been having problems, hopefully this helps.

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, Vector, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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How to manually set your iPhone or iPad carrier APN using the iPhone Configuration Utility

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Hi Rene Great Tip As i have been getting no internet service in my bedroom even with full bars thanks

Great tip!
Whenever I travel abroad, I purchase a local SIM card for browsing (and so avoid the outrageous roaming costs of my cell provider).
Sometimes the local provider's automatic setup doesn't work (as in my last trip to Italy, when I purchased a Vodafone SIM), so the APN needs to be set up manually.
For jailbroken iPhones there used to be a utility in Cydia that was great, but it has not been adapted to OS 4.
Another solution is unlockit.co.nz, but again, you can use it only if you have access to the Web. If the initial APN is not set correctly, this is not a usable solution if you don't have working cellular internet (as was my case), but obviously can be used if you are able to find a WiFi hotspot.
Does the solution given here require any sort of internet connection (besides the initial step on downloading and installing the app itself?)
Thanks.

I have used this solution for about a month now. It fixes the 3G data drop issue Fido has been experiencing in Canada since the release of 4.0. It should also be noted that after doing this iTunes will require you to encrypt your backups. This is no real problem, except that iTunes 10 seems to have a bug when setting up a encryption password. When you initially set it up, the pop up will keep asking you to choose a password as if the first one you selected didn't work. Just keep say OK to the same information and it will go away after 3 or so requests. No issues after that.

Hmmm..
I just noticed that this method only works from the PC/Mac?
ie - this is not something to be installed on the iPhone then used to config as required, as per the appropriate country?
If this is so, the methods I described above are superior, as they are versatile and do not require a PC.

I use this on my kids' iPhone 2G's to disable inadvertent cellular data use. I just fill the fields with fake APN data. Better than having to jailbreak it, if I don't want to do that.

I swapped SIM cards and used the unlockit.co.nz yesterday 2.2.11 and on 2.3.11 after swapping back, AT&T sent my iPhone 4 a TXT and email telling me they know I switched SIM cards and to not do it any more without buying an iPad data plan.
How do I get around this?

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You can push the share button and it will send you an email through your email client. If you don't want to use the email client then just cut and paste the file on your desktop and then attach it to your email. Use your wifi to get the email and then open the file. You will be prompted to install the configuration. Turn off your wifi and then send yourself a test email. It should be working at that point. Good luck.

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Check "iPCU" App on AppStore. It will help you configure APN on your iphone/ipad directly. Works like a charm.

How do you create the MMS apn, I can load the GPRS apn but the MMS and WAP apn's are seperate and it will only take one payload? It's has to be the identifier but I don't know what it is.