Editing APN on iPhone (3G/2.x fw) for carriers who don’t allow editing the APN

Posted in Apple by AltF on October 3, 2008

The new iPhone firmware 2.x doesn’t allow users to edit the APN for some carriers. In the new iPhone 2.0 Apple gave service providers the ability to disable this setting so you’ll automatically connect to the Internet through their network and incur their data access fees. What this also means is that you wont be able to edit the APN if its set to something else and you wont be able to access the Internet on their network until you change the APN. This means even if you have an officially unlocked iPhone, you can’t access Internet if you are on the network of service providers who don’t allow editing the APN setting.

So editing APN is useful in both scenarios 1. Those who want to change the APN to be able to access Internet 2. Those who want to change the APN value to some random string to avoid the hefty data charges.

Generally APN can be easily edited by going to Settings>General>Network>Cellular Data Network. Here’s the official guide to view/edit APN settings for the carriers who do allow editing.

For those who don’t allow editing – there are 2 ways to do it:

1. For those who have officially unlocked iPhone (Not Jailbroken): This is for people who have an officially unlocked iPhone (from Hong Kong, Singapore, Europe etc…) traveling to other countries and using a local sim on their unlocked iPhone. This is for users like me – I recently travelled to India (Bombay), i was using a local Vodafone sim card and wanted to change the APN so that i could use the Internet on my iPhone. Since my iPhone didn’t allow me to do so, i contacted the vodafone customer service and they were extremely clueless about the APN stuff – instead they advised me to get on a more expensive Internet data plan when i was already on a basic data plan. Knowing how clueless they were it was pointless to expect any help from them. Finally I figured out a way myself –

  1. Download and Install the iPhone Configuration Web Utility 1.0 for Windows (Mac version also available here) – This is basically for the enterprise customers to help them deploy configurations within their organization.
  2. After installation, open your web browser and access http://localhost:3000/ (Mac users – refer the guide)
  3. Enter Username/Password – admin/admin
  4. On the General tab – Edit Name, Identifier and Organization
  5. Click on Advanced tab – Edit the Access Point Name (APN)
  6. Back on the General tab click on Export Profile and save the configuration profile as a file
  7. Email yourself the configuration file as an attachment and open it on your iPhone
  8. Once you click on the attachment on iPhone it will prompt you about making configuration changes and warn you about no trusted signature, just click continue
  9. Once installed you will be able to access Internet if you entered proper APN string in step 5 or you wont be able to access Internet if your purpose was to disable Internet and you entered a random string in step 5.

2. For those who have unlocked/jailbroken iPhone: All you need to do is SSH to your phone and edit the carrier.plist file in /System/Library/Carrier Bundles/<YourCarrier>. (Example – in my case it was ../Carrier Bundles/Vodafone_in.bundle). Add the following:


just after

<?xml version=”1.0″ encoding=”UTF-8″?>
<!DOCTYPE plist PUBLIC “-//Apple Computer//DTD PLIST 1.0//EN” “”&gt;
<plist version=”1.0″>

once done -you should be able to edit the APN on the iPhone by going to Settings>General>Network>Cellular Data Network.

For more help on edting .plist refer to the forums.


58 Responses

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  1. Mark Lightfoot said, on October 11, 2008 at 9:51 pm

    This doesn’t work with the Vodafone Malta settings. Unless I am doing something wrong – do you have to reset permissions on the carrier bundle? Any thoughts?

    I’ve got a first gen iphone with OS 2.1 pwnaged. I’m based in Malta and since the carrier setting update I’ve had my GPRS hobbled… I cannot get any data services via Vodafone – they are about the launch the 3G (end Oct according to the local Apple agent).

  2. Mark Lightfoot said, on October 11, 2008 at 9:53 pm

    Here is a dump of the plist… if it helps. I really want to get my GPRS back!



    voda MT


    Emergency Numbers













  3. AltF said, on October 13, 2008 at 4:23 am

    It should work on an open internet APN – That means if Vodafone Malta is using any proxy then it wont work. They should have an open internet APN (without proxies) – try using that.

  4. Edge not working, can I do this? said, on November 6, 2008 at 11:41 pm

    […] or for more technical information on how to do this use the following link… Editing APN on iPhone (3G/2.x fw) for carriers who don’t allow editing the APN altf __________________ The greatest iPhone project ever – coming […]

  5. naief said, on November 24, 2008 at 6:27 pm

    hi, i’m in Yemen trying to get Sabafon internet on my iphone 3g 2.1 FW. I went into Settings>General>Network>Cellular Data Network> and i changed the APN and username to “sabanet” and the password left blank, like the representative told me. Yet no interent? i tried even filling the password as sabanet? no luck, should i do anything with VPN? is there a carrier bundle for Sabafon? or can i creat my own? please help i really want internet on my iphone!!!

  6. shea said, on November 26, 2008 at 7:37 am

    this works but last time i did it it only worked for a few days???

  7. vamsi said, on December 16, 2008 at 5:03 pm

    interesting… i’m also in india, and i’ve been trying to find the APN settings for Vodafone in Hyderabad so I can activate my new unlocked Google G1. the Vodafone customer service here has no clue what APN means. how did you find the settings? i’d really appreciate any pointers. thanks!

  8. APN Editing - MacTalk Forums said, on February 6, 2009 at 3:30 am

    […] (permalink) Hope this helps. Editing APN on iPhone (3G/2.x fw) for carriers who don’t allow editing the APN altf MBP 15.4",2.4Ghz, 4GB, Glossy | iPhone 3G 8GB | 1st Gen iPod Nano 4GB […]

  9. Francis V said, on February 10, 2009 at 9:12 am

    Vodafone Malta GPRS/EDGE settings

    Step 1
    Check whether you have General>Network>Cellular Data Network option under “Settings”. If you do go to Step 3.

    Step 2
    If you don’t have that option you need to enable it via a special application in Cydia. Go to the website below which explains it.

    Step 3
    Go to General>Network>Cellular Data Network and enter “internet” (without the quotes) in all three fields.

    Step 4
    Go to Boss Pref and switch Edge ON.

  10. maya said, on February 13, 2009 at 2:35 pm

    I’m trying to use my ATT sim with data plan on my factory unlocked iPhone 3G when I am in the US.
    When I am in the UK for eg with a Vodafone SIM I am able to edit the APN settings by just going into Settings>Cellular Data Network> etc.
    When I am outside the US and switch back to say my Vodafone SIM will the editable APN settings reappear on my Iphone or do I need to email this file with changes each time for each country.

  11. AltF said, on February 16, 2009 at 11:14 am

    @maya – editable apn settings will reappear – you don’t need to email back the file.

  12. maya said, on February 16, 2009 at 12:59 pm

    That’s very helpful and a very useful well written how-to.
    Thank you very much.

  13. AltF said, on February 19, 2009 at 1:59 pm

    @maya – thanks.

  14. Carla said, on February 25, 2009 at 1:09 am

    Well my questions are:
    1. Having two carriers, one from Luxembourg LUXGSM and from the start working with a APN which I haven’t access on my network, can I access it any way and set up a second APN with my portuguese carrier which is accessible?
    2. Is it possible to config the APN only with “internet” in the APN access name?

  15. Carla said, on February 25, 2009 at 1:09 am

    Thanks 🙂

  16. AltF said, on February 25, 2009 at 9:41 am

    @carla –

    1. If I understand your question correctly – you cannot edit the APN settings with one carrier which allows you to edit and set it up for another carrier which doesn’t.
    The minute you change the SIM all the APN/network settings are restored to defaults for that carrier.

    2. Yes, its possible to config the APN with “internet” in the APN access name, but it will only work if the carrier supports it.

  17. kris said, on March 4, 2009 at 12:09 am

    I have an unlocked/jailbreak iphone 2.0/ I had the full internet package, I just switched to TZones and now my APN settings are gone. How can I reinstall that so I can enter the settings? I can’t find the Tzone hack in cydia

  18. Manny Fresh said, on March 20, 2009 at 12:06 am

    I had the same problem, cellur data was not coming up. i used t mobile here in the us. i got on installer downloaded kate utilities and it showed up 🙂

    • Anonymous said, on June 3, 2009 at 4:55 pm

      i downloaded kate utilities and even went to cydia and downloaded apn editing.. i have an iphone 3g and a tmobile unlimited plan….plz help me i really wna use this iphone 3g

  19. chachi said, on March 22, 2009 at 2:11 am

    Ive bought a 3g iphone which is still on 2.2 from India on the vodafone network and Ive jail broken it.
    I would like it to work in New Zealand on the vodafone network. ive managed to unlock it once by changing the apn but when i turned it off and turned it back on it lost its ability to read my sim! is that normal that the unlocking is sooo unstable?

  20. ghenadie said, on May 22, 2009 at 5:23 pm

    Thanks a lot, this works fine for Orange Moldova network. I have edited my carrier budle plist file, after this i can edip my APN adress

    • Sandeep said, on April 24, 2010 at 7:04 pm

      I have the same problem but after editing the plist file also i cant see the APN option. Any suggestions?

      • Bromaxx said, on April 30, 2010 at 10:13 am

        Make sure you save it after editing. Sounds crazy but its a common mistake easily overlooked.. Hope that helps

  21. Mike said, on July 1, 2009 at 1:56 am

    You are the man !!! Works with ATT

  22. […] […]

  23. Moneer saleh said, on July 14, 2009 at 11:40 pm

    To sabafon Yemen
    I have iPhone 2g and iPhone 3g and working good imean connecting to the Internet very good but I have sabanet sim card not sabafon sim card the setting for the connecting is APN:sabanet password:blank

  24. […] to enable APN editing ? Hello all. I have found a article about changing the proper carrier.plist to add this tag AllowEDGEEditing. But this did not work for […]

  25. […] Editing APN on iPhone (3G/2.x fw) for carriers who don’t allow editing the APN fa ca in tutorialul ala. __________________ I have the body of a GOD…shame it`s Buddha. […]

  26. anonymous said, on July 24, 2009 at 2:12 pm

    the website http://localhost:3000/ no longer works. what do i do?

  27. Manfred Mertens said, on July 29, 2009 at 4:17 pm

    Danke für diesen Tip – hat mir sehr geholfen. Auf meinem iPhone musste ich vor der Bearbeitung der Datei carrier.plist diese noch ins xml-Format umwandeln. Das geht einfach mit:

    plutil -xml carrier.plist

    Anschließend kann die Datei mit

    vim carrier.plist

    bearbeitet werden. Die Datei braucht nicht zurückkonvertiert werden und die Änderungen stehen im iPhone sofort zur Verfügung. Zur Deaktivierung habe ich hinter beide APN (Mobile Daten und Visual Voicemail) einfach “.off” geschrieben.

    Genial einfach oder eben einfach genial. Nochmals vielen Dank für diesen Tip!

  28. SAJ said, on August 18, 2009 at 8:49 pm

    Thanx a lot dude…………………

  29. Sufiyan said, on September 5, 2009 at 9:01 am

    Thank you so very much . i have activated VMC199 unlimited plan on my iphone . works great . Love you man . if you are planning to come to chennai , i would like to treat you for dinner 🙂

    • Anonymous said, on October 13, 2009 at 7:19 am

      Hi friend, pls help, i am using 3g with vodafone.. want to activate VMC (Edge ).. Kindly guide.. how to do this at…Rgds Man…

  30. Anonymous said, on November 10, 2009 at 8:32 am

    […] […]

  31. Sbsiegel said, on November 27, 2009 at 10:45 am

    Here ia a web site to do the same fix

  32. Anonymous said, on January 14, 2010 at 10:43 pm

    i’need to add one more apn for my iphone, becuse for geeting inside my mail and calinder at work , ineed to right the user name of 2 server’s , one is privte server.
    thank y

  33. noorangekups said, on January 25, 2010 at 10:43 am


  34. Ghana said, on February 5, 2010 at 3:46 pm

    I have changed my service from tmobile USA to a company called simple mobile because it was cheaper and it works with unlocked tmobile and att phones but now I only have 20 mb of data which i have found out isnt much. how can I get free internet back.. they are using a proxy address to connect to the internet. Im assuming they dont use vpn as of yet please help!!! I need my internet back

  35. iPhone4idiots said, on March 16, 2010 at 2:38 pm


    I have 3G with 3.1.2 that is unlocked with ultrasn0w. I want to take to South Africa for world cup and use with Vodacom. When I purchase a sim at the airport when I arrive and pop it in. Will Edge (or whatever the equivalent is in South Africa R2 Mpeg?) work? Or do I need to change the APN before I leave? Will 3G work. or do I need to change APN?

    Vodacom uses “internet” with blank username and password

  36. Sandeep said, on April 24, 2010 at 7:00 pm

    I edited the carrier.plist file and pasted the stuff you told me to but i am still not able to see the Settings>General>Network>Cellular Data Network option. Kindly help..

    • Bromaxx said, on April 30, 2010 at 10:10 am

      IF you’re using a client like BBEdit(mac) in conjunction with Cyberduck, its easier to modify the file from within the iphone itself. I did it using the same protocols and it worked fine on my iPhone 3GS 32GB… it is jailbroken and I am still on 3.1.2 because 3.1.3 is a pain in the backside. Make sure you save the carrier.plist file (in the iphone), disconnect, restart… essential. I hope that helps.

  37. Lavar said, on April 25, 2010 at 10:46 pm

    This also worked on 4.0… Is there a string to add internet tethering using the carrier plist file…? or should I modify another file…

  38. seri said, on May 12, 2010 at 10:19 am

    Im using jailbroken iphone in lesotho which im unable to input apn information manually please help.

    • Rakesh said, on June 29, 2010 at 9:56 pm

      In case you r a 2g user & dont’ve a wifi just like me then try this..

      1) download iphone folders from & plist editor from here

      2) after installing.. connect ur phone to pc & click on iPhone folders n navigate to \var\preferences\SystemConfiguration there look for plist file name “preferences.plist” backup this file. now open this file with plist editor n go near 73rd line. you will see


      make it

      TATA.DOCOMO.INTERNET (google for your service providers APN) save this file n copy it back to \var\preferences\SystemConfiguration n restart the phone. now you shud be good to go. 🙂


  39. Leslie said, on July 17, 2010 at 7:30 pm

    thanks for posting. It worked succesfully on iphone 3g v3.1.2. , No more movistar expensive data

    Thank you so very much. Have a nice day

  40. Rahat said, on September 6, 2010 at 7:40 pm

    Thanks so much. this is the most convenient solution I have found to make the APN work.

    Its worked with Vodafone India and Bharti Airtel India.

  41. mizz202 said, on November 5, 2010 at 7:36 am

    i cant find apn settings on my phone its unlocked but cant get internet service can some one tell me how to get apn settings unlocked

  42. Mario said, on November 10, 2010 at 10:05 pm

    Hat bei mir wunderbar funktioniert Editiert habe ich die .plist mit: Download plist Editor for Windows 1.0.1 Free

    tausend Dank für den Tip

  43. Mario said, on November 10, 2010 at 10:07 pm

    sorry, blog was in english :=( worked wunderful for me, I edited the .plist via: plist Editor for Windows 1.0.1 Free

    thousand thanks for the hint

  44. benlandau said, on August 27, 2011 at 8:55 pm

    Thanks – worked perfectly for me – I just had to restart the phone and the settings had changed. Cheers!

  45. Ricardo said, on September 9, 2011 at 11:53 am

    Hello There,
    I have an iPhone from a Brazilian carrier that has its APN settings locked.
    I’ve tried to use my iPhone in the U.S. with an AT&T SIM Card. The 3G sign is shown on the top left corner of the iPhone but I can’t get connected to the internet.
    If I do the configuration on the iPhone Configuration Utility for the APN server for AT&T will it work?
    Once I install this new configuration (.mobileconfig) how do I get back to my original configuration for the Brazilian carrier?
    Thanks for now.

  46. Saurabh Vejani said, on September 22, 2011 at 2:16 pm

    i m using iphone 3gs jailbroken,vodafone mumbai(it has APN settings locked
    and i dont know how to ssh iphone…so can u please give me link where i get guidence abt how to ssh iphone and unlock APN

  47. Eddy said, on October 9, 2011 at 5:03 pm

    I’m using an iPhone 3gs jailbroken from a Canadian carrier (Bell). I did everything as mentioned “AllowEDGEEditing
    ” and reboot my iPhone but I still can’t edit the APN. One thing I noticed is my carrier file is under /System/Library/Carrier Bundles/iPhone/Bell_ca.bundle; there is an iPhone folder before the carrier folder. I don’t think that’s a big deal.

  48. Antonio said, on February 10, 2012 at 3:43 pm

    missing APN dosent show in settings….. help

  49. Antonio said, on February 10, 2012 at 3:45 pm

    missing APN dosent show in settings….. help iphone 3gs

  50. Anonymous said, on March 19, 2012 at 10:34 am

    how to remove edge in 2G

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