How To: Jailbreak the iPhone 3G on iOS 4

I. Before You Begin

1. This is only for the iPhone 3G on iOS 4 (aka iPhone OS 4). NOT iPhone 4 or iPhone 3GS!

2. This will work on all basebands up to 5.13.04 (check your baseband by going to Settings > General > About and looking for Modem Firmware).

3. In order to unlock the iPhone, you must do this procedure and then go to our next procedure called How To Unlock the iPhone on iOS 4 linked at the bottom of this procedure.

II. Download all the necessary files

1. Download iTunes 9.2 if you don’t already have it:

iTunes 9.2 (Windows 32 bit)
iTunes 9.2 (Windows 64 bit)
iTunes 9.2 (Mac OS X)

2. Download RedSn0w (the jailbreaking program we’ll use)

RedSn0w (choose the latest one for your operating system)

3. Download the iPhone iOS 4 firmware file

iOS 4 Firmware (iPhone 3G)

III. Jailbreak the iPhone

1. Install iTunes by double clicking the iTunes Setup file you downloaded just now.

2. Plug the iPhone in via USB cable and let it pop up in iTunes and sync it with iTunes.

3. Now, update your iPhone 3G to iOS 4 through iTunes if you haven’t already.

4. Once it is on iOS4, unzip the RedSn0w .zip file we downloaded.

5. Inside the extracted folder, right click on RedSn0w the application, and click Run As Administrator (if using XP, or Mac you can skip running as admin and just double click it).

6. In RedSn0w click Browse and search for the iOS 4 Restore file you downloaded and select it (*if the file won’t show up, see the Reported Issues at the bottom of the procedure).

7. Once it says successful, click next. On this screen check off what you want to enable (the default options are fine) and then click next.

8. Turn off your iPhone and leave it plugged in.

9. Click next in RedSn0w and it will tell you to hold certain buttons on the iPhone to get it into DFU mode. Once it is in the correct mode, RedSn0w will automatically start running. Wait for it to finish.

10. Once the phone reboots, you have a jailbroken iPhone 3G and should see Cydia listed in the apps list on the homepage.

11 (Optional). TO UNLOCK THE PHONE, continue to our next procedure: How To Unlock the iPhone 3G/3GS/4 on iOS 4

Reported Issues:

Issue: I can’t see the firmware file! It is a .zip not a .ipsw

Solution: Go to Start menu on your computer, then click on Control Panel > Folder Options > View Tab > and Uncheck Hide extensions for known file types.
Then right click the iPhone firmware file and click on rename. Take the .zip and simply rename it to .ipsw
Then you can continue.

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  • Klop

    QUICK! Nice. Anyone know if the apps that ran on the old jailbroken OS will still run on IOS 4? And I’ve heard you can’t run podcasts in the background on IOS 4 if you’re on a 3G. Can this be fixed?

    • TheUnlockr


      Install appsync 4.0 from in cydia and that should do it. Good luck!

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  • Dood001


    If the update that apple just passed a few days ago for OS 4, and it was installed on the iphone 3G, will this jailbreak still work? Thanks!

    • TheUnlockr


      Yup! So long as you have an iPhone 3G you’ll be fine (3GS and iPhone 4 do not work yet).

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  • Bob

    Got stuck a couplpe of timwes running redsn0w on win7ultimate32bit. The solution was easy – right click ressn0w.exe. Click properties. Click compatability. Change to winxpsp3. Worked like a charm.

    Thanks dev-team and unlockr!

    • TheUnlockr


      Thanks for the tip for people! Appreciate it!

  • I tried to extract the iOS 4 restore firmware, but received a encryption loss error upon file extraction using Vista. Is there a work around available in order to complete this jailbreak? If so, can you direct me to it? Please??!!??

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  • kevin

    hello is there anybody experience this problem? i got an iphone 3g, now unlocked running ios 4 perectly, the only problem is it wont sync any photos, if i uncheck sync photos, then it syncs perfectly, then i chose like 7 photos but it take forever, (saying “syncing kevin’s iphone”) can you help? (i have appsyc os4 dont kno if its the problem

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  • mark

    how long is the actual jailbreaking process supposed to last?

    • TheUnlockr


      What does that mean? How long will your phone stay jailbroken or how long does it take to do this procedure?

      • mark

        ok well i did all of the steps correctly and when it got to the waiting to reboot screen it dosnt do anything its like its frozen or something its been like this for 30 min. what am i supposed to do? im on a mac by the way

        • TheUnlockr


          Are you using an iPhone 3G (NOT a 3GS or 4)?
          Were you already on iOS 4 when you started or were you on 3.1.3 or an earlier version?

          • mark

            its a 3g and i think i was on an earlier version cause i havent used iphone in over 6 months

  • HAs anyone had a problem extracting the iOS 4 Firmware (iPhone 3G) restore files. I have Windos Vista and when I extract the files from therestore it doesn’t create the 3G.ipsw file. Am I doing something wrong or is the a Vista issue?

    • TheUnlockr


      Instead of extracting it try changing the .zip to .ipsw

      • Am I supposed to change the .zip folder to the .ipsw or is there a particular file within that .zip folder that needs to be changed to the .ipsw

  • Dood001

    I was wondering, is picture message enable on this jailbreak? Cause i cant send out pics through text… or should i say, i don’t have an option to send a picture through text. second, i was told from ya’ll to redo the jailbreak and unlocking cause of some weird error i have been getting when opening cydia. can i just redo the procedure while im already jailbroken and unlocked? or do i have to downgread back to 4.0? Thanks

    • Shark

      I am having the same problems, sometimes I will receive blank pictures for no apparent reason with text messages, and other times no attachments.

  • arpan

    hii the Unlockr ….i just want to know when i am able to Jailbreak my iPhone 3GS on iOS 4…with following :-

    baseband 5.13.04

    bootrom 359.3.2

    plzz reply soon as possible…

    • TheUnlockr


      Soon as they come up with a working jailbreak for it. Shouldn’t be too long. Follow us on twitter, facebook or RSS and it’ll notify you as soon as we put it up.

  • Dood001

    Is picture message working? there’s no option that allows me to send a picture….

  • Dariio207

    The Unlockr, does this jailbreak makes your iPhone run faster and smoother than the OS 3 firmware.?

    I restore my jailbroken iPhone 3.1.2 with a custom iOS 4 from sn0breeze and it runs pretty slow, well it is really slow.! I was thinking of going back to my 3.1.2 firmware but I really wanna have the new iOS 4 but I want my iPhone to run as it did before or even better.

    • TheUnlockr


      Does your jailbroken version of iOS 4 have multitasking built in? Cause that could make it slow, since the only phone that is supposed to get multitasking normally is the ne iPhone 4 (cause it has enough RAM to handle it, unlike the older phones).

  • Dariio207

    the unlockr, yea I do have multitasking enable. so I just have to disable multitasking so my iPhone could run the way it was.? is there any other way I could have multitasking and increase my ram.?

  • cerria

    Do you have to update your phone to the 5.13.04 before you can do it?
    Also, im on tmobile with a jailbroken iphone and i wanna do the ios 4, but im afraid i will lose everything.
    Can you reasure me that i wont?

  • MrMondayNight

    So there is no jailbreak for iPhone 3GS runing on iOS 4.0 yet? And this is also mean no Unlock for the same phone yet? T_T I just upgraded last night to 4.0.

    • MrMondayNight,

      At the moment, you are correct. Guessing one will be out by the end of July at the latest (they might be waiting for 4.0.1).

  • Austin

    It says unable to recognize ipsw.. Please help

  • Jailbreaking taking a long time. Downloaded redsn0w to my macbook, doing the restore now but it’s been “processing firmware…” for the last 90 minutes. Does it normally take this long? Am I doing something wrong?

    • Ok, now getting same message as Austin(7/3/10 at 7:25pm), saying “unable to recognize specified IPSW. Any thoughts?

      • Eric,

        You need to make sure the IPSW file didn’t download as or .tar.gz etc. Check the reported issue at the bottom of the page. Also try redownloading the firmware (and make sure it is the right firmware for your phone, you must have an iPhone 3G NOT 3GS or 4) in case it was corrupted.

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  • Saji

    Should we be leaving the SIM card inside the phone during this process?

    • Saji,

      It shouldn’t matter, but take it out if you want to be safe.

  • limbu

    i got jailbroken n unlocked iphone 3g…and…i wanted to update it to ios 4. i did downloaded all the files like u stated and updated by os using itunes to ios4….but…while running redsn0w as administrator….i did select the .ipsw file ( iphone1.2_4….) but it gives me error saying ” unable to recognize specified IPSW”….u got one issue reported solution and i did follow that too but didnt work… me.

  • tony

    hi unlocker…i just bought a fido phone and unlocked it.. now i am using a telus sim card. b/c of my switch i do ont know why my browser is not working??? do you have any idea what is the problem and solution

    • Tony,

      Yes. You need to input the new carriers APN settings. Contact Telus for their settings and put them in the phone.

  • Monica

    Hey I have the same question as dood001 ……why can’t I send or receive picture maol now?

    • Monica,

      You have unlocked the iPhone and are using it on a carrier other than ATT? If so then you need to go to settings – general – network and put in the APN settings for the carrier you are now using (contactbthem for their specific settings).

  • Nio So-so

    So the link to RedSn0w is dead. Yeah. ._.

    • Nio So So,

      Thanks for letting us know. They are updated and work again.

  • jason

    why it appears waiting for reboot for so long?

  • Vicky


    Is versio 4.0 the same as 4.0.1?

    • Vicky,

      For the iPhone 3G, it should work the same.

  • CJ

    is there any difference between the 4.0 an 4.1 update?..if so will there be another video on doing the 4.1 update?

  • thatguy

    hey,the firmware file keeps downlading as a zip so i extracted them and now its not showing,,i seen u said change the .zip to .ipsw but did u mean the the actul zip file or one specific file after i extract them

    • Thatguy,

      The actual .zip file (don’t extract it). And then you’ll be good.

  • dahulk

    worked quicc, already have new apps up and running.

  • rahul

    i cant uplaod IPSW i dont know why?? i downloaded my OS4 from apple site now why redsnow is not accepting my IPSW ??

  • Rahul

    Hi Unlockr,

    Is the ipsw file same for OS 4.2 update.

    I am trying to update to os4 and the version available is 4.2,will this procedure work???


  • Evert

    Hey Unlocker,

    I have finished the whole process and everything worked fine but then I synced my phone with itunes and my apps stopped working. Phone can’t be restored either now. I have also tried opening cydia and get and error message saying; “method http has died unexpectedly! Sub-process http received signal 5.”

    oh and i can’t make or receive any calls. I can’t even find the phone app to access the key pad.

    modem firmware 05;14;02 if needed,


    • Nick7677

      This same thing happened to me, It installed and i don’t have my phone or any of my contacts.

  • do u know how to activate iphone 3g without sim card.. i already did when my version is 3.1.2 but i updated it as u said in the instruction but now looking for sim card for activation… can u help me?

  • joan

    how come for the thing that says “waiting for reboot takes soooo long?”

  • jd

    the rebot takes sooo long..i already cancel it..n know i cnt even open my iphone..wat will i do? help

  • Syomayatgin

    hi. i followed your instructions, my phone had a 4.1 firmware and all that. It started out fine but after installing some bundles, it went off and it seems like it’s trying to restart but it’s not booting up. it just keeps on showing the apple logo then flashes then does the apple logo thing all over again.

  • Hi UnLockr,
    Red Snow is saying with the link posted up top, that its not available.

  • Hi UnLockr,
    Red Snow is saying with the link posted up top, that its not available.

  • thisguy

    i downloaded the restore file, it came up as a zip file. i renamed it to .ipsw and now it says that can’t be recognized.

  • thisguy

    i downloaded the restore file, it came up as a zip file. i renamed it to .ipsw and now it says that can’t be recognized.

  • thisguy

    i downloaded the restore file, it came up as a zip file. i renamed it to .ipsw and now it says that can’t be recognized.

  • thisguy

    i downloaded the restore file, it came up as a zip file. i renamed it to .ipsw and now it says that can’t be recognized.

  • Mocchakiss23

    SUCCCESSFUL JAILBREAK AND UNLOCK!!!thanks for this site, aint no techie but i tried to do as they said. even with the problem of the zip file, do not extract, yes just change the zip file to .ipsw, the only file you will extract is redsnow.

  • Leela

    The rebooting is taking an extremely long amount of time. I did all the steps, but it just won’t reboot. Help, please!

  • Jahriclark

    hey man,im trying to do this but when i opened itunes it updated the phone to iOS 4.2.1 and my modem firmware 05.15.04 … will this still work? i dont want to break it

  • Sayoniaclan

    okay i finally jailbroken it thank you but….
    cydia wont open and everytime i slide to the next page it flashes.%Pr

    • nina

      mine does the same exact thing, screen keeps flashing when i do anything and cydia will not open

  • guest111

    did all the steps but after, screen kept flickering when i touched it. won’t let me shut off the phone. just tried to restore the phone so it can be back to normal, but now itunes can’t even restore it!

    • nina

      mine does the same thing, the phone keeps flickering when i touch it and Cydia will not open

      • nina

        i just realized my phone icon disappeared too, i cannot make any phone calls

  • Niko

    NEED HELP PLEASE! The reboot screen has been going for almost 2 hours and I don’t know how to turn my phone on again to get it working. Please advise me!

  • wcs

    how do you update it to iOS4??

  • Jbplangel0713

    i cant download the itunes 9.2 will the process work with the latest version of itunes????

  • Natifajsmith

    my team mobile sim card wont show even doe my phone is jail broken what do i do