I know there are lots of people out there that don’t want to update their iPhone to 3.1 due to some random battery issues or maybe because your phone is jailbroken and you don’t want to lose all that fun stuff, but now you’re left in the dark when it comes to MMS since Apple requires you to update to 3.1 in order to get the carrier file update needed to enable picture messaging. Well I have a solution for you, well a Mac solution anyways (Update: Found some PC instructions, they are below, use at your own risk as I can’t test them). Remember, I’m not responsible for this breaking your phone, so proceed with caution. I just did these exact steps to my iPhone 3GS and everything works fine, but that’s not to say that it will yield the same results for everyone, so I’m just warning you. And I’m not sure if it will work on the iPhone 3G and Original iPhone or not, as I don’t have one to test on. Also, I wouldn’t suggest trying this if your phone is unlocked for a different carrier other than AT&T. I figured that would be common sense, but just in case some idiot wanders over here thinking this will work with another carrier, it won’t.

Update: I found PC instructions to allow iTunes to recognize .ipcc carrier files. Can’t test them since I don’t have a PC, but for those that want to try, they are below.

It’s actually very simple and takes about 10 seconds to do, total. Remember, these are Mac instructions, not PC (the IPCC Carrier file will work on a PC, but you’ll have to figure out how to allow iTunes to let you install it)

1. Download the latest AT&T Carrier File 5.5 HERE or HERE
2a. For Mac: Open “Terminal” and type the following exactly:
defaults write com.apple.iTunes carrier-testing -bool TRUE
2b. For PC: Go To START Menu and then “Run” (Windows Key + R on the keyboard) and type cmd <press enter>, type the following exactly:
“C:\Program Files\iTunes\iTunes.exe” /setPrefInt carrier-testing 1
3. Open iTunes with iPhone connected
4a. on Mac: Hold the OPTION key and click Update in iTunes
4b. on PC: Hold the SHIFT key and Click Check for Updates in iTunes
5. Browse to the ATT_US.ipcc file you downloaded above and select it (it’ll take about 2 seconds).
6. On iPhone Goto Settings and Turn Airplane Mode ON then turn it OFF. This is just so the phone leaves the network and reconnects.

You should now be able to send and receive MMS messages on your iPhone without having to update to iPhone OS 3.1. And if for some reason the Airplane mode switch doesn’t work, try restarting your phone. Enjoy!

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  • h8 ATT

    Any idea whether or not this will break anything else?

    I installed an ipcc on my phone that enables tethering. i most certainly don’t want that broken.

  • Santiago

    It worked with my PC on my iPhone 3GS, this is awesome!!! Works with no problems. If you have a 64 bit system you have to type

    “C:\Program Files (x86)\iTunes\iTunes.exe” /setPrefInt carrier-testing 1

    If you don’t have the (x86) after Program Files it will give you an error

  • Me

    h8 ATT: like I said, I don’t really know what else it will break, I did not have tethering enabled on my phone so I’m not sure if it will break that. I’m assuming that to enable tethering you added a modified carrier file to your phone, so this carrier file may overwrite that one, but I’m not sure. Maybe read around a bit more before trying anything.

    Santiago: Thanks for the tip on the 64 bit systems, glad everything worked for you.

  • Henry

    What happens if the button in iTUnes says “Update” instead of “Check for Updates”? Can I still do the shift+click thing?