How to Jailbreak and Unlock Your iPhone 3G Using PwnageTool (Mac) [4.2.1]

Posted November 28, 2010 at 5:29pm by iClarified | Please help us and submit a translation by clicking here | 171589 views

These are instructions on how to jailbreak and unlock your iPhone 3G on iOS 4.2.1 using PwnageTool for Mac. This tutorial will explain how to upgrade your baseband if needed for an unlock.

Step One
Make a folder called "Pwnage" on the desktop. In it you will need a couple of things. PwnageTool 4.1.3, found here

You will also need the 4.2.1 iPhone firmware.
4.2.1 (3G): iPhone1,2_4.2.1_8C148_Restore.ipsw

If you are on the 05.14 or 05.15 baseband you will also need the iPad 3.2.2 firmware. You can find out how to determine your baseband version here.
3.2.2: iPad1,1_3.2.2_7B500_Restore.ipsw

When downloading the IPSW file, it is best to download it with Firefox since Safari often auto extracts it!

Step Two
Double click to mount PwnageTool then drag the PwnageTool icon into the Pwnage folder.

Then from the Pwnage folder double click to launch the PwnageTool application.

Click Ok if presented with a warning.

Step Three
Click to select Expert Mode from the top menu bar

Step Four
Click to select your device. A check-mark will appear over the image of the device. Click the blue arrow button to continue.

Step Five
You will be brought to the "Browse for IPSW" page. Click the Browse for IPSW... button.

From the popup window select your firmware from the Pwnage folder then click the Open button.

Step Six
You will now be asked if you want to update your baseband to the 06.15 version. If you are on 05.14 or 05.15 or higher you will need to do this to unlock. You do not need to do this for jailbreak only.

Please read the following very carefully before deciding whether to do this.

1. There is no way to come back down from 06.15, and there’s no hiding the baseband version from Apple. You’ll be voiding your warranty in a very obvious way.
2. If some future baseband comes out with a critical fix, you won’t be able to update to it if it remains down in the 05.xx sequence (then again, you wouldn’t update to it if you wanted to keep your unlock anyway).
3. Starting with FW 4.2.1 if you have 06.15 on your iPhone you won’t ever be able to restore to stock firmware (it will fail). You’ll need to only restore to custom IPSWs (then again, if you’re unlocker you should already be doing that).
4. There are reports that 06.15 may disable your GPS. The iPhone Dev-Team is currently working on a fix.

Don’t update to 06.15 if you don’t need to! Only do this if you need the unlock and you’re stuck on 05.14 or 05.15, and you’re willing to assume the above risks.

If you pressed YES then click the Browse for IPSW... button.

From the popup window select the iPad 3.2.2 firmware from the Pwnage folder then click the Open button.

Step Seven
You will then be brought to a menu with several choices. Click to select General then click the blue arrow button.

The General settings allows you to decide the partition size. Check Activate the phone if you are not with an official carrier then click the blue arrow button. Here you can also choose to enable iOS 4 features such as Multitasking, Wallpapers, and Battery Percentage. If you choose to do this please be aware that the performance of your device could suffer.

NOTE*: Deselect Activate if you have an iPhone legitimately activated on an official carrier.

The Cydia settings menu allows you to create custom packages so you do not have to manually install the necessary them later.

Click to select the Download packages tab. Then click the Refresh button to display all the available packages. Double clicking the package you want will download it and make it available in the Select Packages tab.

Checkmark the ones you want then click the blue arrow button.

The Custom Packages Settings menu displays listed package settings for your custom IPSW. For know leave these settings as is. Click the blue arrow button to continue.

The Custom Logos Settings menu allows you to add your own images as boot logos. Click the Browse button to select your Boot logo and Recovery logo. If you would like to use the iClarified ones they can be found here: Boot Logo, Recovery Logo

Remember the rules for them: RGB or Grayscale format with Alpha channel and dimensions below 320x480...

Click the blue arrow button to continue.

Step Eight
You are now ready to begin the pwnage process! Click the Build button to select it then click the Blue arrow button to begin.

Step Nine
You will be asked to save your custom .ipsw file. Save it to your Pwnage folder you created on your Desktop.

Your IPSW is now being built. Please allow up to 10 minutes.

You will be asked to enter your administrator password. Do this then click the OK button.

Step Ten
When prompted if your iPhone has been Pwned before, we clicked No. It allows for a more thorough restore.

Once your ipsw has been built you will be asked to connect your iPhone to the computer. Once it detects your device PwnageTool will guide your through the steps to putting your iPhone into DFU mode.

Press and hold the power and home buttons for 10 seconds.

Then release the power button and continue holding the home button for 10 seconds.

Once your iPhone is successfully in DFU mode, PwnageTool will prompt you to launch iTunes.

Step Eleven
Once In iTunes, hold the Alt/Option key and click Restore.

Step Twelve
Navigate to the Pwnage folder on your desktop using the dialog window that appears. Select the custom IPSW that was created and click the Choose button.

Step Thirteen
iTunes will now restore the firmware on your iPhone. This can also take up to 10 minutes. Once done you will be rebooted into jailbroken iOS 4.2.1!

UNLOCK: You can now follow this tutorial to unlock your device.

***THANKS: Thank you to Geohot and the Dev-Teams for their hard work in making this jailbreak and tutorial possible!

Add Comment
placed - July 9, 2013 at 10:06am
Thanks for the post.I would like to share my experience in unlocking my iPhone 4.I wanted to unlock it from the respective locked network but did not want to jailbreak it.As jailbreak makes the user to lose the warranty of the phone.I was also not comfortable in using the available unlocking tools.I searched and found that provides such a permanent unlocking service for iPhone models.They unlock the iPhone through the remote unlock service which would be a better option because,we need not give the mobile to someone else nor do we have any chance to enter the wrong unlock codes.This type of unlocking was very apt for me.I unlocked my mobile and now free to switch networks.
Sha - February 6, 2012 at 10:15pm
iPhone 3G, iOS 4.2.1 jailbreak with Pwnage Tool. Only problem is I am not getting the wifi. Is there solution to fix wifi ? Please help.
Miguel - November 18, 2012 at 8:38am
Same here. Lost wifi. Does anyone know if this can be fixed?
Joe - November 4, 2011 at 7:42am
while i was trying to jailbreak and unlock my 3gs 4.2.1 via pwnage tool (when changing baseband to ipad 6.15) , i had made it to the last step of getting into the dfu mode and after that my itunes did not restore it to the new custom restore since it was not updated. Now i am stuck in dfu mode plz help. I just updated my itunes to 10.5
Maxvot - October 19, 2011 at 10:20am
I have some odd situation at my end. I have iPhone 3G wich was jailbreaked and unlocked with ultrasonw. Accidentally, I upgraded my Modem Firmware to 5.14.02 & version is 4.1 (8B117). Fortunately my service provider allowed me to get on to network. I dont know how, may be now in my country (India) we have oficial unlocked iphones. Now my question is, since we can use official unlock phones in India. If I upgrade my iPhone 3g to 4.2 version with my itunes. Will it work ? Cause I have no clue about what firm ware I would be getting. As it is 4.2 is last Os that can be updated on 3G. The reason I need to upgrade to 4.2 is that, my phone is very slow. I dont see many facilities in my phone right now. e.g. Setting up fonts for notes. Multitasking. Home screen and lock screen option etc. Please suggest or help.
iDum - May 29, 2011 at 12:06pm
Hello, Thanks a lot for your tutorial - however, would it be possible to do it with an older firmware? 4.2.1 isn\'t very efficient on a 3G. If I want to jailbreak, can I just do it the same way, but with selecting 3.1.3 for 3G firmware? Thanks in advance, Alex
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