How to “Safely” Unlock Your iPhone After Receiving E-mail Confirmation from AT&T

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Yeah, we know how happy you felt when you received that email from AT&T but you may want to stop and think first before doing a full restore that was suggested by AT&T.

UPDATE: If your request was rejected, you can still unlock your AT&T iPhone permanently. See here.

You should have known by now that if you do a full restore, you will:

Editor's note: learn more by reading our ebook on starting your own iPhone repair & unlock business
  • Update the baseband
  • Lose your untethered jailbreak (if it’s jailbroken)

While losing your untethered jailbreak is not really the end of the world but losing your valuable baseband is, at least for many people!

Why? Many people who have received the unlock confirmation email from AT&T got too excited and did a full restore as suggested by AT&T. However, for some reason the unlock didn’t happen as expected; like what happened to one our Facebook followers:

There are two “safe” ways of  unlocking your iPhone:

  1. Use the latest redsn0w (no restore required) – simply launch it, click on Jailbreak, follow on screen instructions, uncheck ‘Install Cydia’, check ‘Deactivate.’
  2. Build a custom firmware with sn0wbreeze (restore required) – launch program, follow on screen instructions and choose baseband preservation mode – this allows you to restore your iPhone to “stock” custom firmware while preserving its baseband.

For both methods above, once you have completed the steps, eject the iPhone SIM tray, connect to iTunes and you will get the following message:

In case you don’t see the screenshot above, that tells you the unlock (and activation) was not successful. Check with AT&T again on the status of the unlock.

If you’re still waiting for that unlock confirmation, be sure to take precautions before you proceed! Losing your unlockable baseband is the last thing you would want to happen to your iPhone!

Share this and be awesome!

Comments & Discussion

  1. Maybe it’s a silly question but, if its going to be unlocked, what’s the problem with upgrading the baseband???

    I will still be able to jailbreak it, won’t I? I mean the 5.1.

  2. how can we approach AT&T incase we are out side US. I baught my phone in US while i was on a project but now i am back to my home country. my iphonr 4 is locked on AT&T on ios (5.1) BB 04.11.08.. recommendation and guidance would be greatly appreciated

    Cheers
    Tarun

    • I was in the same boat. I discontinued service with AT&T on good terms but still had a locked iPhone. Yesterday, I called their toll free number, gave them my IMEI and an email address after they checked my previous account. Still waiting on the email but everything went smoothly.

      Also, you can go on Twitter and send a message to @ATTCustomerCare about being out of the country and wanting to unlock you iPhone. They will reply (after a few hours) asking for your IMEI and an email address.

  3. So I was reading over various topic an while reading this one I was very optimistic because I bought my friends iPhone 4 that used to belong to his dad, it still had all his dad stufff on it and it was liked and everything, without thinking I restore it but it’s locked on AT&T while I wanted to us it for tmobile so now it’s basically an over expensive iPod, I wa wondering if they can unlock t even if the acc isn’t mine it’s probably deactivated already and the iPhone is on 5.1 BB 4.12.01

  4. I did call them I just wanted to know it anyone had a similar case and what the outcome was. I also talked to the attendant and told him that I read online that some people’s unlocks weren’t successfully even after they calle and were approved for being unlocked an updated to the latest firmware and BB he said that they must’ve done something wrong that he is unaware of this issue and if it did happen apple would have notified them of it

    • it happened to me, I got the email updated and restored but iphone wasn't unlocked! I cursed my f** luck and called At&t they have no clue what went wrong.. I'm screwed ended up with an expensive ipod

  5. Well, well, well! That's what i've done about a minute ago :D

    I'm happy as I used Skype to contact AT&T’s customer support representative. (Here is the number: +18003354685 ) without paying a cent (it's free of charge)!

    And I followed these steps:

    STEP 1: On your iPhone go Settings > General > About and jot down your IMEI.
    —–> Done
    And Call and say exactely this sentences:

    "Hello sir, madame,
    Well, here is my problem madame/sir, I'm not a customer of AT&T but I got a locked iphone 4 bought from ebay, and I dont know the name of original owner, i'm looking for your help to unlock it please, I would be very thankful madame/sir

    STEP 2: iF They will say: Yes, you're eligible
    They will ask you to give your IMEI (STEP 1) and your email and your ID
    —-> Done

    STEP 3: They will give you a case number **********_**_******
    —> Done

    STEP 4: They will email you within 24-48 hours stating your unlock is ready or not. It might take even more time in same cases.

    STEP 5: The email will tell you exactly what to do to unlock your iPhone.
    —> That what the representative told me

    I'm waiting for the unlock, I don't care when, but it will be done! I'm happy, and I will be happiest if this helped ya!

    I speak english like a cow (mostly french), and I've tried this without any faith, but it worked! The representative (female) was very nice, and I told her (Thanks from Algeria, Madame, the north of Africa) –> She laught and said You're Welcome Sir!

    Don't hesitate to do it, it's very easy! Fed up with 4.11.08 BB! Only the battery issue will remain now! 24H! it's too short!

    Dr Symphony

  6. I have an iphone that's locked to AT&T but i live in sweden, having trouble with the new procedure because i can't get an account in their site, anyone who knows what to do?

  7. It seems I shouldn't post that link. But that's the link pops up when I moved the mouse over "unlocking your iPhone" in your article. I thought it was the link you embedded in the article. I just noticed that it was provided by the "infolinks". Just FYI ..

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