EDIT: This guide is outdated now that 5.1.1 is out….go to the newer guide HERE

If you updated your iPhone 3GS which was previously unlocked to iOS5.1 you probably noticed that it wont pick up signal anymore and it just says “searching…” and eventually “No Service” even if there is no sim card in the iPhone itself.Β  Follow the steps in the video below to get your iPhone up and running in no time.

Download Links:
Redsn0w 0.9.10b6 (Mac):

Redsn0w 0.9.10b6 (Windows):

iPhone 3GS 5.1 Firmware

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73 Responses to “How to: Fix iPhone 3GS “No Service” or “Searching…” after 5.1 Update”

  1. Alex says:

    Did all the steps and worked great but it won’t read my sim still “No Service.” 3g and location services are off. And ideas?

    • oscar says:

      hey guys, after jailbreak you iPhone 3gs 5.1.1 bb 06.05.00, just lunch redsn0w 9.11.b04 go to estra and then select ispw previously downloaded, then go back and hit jailbreak button and then just select iPad baseband nothing else, then after all that, go to cydia, reinstall ultransn0w fixer 5.1.1 and ultraslow, and then again to to redsn0w, extras, and just boot theter, and that’s it,it worker for me, good luck..

    • daniel says:

      the problem is “location services” turn it off and you wont have this issue with your phone>

    • eduardo says:

      what if i cant find ultraslow on cydia but already have ultransnow fixer 5.1.1??
      help pls..

  2. aj2o11z says:

    i did the the steps n it worked but then i went on settings n it had a thing to upgrade but never worked again it went bck to were i started n i keep trying to do the same steps all over n nothing is happening please help

  3. hanz says:

    repeat the steps couple of times but it didn’t work. it still on “no service” .

  4. JOHN says:


    • daniel says:

      hi there. I tried this, and now itunes has an error when i try to restore my iPhone. the screen is completely black and won’t do anything. it is detected by my computer when i plug it in. any advice?

  5. JOHN says:

    during update itune has error anything like 21 .3194. 1600
    open disk C: click on window> click on system 32> click on driver> click on etc double click on host open by notepad.if you seem any apple logo delete is all > save close..
    Try rebuild sn0wbreeze like first step i was show you..and do it again..
    Good luck

  6. JOHN says:

    i forget to tell my problem..
    i has problem same like you.After update 5.1 baseband 6.15.00
    signal keep searching ..i got download redsn0w 0.9.10b6 .back to life YEAH ! but no signal same …i try all day doesn’t working..even i make custom new psw by snowbreeze doesn’t too . I keep trying still same
    Finallly last change i thinking off is maybe stuck baseband . Now i try to preservation baseband only by sn0wbreeze ..Now my iphone got siGNAL WORKING GOOD STILL GOT BASEBAND 6.15.00 IN MY IPHONE 3GS

  7. lnchne1 says:

    Where can I get the SN0WBREEZE V2.92?

    Thanks in advance

  8. Mai says:

    Upgraded my iPhone 3gs to 5.1 because i have to restore it after I clicked on “erase all content and settings or erase iPhone”. Now I don’t know what to do because I can’t activate it and also because I don’t know its baseband. I can open the iphone but it’s only up to “Wi-Fi Networks” part. Can somebody help me?

  9. john says:

    Hello Mai
    Do know you iphone baseband before update to 5.1>It’s 6.15.00?
    If it is you’re stuck on baseband when update to 5.1 no service no baseband, cannot activate too..
    Follow this step..
    download sn0wbreeze v2.9.2. open browse ipsw 5.1 open it. click on old bootrom click next will show you 3 option click on Baseband Preservation mode click next waiting sn0wbreeze make custom ispw 5.1.next step will show you hoe to do dfu mode..after everything complete open itune..hold shift down from you key board click enter.browser sn0wbreeze custom was make..you phone will back to normal..
    Good luck

  10. john says:

    If you guy wanna unlock 5.1 open cydia click on manager click on source.click on Edit type..repo.iparelhos.com installing fix 5.1 .After installing iparelhos .click on searching type ultran0ws installing 1.2.5 and you’re unlock using any sim card

  11. Sean says:

    hey John,

    Thank you so much!! My iPhone is finally unlocked with the snowbreeze method not the video method. When I installed ultrasn0w, it doesn’t work. But thanks for the snowbreeze method my phone works. Thanks again!

    iPhone 3gs, version 5.1 (9B176), 6.15.00

    I have two questions:
    1. How can I install cydia on my phone because it is unlocked with snowbreeze and if I install cydia it will not work (I think?)

    2. Also, can i use the latest version of iTunes to back up and add music to my iPhone. Last time, I had cydia and unlocked but when I started using iTunes the phone kept on rebooting. therefore, I had to restore my phone to 5.1.

    Please let me know if you need any clarifications.

    Thanks in advance!

    • J0hn says:

      Sorry Sean for lately reply
      Yes it work is run like normal .But must down load Redsn0w 09.10b6 then open it click on extra click on Select IPSW browser firmware 5.1 then lick back..this time you don’t need to mark on baseband. just mark on cydia only..then run it
      But Redsn0w 9.10b6 every treat..always has error you must patience to try it back
      good luck

  12. Michael says:

    I just donated $20, I hope that’s enough BECAUSE YOU GUYS SAVED MY PHONE!!! Thank you so much and I will be checking you out like a stalker, lol…thanks again AND I hope all these other people that are thankful donate too.

    Thanks again guys!!!

  13. razr says:

    I did what you said with sn0wbreeze and still no service on my 3gs. I have the new bootrom

  14. pn says:

    i have iphone 4 and have the same problem, can you help me?

  15. John B says:

    Did all the above, still no service, searching…. is all I get..
    any help πŸ™‚ appreciated.

  16. Melody N says:

    Hi, I had trouble with the redsnow tab because I did download firmware 5.1 but in redsnow it didn’t show “connected:Iphone 3gs(5.1)” so what should i do know? Did I download the wrong firmware, nah I dont think so. If i do can u show me another website to download the firmware and can you please help me PLEASE…

  17. EmmyBird says:

    Great video! At first I still had No Service, but here are some things I did in addition to what is on this video that some of you may not have done yet.

    When first going in to Cydia, I had to do a Complete Update (it popped up for me and this is not in the video).

    Then, I had to download Ultrasn0w (http://repo666.ultrasn0w.com). In the video he downloads the fixer first. (http:/repo.iparelhos.com).

    Try, Updating Cydia, downloading Ultrasn0w, then do the Ultrasn0w fixer he does in the video. Make sure everything is completely downloaded before moving on.

    (After this I continued to iTunes to start as a new phone)

    Then, when all is complete with Cydia, reboot and don’t forget to run Redsn0w to tether it. I do not know how to untether, but as soon as my phone went back on. I switched off airplane mode, put my sim card in (t-mobile), and turned airplane mode back on. If you see Carrier appear and the phone has been searching for awhile, that’s good. It take a few minutes, so be patient. I hope this helps anyone who is having any trouble. Good Luck!

    • Mitchell says:

      How long did it search before it found tmobile?

    • Rahulio says:

      OMG EmmyBird – I LOVE YOU! I was seriously up until 5am last night and this kept failing. I added your steps and now its working! Thank you so much!!

    • Krishnaswamy kannan says:

      Hey EmmyBird: You are the saviour. Spent 4 hours looking for a solution to get my carrier but u method worked flawlessly. Thanks a lot:)

    • Ben says:

      Thanks man. Sim was detected but it was not picking up signal. After applying Cydia patch u mentioned, it start working.

  18. Samy says:

    THANK YOU SOOOOO MUCH!!! I used the advice from EmmyBird and it worked perfectly!

  19. amin says:

    forget about snowbreeze when trying to hacktivate your 3gs after 5.1 update. I had wasted a lot of time and googled alot to see that redsn0w_win_0.9.10b8b is the one that will do the trick.

    for no service , install Ultrasn0w Fixer for 5.1

  20. J0hn says:

    Current Itune has update new version..Ultrasn0w won’t working again..
    If you guys after installing Ultrasn0w get no service..Please down load Redsn0w 0.9.10b6 fix for no service

  21. PiR says:

    Thank you so much. Combination of John & EmmyBird tips worked perfect for me. As I wanted my contacts & texts back, I used itunes then re-run redsn0w step, and it worked.
    Cheers, thanks again.

  22. Bran says:

    Good video, helped me properly thru the steps πŸ˜‰
    So got my iPhone 3gs 6.15 on iOS 5.1 (new bootrom :S kinda was too impatient with my jb for 4.2.1 πŸ˜› )
    Used redsn0w 0.9.10b8
    Works perfect, although no service…
    Haven’t tried the other version on ultrasn0w yet tho (doesn’t flash fully or error before it starts.)

    Any suggestions?

    Good tutorial, mate πŸ™‚ Ruled out “human-error-due-to-n00bness” πŸ˜‰
    I hope dev-team is working on it tho πŸ˜‰

  23. J0hn says:

    Itune update to new version too.Please don’t use Sn0wbreeze will stuck on you iphone baseband..:)..

  24. Maruti says:

    A million thanks to you..this is a great video and your steps saved my iPhone…many many thanks…thx to EmmyBird to for the steps, those steps really helped.

  25. Mitchell says:

    I have done everything, everyone has sugested and NOTHING has worked….I have no idea what to do. does anyone have any other ideas? please let me know

  26. Robin says:

    Everything worked fine, after i was able to follow all the steps all the way thru, except just as with YOUR video ending, when i placed back in the t-mobile sim which i HAD BEEN using prior to the ios 5.1 update from 4.3.3, it still says no service.. I checked, and itunes DOES recognize the iphone, shows the updated IOS version, but failed when it tried to do the restore from backup of my data. and forced me to do the entire project over again. This time i dod NO try the restore, tried the tethered power don/up etc, still no service.. HOW does one get your sim card registered with t-mobile again???

    • Robin says:

      Actually, after reading down the other comments to where i saw “EmmyBirds'” comments, i followed her instructions and it worked perfectly!! you forgot that one step, to load the Ultrasn0w first, THAT was all it took, and the turning the unit to airplane mode causes it to search for the service when restored to normal mode.. it took my 3gs about 2 minutes to find t-Mobile, about the same as it would take when the t-storms in the area knock the towers offline, so i’d say just fairly normal and reasonable search time…

  27. Kevin says:

    I have tried so so so so many times, using video method and also sn0wbreeze method also..
    it is just now working..
    still “No Service” after i have apply my SIM card into my iPhone 3Gs

    At first, I have restore my iPhone 1st, then I use sn0wbreeze method. and activate it thru SIM Card, and it showed put in the correct sim card where ur phone came with it..

    I can’t go into the main menu, so I have to use redsn0w to jailbreak it 1st..

    When my iphone have back to normal mode, it is still show No Service

    anyone can help?

  28. Sally says:

    I am in Australia, on Optus network and not competent with phones, this vid is way above me. Is there a problem fix site for dummies anywhere?

    My secondhand 3G model MC131X is not jailbroken and I don’t want to break it.
    Have had phone for 6 months, just upgraded to iOS 5.1.1 and now it reads No Service all the time. still connected to internet and working fine. am assuming that when i leave home and wi-fi it won’t. any suggestions? Thanks

  29. Rahul says:

    if i update my baseband to ipad version and install ios 5.1 and i am not able to unlock it so can i go back to my previously using ios and unlock it with ultrasnow ???
    currently running on 06.15.00 baseband and 4.1(8b117) ??

  30. Assad says:

    I have got my 3gs to work again. Thanks to the help of this video and Emmybirds post. my 3gs was stuck at searching signal but after following the steps carefully it has worked again.. THANK YOUUUUU

  31. Bob says:

    Do you need to activate the phone after doing the sn0wbreeze method by using a at&t sim card

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  34. Fred says:

    EmmyBird, you rock my world.

  35. Mahmud Osman says:

    Hi everyone, my name is mahmud, I live in Ghana. I just had a new iphone 3GS, i unlocked it and used it for just two days and now it says no service with the SIM CARD inserted. Where can I get help in Ghana please.
    Thanks, Mahmud

  36. alom says:

    Hi there,
    My iphone 4 4.1.1 was previously unlocked and I decided to updated to the IOS 5.1.1, after doing so, it displayed a message: “no service” so i followed the instructions on the video but now, itunes won’t recognize my iphone and says: “there is a problem your iphone and can not bee activated”.
    Also, before the update, the WI-FI button was grey, no modem firmware and no bluetooth info could be seen.

    I downloaded redsn0w-mac-0.9.12.b12 and iPhone3,3_5.1.1_9B206_Restore.ipsw

    I tried to do it again but still no luck…PLEASE HELP!!!! any other way to fix this???

  37. Ptaz says:

    Hi Guys,

    If you are having no signal issues, here’s what worked for me.

    Model: IPHONE 3gs new bootrom

    1) flash IOS 5.1.1. official firmware to your device using iTunes.
    2) Use Redsnow 0.9.14.b1 with official IOS 5.1.1 IPSW (select extras then select manually specify IPSW from the redsnow menu)
    3) choose back on the redsnow menu, put your phone into DFU mode jailbreak the device and choose these options: install cydia, upgrade with iPad baseband continue through the warnings.

    4) once the jailbreak is complete, go to cydia install ultrasnow 2.5.7.
    5) respring
    6) go back into cydia then go to search, find mobile substrate and uninstall it. (this will also uninstall ultrasnow)

    7) go back into cyida for the third time and reinstall the mobile substrate package.

    8) restart

    9 ) go back into cydia for the fourth time and reinstall ultrasnow.

    10) respring

    10) receive signal

    Something is getting corupted during the baseband install which is causing you to have to reinstall the mobile substrate package and then ultasnow is able to unlock the phone.

    hope this helps πŸ™‚

    Cheers from Toronto canada..

    • A-MBUGUA says:


  38. Maruti says:

    Hi, I had unlocked and resolved the No Service problem on my iPhone 3GS using this solution 2 months back. But it was a tethered jailbreak. Is there a untethered solution for the same? If yes, please help me with the information, greatly appreciate your elp.

  39. Rich says:

    Thanks man!! That was a great video.. πŸ™‚
    is there any unlock for iPhone 4? with out gevey sim card?


  40. Lalit says:

    I have faced the same problem. My 3gs serial no. is 87125EH7EDG, could i follow this procedure.

  41. Pete says:


    I’ve got a problem which noone seems to be able to tell me how to solve.

    I got a 3GS from a friend, that I later unlocked via the carriers official service, so that I could use my own simcard. All i had to do then was to connect it to Itunes in order for it to be unlocked. What my friend neglected to tell me was that he had the iphone jailbroken abroad earlier, to be able to use a forreign SIM in it.

    While waiting for the carrier unlock to go through, I reset the Iphone in Itunes, since I wanted to start with a fresh phone. I was foolish enough not to take a backup (not that it changes anything now).

    However, the reset phone isn’t recognized by itunes. It says “There is no SIM card installed in the iPhone you are attempting to activate. Please disconnect and insert a SIM card in the iPhone”.
    I get the same message no matter which SIM card i install (both my new should-be-working-now SIM, or my friends original SIM – which worked before the reset).

    I can’t activate and I I can’t jailbreak since it’s not activated. Resetting again doesn’t help either. The phone is stuck in setup.

    On the phone I get to the activation part, but get the message “Coult not activate phone” (no matter which SIm I am using).

    I have tried DFU mode, resetting a million times, several working SIMS, connecting to itunes on several computers, and jailbreaking with the newest version of redsnow for Mac. No luck.

    I hope someone can help me get a working phone!

    Thanks in advance


    • Joe says:

      Hi peter same thing here. Have you tried downgrading the baseband option for redsn0w 0.9.14.b2? That’s what I am trying. Look at the iphonedev page http://blog.iphone-dev.org/

      After downgrading the baseband (from 06.15 to 5.13.04), try restore from back up. You’ll get it activated, but you’ll still not have any signal (still carrier locked probably). Do not remove USB cable. Then, since you have already gotten carrier unlock, since you are still in itunes, find your phone on the left, then click the restore button under where it says your phone is now with latest updates.

      After restoring, you’ll restore from backup again, reboot a couple of times (automatic).

      When the phone finally come back up, you’ll have your signal, updated software version (5.1.1) updated baseband (5.16.05), go ahead and setup iCloud stuff, and let your content/songs be restored (if you clicked update, your itunes should have back everything up).

      After it’s all done (the whole process takes a good hour or so total), you should be up and running with properly carrier unlocked iphone with apple intended software (ipsw) and apple intended baseband, which can be used with ANY GSM carrier.

  42. ahmad ayaz says:

    thank you very much, your video is really helpful.

  43. Manasi says:

    I used redsn0w.. After putting my iphone 3gs in DFU mode, it just shows Ipad Baseband failed… My phones serial number begins with 88014…..

    Please Please help me out…!!

  44. shella says:

    Hi just call me Shelly…I have my iphone 3gs given by my Aunt…a friend of mine updated my iphone w/ IOS 3 to IOS 5..and after that my sim is not compatible and no service…I search how to fix it i spent 2days searching,i found out that it’s a common problem of 3gs user who update their iphone to IOS 5…so I found this page..illustrating how to solve my problem..I downloaded the redsnow 0.9.10b6,and the iphone2.1_5.1.9b176 restore. I follow the steps.but when im in the step in putting my iphone in DFU mode failed to put it in DFU mode.So i stop the procedures coz im afraid…i close it, and pull the usb connector..and what i happen is..i can’t on my iphone..huhuhuhuhu…im so innoscent of this jailbreaking process…please help me….what will happen to my iphone why i can on it and what will i do to fix it…please anybody help me…
    thank you and may God bless you…

    my email is shelly_bear17@yahoo.com….

  45. shella says:

    Hi, im so distrubed and distracted of what happen…i have so much queries in my mind…like…did i mess up my iphone?…is there any way to fix it…?i keep searching but i can find any answer…i dont want to give up….hopefully there is a way…please email me what to do…i really appreciate and it means so much to me…thank you…im willing to wait..^_^

  46. shella says:

    by the way my iphone serial is 88014..

  47. someone says:

    Is this work for iphone4s too?

  48. adrian05 says:

    sir is this tutorial for an tethered phone? or it can applicable also for untethered?

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  50. asd says:

    what do i do if my iphone 3gs has the new bootrom? pls help me!

  51. sne says:

    I tried every possible thing but nothing is fix my issue for “No SErvice”. I am using iPhone 3GS new bootroom, base band 6.15.00 iOS 5.1.1. Tries ultrasn0w, ultrasn0w fixer and SAM too.

    Any idea what still I could try?

  52. Togie says:

    Thank you soo sooo much! I spent about 10 hours doing this and your video was really helpful.Thank you again!!!

  53. marj says:

    Its not working! It says Activating Your iPhone still it has no signal and try again. What to do?

  54. constantine says:

    hello!! i have a proble with assertion failed..code 233 what i do?

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