How to Jailbreak iPhone 4.2.1 with PwnageTool

By , Feb 15, 2011

The Dev Team just released PwnageTool 4.2, a jailbreak for iOS 4.2.1 for iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, and iPhone 4 (AT&T and Verizon), as well as the iPad, Apple TV, and iPod Touch 3G and 4G.

PwnageTool will allow you to jailbreak your iPhone on the latest iOS 4.2.1 while preserving its baseband, thus allowing you to unlock with UltraSn0w, assuming you are still on baseband 01.59.00.

This step by step guide will show you how to jailbreak your iPhone 4.2.1 with PwnageTool, a Mac-only jailbreak for iPhone…

Step 1: Make sure you are running the latest version of iTunes. If not, update iTunes then sync your iPhone. Close iTunes when done.

Step 2: Download the correct firmware 4.2.1 for your iPhone model from our downloads section. Download PwnageTool 4.2 from there too.

Step 3: Launch PwnageTool, select Expert Mode, then select your device. Click the blue arrow to continue.

Step 4: Now browse for the iOS 4.2.1 firmware you downloaded in step 2.

Step 5: Select “General” and click on the blue arrow to continue. If your iPhone is NOT on an official carrier, select “Activate the phone”. If you are on an official carrier (ie. AT&T in the US), make sure this option is deselected. You can also increase the root partition at about 1,000 MB. Click the blue arrow to continue.

Step 6: You are now in Cydia settings. From there, you can choose to pre-install jailbreak apps so that you don’t have to do it later. Dig around this option if you want to pre-install apps now. When done, click the blue arrow to continue.

Step 7: You are in “Custom packages settings”. By default, “Cydia Installer” should be selected. Make sure it is selected and click next.

Step 8: Click “Build”, then click the blue arrow.

Step 9: Select where to save your custom firmware. I like to save it on the desktop. If prompted, enter your password.

Step 10: PwnageTool will now build your custom IPSW, which should take a few minutes.

Step 11: When done, PwnageTool will help you get your iPhone in DFU mode. Just follow the instructions that appear on your screen: hold power and home button together for 10 seconds ; release power button while still holding the home button. When done, PwnageTool will tell you to go and restore in iTunes.

Step 12: Once you launch iTunes, it will tell you it has detected an iPhone in recovery mode and that it must be restored. Click ok.

Step 13: In iTunes click on “restore” while holding the Alt/Option key on your Mac. A window will pop up. Select the custom IPSW that built in step 10.

Step 14: iTunes will restore your iPhone using this custom firmware, which should take a few minutes.

Once you’re done, you should have the Cydia icon on your springboard. Depending on your baseband version, you might even be able to unlock using UltraSn0w.

Let us know how it worked out for you by leaving a comment below.

  • Share:
  • Follow:
  • Roog

    I have the same problem, also on my ipad1 it doen’t work.
    Please advice :-(

  • Roog

    I have the same problem, also on my ipad1 it doen’t work.
    Please advice.

  • http://www.youtube.com Snake

    for Windows ???

  • iphone dummy

    help help help!!! my friend got a iphone 3g that was jailbroke i think its ios 4.2.1 but i think the basebane got upgraded to the ipad 06.15.00, anyway somebody let it try and update with itunes and now it is stuck in restore mode and when we tried to restore it again with itunes we get cant update 1015 blah blah blah…. i cant put it into dfu mode…. i try to turn it off and it goes black screen then reboots.tinyumbrella doesnt work either. please can some one help? please step by step instructions from start to finish in terms a iphone dummy can understand is what i need……im overwhelmed and very frustrated!!!
    thank you…

    • iphone dummy

      oh yea im useing windows7 if that helps??

      • blank

        if you used pwnage tool u need mac only

    • Alexkv

      If iTunes shows the “1015″ error, that means it’s successfully jailbroken. You just have to get it out of DFU mode by downloading tinyumbrella, and clicking on “Exit Recovery”.

      • iphone dummy

        tried tinyumbrella, it didnt work. >:(

  • blank

    i recently used pwnage tool 4.2.1 on my iphone 3g now i am getting no att logo and 1 bar service anybody that could help would really appreciate it

    • blank

      it also says network not avialable under settings

      • sahil

        mine too..

        1 bar signal at restoring custom firmware,

        after installing ultrasn0w it keep on searching, and reslt ‘no service’

        and when we enter settings> carrier it says ‘unable to load’

        help

  • Joep

    My home button works unreliable, can I use the application “last DFU 3G” , if so can I run this during the steps descripted here above??

  • habs

    worked just fine for me :)

  • mrs. g

    My phone is still restoring but the pineapple symbol came up once DFU was successful! Hope it works! :-)

  • gordo

    Hmmm…. I think I have the right IPSW for an iPhone 3g with ios 4.2.1 but pwnageTool keeps failing to make the custom IPSW. Any ideas why that might happen? Just says “I haz fail” .

  • scott

    worked great for me. i didn’ know it was so easy!

  • TD

    i made it all the way to restoring in itunes using custom firmware and i then got an error message from itunes stated it could not be restored because firmware is imcompatible with phone. Now what do i do?

  • http://www.idownloadblog.com/2011/02/15/how-to-jailbreak-iphone-4-2-1-with-pwnagetool/ Shawn

    What a great product, I followed the instructions and the conversion worked without a hitch.

  • Josh

    can anyone help? I did everything right but I got to the near end, but then it said that the firmware was incompatible.

    Iphone 3g

  • http://www.youriphoneunlock.com youriphoneunlock

    Hi Guys,

    We launched a new website for iPhone permanent unlocking. If you looking to unlock your iPhone officially and permanently please visit our website(www.youriphoneunlock.com) for more information.

  • Bert the Physicist

    phone network connection lost!
    selected the phone (3G), built the *.ipsw file, entered FDU-mode, restored, all OK.
    But, ( ! ) and a big *but* it is: *phone does NOT connect to network*.

    Very disappointed, and frustrated!

  • http://www.youriphoneunlock.com youriphoneunlock

    i read many posts where people had problems after unlocking their iPhones using jailbreak method. like, single lost, iPhone does not show up in itunes, warranty lost etc. i would suggest if you want to unlock your iphone unlock it permanently. By unlocking it permanently will save you from having all above problems. please visit our website for more information on factory unlocking (www.youriphoneunlock.com)

  • peanut

    Hi there.

    I just used the redsn0w program to jailbreak and unlock my Iphone with the 4.2.2 firmware. Everything seems to be working perfectly but I have no signal. Can somebody help me?

    Im trying to use Pwnage tool to do it again, but when I put the IPSW it keeps saying that “Wrong firmware buntle selected”

    PLease help!!!

    • http://Bigpopa.info Charles

      You need to Flash Baseband . First I pad base band ,but when u do this theirs no going back and you will have a singnal l believe its 1650 baseband then power off unit and reboot you should than have the carrier for sim

  • http://Bigpopa.info Charles

    Listen sahil; if you are using Windows Xp service pack3 I will send you the correct jailbreaking software 4.21. and the IPSW , but first you need to backup Iphone 3G and do a restore to orginal factory settings , then you will use jailbreaking program and click on Cydia making sure you are teather to USB from PC to Iphone. After seeing the Harddrive symbol and pinapple fruit symbol on iphone screen after everything is finish you want to flash the baseband check box then you will have the carrier you want be it AT&T or T-Moblie or whichever. Send Email to me for support I will look forward to helping you out.

  • Chris

    will this affect a factory unlocked phone? i.e will it lose the unlock?

  • http://Bigpopa.info Charles

    Chris think about it for a second ; you are saying the phone is already unlocked, will it lose the unlock , I`m thinking it shouldn`t but any decission you make is up too you. I would take the chance and go to jailbreakme.com . Type this in Safari and let it do its thing. Who knows you might be surprised at the results and guess what your Iphone will be still unlocked. Good Luck; hope this helps.

  • Chris

    I didn’t think it would, but wanted some opinions;)

    Next question tho, since apple is only signing 4.3.5 firmware now. Are any of these old jailbreaks still going to work? Cuz the stock firmware u get now will not be signed…

  • http://Bigpopa.info Charles

    Chris it all depends on the Model iphone; if you are willing to try certain things and take chances as with anything . I would do research on the phone you have by doing web searches going back to the past working your way to present. This way you will get a better understanding on Apps that work and won`t work any longer on firmwares. If you look deeply you will find other named apps that will work and not , using 4.2.1 will kick the app out and return you to the main springboard , some 3.1.2 fimware will not work with 4.0x 4.3.5 I will give you and example : MakeitMine worked with 3.1.2 and app for changing carrier instead of AT&T you could change to Mac/Life , but it won`t work with 4.2.1 The new app for this is FakeOperator which does the same as the one listed above. GoodLuck

  • Chris

    uhhhh…ok, that answer has nothing to do with my question charles…but uh, thanks?

  • Ur mom

    Everyone use Greenpois0n for 4.2.1!!!!! It’s best and the easiest to install. It takes a few clicks and u hve jailbroke ur ipod! USE IT TRUST ME MINE IS JAILBROKE AND I MADE IT LOOK LIKE AN XBOX 360!

  • http://www.facebook.com/chelsea.carmona Chelsea Carmona

    i did everything correctly but it says itunes cannot restore my iphone because the firmware file is not compatible

    • http://www.facebook.com/bude333 Shravanth Raju

      yeah I had the same problem….I did everything I was supposed to but when I click on the restore .ipsw file from I tunes, it says the firmfare file is not compatible.

  • HEMANT TRIVEDI

    My iphone 3g 16gb is working too slow..

    Can anyone advise about it ?
    i os 4.2.1 is going in it.

    pls advise.. CAn I install more than iso 4.2.1 ? in my 3g ?

  • HEMANT TRIVEDI

    Please email me : hemant143h@gmail.com

  • http://www.facebook.com/manh.ellis Manh Ellis

    Hey I know i am reposting but i just want to find a new post so i can get a response quicker. The last activity on my last one was 6 months ago. Thanks!
    Hi there internet iPhone helpers! I have an iphone 3g not 3gs and a PC running windows. I want to use the baseboard thing but i cant do it with windows. I read the tutorial about jailbreaking with the baseboard but its only for PC. Please help!!!!!!

  • dF

    so here we go

    I jailbroke my Iphone 3g 4.2.1 BB 05.13.04-6.2_M3S2 now using a CFW and pwnagetool (awsome tool btw) with this description , the brake worked perfectly.

    When trying to unlock the phone now via ultrasnOw I had the following problem:

    I cannot connect to the internet. Trying to find Wi-Fi the device
    doesn’t show even one though there are about 20 around here. When i
    specifically try to enter my own Wi-Fi it says “Network not found”. So
    therefore i could not download ultrasn0w to the phone to unlock.

    Any1 has a solution for that problem, or face the same problem before??

    Because I already knew about that error I already included Mobile
    Substrate and Substrate Safe Mode in the CFW created with pwnagetool so I
    could lateron install ultrasn0w with iExplorer, following these instructions.

    I wanted to see if the substrate programs had been installed so i looked it up in cydia->packages…

    but only Substrate Safe Mode was in the list, Mobile Substrate was not
    shown there. So i re-installed both of them using iExplorer, but still
    MS is not shown in the Cydia package list. Tried anyway to install
    ultrasn0w but it doesn’t work.

    Any1 has got suggestions what i could do furtheron?

    Thank you!

  • http://twitter.com/jmartinezclark Julio Martinez-Clark

    Hi! I have an iPhone 3G that was previously unlocked using the instructions on this site. Since this iPhone 3G is out of contract, I called AT&T to request a factory unlock, I went to my MacBook, connected the phone to it and did a backup and restore with iTunes, however, the restore failed, and iTunes gave me an error message: “The iPhone could not be restored. An unknown error occurred (1015).” The screen of the iPhone 3G now shows the iTunes logo an arrow, and the white USB cable connection. When I connect it to iTunes, I get a message that says “iTunes has detected an iPhone in recovery mode. You must restore this iPhone before it can be used with iTunes.” I have no idea what version of firmware nor baseband this iPhone 3G had before I tried to do the restore in iTunes. After reading the information on this site, the issue that I’m experiencing is perhaps due to the fact that with some unlocks, one of the risks is that the iPhone is not able to go back to its Apple factory firmware. I downloaded the PwnageTool, downloaded the firmware 4.2.1 for iPhone 3G, and it give me an error message that says “Wrong firmware bundle selected”. I also downloaded firmware 4.1 for iPhone 3G, and got the same error message. How could I make this iPhone 3G to usable again by restoring it to some firmware?