How To: Activate the G1 Without a Data Plan

So by request, here is how to activate a G1 without a data plan or even a SIM card 🙂 (If you have a request for us to do a How To Video on, visit here).

Thanks to all the people who sent this request in!
Thanks to JesusFreke for the procedure!


If you are using the carrier the phone is locked to (Rogers in Canada, or T-Mobile in the US, etc.):

1.The easiest way to do this if you are in the US, is to get a friend to put his T-Mobile SIM with a data plan into your phone, activate it, then put your SIM in after.


2.Just add the Data plan to your T-Mobile SIM for the day and then remove it once you have activated the phone. (This will literally cost $1, $30 data plan divided by 30 days in a month times the amount of days you used the data plan equals $1).

If you are using a company that the phone was not locked to (in other words you unlocked the phone with an unlock code or bought it unlocked from somewhere):

1. Just put in whatever SIM you are using, then on the activation screen, hit Menu then click on APN. Click add APN and put your company’s internet settings in (ask your provider for these settings). Then add the data plan to your account for the day and remove it after you have activated the phone OR get a friend with a data plan to activate it for you.

The following procedure can be used if none of the above are available to you…

I. Getting Back to RC29

1. This procedure requires you to be on an old version of Android (RC29 aka Android 1.0) so you must use our unroot procedure first and get to RC29, DO NOT DO THE STEP THAT TAKES YOU BACK TO CUPCAKE, skip it and come back to here once you are on RC29.

How To Get Back to RC29

2. You also need a WiFi connection to do this procedure.

II. Setting Up ADB

1. After you are back to RC29, follow our How To Setup ADB procedure EXACTLY as it is written. Once you are able to see your phone’s serial number after typing ADB devices in the command prompt, then come back to this procedure.

IIIa. Activating the Phone Over WiFi WITHOUT a SIM.

1. Borrow someone’s SIM card then procedure to Section IIIb.

IIIb. Activating the Phone Over WiFi WITH a SIM but No Data Plan.

1. Turn on the phone, you will get a Touch Here to Begin Screen.

2. Open the phone’s keyboard and hit enter once then type the following on the phone’s keyboard:

setprop persist.service.adb.enable 1

3. Then hit enter.

4. Hit enter AGAIN and type the following on the phone’s keyboard:


5. Then hit enter.

6. With the phone still plugged in and the command prompt still up on your computer screen from the ADB process, type the following in the command prompt on your computer with hitting an enter at the end of each line:

cd c:\AndroidSDK\Tools\
adb devices

*this should bring up a serial number if your phone is connected, if not then redo the setup ADB process.

7. Now, in command prompt on your computer, type the following with hitting enter at the end of each line:

adb shell
am start -a android.intent.action.MAIN -n

8. On your phone should pop up the Android Settings screen, you can now choose a Wifi network to connect to then hit back and finish the activation process over Wifi. Enjoy!

Join 90k others & subscribe to my weekly, not annoying newsletter for more tech!

* indicates required