How to Unlock an Apple iPhone 3G for Free

Written by robert schrader
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How to Unlock an Apple iPhone 3G for Free
Unlocking your iPhone 3G is straightforward and takes a few minutes to complete. (padlock with key (unlocked) image by frog from

As of September 2010, the only official way to obtain an Apple iPhone in the U.S. is via AT&T. You can also purchase an iPhone from a service like eBay or Craigslist, although Apple doesn't guarantee the authenticity of items sold through third parties. If you have an Apple iPhone 3G and want to unlock it so that you can use it on any network, you'll need to download a program known as Blackra1n onto your computer and transfer it onto the iPhone 3G.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Blackra1n software

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  1. 1

    Update your iPhone 3G's firmware to reflect the latest version available. Connect your iPhone 3G to your computer via USB or FireWire, and allow it to sync with iTunes. Eject it from your computer once you've finished the sync and exit out of iTunes.

  2. 2

    Download Blackra1n onto your computer. Visit the link listed in Resources, and click either the right or left option, depending on whether you use Windows or Mac, respectively.

  3. 3

    Transfer the software to your iPhone 3G. Connect your iPhone 3G to your computer when prompted, then double-click the "EXE" (or "DMG") file to run it. Click the "Make it Rain" button when it appears. Wait a few moments for your iPhone 3G to reboot, then disconnect it from your computer.

  4. 4

    Run Blackra1n on your iPhone 3G. Bring your iPhone 3G within range of a wireless Internet connection, and tap the icon that has appeared on your iPhone 3G's desktop. Select the "Blacksn0w"option, and tap the "Install" button. Close out of the "Post-install" log that displays on your iPhone.

  5. 5

    Insert any SIM card into your iPhone 3G's SIM card reader to begin using it with any carrier.

Tips and warnings

  • Depending on which carrier you use, you may or may not be able to use certain iPhone 3G features, particularly those that require the fast 3G network to operate. Contact your carrier to ask them whether or not its SIM cards can support full iPhone 3G function. Regardless, you'll need to purchase a data plan to use the iPhone 3G's Internet and e-mail features.

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