How to restore your SAM unlock activation ticket to unlock your iPhone

By , Apr 27, 2012

Since it appears that Apple has fixed the issue with their activation servers, latecomers to the SAM iPhone unlock party are left in the lurch. Fortunately, not all users have lost the potential to unlock their iPhones.

Those who were proactive enough to unlock their iPhone using SAM, and backed up their activation tickets can still easily restore those tickets and unlock their iPhones if they have to restore their device for whatever reason.

If you’re currently unlocked on an unofficial SIM by means of the SAM unlock, backup your activation ticket now before you lose it. We can’t stress this enough.

Keep in mind that you will still need a jailbroken iPhone to accomplish this, and you will need your backed up Lockdown folder that you saved-off after successfully unlocking your device the first go-round…

If you meet the criteria, step right inside and take a look at our easy to follow guide for restoring your iPhone unlock…

Note: This tutorial assumes your have your backed up Lockdown folder available on DropBox. If not, you can do so by other means, but DropBox is one of the easiest methods for accomplishing this.

Step 1: Insert the unofficial SIM card for which you created a backup activation ticket.

Step 2: Open iFile and navigate to /var/root/Library. Tap edit in the upper right-hand corner, and select Lockdown, and tap the zip button to create a backup of the current Lockdown folder. Name it something unique and distinguishable. Scroll to the bottom to ensure that a backup zip file was created. Now delete the Lockdown folder using the trash can icon.

Step 3: Open DropBox, find your backed up Lockdown folder with the valid activation ticket from your unofficial SIM card. Open the zip file with iFile, and select Unarchiver. This will unzip the Lockdown folder to your default landing directory which is usually the Documents folder.

Step 4: Tap edit in the upper right-hand corner, select LockDown and tap the clipboard icon below to copy the LockDown folder. Tap done.

Step 5: Navigate to /var/root/Library, and tap edit in the upper right-hand corner, tap the clipboard icon, and select paste. Tap done.

Step 6: If you still have SAMPrefs installed, Navigate to /User/Library/Preferences and search for SAM. Delete the com.bingner.sam.plist file if it exists. This will ensure that no SAM settings you have enabled will cause any unnecessary conflicts.

Step 7: Power down your iPhone completely.

Step 8: Power up the iPhone, and wait for a minute once it arrives at the Home screen. Your carrier should now reflect the carrier of the unofficial SIM card that you have inserted in your iPhone.

It seems like a lot of steps, but it can be done in less than 5 minutes. You probably won’t need to use this yet, unless you need to restore your device.

Let me know what you think in the comments below.

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  • Chuck Solomon

    can u give me idea how to save it to the drop box, i did send email to myself, but not sure how that would work?

    • Jeff Benjamin

      Install dropbox on your mac or pc, and drag it to the dropbox folder.

      • Grace Moringlane

        HI! I did everything like you said. But then the phones says no service and itunes says that the sim its not supported. Do you have any suggestions? :'( I need help

      • Alex Aur

        Grace, try this:

        1. Make sure SAM is DISABLED
        2. Follow the steps above to copy/paste the Lockdown directory into /var/root/Library
        3. Go back to SAM
        4. ENABLE SAM
        5. DISABLE SAM
        6. Signal bars should pop up (took 2 seconds after disabling SAM for bars to show)

        Hope that helps everyone out. NO NEED TO REBOOT. (I’m on Tmobile, iOS 5.0.1, BB 4.10.01)

  • Carlos M. Farías

    I just have take all my tickets in a safe place like this an others method shown here. Thanks for sharing as usual.

    I’m curious how that folder (Lockdown) looks in a factory unlocked iPhone or, if it not exit at all in thoose cases.

    Does anyone can tell us how look your factory unlocked iPhone? Off course You need be jailbroken too. So maybe we can emulate/clonate in ours locked one to see what happen.

  • Red Symphony

    Since I unlocked my phone and removed the sim I used can I use another sim from that same provider or does it have to be used with the sim I unlocked it with 

    • Jeff Benjamin

      I believe it has to be THAT sim.

    • Carlos M. Farías

      As Jeff said, because there is involved their SIMID.

  • Adel Khatib

    I have iPhone 4 with iOS 4.3.3, I already unlocked it with Sam and backed up the ticket, I was wondering if I updated my iPhone to 5.0.1 or 5.1 will still have the unlock or not ?

    • Gulam Mustafa

      Definitely, it will work(for all firmwares)…

      • Seng Sereyvuth

        Really working? so if the iOS 5.1 full Jailbreak release then i will update my Phone to iOS 5.1 then…

    • Sai Nath

      But it is better to preserve the bb and update and do not forget to save shsh blob of ios 4.3.3 by using ishshit in cydia and mail it to ur email id

  • Jonathan Engalla

    Hi I successfully unlocked the night before apply patched. I followed the directions and back up the lockdown folder.

    I had to restore the phone to factory settings but when I did I lost the unlock. Did the whole process again and tried everything.

    I found this post and followed your instructions to the word. When I did the last “tethered” reboot it still showed “No Service”

    Any thoughts?

    • Olaolu Adesanya

      i have the same problem.. but i did find out that it works if u install semi tether and boot normally (unjailbroken state)..please get back to me if you find a solution to the tethered boot

      • Jonathan Engalla

        I have iphone 4 5.1 (9B176) BB 04.12.01

        Tethered jailbreak via latest redsn0w. I was able to backup before the apple patch. But had to factory restore. Unzipped the lockdown folder as instructed but still unsuccessful “NO SERVICE”

        Any ideas?

    • Alex Aur

      Hi, I had the “No Service” problem as well, but I was able to get it to work. Here’s what I did:

      1. Make sure SAM is DISABLED
      2. Follow the steps above to copy/paste the Lockdown directory into /var/root/Library
      3. Go back to SAM
      4. ENABLE SAM
      5. DISABLE SAM
      6. Signal bars should pop up (took 2 seconds after disabling SAM for bars to show)

      Hope that helps everyone out. NO NEED TO REBOOT. (I’m on Tmobile, iOS 5.0.1, BB 4.10.01)

    • Alex Aur

      Hi, I had the “No Service” problem as well, but I was able to get it to work. Here’s what I did:

      1. Make sure SAM is DISABLED
      2. Follow the steps above to copy/paste the Lockdown directory into /var/root/Library
      3. Go back to SAM
      4. ENABLE SAM
      5. DISABLE SAM
      6. Signal bars should pop up (took 2 seconds after disabling SAM for bars to show)

      Hope that helps everyone out. NO NEED TO REBOOT. (I’m on Tmobile, iOS 5.0.1, BB 4.10.01)

  • Gulam Mustafa

    Hii, jeff… i backuped lockdownd ticket for iphone 3g will the same ticket works for iphone 4..

    • Hüÿ Dö

      I also have the same problem. Please help! Thanks

    • Sai Nath

      No as the IMEI no is Unique for every device so it can be only used for ur 3G

  • Hassan Basheer

    you are the best mateeeeee thankkkkkkkkk you lovely

  • Jonathan Engalla

    ok. Did a complete restore.

    jailbroke iPhone via latest version of Redsn0w, installed cydia, installed SAM, installed iFile, then installed DropBox.

    Moved the lockdown folder and all contents —> from DropBox to Iphone via iFile

    Rebooted… via Tethered boot using Redsn0w

    Waited for signal… “No Service”…

    Checked the “More Infomation” via SAM —> says ActivationState: MismatchedICCID

    I think this is where my problem lies… Any ideas?

    • Cesar Chapa

      Same problem here :(

      • Jeff Benjamin

        Are you sure you didn’t backup the wrong SIM card? Just a guess, I’m not sure what caused this.

      • Jonathan Engalla

        it’s the right SIM.. Only trying to unlock one card for one iphone. Still no success… I’m trying everything.

  • Viet Nguyen

    Somehow I am not able to Backup my activation ticket via redsn0w.
    When I am in the menu “Even more” the “backup”- button is transperant and i already installed afc2 via cydia und connect my device in normal mode.
    Does anyone have an idea?

    • Sai Nath

      Run redsn0w as administrator and it should work

  • Lakhdar Chedli

    hi,i have tried this methode and i got the same error you got but when i tried the first method(i followed the first video you uploaded ) it succeeded and that was yesterday

  • Ray Hynes

    Thanks Jeff……

    I was having a problem until I followed the video & realised I was trying to copy the Zip file into /var/root/Library rather than the Lockdown folder in /var/mobile/Documents/var/root/Library on my iFile.
    Once I did that & rebooted & turned off Sam Prefs then I was unlocked again.

    Thanks a million

  • script

    i updated wrongly 4.3.3 to 5.1 did work the sam ?

  • Anonymous

    i followed the procedure and now its working finally after struggling all day. can i use this activation ticked with another sim card ?????????????????????????????????

    • jaun perez


      • Anonymous

        I mean has anyone tried ??????

      • Allan Nguyen

        It won’t work if u the activation ticked for another sim card.

  • Anonymous

    activation ticked works only for one card ???????????????????????????????????””

  • kok kun ti

    accidentally I deleted all log file. My single bar not show. but I saved my (lockdown) file to zip but I put it back not work no more ? Can someone help?

  • Hüÿ Dö

    Hey Jeff! So, I backed up my iPhone’s lockdown folder via Redsnow, and now I wanted to unlock my other iPhone 4/S can I use my old iPhone’s lockdown back up file?

    • Clifford Bareng

      Worked for me. Try it.

      • Hüÿ Dö

        Thank You Very Much!
        That’s very helpful.

  • Clifford Bareng

    Jeff, can you also give the steps on how to use the ticket using iFunbox(etc.) or a video of it?

  • Anonymous

    Hi jeff,

    Any idea if i could use the activation ticket to unlock another iPhone? A different iPhone from the one where i got the Lockdown backup.

    Or the Lockdown folder unique per device?

  • Gaurav Soni

    Hey Jeff! I have a small Problem. I have iPhone 4 Baseband 04.12.01 but my Power Button is not working so i am not able to Jailbreak my iPhone at the Moment but i will reapir this in 2-3 Days.. Do you think the SAM Unlock Method will be able to in 2-3 Days?!


  • Gaurav Soni

    Hey Jeff! I have a Problem with my iPhone 4 Baseband 04.12.01. I heard how u said that Apple stop signing the Unlock so it will not able to work more. I cant jailbreak my Device beacause my Power Button ist not working and without power button i am not able to come in the DFU Mode to complete my Jailbreak. I will take 2-3 to repair my power button of my Iphone. Do you think i will be able to unlock my iPhone still in 2-3 days? Please write back

    • Anonymous

      You cannot do it anymore. SAM is dead. Use the upcoming Gevey Ultra 5.1 instead.

  • Riyadh Al Nur

    does installing SAM mean i don’t need ultrasnow anymore!?!?! :S

    and what if i do a stock ipsw upgrade and the baseband is updated to that in the stock firmware.will i be able to unlock my phone then with my SAM backups?

    • Anonymous

      Yes, 100%.

  • Muhammad Ali

    Thkx for the great steps, but i would like to reconfirm a thing & that is if i update my IOS & Base Band (supported unthread jail break) then will i able to unlock my IPhone by using SAM Unlock steps? even after a month with my lockdown backup?

  • Masoud M

    Hi Jeff, Can you make another video of the restoring your activation ticket, because I want you to use a fully restored iPhone 4 using a backed up activation ticket. That would help me a lot.


  • Anonymous

    thanks Mr. jeff, its Mr. singh here, plz advice after jailbreaking my iphone 4g m facing battery backup prob…..thanks

  • Anonymous

    great thx jeff :)

  • Yasiel Diaz

    i got my unlock tiket backup but it only works whit the simcard that i first did it it dont work whit eny other t mobile simcard or simple mobile at all is these rigth

  • Zackaria Azzoug

    First of all a thanks for all the effort you put in this Jeff. I was able to unlock my iPhone 4 for 3 days i did not back it up .. then the batteri died 2 days ago then when i booted it it was no service , i watched all the videos and realized i should have backed it up and apple patched , i tried to back it up because i thought that it might be a chance it still works ,since i went to general-about and on the carrier it still stood the unofficial carrier and not the official .. i tried backing it up with redsnow but i got no activation records on my lockdown file . My question is ,is it possible for me to backlitup and get all records and that , or is it possible for me to get service with my unofficial sim ?? thanks in advance.

  • Nikos Christina Karpathos

    can i use the ticket on other iphone device? same model

  • samar patel

    anybody got successful restoration of your activation ticket and got the signals?

    I am having problem. in preferences repo.binger plist automatically comes back even if i delete it and also i do not get network back even though i know my tickets are backed up and did exactly whats mention in the video. i challenge anybody if they can fix my phone,,

    • Anonymous

      Anybody (Jeff esp) can help?
      I had to bring back my activation ticket (Cookie did not work then) and successfully reactivated my iPhone 4 5.1 (after jailbreaking and unlocking with SAM). There seems to be a new problem now. After turning off my device, I get my SIM service (but the phone works in semithethered mode – cannot use Cydia, iFile, SBSettings etc).When I try to just boot using redsnow the lock comes back (though I can use jailbreak utilities).
      Please help. Do I have to choose between having fully jailbroken device with simlock and semithethered without lock?????

  • Zackaria Azzoug


  • Lanh Nguyen

    can you help me out Jeff? i follow all of your step and now it just ” No Service”

  • Althaff Mohideen

    I totally restored and jailbroke my phone and I copied the saved ticket (it was working earlier), now it says no service ? should I have SAM installed for this to work ? (I dont have it on now)

    • Rajan Tailor

      i have att us iphone4s ios 5.0.1. i am in india right now. i have my iphone unlocked through SAM and have the back up activation ticket too. Accidentally i deleted my keychain-2.db file yesterday. now my push notifications arent working at all. i restored from my back up as well. no luck. i have a question. will i be able to use the backed up activation ticket if i update my ios 5.0.1 to ios 5.1.1 and will it clear my push ? need someone help .. thanks in advance

      • Rob Day

        I’ve tried using my saved tickets after upgrading to 5.1.1 and it does not work. Im getting unlocked through at&t soon anyway but it still sucks in the mean time.

      • Patryk Radomski

        It would be nice if Jeff could answer our qustions…

  • Anonymous

    can i use backup files for another iphone? anybody already try this?

  • David Gonzalez

    Let me tell you my experience with it, I d/loaded 5.1.1 and obviously created a NO_BB ipsw with iFaith, and then restored to this IPSW with iTunes, then tethered jailbroke my iDevice (iPhone 4) restored thw tickets using your method and it don’t work it’s useless now, my phone shows No Service all the time.

    I then downgraded to iOS 5.0.1 in which I’ve save my activation tickets, installed cookie and when opened it, found out that the restore button was grayed out and backup status was Never.

    Seems to me that iOS 5.1.1 has something terribly bad, like UUID change or something that will forbid you to restore your activation tickes saved with redsn0w or any other method.

    Now I’m again with an excesively expensive paper weight.

    DON’T EVEN THINK ABOUT GOING TO 5.1.1 it’ll screw up your chances of unlocking with SAM, STAY AWAY from 5.1.1.

  • JonathanW

    same here, upgraded to 5.1.1 and followed everything to a “T” and it shows “no service” Any suggestions?????

    • Manuel Cantillo Rodriguez

      Well, today I updated to 5.1.1 my i4, installed SAM and press the reverttolockdown botton, It did NOT work, so i use the redsn0w deactivate option, afetr that restart my i4 and clicked on deactive ( SAM option ), later just copy the lockdown folder to /var/root/Library. REBOOT the iphone, and that was all…

      • Roger Bang

        exactly how did you deactivate it with redwsn0w? what version redsn0w are you using?

    • Manuel Cantillo Rodriguez

      Well, today I updated to 5.1.1 my i4, installed SAM and press the reverttolockdown botton, It did NOT work, so i use the redsn0w deactivate option, afetr that restart my i4 and clicked on deactive ( SAM option ), later just copy the lockdown folder to /var/root/Library. REBOOT the iphone, and that was all…

  • Pung Bunyat

    Does it work with iOS 5.1.1?

    • Hugo Carvalho

      Yes it works. But in my case another problem appeared…

      I had IOS 5.0.1, updated to 5.1.1 with redsnow ( kept BB 04.10.01 ) and used Absinthe to JB.

      Then opened cydia downloaded Cookie and restored my activation ticked, reboot and voila. Ready to make calls. ( I don`t have instaled SAM )

      But after that I´m unable to conect to Itunes, an error message appears telling me something like this ” Itunes cannot connect to the Iphone, because an invalid answer was received by the device”

      Anyone knows how to solve this?

  • Aaron Garcia

    Jeff Cant this still work for iOS5.1.1 now there is a JBk with Absinthe 2?

    • Hugo Carvalho

      Yes, it works.

  • Diamonte Wiggins

    can you use someone else backup activation ticket ?

  •  Steven Portas

    Can I use this on my iPhone 4 if I update to iOS 5.1.1? My current BB is 04.12.01. If I update to 5.1.1 will my BB change?

  • Dorian Roque

    this will work if i update my baseband along with firmware?

  • ayoub mark

    Hey guys, do you know if I can use another mobile’s SAM Lockdown files to unlock my mobile which was not already unlocked with SAM ..!!

  • Get Loot

    The Activation Ticket which was saved on 04.11.08 works on 04.12.01.
    5.1.1. (9B206)! Thank you Jeff. The instructions of oOthefrogOo on Youtube video were also very useful

  • Naman Chopra

    not working on my iphone 4
    I have 5.1.1 and modem baseband 4.12.01. I tried it by redsnow and I get a message “Invalid File”- Couldn’t find any activation tickets in folder. But I am selecting the plist file. I also manually replaced lockdown folder and deleted the com.bingner.sam.plist file. Somebody help.

  • Nikhilesh Patel

    Unofficial SIM card can be any sim card or it should be an orginal carrier sim?

  • Niraj Risal

    can i use any simcard or i should only use t-mobile simcard?? plz help..TY

  • Jan Ziegler

    I had to switch my sim card, cause my old one was broken. How can I use my (old) activation ticket for my new sim card?

  • Virin Sieunarine

    if i update to ios6 , and i backed up my activation …. will the activation still work

  • Paul Alexandru

    Hello. I have ios 6.1.2 and I want to restore my activation tickets. I do the procces with SAM installed so I can have push notifications.(meaning activation with sam and then restore the tickets with redsn0w) after that everything is fine , I have signal and notifications work , but when I reboot my phone I get the activation screen. Now the wierd thing about it is that if I reboot again , when the activation screen appear , my iphone boots normally and in appswithcer there is a blank icon which if I tap , takes me to activation screen but doesn’t try to activate the phone , just makes some icloud updates and then it says i am ready to use the iphone. After this I thought everything is gonna be ok but if I reboot again , I get the activation screen again , and so on… any thoughts?

  • Roberto Sbt

    hy ,i buy today an iphone 4, 6.1.3,bb 4.12.05,i make jailbreake…i wnt to unock it to use with Wind italy…the iphone is lock from spain…if i backup the sam activation ticket can i unlock with this guide??’

  • hateeyes

    Hi, there is a way this could work on ios7?.