How to restore without updating to ios6


macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 23, 2012
I have just had my jailbroken, out of contract, 3GS factory unlocked by AT&T. The plan is to now sell the phone as I have upgraded to a 5.

As part of the unlocking process AT&T asked me to backup and restore in iTunes. But the only option when restoring is to update to iOS 6 (I am currently on 5.1.1)

I am reluctant to upgrade to 6.0 for two reasons -

  1. I don't think the 3GS can really handle 6.0. It is already pretty sluggish on 5.1.1
  2. I think it would have a higher resale value if it remains jailbroken

Is the restore an essential part of unlocking the phone, and if it is, is there a way to restore without upgrading the iOs?



macrumors Westmere
Apr 16, 2008
At the iPhone hacks section.
If you have shsh blobs for your device for 5.1.1 you can then restore to that.
But if you sell it mind as well upgrade to stock 6.0 and setup as new for the seller.
If the user is tech savy and knows his way around the JB path then he will find out the shsh blobs that are saved on cydias server for that device.
Will make the custom ipsw and downgrade if he wants an untethered JB.


macrumors 68040
Feb 4, 2010
I'm looking to do the same thing to my 3GS. I downloaded the 5.1.1 firmware ipsw file, but now I need to figure out how to restore to that for the unlock to work.

Any instructions on how exactly to do that?


macrumors newbie
Sep 29, 2012
Lala land
Go to this link: and scroll down. It shows you how to do this, except it restores to iOS 4, which I personally think runs best. Tell the buyer to not upgrade the operating system though. You may want to do this on a computer without iTunes already installed so you don't have to do anything to your files, or do a backup. Good luck!


macrumors 68040
Feb 4, 2010
Hey, as it turns out, I just waited for 24 hours, inserted my O2-UK SIM card, and *poof*, I am now using the T-Mobile network, and my Settings indicate that my carrier is O2. I got a text this morning saying "Welcome to America, enjoy your trip!" LOL. I also got a notification telling me I had £17 credit remaining on my O2 SIM card, since I had credit left over from my trip there. This was a SIM I used in my Android phone, by the way.

So, you DON'T have to restore the iPhone with iTunes to complete an unlock after all. I'm still on 5.1.1 with the good mapping, and it all works fine. Yay!