How To Upgrade To iOS 5 Today, Without Any Developer Account

How To Upgrade To iOS 5 Today, Without Any Developer Account

One day and iOS 5 has been hacked already. Gizmodo reader and Apple lover Mert Erdir has discovered how to upgrade to iOS 5 without developer accounts, using a simple backdoor. Everyone can do it following these extremely simple instructions:

The method exploits a security flaw in the activation screen, apparently related to the Voice Over system. Here’s how to do it.

Warning: While this operation should be simple and inconsequential, we are not responsible for what you do to your iOS device. Proceed at your own risk.

Download and install iOS 5

1. Download the iOS 5 IPSW file from the web (it’s easy and readily available. Just Google it and torrent it down).

2. Update your iPhone using iTunes. To do this, connect your iPhone to your computer, click on the Check for Update button with the Option (Mac) or Shift (PC) key pressed. Select the iOS 5 IPSW file from the place you downloaded it to.

3. Wait until it upgrades. A new activation screen will appear.

Activate iOS 5

1. Triple click the home button. This will activate the Voice Over.

2. Triple click the home button and Emergency Call will appear.

3. Click on Emergency Call and, while it’s switching, swipe with your three fingers down.

4. The Notification centre will appear!

5. Click on the Weather widget. The Weather app will load.

6. Click on the home button to exit to the iPhone’s springboard.

That’s it. Your phone is activated and fully operative. Enjoy and thank Mert Erdir for this clever link. He has this words to say:

My will is not to do something harmful to anyone, I just wanted to get the attention of Apple, the company I’m in love with; and maybe one day have a chance to talk to/meet Steve Jobs himself. You can reach me on Twitter for further questions.

I found this because I don’t have much cash to get an iOS Developer account, so donations for a young developer will be appreciated. They can be made on my blog (not in english). You’ll see the PayPal donate button on the right. Thanks!

So send the kid some dollars so he can become a pro developer. With his patience and creativity finding this iOS 5 backdoor, I’m sure he will do a great job.

Republished from Gizmodo


  • Thanks! This is working for me, I’m at a working homescreen. One modification though, at least for the iPhone 4 (likely the others too, but I only have a 4): After triple-clicking the home button to enable VoiceOver, triple-clicking it again simply toggles it back off. You have to push the home button /once/, not three times, to open the “Emergency Call” menu.

  • i get a 3002 error when trying to update to the beta by following the instructions, pressing option when clicking ‘update’. anyone else getting this?

    • Yep, same.

      Make sure your phone is backed up.
      Put your phone in DFU mode and then locate the ispw file that you already downloaded.

      Once your iPhone is loaded with iOS 5 restore the previous backup.

  • Beau, You need to install iTunes Beta 10.5 in order for this to work correctly. I found Updating my iPhone 4 to 5.0 didn’t work gave the same error so I restored the phone back to factory default with the iOS 5.0 and it’s working 100% so far.

  • managed to make it work by pressing option and clicking restore. successfully over over ride the activation by following the rest of instructions.

    although, itunes obviously recognises that i’m not apart of the developer program. it wont sync my carrier settings, hence i have no reception/internet connection. is this known and is there a fix?


    • You can roll it back if you download the 4.3.3 firmware separately and hook the iphone/ipad to iTunes 10.3 and put it to DFU mode and then hit shift (for windows) and click Restore and point it to the firmware or just click restore and it will download the 4.3.3 firmware and restore the device….

  • if you do this on an iphone 4 it DOES NOT WORK. All it lets you do is bypass the activation screen, and yes some apps will work but you cannot restore any previous settings from you phone because it will not let you connect to itunes without a verified developer account. Also it will not load and of your carrier signal settings so this will turn your iphone into an ipod touch. It took me several hours to get my phone back to normal. Apple will not let you downgrade your iphone after you install this update you need to use tiny umbrella to get 4.3 back, and presumably this will involve several times trying to get it right and editing your hosts file. dont do it. wait until the autumn. to be quite honest lifehacker should revise this post promptly before a flood of people brick their iphones because of it.

      • Thanks, but that being said, the warning follows a statement that says that doing it should be simple and inconsequential, which irrespective of the caveat that anyone does this at their own risk doesn’t offset the fact that all this hack does is bypass a screen and gives limited use of the device, which is stated nowhere else. Furthermore the extreme difficulty in restoring the device back to 4.3 deserves mention. If people really wanted to do this they should do it with a spare ipod touch, because no matter what device they use thats what they’ll get if they try this.

  • Hi, ican speak just a little bit englisch but

    I Did this and it goes but if i connect it to itunes, Then Itunes says:

    We´re unable to complete your activation

    Please Help Soon

  • Anyone get this working on an iPad? Problem is, there is no Emergency Call on iPads, so what now?

    After turning on Voice Over, triple-clicking Home again turns Voice Over off, and clicking it only once brings up the option to Start Over.

    I’ve been sitting here listening to Voice Over narrate every failed attempt I’ve made to bypass Activation for the last half hour. I think we might have overlooked this little snafu…

  • The only way to get this to work and be able to use your cellular service is to register as an apple dev and register your phones UIID. Then you can load the IOS5 IPSW through xCode and activate your phone without doing the workaround mentioned above.

    The steps outlined in the post above only tell you how to circumvent the activation screen. But doing this means you cannot use the cellular service.

    I successfully did the above and have been using IOS5 and making calls. It works great.

  • The only way I have been able to downgrade was to force an iPhone restore to my last backup.

    1. Hold down the home button and power button at the same time. This will force the screen to fade and the Apple Logo to reappear. KEEP holding the two buttons down until the iPhone shuts off.

    2. Once the iPhone is off plug one end of the usb cable into the PC .

    3. Open iTunes

    4. While holding down the Home button plug the cable into the iphone. Contunue holding the home button until the you the itunes logo and the picture of the cable on the iPhone screen. This may take up to 30 seconds.

    5. iTunes should now detect the iPhone and you can perform a restore.

  • I precisely had to say thanks once more. I do not know what I would’ve achieved without the tricks provided by you on such area of interest. It was the traumatic issue in my circumstances, nevertheless witnessing the very skilled strategy you handled the issue forced me to weep over contentment. Now i’m grateful for your support and even have high hopes you really know what a great job that you’re doing training many people thru a site. I am certain you have never come across any of us.

  • while i click on emergency call, and while switching, three finger down won’t have the notification center appear, i tried couple of times it still doesnt work, any solutions?

  • i updated it and i got the no service problem… i’ve been trying to make it work for almost 5 hours ! im about to throw the freaking phone against the wall too !!!!!!

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