June 10, 2023
How to Jailbreak and Unlock Your iPhone 3GS Using RedSn0w (Mac) [4.2.1]

How to Jailbreak and Unlock Your iPhone 3GS Using RedSn0w (Mac) [4.2.1]

Posted November 29, 2010 at 11:56pm · 79 comments · Add Comment
H1uams - October 27, 2014 at 5:22pm
Great instructions, best I had found as others took hours and did not work. Would suggest using redsn0w 0.9.14b2 and not the most upto date. Many thanks.
Marlon - July 29, 2013 at 3:26pm
Make sure to remove your sim card if you have one (I'm running Iphone 3gs new bootroom at&t) I'm a newb but I noticed that this was the only way I could get the jailbreak to work. Also have a question: If you reboot your phone untethered, do you loose all your jailbreak data?
Luigi Pirandelo
Luigi Pirandelo - November 26, 2011 at 11:14am
Hello everyone! I have a question and I hope you can help me. I have an iPhone 3GS, 4.2.1, 05.15.04 and I want to unlock it. I am planning to backup all my files with iTunes, then jailbreak it and the unlock it with RedSn0w, following this tutorial. I understand that this will change my broadband to 06.15 and the risks. My question: If anything goes wrong with the Jailbreak and I need to reinstall the stock firmware using the iTunes backup, will I be able to bring back my iPhone to the same state before jailbreaking it? Thanks a lot for your help! :-)
Thomas - February 3, 2011 at 10:49am
Hi. I have tried this several times with no luck. Couple times I got a failed to enter DFU massage, but I mostly get unexpected error and instructions to reboot and try again. What am I doing wrong here?
lulu - February 1, 2011 at 12:52pm
DONE! Thanks folks. JB/unlock a friend's 3GS which he inherited from a pal. Works like a charm!
Symona - October 26, 2011 at 2:42am
Clear, inorfmtaive, simple. Could I send you some e-hugs?
verdao - January 25, 2011 at 4:24am
I hope this isn't a repeat question, but please help. I have a 3GS, old bootrom, 05.11.07 baseband. I installed 4.2.1 using pwnage tool and the minimal bundle. Now when I attempt to jailbreak with redsn0w, but redsn0w either crashes when I try to put the phone into DFU mode when prompted by redsn0w or, if I put the phone into DFU mode before starting the process, it says it's encountered an unexpected error. Any advice or help very much appreciated.
David - January 18, 2011 at 3:01pm
NEED HELP!!! I followed the tutorial. At the very end (jailbreak happening directly on the iPhone), I have the iPhone restarting with the message in iTunes "the SIM Card inserted in this iPhone does not appear to be supported". The only deviation I did from the tutorial is that I downloaded redsn0w_mac_0.9.6rc8 & selected the option "activate". What should I do next (apart from throwing my iPhone away)?
ScooterComputer - January 11, 2011 at 3:43pm
Just wanted to give some updated info for those who might be asking. I was hesitant to do the 4.2.1 update because I could not find ANYWHERE that talked about the 4.2.1 Baseband Version Check as it pertained to the 3GS, or the stability of the 4.2.1 "minimal" bundle for the 3GS released by the Dev-Team. #1 The 4.2.1 Baseband Version Check must not affect the 3GS (old bootrom) because I am successfully running 4.2.1 with 5.11.07 without problems! I would still like to see this version check detailed more than it has, what models it affects, etc, but it is NOT inhibiting my usage of 4.2.1. #2 I have been running 4.2.1 with the "minimal" bundle on my Old Bootrom 3GS--jailbroken--for several weeks. It has been rock solid. Battery life is nearly as good as I remember under 3.1.2. I have had no WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, or other problems. My phone has locked up/rebooted one time, and who knows why that might have been; I've seen that happen to non-jailbroken devices. And I even restored my 3.1.2 Backup to the phone…which is not normally a good idea. Overall, for experienced (not necessarily guru-level) users who can read and figure out their way around PwnageTool and Redsn0w, I would absolutely suggest doing this update. Especially if you're down in the 3.1.x's with older baseband. BUT STAY AWAY from 6.15 and stock 4.2.1!
Ankit - December 23, 2010 at 12:40am
hey i tried using this method for jailbreak my iphone 3gs on 4.2.1. everything goes on smooth it got restored also but when i use the redsnow thing it says it has worked good but after tht everytime the cydia is not loaded completely and it doesnt operate. kindly help
dubbs - December 29, 2010 at 5:07pm
Same problem here. Cydia flashes and nothing happens. Iphone 3gs, 4.2.1, 05.15.04-6.4_M3S2
lightgale - January 27, 2011 at 12:53pm
ok, tried a jailbreak for a factory unlocked/neverlocked iPhone 3GS everything went smooth, now I see the apple logo and the spinning wheel frozen, and it just won't boot... wtf? So this is the way to brick an iPhone? pfff, what a luck to learn from my mistake... is there any solution? It just vibrates and on the screen there is the apple logo and the frozen wheel... :-( tried checking the tethered boot, I have the pineapple logo instead... still the phone is bricked... am I that stupid?
lightgale - January 27, 2011 at 1:46pm
ok, it looks like it was my bad, as I had to perform a tethered boot, so I miscalculated the week of manuf. tethered boot it is now, but it was painfully slow...
ann - December 21, 2010 at 3:04pm
just tried to do the restore with custom ipsw in itunes, and after extracting it, it tries to contact the apple server to verify the update, but then fails. tried it last night, and again today, and got the error message both times. didn't itunes just have a minor update? does this break the jailbreak? i'm on itunes 10.1.1 ...
Airwalker - December 20, 2010 at 12:36pm
HELP!! Just tried to jailbreak my iPhone 3GS, 4.2.1, 05.15.04, week 34/09) following the instructions above using redsn0w 0.9.6b5. The device does not reboot, instead hangs at "Please wait while your device is being processed. Waiting for reboot". What's going on? Helpful hints very appreciated! Tks
Airwalker - December 27, 2010 at 9:21am
Sorry, realised that I used the 4.2.1 version for the iPhone 3G instead for the iPhone 3GS. Problem solved!
Randall Murry
Randall Murry - December 18, 2010 at 10:00am
im using this to jailbreak and unlock but when it gets to the screen after all the baseband downloads....it sticks on- "please wait while your device is being processed" "waiting for reboot" now what? and i can't turn phone back on, its just black
Yhsay - December 16, 2010 at 11:56pm
Hi, I have a 3GS jailbroken and unlocked using BlackRa1n and its currently on OS 3.1.2 and baseband 05.11.07 I am a bit confused on this tutorial, so please help me with these questions 1. Do I need to install both redsnow and ultrasnow 1.2 to get an unlocked 4.21 2. Do I have to first uninstall BlackRa1n on my phone to restore it to any previous condition or should I just download 4.21 , use first redsnow and then ultrasnow? 3. Do I need to upgrade my baseband to 06.15 or should I let my baseband remain at 05.11.07? Rgds Yhsay
thomas - December 17, 2010 at 12:58am
thanks you
Alexandre - February 17, 2011 at 7:43pm
I,m with the same questions. I have exact situation, but I didnt see de answer. How did you make? Thank you
noburg - December 14, 2010 at 8:37pm
Used this method on 32GB 3GS FW 4.1 with iBoot-359.3 Upgraded to 4.2.1 via itunes then followed above steps, all good, no dramas. Did not upgrade my baseband, assuming because i said 'No' to the 'Is it new version' question. Thanks a lot to the author.
edieamien - December 3, 2010 at 2:49am
help any website to download custom firmware 4.21 ?...........
dan - December 1, 2010 at 12:57pm
just jailbreaked my 3gs new bootrom, but after unlocking with ultrasn0w, stuck on apple logo when rebooting, now my 3gs stuck in recovery mode, can't restore it or kick it with tinyumbrella, any ideas ?
dan - December 2, 2010 at 11:11am
problem solved! just downgraded it with tinyumbrella
tony_cicero - January 13, 2011 at 3:10am
Hi Dan, how exactly did you restore or downgrade ur iphone 3gs using tinyumbrella? i saved my shsh files all the way from 4.0.2. but find that even when i run the tss server thing whilst highlighting which version i want to be restored to it just starts the service & 20mins later nothing has happened. please let me know how you managed as i'm now stuck on 4.2.1 baseband 05.15.04_6.4(M3S2) - new bootrom version week 91 i guess as message had popped up the 1st time saying this is a new version of the iphone 3gs - if that helps. need to upgrade baseband to 06.15 to unlock but redSnow needs me to put phone into DFU mode which isn't possible when in restore mode, or is it???
ravichandra - November 30, 2010 at 10:24pm
When can we expect jailbreak and unlock for Iphone 4 with 2.10 baseband.
Jeffd - November 30, 2010 at 6:41pm
Is there going to be a tutorial on how to do this without upgrading the baseband? I am on 4.0.1 BB 5.13.4 unlocked. I see there is a way to maybe upgrade to 4.2.1 without changing my baseband.
Lukas - November 30, 2010 at 3:25pm
I have updated my BB to 06.15 and restore my iphone 3GS from backup after I unlock it via ultrasn0w in cydia. But the battery life was bad, so I decided to restore my iphone but not from backup but it gives me a (21) error code. Can someone help me, and say me how could I restore my 3GS(6.15) to 4.2.1. ?? ..
Satz - November 30, 2010 at 9:01am
Unable to install cracked apps on to the iphone 3gs. followed all the instruction and cydia is working but not able to install the cracked apps. can anyone help me with this pls
zl - December 1, 2010 at 2:30am
you need to download and install appsync. check this link: http://www.mobilesdna.com/iphone/appsync-4-2-to-install-cydia-apps-on-jailbroken-ios-4-2-1-iphone-ipod-touch/2379/ cheers!
perica - November 30, 2010 at 2:32am
What is happened with this thread. I can see a comments which are older than thread itself???
suck - November 30, 2010 at 3:35am
yeah. i think the thread belongs to other link. so is there anyone really tried this? help
Sudo - November 29, 2010 at 4:06pm
Hello friends! I just want to confirm i have a Unlocked and Jailbroken 3GS with old bootrom on 04.26.08 modem firmware. Thanks to the Dew Team releasing the 3GS bundle for PwnageTool 4.1.3 witch made me keep my precious modem firmware version. And thanks to the current RedSn0w version i successfully jailbreaked iOS 4.2.1 and installed a working/active Cydia app. Please note: PwnageTool seems to install the Cydia icon but i never touched it before jailbreaking with RedSn0w. Also note that even though everything went smooth in jailbreaking Cydia crashed the first time - then i just did the RedSn0w jailbreak proccess again (without restoring or anything) Then Ultrasn0w and AppSync install in Cydia is piece of cake :) And hey, Cydia is faster and more responsive in loading/reloading! Maybe it is the OS dunno but i am a happy man! ... ooooh happy daaaayy... oooh...o..oo....oooh... Great work guys! Sn0wy greetings from Denmark!
RiZ - November 30, 2010 at 2:49am
Sudo... Congratulation!!! I feel you... Unfortunately, I'm unable to celebrate with you as i'm kinda lost with the whole process.. Im currently using an iphone 3gs 4.1 jailbreak on modem firmware 04.26.08. Would really really appreciate if you could forward me your version of the guide to jailbreaking / unlocking and installing the new os 4.2. Please mail me on rixz2002@yahoo.com, looking forward to celebrating with you.. iRegards
RiZ - November 30, 2010 at 2:51am
Woops.. and one more I've used pwnage for previous jailbreaks.. Many thanks & looking forward to hearing from you soon..
Vandecasteele François
Vandecasteele François - November 30, 2010 at 4:03am
Hi Sudo, just one question, i've got the same config (3GS, old bootrom), and wondered if your Jailbreak IS Tethered or NOT ? Thanks a lot.
Sudo - November 30, 2010 at 3:27pm
There is really not much else i can say other than follow the guides on iclarified. Maybe you can describe where in the process you need help? Anyway here it goes... 1) Download newest Pwnagetool - add 3gs bundle - read "How to Add a Firmware Bundle to PwnageTool" guide. 2) Make custom firmware with Pwnagetool (with "activation" option DE-selected) 3) In the end of creating custom firmware Pwnagetool let you put iphone in DFU mode (has not worked for me on previous iphone updates but this time it does) 4) Restore with new custom firmware in iTunes (holding option button down - trick) - (FYI: i had inserted an AT&T sim card in iPhone slot just for no reason) 5) iTunes restores firmware (AT&T card did not activate iphone as hoped) 6) iPhone reboots and is set as "new iphone" within itunes (iPhone tries to communicate with AT&T network guess it is too far away lol) 7) On the Redsn0w: Remember to point resn0w to the original/unmodified apple firmware 4.2.1 in the beginning when asked 8) When asked "is this a new model?" of course choose "no" 9) Remember before actual jailbreak to turn iphone OFF while STILL CONNECTED to your computer (as describes in guides here) 10) Quit Redsn0w when only when iPhone has finished rebooting... at least that is what i did (again for no reason) As i said earlier Cydia did not work at first - it crashed when trying to launch - even after a iphone reboot - so i did a re-jailbreak with redsn0w to make it work properly. An other thing that might be of help in Redsn0w jailbreaking is to read "ahead" so to speak when doing the button combination sequence ("3 sec" "9 sec"...) when putting iPhone into DFU inside Redsn0w.... You are to late if you have to read the text commands first before you actually hit the power or home buttons! Hope you get the general idea (please don't comment on my grammar! he he)
Sudo - November 30, 2010 at 3:42pm
Yes - jailbreak and unlock works - both after reboot or cold-start - no problems calling in or out :) ...i wonder how many of us still have the 04.26.08 baseband...?
Vandecasteele François
Vandecasteele François - November 30, 2010 at 3:45pm
Thank you very much, i'll leap forward to the 4.2.1 ASAP.
ninenazgul - November 30, 2010 at 10:25pm
Hi Sudo, These are excellent directions. I have a 3Gs old bootrom device with 04.26.08 baseband on FW 4.1 and have been searching everywhere for a success story like yours to encourage me to take the plunge into 4.2.1. Let me ask you a few questions just to set my mind at ease. Are you experiencing any problems with your battery? Wifi? GPS? Sorry if I seem paranoid, it's just that after reading all of the horror stories over at the dev-team blog, I have been hesitant to upgrade.
RiZ - December 1, 2010 at 1:59am
WoW Sudo! You are an absolute legend....!!! One last question before i join in the celebration of your success, will i be required to update baseband to 06.15.00 using the ipad option on redsnow? Awaiting reply with great anticipation! Once again thanks for taking the time in listing down the process in detail.. iRegards, RiZ
Sudo - December 1, 2010 at 2:26am
These are no issues for me... If jailbreaking causes problems i am sure they will be fixed. My main concern is that i preserved my baseband version.
Sudo - December 1, 2010 at 2:29am
Do not use iPad firmware - what a bad idea. Use PwnageTool to create your own 3GS custom firmware as described by using the 3gs bundle for pwnagetool. You should be fine.
scorpion - December 1, 2010 at 3:57am
do you mean it's safe to update to baseband 6.15 if i have an OLD bootrom 3gs with this process, and it will unlocked and jailbroken with the same steps above? cause the dev-team blog says "wait for the “unofficial” bundle" is that only if you don't want to unlock?
ninenazgul - December 1, 2010 at 9:07am
Sudo, when you say "these are no issues for me", do you mean that you do not care whether WiFi, GPS, and/or battery are working properly? Or do you mean that they are working fine with no problems? Thanks for your time. Glad you are enjoying your device on 4.2.1 with 04.26.08!
RiZ - December 2, 2010 at 2:43am
Yeheeyyyyyy!! 4.2.1 jailbreak working perfectly.. no errors! Guess it's about time to pop a bottle of champagne. Sudo, thank you very much....
josh - December 2, 2010 at 8:41am
Hi I did the same procedure on my 3GS 5.11. I have noticed that I lost my Internet tethering option now... what about you? Cheers
Jakub - November 29, 2010 at 6:12am
Hi, I believe that lots of people has the same problem here. I was waiting for the unlock for about 2 months but in order to unlock you have to run 6.15 baseband. So I restore with iPhone2,1_4.2.1_8C148a_Restore.ipsw and then for jailbreak make custom firmware with RedSnOw. A little bit of pain was to get the phone to DFU mode to "Just boot tethered right now" (not easy as usually). But I have done that finally. Now when Im ready to UNLOCK, the phone says that baseband is 5.15!!! Can somebody explain me why? Do I have to update instead of restore at the beggening to get the 6.15 baseband?
Lukas - November 29, 2010 at 2:54pm
I have a same problem, can anyone help :( ?
Dutchman - November 30, 2010 at 3:33am
@Jakub See STEP 8 from this tutorial and you will find your answer. Cheers
victor - November 28, 2010 at 11:52pm
So no one says this method is a success? common guys tell any success.
ppupo - November 29, 2010 at 3:24am
Well, it didn't work for me so it wasn't a success.
andrei - November 30, 2010 at 4:51pm
worked for me(i had 4.1 and i used 4.1 ispw ) but fucked up my battery life! something sucks the battery with a straw. it doesn`t make it through the night in standby (locked)
ppupo - November 26, 2010 at 10:46pm
Hi, did the whole process but cydia appears as a white app and won't launch. any ideas?
ppupo - November 26, 2010 at 11:01pm
also, Safari won't launch.
yoshac - November 30, 2010 at 12:08am
Just to follow up: After 6 failed attempts I gave up trying to JB using Mac redsnow and tried from a PC instead. If worked first time, no white screen.
Vandecasteele François
Vandecasteele François - November 30, 2010 at 4:00am
Did you try to use redsnow and check the "just boot tethered" tick ?
ppupo - November 30, 2010 at 6:21pm
actually no. I thought you should only use that option if you wanted to reboot after your iPhone had shut down. I think I'll wat for the untethered version of redsn0w... thanks anyway!
yoshac - November 23, 2010 at 11:09pm
After step 11 (limera1n exploit) my 3GS (old bootrom) goes to a white screen instead of reboot, and redsn0w says failed.
Berkay - November 24, 2010 at 9:39am
Yes, it happened to me, too.
peter - November 24, 2010 at 10:59am
Same issue !
Steve Humann
Steve Humann - November 25, 2010 at 3:02pm
same here. fucked me. knew I should have waited for Pwnagetool update. third try now on getting back to 4.1. argh.
john - November 27, 2010 at 5:48am
shit no sunday unlock Why do they always tease us i wish i had a blackberry
myffia - November 29, 2010 at 12:32am
I do everything and I successful JB my old bootroom 3Gs with 4.2.1 using redsn0w... but still cannot UNLOCKKKKK!!!!! sighhhh......
albend355 - November 30, 2010 at 2:59am
same here man. at first I was able to just jailbreak but now I can not do either!!!
Zubair - November 30, 2010 at 2:31pm
how to solve this issue ?!!!!!
Joe N.
Joe N. - November 23, 2010 at 7:12pm
Hey guys - so I updated my 3GS following the tutorial. Updated to 4.2.1 from iTunes and then opened Redsn0w and did everything in there. After all the crazy texts the phone rebooted. Thing is it's been stuck on the Apple logo on boot. What do i do now? It's been there for almost 10 minutes
me - November 23, 2010 at 7:46pm
it's tethered jailbreak!!!!!! so you need to open redsnow again and this time checkmark boot iphone or something like that and follow the screens.
me - November 23, 2010 at 7:48pm
did you not read the whole tutorial look at the last screen shot that is marked IMPORTANT
Joe N
Joe N - November 23, 2010 at 11:56pm
I did follow the tutorial but when i check the "boot tethered now" it boots up with no Cydia on the springboard and when i check the "install cydia" it doesn't boot at all.
me - November 24, 2010 at 9:47am
restore and rejailbreak
VINCENT - November 27, 2010 at 5:53am
Anooj - November 29, 2010 at 4:31am
Happened the same thing with me.. I have re-installed 4.2.1.. donno if i should go ahead and try jb'ing it again.. Also, it asked me for official sim after installing 4.2.1 which i dont have.. any help?
Jakub - November 29, 2010 at 5:27am
Ok, I did 2 times custom restore and everytime I try to boot with REDSNOW it does not work because I can not get the phone to DFU mode. It is stuck on Apple logo and it will only do RESTORE mode but not DFU so REDSNOW boot helper will not continue....any advice??? Im on 3GS newer mode, updated with Itunes and now trying to jailbreak with no luck....
djnaj - November 30, 2010 at 8:33am
i have same problem here.i tryed two 3gs phones,i restord 4.2.1 fw,then i tryed to JB,JAILBREAK was done,whn i installed ultrasn0w its went to apple logo,again i tryed to restore but its gone error 1015,please anyone help me out for this,i am stuck with 2 iphone 3gs
pixelodyssey - November 30, 2010 at 3:15pm
OMG...hey guys...same problem here....jailbreake then ultrasnow and then needs to restart and i did it....that was a big mistake i thing......now...apple logo all the time...fuck....i have 3gs new bootroom ...somebody a way out==??
pixelodyssey.eu - November 30, 2010 at 4:26pm
Hey guys, i found the solution!! if your 3gs stucks after istalling the ultrasnow and restart and you see the apple logo all the time then : >> >> start redsnow >> choose the boot tethered option and put your stuckung iphone to the dfü (like the instructions) and then...the iphone restarts...and...you are happy and the phone unlocked!! I hope i help you guys....so..fight it back ;)
Dimitar Haralanov
Dimitar Haralanov - November 23, 2010 at 5:13pm
Waiting for the iPhone 3G .ipsw file ;)
Name - November 27, 2010 at 5:49am
i agree it sucks no unlock yet for 3g 4.2.1 so when be honest stop teasing
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