AT&T iPhones successfully unlocked, restore process will remove jailbreak

Members of the iMore nation started hitting AT&T yesterday, the moment the previously announced official unlocks for iPhone became available, and so far the results have been successful but mixed. Forum member Irish Rose reports a successful iPhone 4 unlock, tested and working on T-Mobile EDGE. Reader Juan Tarrio, however, was told his iPhone 3GS and iPhone 3G unlocks would require approval and that he'd hear back by April 16.

Once AT&T has entered your iPhone IMEI number into Apple's database, you'll receive the following email confirmation:

Thank you for contacting AT&T Customer Care about your unlocking your iPhone.

We have reviewed your request and determined you are eligible to have the requested iPhone unlocked.

To complete the unlock simply:

  1. Open iTunes on your Mac or PC and verify that you have internet connectivity
  2. Connect your iPhone using the dock connector to USB cable that came with your iPhone
  3. Backup and restore your iPhone using iTunes

Note: Since the unlock process requires your iPhone be restored via iTunes, that means it will remove any jailbreak currently on the device. If you were only jailbroken in order to be unlocked, that won't matter and you can go ahead and restore to your heart's content. If you have an iPhone 4S and have been holding back on iOS 5.1 until a nicely packaged, untethered jailbreak is released, you may want to hold off on restoring, or do without your jailbreak for a while.

Did you get your iPhone officially unlocked by AT&T? Jump into our forums and let us know how it went.

Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.

  • I just connected to iTunes, and got the unlock message. No restore necessary.
  • Did you get a case number for your request? Because I got one and they said to wait until the 16th. Just wondering if those who didn't get case number receive an almost immediate unlock. I think I got a number because my phone was bought off contract.
  • I have got case number and they asked me to wait till 17th April
  • My iPhone4 was unlocked by AT&T on 13th April (IST)
  • hello madam,
    i have an AT&T iphone and i need to contact company to unlock it ........can i know how you contacted the AT&T(exact number or email id) i have to provide them any informations regards
  • Never received the email confirmation and they told me to wait at the most until April 16th.
    It's for an iPhone 3GS.
  • I have an AT&T iPhone 4 with gevey sim unlock outside USA, there is any chance that if I restore it this unlock happens?
  • At&t customer service would have to add your imei to their system in order to be unlocked so NO just plugging into iTunes without calling AT&T would NOT unlock.
  • I have the same situation - I have bought 2 at&t locked iphones 4 from ebay that I'm using outside US with GEVEY. I have just called AT&T customer support and told the IMEI numbers. After ~10 min of waiting they refused to unlock, because of the "security policy" constraints. Has anyone succeeded with unlock outside US?
  • I called yesterday and the representative took all my information, at the end provided me with a Case ID for further reference. They said that I had to wait until April 16th, the latest to see a response from AT&T. So, I'm gotta have to be patient. I'll post a comment when I hear from them.
  • I too called AT&T yesterday and have a case number for my iPhone which I bought in MKE, US. They asked me to wait till april 17th. No email from them yet.
  • Jabber/Kiran,
    do you currently have an account with AT&T?
  • Ananymous,
    No I dont have and never had. So the unlock was successfull within 4 days.
  • hi i bought my phone from ebay also, i requested the unlock no question asked 3 days later , looked at my mail unlock had went through connected the phone to itunes now i have an unlocked iphone 4,
  • Does anyone know if you're forced to upgrade the OS? I've got an old 3GS running and older OS and I'd much rather keep it that way and not upgrade it.
  • I believe that it will work only if you have the latest iOS in your device… however if you have TinyUmbrella you may tray to restore to a custom firmware of iOS.
  • meh even unlocked it doesnt really do me any good. I will still be staying with at&t. Now if I travel outside of the US this is something I would desire. Right now I dont need it.
  • It may do you no good now, but it will help sell your iPhone down the road when you replace it.
  • I don't understand why the phone must be restored. I unlocked my iPhone 4 last week in Spain with the movistar carrier and I was simply told to put in a SIM card belonging to a different carrier and connect to iTunes.
    When I put in the card, a popup appeared asking me whether to authenticate the phone using iTunes or using a WiFi connection. I selected my WiFi connection, and a couple of seconds later, the phone was connected to the new carrier.
  • rules regarding locking and being able to use other carriers are different outside USA. Lucky you!
  • I am from Ethiopia. I have iPhone 4G iOS 5.0.1. I unlocked my phone with the help of Tim Cook before a week. What I want to ask is that " is the unlock factory unlock or not?"
  • How Tim Cook help you to unlock your iPhone? lol… but for the record when you unlock with iTunes legit its for ever.…
  • I tried to unlock my iphone 3GS today morning. I got to Tech support and the person told me that my IMEI # does not allow upgrade in their system.
    But when talking to find reason, my phone call disconnected.
    Called again got different person and they transferred me and I gave my IMEI # and they were able to enter to system and push to APPLE. After 2 hrs I restored my iphone 3GS and I got message saying "Iphone Unlocked".
    So I am good to go.
  • Could anybody help me? I'm from Uk and don't have AT&T account (obviously). As a single account can unlock 5 iPhones a year, could anyone with AT&T account help me unlock my iPhone? If so, please email me at: karolisk[at]rocketmail[dot]com . Of course, I would pay.
  • Hi Karolis,
    I think if you have bought your iphones by paying full cash and without contract, you can still call AT&T and they will unlock; but might take a week or two. Please have a check with AT&T.
  • One call to AT&T customer service and I had my unlock processed no questions asked. Took 3 minutes to get the email.
    I did backup and restore, but I didn't bother to check if I actually needed to. This is my backup 3GS which will be going to Straight Talk for the GF.
  • So are people doing this to their old iphones, for example my 3gs and 4 that I have sitting that I have planned to sell but havent. They are no longer the contract iphone on my account, my 4gs is, but my account is still under contract for a year and a half. Are those phones considered off contract even though im on contract?
  • DG, i an in the same exact situation and just got my iphone 4 unlocked.
    i did have to point out to them that i wanted to unlock the 4 and not the 4S
  • Can anyone help me unlock my iPhone 4
    I dont have and AT&T account to ask
    IMEI: 01 233800 912680 6
  • Submitted my claim on April 9th and was told to fax a cover letter to a unlock dept for AT&T and then fax the original receipt with it..l was given an expected date of April 17 and it unlocked in less then 48 hours
  • I have an AT&T locked phone which I bought a year back . I payed the full amount , I live in India . How to contact them and request for unlock ?
  • Hey! am from India too..Mine z under the process of unlocking..
    call ATT customer care or chat with tech support (international services), have ur IMEI # ready and they shd be able to process it ;-)
  • I emailed AT&T on the 16th, a representative gave me a resolution date of 23rd April, but it unlocked immediately today after restore (17th april)
  • @kiran how u have done even though u r in India I m also from India tell me the procedure
  • The New Greenp0ison Jailbreak for iPhone 4s and iPad 2 for iOS 5.1 is out! It´s untethered! Have a look:
  • I am untethered On 5.0.1 with my iPhone 4s so I won't restore to see if the unlock was sent but my case was supposed to be done by April 17th and I called on the 18th and they said the case was still open but no one has emailed or contacted me. Any advice?
  • You do not need to restore to unlock, you simply have to deactivate the phone using redsn0w. I deactivated my phone and got the unlock message when I reactivated with iTunes.
  • ^ You will not lose anything when you deactivate the phone, your jailbreak, apps, and settings all stay the same.
  • Awesome tip, I was looking for some way to skip the restore, redsn0w didn't do it for me because I had installed ultrasn0w and sampref, as soon as I uninstalled them it got deactivated and Itunes did the rest
  • I'm now not sure the place you're getting your info, but good topic. I needs to spend a while finding out much more or understanding more. Thanks for wonderful info I used to be in search of this info for my mission.
  • After the factory unlock, are Tmobile users able to see push notifications, use iMessage, or Facetime? I am awaiting an unlock email, but am fearful that I won't be able to use push notifications the most. Can someone verify that we are able to use those features?
  • If you succcessfully unlock your iphone throu itunes
    yes you will be able to see push notifications and use iMessage and facetime from T-Mobile
  • I do not even know the way I stopped up right here, but I assumed this put up used to be great. I do not recognize who you are however certainly you're going to a well-known blogger when you aren't already. Cheers!
  • I used Cydia app to break my iphone and now i cant use safri or my maps tryied to restore the phone but they say there is a firmware prob an denies the restore
  • Can anyone provide me the Email address to unlock iPhone 4?
  • If you're trying to get your phone unlocked thru AT&T, be warned that it's not easy. They have a long list of criteria that you have to meet before they're willing to release the unlock to you. For instance, your account has to be in good standing, and you'll also have to be out of contract. And even then, they might reject you for whatever reason. If you're not an AT&T customer like me, tough luck. Took about a month of waiting before I was told I was denied. You will have to go through 3rd party vendors that offer factory unlocking service instead. If any of you need the service you can check out the site I used: I can't vouch for other vendors as I've never used their service and hence, don't know if they're reliable, but using the site provided, I unlocked my iPhone 4s and iPhone 4 at $45 each (which isn't bad at all considering a lot of companies out there are charging over $100 for the same exact service). Both were officially done so the unlocks are permanent and I've never had any issues with restoring or updating the software. Hope this helps.
  • If you need a fast and easy iphone unlocking service come to us at we offer pretty fast and cheap iphone unlocking service which is a permanent unlock, so your iphone going to be like a factory unlocked iphone.
  • I bought iPhone 4 in Three store in Ireland they unlocked my phone but they said that I have to restore via iTunes when I plug my iPhone to iTunes there was information that my card is not compatible ?? I calling today to technical support and they told me that I have to press Home and power buttom together and everything was ok my iPhone start to restore but on the end when iPhone start to reopen I got information on iTunes To finish prosess I have to insert compatible card??? What is going wrong? Pls anwer ...
  • hi, i have also received the officially unlocked message. however i currently am not in us and am not with at&t. my iphone 3gs is unofficially unlocked and jailbreaked... so what will be the process that i should follow.... can i do the same as instructed?