How to Update baseband 5.15.04 to 6.15.00 for iPhone 3GS

by Stephen on September 20, 2011 · 110 comments

in iPhone Unlocks

I have a friend who recently bought an iPhone 3GS off from craigslist and asked me if I could help him to jailbreak and unlock it. The phone was 3GS, 4.1 with baseband 5.15.04.

After checking around, I noticed that baseband 5.15.04 was unlock-able and in order to have the phone unlocked, we had two options: either to upgrade the baseband to 6.16.00 (without GPS capability) or to buy an unlock sim.

My friend decided to go for the baseband upgrade. I tried numerous guides using pwnagetool but it simply didn’t work. Basically, I was able to generate a custom .ipsw file and used iTunes to restore. The restoration completed successfully and the iphone was jailbroken but the baseband wasn’t upgraded. It kept staying at 5.15.04.

Finally, here is a working method to successfully upgrade iphone 3GS baseband from 5.15.04 to 6.15.00.

Tools used:

  • Redsn0w 0.9.6 Beta 5
  • iOS 4.1 IPSW
  • There is no need to download iPad IPSW, Redsn0w will fetch the iPad baseband off from its servers and iTunes is not required for this method. Pretty good.
Step by step:
  1. Download Redsn0w 0.9.6 Beta 5 here (mac or windows) and iOS 4.1 IPSW here
  2. Start Redsn0w 0.9.6b5 and point it to iOS 4.1 IPSW
    Note: if you use an older version of Redsn0w, you may get unrecognizable IPSW error. Make sure you use Redsn0w 0.9.6 Beta 5.
  3. Once Redsn0w recognized your iOS 4.1 ipsw => click next, you will see a screen with several options => check on “Install iPad baseband” (this will trigger the baseband upgrade) => then choose Yes.
  4. Now Redsn0w will ask you to put your iPhone in DFU mode. Simply follow the steps provided by Redsn0w to go into PFU.
  5. Simply follow the next few steps to finish. Be patient when it download the baseband. It may take a few minutes but it will be done eventually.
  6. That is pretty much it. Once the phone boots up, follow the steps below to unlock your jailbroken iPhone.

How to unlock iPhone 3GS baseband 6.15.00

  1. If you have followed the steps above, it is now very easy to unlock your iPhone. Simply start Cydia
  2. Choose “user” mode
  3. Upgrade any packages if required
  4. Now click on the “Manage” button
  5. Click on “Sources” => the unlock source should already be there for you
  6. Click on
  7. Click on ultrasn0w
  8. Click on Install on the top right => once installed, reboot your iPhone => once rebooted, reboot your iPhone once more
  9. Now insert your SIM if you have not done so, your iPhone should now be unlocked. If the signal says “searching…” just be patient, it will be done in just a couple of minutes.
Hope this helps!!!

{ 66 comments… read them below or add one }

George September 28, 2011 at 9:12 am

Hahah thx for this post, I got my 3GS jailbroken and unlocked <3


Robert Lonergan October 10, 2011 at 7:43 pm

Man, I have been scared to death to try this because if I brick my daughter’s phone, I was going to feel like a moron. Then I thought, “eh, WTF”. This is BY FAR the BEST step by step guide and everything worked just like you said it would. I was on 4.2.1 and a newer 3GS, so I did have to dl the 4.2.1 ipsw, but it all worked great. When I got on Cydia, I did not see Users, so I skipped it and went to the next step. Also, being the ultimate noob (and 45) I was not sure if redsnow was to be dl’d to the phone or computer (its the computer, along with the ipsw) and I already had Cydia on the phone. Awesome! Now she has an iPhone that actually IS an iPhone… next up, finding out why my wife’s phone won’t download picture messages…


Stephen October 10, 2011 at 7:59 pm

Awesome 🙂


Nish October 11, 2011 at 2:20 pm


I was trying for yonks and yonks and yonks with Pwnage tool and reading god knows how many of the dev-team articles and kept encountering one error or the other.. didn’t find many instructions for a redsn0w unlock til now.

I even brought it to one of those dodgy ‘we unlock any phone’ shop and they not only wiped my phone and restored to stock everything, they were unable to unlock it… AND in the process of changing my headphone jack and power button I know can’t hear some sounds..

Either way, i’ve now successfully unlocked my iPhone.. (First un-tethered unlock for me so YAY!)



Stephen October 12, 2011 at 5:49 am
petros October 13, 2011 at 7:37 pm

does anyone know if the above method (upgrading to baseband ipad 6.15) ruins the GPS? has any of you tested your GPS after running it?


Ac October 13, 2011 at 8:19 pm

You guys are all screwed now! I hope you guys know!
1. You wont be able to use GPS
2. Your notifications will not be working normally
3. You wont be able to downgrade
4. iOS 5 will not work on your iPhone
5. itunes will not sync well. Need to edit file.



SM October 28, 2011 at 7:49 am

Not true, I have a jailbroken iOS 5 running perfectly well on my unlocked 3GS with BB 6.15.00. The GPS is only slightly effected because the iPhone uses the towers to establish your location. Also, iTunes syncs perfectly well!! Not to mention all my notifications are completely functional.


Sven January 20, 2012 at 3:50 pm

Your GPS is NOT working. Your phone gets only positioning data from a cell tower which can be misleading and it is useless outside cities. Turn by turn navigation will not work.


meg October 14, 2011 at 10:26 pm

Should I have the sim that I want to use after the un-lock in while I do this? Or does it matter?


Stephen October 15, 2011 at 5:41 am

It doesn’t matter, Meg.


Tammie October 16, 2011 at 6:05 pm

My phone 3G is still running on a 05.15.04 I need it to be updated to a 06.15.00. May you please help me. I am getting really frustrated!!!


Stephen October 16, 2011 at 6:07 pm

Just to make sure, have you followed my steps above yet?


David Rowe October 17, 2011 at 3:31 pm

I followed your instructions above and they worked perfectly for me and my 3GS running 5.15.04. Your instructions were the only ones that actually worked and made sense. I really appreciate you spending the time documenting this process. By the way, it works exactly the same if the phone already had 4.2.1 on it.

I would add that this method does not re-format the phone. For me, I already had 4.2.1 and RedSn0w simply added the baseband and Cydia, therefore it might be best for users to do a clean restore with a stock 4.2.1 ISPW *first* if they want a clean unlocked phone afterwards.


Doug October 18, 2011 at 8:28 pm

WOW!!..THANK YOU SO MUCH. I got a 3Gs from my daughter and have been trying to unlock it for a few days. I almost bricked it a couple times and didn’t want to do teh ipad FW but now I have cell service !!


Tari9 October 18, 2011 at 11:19 pm

help me please, my iPhone works until today when I tried to update to iOS5 but messed up the whole thing.
Now back to previous setting, with is 4GS, newbootrom, 4,1 ISPW, 6:15:00, T-mobile but I lost my T-Mobile and wireless internet goes off and I have to set it up again. I unlocked with cydia ultraslow, but the phone keeps searching and I get message “could not activate cellular data network..”

my iPhone now his like lobotomized, only applications and iPod, no phone.

If u have any idea how I can get back T-mob, thanks in advance.


just_got_screwed October 19, 2011 at 11:13 am

Simple and crisp article. I screwed myself by updating my iphone 3GS to iOS 5 with baseband 5.16.05 and lost my unlock. Do you know by any chance this will unlock my phone?


Sam October 23, 2011 at 1:08 pm

I have the exact same issue and still looking for a solution. I upgraded the iphone after it was stuck in the reboot-turn off loops. I downloaded IOS 5, then jailbreak it, then I suppose, I unlocked, because it is not telling me anymore that I have an invalid SIM card. However, the issue I am having right now is that there is no place to put in the cellular data Network information, the iphone keeps searching for network. I am not sure whether this issue could be resolved by this upgrade?


Carole October 21, 2011 at 6:22 pm

I followed all the instructions to the tee but when it come to the ultrasn0w thing I must have done something wrong. I got to the point where I was to reboot and I clicked it and it rebooted but then I got lost because there wasn’t another box to click reboot so I didn’t really know how to reboot. I just turned it off and turned it back on but my phone dosen’t recognize my sim. I can’t call out it has a red dot beside the little phone symbol. What did I do wrong? I have been at this for exactly 1 week trying everything so I finally bit the bulitt and did the upgrade to the 06.15.00 Yikes so please tell me how to unlock it!!!


AJ October 26, 2011 at 4:05 pm

Thx man… Very much appreciated…

This is by far the best guide!


May November 1, 2011 at 10:09 am

I’m operating with a 3G, 4.2.1 firmware and 05.15.04 baseband. I did everything outlined here, except that when I chose “install iPad baseband”, it didn’t work – redsn0w crashed after the phone entered DFU mode. I went back and didn’t check “install iPad baseband” just to see if it would work and it did. The phone became jailbroken, and Cydia was installed. But obviously, working on the 05.15.04 baseband, it is not able to be unlocked via ultrasn0w.
What am I doing wrong? I installed redsn0w on my iMac, should I try this on my Windows 7 laptop? Not sure if the operating platform would make any difference, but I have no clue why redsn0w crashes everytime I try to check “install iPad baseband”. Sort of defeats the purpose of jailbreaking if the phone can’t then be unlocked to be used by any carrier. Can you please help?


Stephen November 1, 2011 at 11:09 am

I experienced this same issue when my friend bought a 2nd iPhone for his sister and the phone came with 4.2.1. I wasn’t able to find a fix for the crashing problem 🙁 I hope you can soon.

Somehow, “David Rowe October 17, 2011 at 3:31 pm” managed to make it to work.

PS: I used Mac too so please go ahead and try using Windows.


ravneet November 8, 2011 at 12:38 pm

when i try to install ipad stuck on fetching ipad baseband files(please be patient)i wait for an hour but nothing proceeds.then suddenly redsnow closes itself.i have tried almost 10-15 times in 2 days on 2 pc. but it stuck on fetching…what to do??if i uncheck ipad baseband it proceeds smoothely..


Nick November 8, 2011 at 4:42 pm

Everything seemed to be running smoothly until

error, no successful firmware download after 6000 ms!! giving up..

what should i do?


Alex November 10, 2011 at 6:41 pm

I have the same problem as Nick. Im wondering if it could be a problem with any of the files.


Jon November 17, 2011 at 10:06 am

Will this also work to update baseband 05.16.05 to the 6.15.00?


Sky November 19, 2011 at 8:36 pm

Even it’s an old post, but it’s very informative


Jim November 21, 2011 at 9:09 pm

error, no successful firmware download after 6000 ms!! giving up..

What does this mean please let me know


Prdenko January 11, 2012 at 5:22 pm

I have the same problem :/ Don’t know how to fix it… please someone reply


peets November 28, 2011 at 6:15 pm

Hi, thanks for the info. im trying to do the same thing for a iphone 3g with OS 4.2 (not 4.1). i’m having problems jailbreaking and then unlocking the phone. i have tried pwnage 4.1.3 (4.2 doesnt seem to give me the option of upgrading the bandwith when i run it). but at the end of running 4.1.3, it won’t activate on my phone and im forced to restore the phone (itunes says it has to be restored before it can go further).

how can i upgrade the bandwith if jailbreak the phone with 4.2 pwnage? or do i not use pwnage at all? with your above instructions, the software is 4.1 and mine is 4.2….any thoughts???


jaspal bhasin December 3, 2011 at 11:10 am

I (think) I did the exact steps (to upgrade base band to 6.15.00 on iPhone 3GS … all went through fine but now phone seems to be stuck in an infinite reboot loop. Any way to recover or have I just bricked my phone?


Benista December 3, 2011 at 11:35 pm

These instructions work like a charm. Thanks.


Murillo December 8, 2011 at 6:16 am

@May: Have u been able to install the ipad baseband? I am having the same issue here and my phone and ios are the same as yours. Please let me know if u have worked this out and how. Thanks!


trifield December 8, 2011 at 9:12 am

Hi Murillo,
OK I have now got it to show baseband 06.15.00.
I reopened redsn0w_win_09.6rc16 and ONLY ticked install baseband as Cydia etc was already done from previous tries. (I also held my thumb on the home button throughout the process as I had read this tip somewhere else and when desperate I’ll try anything!).
It now shows my payg sim and all I need to get now is reception and hopefully unlock should be easy from here!


Ange December 12, 2011 at 3:32 pm

This worked for me. Redsn0w kept closing as I was trying to jailbreak to upgrade the baseband, but as I already had Cydia installed on my iPhone from previous attempts, all I needed to do was run redsn0w ticking just to install iPad baseband and NOT to install Cydia. It worked instantly! Thanks trifield 🙂


Adil December 12, 2011 at 11:19 am

Thank you sooooo much! Nice . . . .


Gar December 13, 2011 at 6:20 pm

Does anyone else have any issues with being stuck on waiting for reboot?, I have tried this numerous times and keep getting stuck at the same point. I have left my phone to reboot up to an hour and still nothing, I have tried holding the home button for a good 10 mins while it’s rebooting and nada, also I disconnected the usb for 5 seconds while stuck in reboot mode to see if it would re establish connection and nada.

All help appreciated!


Patrick April 14, 2012 at 8:12 am

Gar and everyone else, start redsn0w and only click “install iPad baseband”. Let it run through and it might get stuck on the Apple logo when rebooting. If this happens, don’t worry, the iPad baseband still installed correctly. Now go back into redsn0w and just click install cydia, and when it finishes, you’ll have cydia installed and you will see in your settings>general>about that your baseband is now 6.15.00. Hope this helps


Angela December 13, 2011 at 6:43 pm

Thank you, Stephen, for your excellent tutorial and I want to also thank the redsn0w + ultrasn0w + cydia + greenpoison folks for their outstanding work!

I have been reluctant to take the 6.15 leap for over a year now and tonight I came to regret it. I have successfully followed your tutorial and voila, I have my 2009 3GS unlocked, jailbroken (untethered) and with its GPS capabilities seemingly untouched! I am happy and very impressed by all the work you talented people put into this, helping undo the rule of the unreasonable AT&T over its older models!

So: I started with an GreenPoison unlocked 4.2.1, 5.15.04 3GS. I wondered for a while if I should follow exactly your instructions and download the 4.1 ipsw thing, but then Robert Lonergan’s comment and the first redsn0w prompt (the “you currently have” part) made me go and find the 4.2.1 .ipsw file instead… (Stephen, you might want to rephrase that part in your instructions, making it clearer?)

My iPhone being a week 44 edition, when prompted, I guessed I might have the “good” older version, but then I got an error and redsn0w indicated that I had a “fixed”, newer model… So I restarted the process, afraid I might have ruined the whole thing… Luckily, it was all gravy from there and it only took a few minutes. I still cannot believe it! THANKS!…

P.S. The final remarks on the dialog box of redsn0w remain a mystery to me — they say this 4.2.1 JB is tethered and I would have to use redsn0w each time I reboot, but this is not the case. I still get the GreenPoison logo when I boot, and it stayed untethered, so you guys might want to look into that (lucky) option? I mean, getting JB with GreenPoison on 4.2.1 and then using redsn0w for the splendid 4.2.1 to 6.15 BB downgrade implementation?


Angela December 13, 2011 at 6:51 pm

Sorry, I meant “5.15.04 to 6.15” — and that’s not a downgrade, I think it’s called a baseband change… I’m far from being an expert at this stuff… 🙂


Jason December 15, 2011 at 12:10 am

Wow, thanks a million! This worked great for me, and im not even that ‘techno’!! Much appreciated whoever and where ever you are! Cheers from NZ 🙂


Meaghan December 18, 2011 at 7:13 pm

Hi, first of all: thanks for posting these easy instructions. I am trying to unlock my iPhone 3GS running 4.2.1 & 5.15.04 baseband. I’ve followed the directions exactly, but keep getting stuck on the “waiting for reboot” part. Any suggestions for how to get through the process? Thanks!


Rob December 20, 2011 at 4:53 pm

Hi all,

I have used the guide and all worked perfectly, however i cannot access the wireless internet on my sim. it says it could not activate cellular data network, you are not subscribed to a cellular data service, however, if i put my sim back into my old phone, the internet works fine?

Is this a big, or will i never be able to use 3g on my iPhone 3g?



hris December 29, 2011 at 1:05 am

Having upgraded the baseband to 6.15.00 from 05.16.05, along with jailbreaking and unlocking with redsn0w 0.9.10b2, my phone tries to search for network on a non-AT&T SIM card and finally comes back and says No Service. I have tried to reboot the device couple of times to see if that helps but in vain. Any help with this issue would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!


Rania December 29, 2011 at 8:02 am

Won’t work on my iPhone.
“error, no successful firmware download after 60000 ms!! Giving up…”


dileep January 5, 2012 at 10:01 pm

2.Start Redsn0w 0.9.6b5 and point it to iOS 4.1 IPSW

when i am in second step unable to locate IPSW file on iOS 4.1.

Please help me how to unlock my 3GS phone.
it’s OS:5.0.1 and firmware : 05.16.05

i tied to downgrade OS but not able to.


Eeyore February 1, 2012 at 10:45 am

Hi Dileep,
I have the same phone, OS and firmware as yours. do you find any solution for this?



Zari January 7, 2012 at 9:53 pm

I do everything as explained (my windows is vista) and when I go to the last step and select “install cydia” and “install iPad baseband” something goes wrong.

I click next .. everything seems to be normal for about 30 sec (it’s fetching the ipad baseband sofware) but then everything disappears (redsn0w closes) and the iphone’s screen goes black like nothing is happening.

Can anyone help? Or this is normal (I don’t think so). …


charlie January 8, 2012 at 12:27 pm

iphone 3G, locked to AT&T: 4.2.1, firmware 05.15.04 – windows7 x64

Have run redsn0w both 0.9.6rc16 and 0.9.6rc8. Have attempted both normal mode and baseband update. In both cases program will complete correctly, receive message ” Done”. On “finish” I DO NOT get a cmd line message on the phone, pwnapple logo or Cydia install, only blue screen. On booting phone nothing is changed.
Any ideas?


Patricia January 10, 2012 at 12:23 pm

Hi. I just want to know if they are going to create a program to unlock firmware 5.16.05? I checked everywhere and eveyone tells me no.
Help please….


charlie January 12, 2012 at 12:47 am

All versions of Redsn0w apparently have a problem on some Windows 7 systems: I have been unable to run it successfully on Win7 Ultimate x64 or x32. The solution I used to unlock a 3G with 4.2.1 and bb 05.15.04 was to downgrade to os 3.1.2 then run redsn0w on an xp machine to install Cydia and bb 06.15.00. After that you must run ultrasn0w from the Cydia panel to unlock the networks.
If you don’t have the 05.15.04 problem, I was able to successfully jailbreak (only) on win7 x64 with Sn0wbreeze, but the redsn0w issue still kept me from updating the bb, and the phone still couldn’t be unlocked.
Best advice: DO NOT update your 3G to 4.2.1 unless you can keep an older baseband!!!


hazu January 16, 2012 at 7:00 am

good man you are, Stephen!


dario January 16, 2012 at 3:58 pm

Could anyone help me please? I have a problem that when i start redsn0w it asks me to select my current IPSW. There isn’t anything for me to select except “browse”, except when I try to find the iphone ipsw I can’t find it anywhere. I have both things downloaded to my computer, I just don’t know how to select the IPSW.
Im not a real techy guy so im not sure how to do it. If anyone could help that would be greatly appreciated!


Stephen January 16, 2012 at 4:15 pm

The easiest way is to save the IPSW file to your DESKTOP => then find the file in desktop once you click on “browse”.


Happy hacker January 17, 2012 at 1:13 pm

man, thank you so much!!! this was fast simple and effective! unlocked my iphone 3G 4.2.1 firmware 5.15.4 and i can FINALLY, FINALLY, get any sim to work !! FINALLY


pinosboys January 17, 2012 at 3:49 pm

I was told that certain 3gs iphones can’t be unlocked. Something to do with the serea
l number if the thrift fourth and fifth numbers are higher than 145


bjorn January 18, 2012 at 4:08 am

well thank you, this was the easiest post to follow and understand, after many weeks of trying your easy ad simple steps have ow got my phone unlocked and working.

You are the man



Sven January 20, 2012 at 3:47 pm

Updating to (iPad) firmware 6.15.00 will disable your GPS, rendering the GPS unusable in all applications!!

There is no fix and there is no going back right now!


Louis January 21, 2012 at 3:08 am

Hi guys,
I’ve an iphone 3G that was on baseband 05.15.04
I done all the steps above using Redsn0w 0.9.6b5
and using the correct ipsw for an iphone 3G
and now I’m stuck on the Apple LOGO!
Any ideas?


axn md January 23, 2012 at 8:27 pm

Muchas Gracias!Great Job!Cheers


Martin January 24, 2012 at 9:20 am


After doing all this, when I tried to add repo666, I got the following (verification error …
the request timed out)
Please let me know what can be the solution for this

Thank you.


Tiffany January 27, 2012 at 9:18 pm

I did all the steps and now it is saying:

error, no successful firmware download after 6000 ms!! giving up..

Not sure what to do. HELP PLEASE! Should I try it again or cut it off?? Can someone break down the steps?


Gareth January 29, 2012 at 8:58 pm

Cheers for the instructions, really easy to follow.


JC February 2, 2012 at 11:30 pm

I had the same problem as many guys here. i have a 3g bb5.15.04 and tried installing cydia first and then ipad baseband and that worked but now im stuck on searching for a carrier even after installing ultrasnow


Kenny February 5, 2012 at 11:41 am

Hi, I have a question. I have a iPhone 3GS with IOS 5.0.1 Jailbroken and unlocked on baseband 6.15.00 with ultrasn0w, and i was wondering is it possible for me to downgrade to 4.1 or 4.2.1 with a custom ipsw or something because my iphone has been slow since it was not really made for IOS 5.


Jeremy March 28, 2012 at 7:32 am

Why do you say that the 3GS is not made for iOS 5? You can update to iOS 5.1 using itunes without jailbreaking or unlocking so I would say that it is made for it.


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