[iPhone] HowTo Activate and Unlock your iPhone using Pwnage 2.0

Article is outdated. Find newest Jailbreak and Unlock HowTo for iPhone Firmware 3.0 here.


We need to stress: respect the laws of the country you live in. For instance as german citizen with a T-Mobile Germany plan and iPhone you are not allowed to jailbreak or unlock your iPhone. T-Mobile is not kidding in this topic, as we’ve all seen with the sipgate sue (we reported here). This tutorial is in no way meant as an invitation to do things that are in violation of your contracts. We cannot be held responsible for bricking your devices. You do everything at your own risk and responsibility. Thanks.

I. Abstract

Pwnage Tool 2.0 is the newest tool to unlock and jailbreak “old” iPhones (iPhone 2G) and jailbreak “new” iPhones (iPhone 3G). It is developed, maintained and provided for free by the iPhone Dev Team. The Dev Team already provided Pwnage Tool 1.0 (see recent tutorial here).

This tutorial is for Mac users only who previously activated and unlocked their iPhones using Pwnage Tool 1.0. The release of Pwnage Tool 2.0 has been delayed in the last few days because of several bugfixes and issues that occurred during latest test. As we’ve used Pwnage Tool 2.0 in the last hours on some old iPhones, we can say: in contrast to Pwnage Tool 1.0, we encountered some problems with Pwnage Tool 2.0. Keeping that in mind it is your own risk to prolly brick your iPhone. We cannot be held responsible for your actions.

II. Preparations

A Microsoft Windows version of Pwnage 2.0 has not yet been released. Get yourself a Mac, it really is time to switch :-)

You need to download and install a couple of programs

  • download and install Pwnage Tool 2.0.1 (here or here) / Updated links to new Pwnage 2.0.1
  • download bootloaders.rar (for legal reasons, we can’t provide a direct download link as we are in Germany. Do a simple Google search for bootloaders.rar)
  • update to iTunes 7.7 (using Apple Software Update)
  • download iPhone Restore Firmware 2.0 (here)

III. Fasten your seatbelts

Before taking off, we highly recommend to do the following preparations on your iPhone:

  • backup/synchronize current calendar and address book using iTunes
  • backup current SMS using Syphone (download here)

In case you didnot, we highly recommend you read our tutorial about activating and unlocking iPhones with firmware 1.1.4 (see here).

IV. Take off

…into the wide open world of unlocked and jailbroken iPhones.

  1. Start Pwnage Tool 2.0, and click OK.

  2. Choose Expert Mode

  3. Select iPhone 2G, and click the blue arrow

  4. After clicking the blue arrow you will see a window like this:

    Note: we encountered errors when browsing for the IPSW firmware that we manually downloaded several times:

    We circumvented this error by letting iTunes download the firmware. But be careful let iTunes only download the firmware. Don’t choose download and install!!!

  5. When Pwnage feels like the Firmware is the right one, it will show this picture, where we can manually change some settings. We highly recommend to change nothing but the Cydia packages. We even leave the pictures the same.

  6. Inside the Cydia packages menu we recommend to choose these files for download:
    OpenSSH, Cydia Installer, and Cydia's Source Set. These files will automatically become downloaded in the background.

  7. Make sure you select the above downloaded Cydia packages. Under Select packages you can check them, in case the packages are not pre-chosen for including into your custom IPSW. Then click the blue arrow again.

  8. After having clicked the blue arrow again, we may choose new logos. We recommend to leave these as they are and click the blue arrow again.

  9. Pwnage Tool 2.0 feels we are ready and shows “Build” with a checkmark. We click the blue arrow again and can already smell the pwrn.

  10. You may provide the bootloaders now, by clicking No to search the web for them (we only show the 4.6 bootloader question, in fact there will be same question for the 3.9 bootloader).

  11. After having chosen the bootloader Pwnage needs to know where to save the custom IPSW file. It will show a picture similar to this:

    After having chosen the target filename and folder, Pwnage will submissively begin its work.

    At a specific point of work, Pwnage will require your admin password. This is due to a limitation of access to the filesystem.

  12. After working some minutes you will be shown this menu. Since we are all obedient Pwnage users (aren’t we?) we already had used Pwnage 1.0 before. And therefore we choose Yes.
  13. Pwrnage Tool will wish us the best for our recovery and wants to be quitted:

V. Approach for Landing

  1. As our odysee thru iPhonitis is not over, we need to start iTunes (we have our iPhones connected!). And we choose the iPhone menu in iTunes (looks like this picture:)

  2. We need to restore our 0wn firmware, therefore we need to hold the ALT key and press Restore Button. We will get a dialog, where we can choose our custom firmware:

  3. iTunes will begin its work of extracting and restoring our custom firmware. This process will take some minutes. Don’t disconnect during this period. You would have an expensive brick then.

  4. After restoring successfully the custom firmware to your iPhone your iPhone will reboot and eventually show a screen that indicates that the baseband is currently in process of getting unlocked:

  5. After the baseband flashing has been finished, your iPhone will reboot again and will show up with firmware 2.0. We hope you enjoyed your flight with incomplete-news airways. We wish you a good stay on Eff-Doubleyou-Two-Dot-Oh. We recommend to pick up your baggage in the claim area.

VI. Baggage Claim Area

  1. You may now decide to set up your system clean and configure everything anew or simply choose to restore your old settings (like eMail-accounts, calendar, photos, muzaq, and videos):

  2. After having clicked Continue you will see this picture. It depends on how many things you had saved on your iPhone and how much space it’s got. Our 4GB testmodel only took about 5 minutes to get all settings restored:

  3. After restoring the settings your iPhone will reboot…
  4. To get back your EDGE settings, simply follow our tutorial here (see part II.)_T_H_E__Z_E_N__W_A_Y_ . In firmware 2.0 the EDGE menu is now called “Cellular Data Network”).

VII. Final words

Congratulations. You’re finished now. In case any of you got questions, don’t hesitate to ask below in our comments section. We hope you enjoyed this tutorial. Thanks for your attention. Big shouts fly out to the iPhone Dev Team. You guys simply rock our hearts…

17 thoughts on “[iPhone] HowTo Activate and Unlock your iPhone using Pwnage 2.0

  1. Markus Häcki

    Hello together,

    I have a problem with my iPhone…

    I accidentally restored my iPhone before having worked with the Pwnage Tool… what. The problem is know, that I can not do anything with the iTunes anymore…

    What can you suggest me?

    Yours Markus

    We’d just pwn it rightaway. Following your notes, we can’t see if you pwned it before. Anyway: this is what we would do:

    • Follow the above tutorial until step IV.12.
    • Answer the question, if your iPhone has been pwned before by clicking No and follow the next instructions.
    • if pwnage says it’s got an error you’re done anyway and you can restore your custom iPhone firmware like shown under V.

    We appreciate your feedback, if our advice helped. Thanks, metapapa

  2. tranceman

    Good tutorial. Workes straight from the begining 2 the end. Greets from Edinburgh

  3. juna

    recovery of settings saved me hours of configuration. thanks, one of the best howtos to find on the net.

  4. Miguel Madeira

    Very good tutorial. I followed it, but I have a problem after sync my iPhone 1G with iTunes. The Contacts App, that showed the new Search bar after the use of Pwnage Tool, start to show the the old fashion way 1.1.4 version of Contacts, without the search bar.
    Does anyone has the same issue ? There is anything I can do to fix it ?
    I have done all things twice and my feeling is something in my contacts database that after I do the sync with iPhone 2.0 version, it behaves as the previous version.
    Thanks in advance.


  5. metapapa Post author

    Does this issue appear also when you don’t restore your settings (means: you don’t apply step “VI. Baggage Claim Area”)?

  6. AJ

    I have done the entire process and it worked. HOWEVER, when I put a VALID AT&T sim card in myphone works. When I put a valid T-Mobile sim in, the phone asks me to connect to itunes and then itunes cannot activate the phone and am forced to unplug it and put my att sim back in. I thought my phone was unlocked??

    Although we have not read or heard about this issue yet, we can imagine, there is a check in Pwnage Tool if you are using a supported SIM in your iPhone. We would therefore recommend to try it the other way round: pwn your iPhone while a valid T-Mobile SIM is inserted. It should work after pwning. Then replace it by your AT&T card and see if it also works – or not.
    We are curious aswell.
    Kd rgds from Berlin, metapapa

  7. Miguel Madeira

    I found the workaround to have the search bar after the settings restore.
    Instead of doing the restore from a previous iPhone setting, I created a new iPhone setting and performed sync after.
    iTunes made the sync from the data I had in the address book, calendars, email settings, music, videos, etc. The only thing I did by “hand” was my phones preferences. But it was not a big issue.
    Everything i OK now. Thanks Pwnage guys.

  8. Steven

    This really kicks ass. Thanks guys. HowTo worked all the way thru. Only EDGE menu needs to be made visible again. I uses BossPrefs then…

  9. DM

    So then, after the unlock with pwnage… I just pop out the sim card, insert tmobile sim card and roll out?


  10. Lugor


    I’m buying a brand new iphone 2G (my first one) so, as you can guess, I haven’t used pwnage tool 1.0 nor any other iphone unlocking program.

    So, the question is, even if my iphone is straight out of the box with no unlocking or jailbreaking at all, can I successfully follow this tutorial (answering ‘no’ in step IV.12) and go straight to the unlocked 2.0 firmware?



  11. efi

    mmm, before the 10 sec’s are over I get an error message in red that DFU could not be entered or so – over and over again…

  12. Phrasee

    I have an unlocked iphone bot 2nd hand in 2007 already unlocked. On ver 1.0.2(1C28). I have no idea how it was unlocked, although it does have ‘installer’ on it, which no longer works. Can I upgrade to 2.0 firmware using your pwnage tool direct or do I need to virginize it first? Thank you.

  13. metapapa Post author

    Since you don’t have any idea, how it was unlocked, we always would recommend to start from scratch – means re-virginize.


    We would re-virginize to 1.1.4 then prepare the 2.0 unlocked custom firmware using Pwnage Tool (Firmware 2.0.1 seems to have issues. It is not clear weather this comes from Pwnage Tool or from Apple’s Firmware – we currently would not recommend to update to 2.0.1).

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