How to activate tethering on any iPhone without jailbreaking

This how-to helps you activate tethering on your OS 3.0 iPhone without jailbreaking.

During the WWDC keynote, AT&T was strangely absent from Apple's list of carriers that will support tethering in iPhone OS 3.0. AT&T has since explained that it will support tethering later this summer, but many iPhone users are champing at the bit for the added functionality. If you're one of the eager masses, use this how-to to enable tethering on any iPhone running iPhone OS 3.0--without jailbreaking--on a Mac. (Other blogs have reported Windows tethering steps; please see our links at the end of this piece.)

Difficulty level:
Medium

What you need:
>Mac OS X 10.5 or later
>Download this carrier settings file from gizmodo.com and double-click it to mount it in Finder
>iPhone OS 3.0 (7A341) Gold Master final release for iPhone (see below note)
>First prerelease version of iTunes 8.2 (download link)
>Final release version of iTunes 8.2 (download link)

Notes:
iPhone OS 3.0 will be available to all iPhone users on June 17.

Standard disclaimers apply here. Please read your contract terms of service carefully before proceeding to ensure that you are not breaking your iPhone carrier agreement. Also, while these methods have worked for most people, we cannot guarantee that they will work for you, and you must make these modifications at your own risk. If you do not feel comfortable making these modifications to your phone, we urge you not to try.

Apple, Inc.


Setting up tethering for your iPhone

Uninstall iTunes 8.2 Mac

1. Drag the Application iTunes from the apps folder on your Mac to the Trash.

2. Launch Activity Monitor from Applications/Utilities and kill the iTunes Helper process.

3. Go to Finder. Navigate to your ~/Library folder and delete the iTunes folder at ~/Library/iTunes.

4. Navigate to ~/Library/Preferences, locate the following three files, and drag each one to the Trash: com.apple.iTunes.eq.plist, com.apple.iTunes.plist, and com.apple.iTunesHelper.plist

5. Empty the Trash

Install iTunes 8.2 prerelease Mac

6. Install the iTunes 8.2 prerelease you downloaded.

7. Connect your iPhone with iPhone OS 3.0 software loaded on it to your computer with the standard USB sync cable.

8. Once the iPhone is connected, go to the Device Summary page in iTunes.

9. While pressing and holding the Option key on your Mac, click the Restore button in iTunes

10. Browse to the mounted carrier settings file you downloaded and mounted above and select the ATT_US.ipcc file. iTunes will now perform an upgrade on your iPhone and display the following message:

Set up tethering on your iPhone

11. Launch the Settings app on your iPhone and go to General and then Network while your iPhone is still tethered to your computer.

12. Locate "Internet Tethering" and turn it on.

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If tethering is successful, you will see a message that is similar to the following:

Go into Preferences Network select the adapter as displayed above, and you'll see something similar to this as it becomes active:

Your iPhone will display a blue background banner on different screens to indicate that tethering is active and running as shown below.

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Our brief tests found tethering to be zippy fast on an iPhone 3G. Your experiences may vary, but we would like to hear about them in the comments.

06/18/09 at 1:30 PM PDT: This post was updated to reflect some additional tethering information.

According to CrunchGear you can also turn tethering on and MMS directly from your iPhone by visiting this Web site using Mobile Safari: http://help.benm.at/help.php. We tested tethering and that worked, but have yet to get the MMS portion of this Web sites hack up and running.

You can go to this site that we found via gizmodo.com and get some instructions on performing these hacks on a Windows computer.

Gizmodo also notes that "Some people are reporting that these hacks can screw with your visual voicemail. Careful! " While we have not seen this happen yet - it is possible that performing an iTunes restore on your iPhone will resolve the issue, but erase all the hacks as well.

06/17/09 at 10:15 AM PDT:This post was updated to reflect some sourcing and additional tethering information.

willson556 and gointoscott in the comments below suggest a shorter version - replacing Steps 1-6 with a defaults write command for users with the release version of iTunes 8.2. We've tried this version and can confirm that it, too, works.

b3baby in the comments below asks if this hack will also work on a desktop. This hack will work on any Mac - desktop or portable. We tested it on an iMac and a Macbook Pro.

thisismatthewcrosby2 in the comments below complains about issues with his Mac not seeing his iPhone - suggest doing the iTunes removal step again - be sure to delete the three appropriate COM files and re-install iTunes.

Once the hack is complete you can re-install iTunes 8.2 if needed, but future updates may undo the hack.

(iPhone Atlas came up with this process independently, but other publications, including 9to5Mac here, have come to the same conclusion).

 

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