How to Unlock an iPhone Without a SIM Card

By Marshal M. Rosenthal

The iPhone can't be used with just any cellular carrier because its operating system is locked. To unlock the iPhone, run a number of unlocking programs together that were created by iPhone enthusiasts. The process does not make any changes to the Subscriber Identity Module card and only require moderate assistance during the unlocking process. The process will not not work unless the iPhone has already been modified---or "jailbreaked"---so that it can accept third-party programs.

Things You'll Need

  • IPhone cable
  • Paperclip

Step 1

Insert the straightened end of a paperclip into the hole in the top of the iPhone to release the SIM tray. Remove the SIM tray.

Step 2

Attach the iPhone cable to the connector on the iPhone and to a USB port on the computer. Wait for the icon of the iPhone to appear on the desktop.

Step 3

Download an iPhone application installer, for example, the "AppTapp" program (see Resources). Double-click the file to start the installation process. Follow the menus to complete the installation. Repeat this entire process with the following:---An application that unlocks the iPhone, for example, the "Unlock" app. ---A file that configures the unlocking, for example, the "lockdownd" file ---A FTP application that can access the Internet, for example, "Cyberduck" (see Resources). Restart the computer once all of the files have been installed to the hard drive.

Step 4

Launch the iPhone application installer by selecting it from the "Start," "All Applications" pop-up menu. Click "Continue"on the screen that appears on the desktop. Wait as the program installs an installation application onto the iPhone. Quit the iPhone application installer once the "Done" confirmation window appears.

Step 5

Press the "Sleep/Wake" button at the upper right corner of the iPhone. Swipe the slider to the right to go to the Home menu. Tap on the installation application that was just installed. Select "Community Sources," "BSD Subsytem" and "OpenSSH" from the list of choices presented in a new window---click the "Install" button after selecting each of the three.

Step 6

Click the "Home" button. Tap on "Settings." Tap on "General" in the screen that appears. Set "Auto-Lock to "Never." Return to "Settings." Tap on "Wi-Fi" on the screen that appears. Click the blue arrow next to the wireless home network the iPhone is connected to. Write down the "IP" address that is listed in a new window. Press the "Home" button to return to the Home menu.

Step 7

Launch the FTP application by selecting it from the "Start," "All Applications" pop-up menu. Click the "Open Connection" button on the program's screen. Enter the "IP" address you wrote down in the "Connection" text field. Check the "SFTP" checkbox on the screen. Enter "root" for the "Name" and "dottie" for the "Password" in the appropriate text fields on the screen.

Step 8

Click the "Connect" button at the bottom of the screen. Navigate to "/private/var/root" by clicking on the "\" icon. Select "/user/libexec" from the list of choices presented in a column on the screen. Click "Continue" on the pop-up window. Drag the unlocking file that was downloaded earlier into the "\Applications" folder at the top of the FTP application program's screen. Quit the FTP program once the copy progress bar has appeared, filled in from left to right and then disappeared.

Step 9

Drag the icon of the iPhone to the Trash. Remove the iPhone cable from the iPhone and the USB port of the computer.

Step 10

Press the "Sleep/Wake" button at the upper right corner of the iPhone. Swipe the slider to the right to go to the Home menu. Tap on the unlocking app that was just installed.

Step 11

Tap the "Start" button on the screen that appears. Click "OK" on the confirmation window pop-up. Reinsert the SIM tray into the iPhone.

Tips & Warnings

  • Any update from Apple that is installed will delete the unlocking and return the iPhone to its original state.