Solution to iPhone 1.1.1 not keeping non-AT&T carriers’ APN

iPhone icon

Update 20071025 17:15 If you are having problem getting the APN setting appear after a reboot even after changing the UnknownCarrier.plist file, try this: Edit the UnknownCarrier.plist file as shown below, and then go into Settings > General > Network > EDGE and enter the appropriate info for APN. I found out that i had to do this after i restored my iPhone again.

Update 20071021 10:02 For Windows/Linux users, the UnknownCarrier.plist file is just an ordinary xml file. You can edit it with your favorite text editor.

The file looks like this, with the section to edit in red (change internet2.voicestream.com to your appropriate APN server):
UnknownCarrier.plist in text editor

Update 20071020 10:00 The previously mentioned easier method has been reported not to be working for some.

Update 20071020 16:25 There appears to be another easier solution. According to RpR at the Dev Team forum, just install Services.app, run it, switch off EDGE and then switch on EDGE again. Select Other and enter the APN server. This should update the plist file.

Original post:
After upgrading to iPhone firmware 1.1.1, i noticed that after a reboot or power off/on of my iPhone, i would lose the APN server setting for T-Mobile.

iPhone APN setting

So i posted a question on iPhone Dev Team’s forum and almost immediate i got a reply. The suggestion was to edit the following plist file on iPhone:

/var/root/Library/Preferences/com.apple.carrier.plist

However, i realized that this file is just a symbolic link to:

/System/Library/Frameworks/CoreTelephony.framework/Support/UnknownCarrier.plist

So i transferred the UnknownCarrier.plist file and edited it using Property List Editor (if you double-click on the file, it will open up Property List Editor automatically). I updated the value for “apn”, as shown in the highlighted screenshot below:

iPhone UnknownCarrier.plist file edit

After that, i transferred the edited file back to my iPhone. To test, i rebooted the phone and voila, the APN server setting is still there!

8 Comments

TiringthoughtOctober 27th, 2007 at 22:32

I already did your steps above but cannot get the phone to go onto edge.

Whenever i try to edit the APN settings the phone goes back to the home screen and forgets what I entered into the APN field.

Any advice on what i can do to get EDGE working on my phone?

Thanks.

ktulaOctober 30th, 2007 at 07:22

If every time you attempted to edit the APN settings and the phone reset itself, taking you back to the home screen, then you have a bigger problem than not being able to keep the APN settings. Did you install Summerboard? If so, is the “Dim Wallpaper” option on? I, and several other people, have problems with iPhone constantly resetting itself with that Summerboard option on.

Sparky10November 5th, 2007 at 14:38

Do you know a way in which I can add a second APN, and be able to choose between the two depending on the email account I am connecting to? My work email uses a specific APN, which can’t connect to the internet generally…

ktulaNovember 5th, 2007 at 17:18

I don’t believe there is a way to add a second APN server.

OneyNovember 9th, 2007 at 13:42

That way worked for me, (sort of), I just used PuTTy to SSH in and nano edit it. As for adding a 2nd APN, connecting through one carrier, is that possible with ANY cell phone?

rickxNovember 13th, 2007 at 07:55

My iphone has no UnknownCarrier.plist at all, so this is a clear explanation of the not-storing problem. I’m writing a new one now…but if you could upload yours, that could help somebody (I surely did not delete mine in any way).

tsegiOctober 2nd, 2008 at 02:47

gosh help me

no APNNovember 20th, 2008 at 20:44

there is no apn or edge folder on my 2.1 iphone how do i activate my internet????? worked fine before update

Leave a comment

Your comment