How to Unlock a 16GB iPhone 3G


In many countries, the iPhone has been tied into contracts with specific cellphone providers. Users who do not wish to use the services of these providers can find that they are unable to use the cellphone of their choice. As a result, unlocking software has been developed to allow users to unlock phones such as the 16GB iPhone 3G so they can be used on whatever network the user desires.

Things You'll Need

  • A paper clip
  • A SIM card
  • Jailbreak your iPhone 3G using a program such as Redsn0w or QuickPwn. This allows you to run applications on your iPhone that have not been approved by Apple. This is essential to unlocking your iPhone 3G because the applications used in the unlocking process are, of course, not Apple approved.

  • Run Cydia or Installer and use it to download yellowsn0w. Do not attempt to download yellowsn0w through the iPhone's own browser, as this will not work. Cydia or Installer will download the application and install it automatically. The yellowsn0w application will then unlock your iPhone.

  • Turn off the iPhone. Use the paper clip to press the SIM tray release button on the top of the iPhone and remove the SIM. Place your new SIM card in the tray and close it. Turn the iPhone back on. Your new network provider's details should appear on the screen. If they do not, check that the SIM is correctly placed in the iPhone tray.

Tips & Warnings

  • Because some network providers now recognize that a certain amount of unlocking is almost inevitable, many providers will legally unlock the iPhone 3G if you are willing to pay a fee; or use their service for a set length of time. Contact your provider for details on their unlocking fees and policies.
  • Jailbreaking an iPhone is a violation of your service agreement with Apple for use of their technology. It may also be a violation of your contract with your service provider. Similarly, unlocking your iPhone 3G will likely be a breach of contract with your service provider. In each case, you risk the iPhone being deactivated, and possibly termination of your service contract.


  • Photo Credit sim card image by Renato Francia from
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