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How to Enable Hotspot Tethering On iOS 6 (No Jailbreak Required)

Posted by Joe on July 7, 2013 at 8:05 PM

Please note that this is only confirmed for GSM carriers at this time and has only been tested and confirmed to work on T-Mobile. This also no longer works in iOS 7. AT&T customers could also enable this as well but will need to tinker around and test a bit to get it operational, if you aren't able to the first time around. Keep in mind that you can edit the other APNs as well if you prefer different ones to be set rather than the default. CDMA carriers may not be able to do this as CDMA devices handle APNs a bit differently. Also, it is highly recommended that you have an unlimited data plan, or higher teired data plan (above 2GB), for this to be worth anyone's time. You WILL blow through data quickly.

So you want free hotspot on your iPhone or iPad but don't have a jailbroken device, huh? Well, I come with good news for a lot of you today. Many of you may remember a story I put out awhile back talking about how CommCenter blocks edited carrier.plist files and I may have found a work aroun to get things like personal hotspot enabled. Well, I've found the solution, but first, let's talk about why CommCenter blocks plist editing. This happens because of the very thing we're doing right now, which i suspect will likely be patched quickly by iOS 7 GM release time. People were enabling tethering by modifying the original carrier.plist files and this stopped entirely when Apple implemented signatures into the carrier.plist files and creating what we all know as CommCenter which is the process that checks these signatures. So, the challenge was finding a way to enable hotspot without CommCenter checks and verifications. After months of research and digging, I've finally found a genuine workaround to enable this great feature and its quite simple, really. Follow the below instructions to begin the process and enjoy responsibly.

Guide

Step 1: Download a program called iBackupBot.

             Windows

             Mac

Step 2: Open iTunes and create a backup of your device. Take note of the date and time it was created.

Step 3: Minimize iTunes and open iBackupBot. if you get any errors while loading the program, just click cancel, continue, and or ignore.

Step 4: Once the program is open, you should see a list of all of the backups that are beings stored in your iTunes library. Find the most recent one (the one you just created) and click the plus symbol. This will display a few different selections. Example below.

Step 5: Navigate to System Files > SystemPreferencesDomain > SystemConfiguration and right click the file named preferences.plist then click "Open with Built-In Editor" which will display the lines of code we will be working with.

Step 6: Once the file is opened, scroll down till you find the tethering APN associated with your carrier. If you don't know what it is, look for APNs with "type-masks" that are 16 bit or 48 bit. You can also google your carrier's tethering APN. Make sure to to also erase these lines of coding in the tethering APN field: 

<key>signature</key>

<data>

RANDOM LETTERS, SYMBOLS, AND NUMBERS WILL BE HERE

</data>

For CDMA carriers, they may be referred to as DUN APNs. Once you have located the tethering APN, change it to the regular data APN your device uses to access the web. An example of a tethering APN on T-Mobile is provided below. The APN pcweb.tmobile.com would be changed to either fast.t-mobile.com or epc.tmobile.com, depending on your APN preference.

Step 7: Once you have changed the APN, save the altered file and close iBackupBot.

Step 8: Open iTunes again and choose the "Restore From Backup" option while holding the shift key in Windows and the "Option" key in Mac. Select the update that corresponds to the backup you created and modified and click "Restore" once you've found it. The device will boot up and tethering should now be enabled. Enjoy!

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188 Comments

Reply Joe
1:15 AM on April 10, 2014 
Sam says...
Did no work at all.


That's because it was patched a long time ago. You have to jailbreak and install a carrier update hack.
Reply Sam
11:43 PM on April 9, 2014 
Did no work at all.
Reply Annie Kauppila
11:53 AM on April 4, 2014 
Wish I could figure all this out I have the tech. Sooooo frustrating !!!!???!!!
Reply Kris
11:48 PM on March 24, 2014 
I'm on Verizon. Couldn't locate my tethering APN but found a similar code so deleted it as well. Restored, and still get the screen that says "contact verizon" iOS 6.1.4
Reply Fec
11:00 AM on March 18, 2014 
clr says...
I think you might need the paid version of iBackuprobot to save the changes?


Did you get the answer? Thx.
Reply Mark
4:38 PM on March 15, 2014 
Was wondering I hae iPhone 5 IOS 7.1 cant seem to get the tethering to work always directs me to tmobiles hotspot page please help my email is markgresens@gmail.com and txt to cell is 2488028351 please help asap
Reply GeekyNinja247
2:52 PM on March 11, 2014 
What version of iPhone do you have and running which iOS Anders?
Reply Anders
11:53 PM on March 3, 2014 
Just tested this today, on T-Mobile, and it does work. 100% confirmed.
Reply RepairedKarma76
10:36 AM on February 14, 2014 
I have the iPhone 4S with ios7 and sprint, Will this work on my phone?? Iv been trying to find free wifi hotspot tethering forever because I moved somewhere where all I have is satellite internet and it sucks... BAD.
Reply Sr
1:00 AM on January 30, 2014 
So if I'm using iphone 5c verizon it won't use any of my data?
Reply clr
3:27 PM on January 15, 2014 
I think you might need the paid version of iBackuprobot to save the changes?
Reply clr
2:25 PM on January 15, 2014 
I don't have anything ID'ed as a tethering APN. Phone is ATT now provisioned for Consumer Cellular with iphone 4 and ios 5. Any clues would be helpful. I can see 4 APN sections of the preferences. Looks like one for VM, broadband, text and network access.
Reply Cobb county used auto parts
9:47 AM on January 12, 2014 
Doesn't work for ios 7.3. On 5s
Www.ccuaps.com
Reply Derek
4:22 AM on December 20, 2013 
Settings seem to take effect, now the problem in question is why i'm unable to change my APN settings from that of t-mobile to att's network (just like my current data settings via the 'cellular data network' method.)
Reply Jack
3:38 PM on December 16, 2013 
Bored
Reply Mary
1:11 AM on December 16, 2013 
I have a sprint iPhone 4 will it work for me?
Reply leek
6:06 PM on December 9, 2013 
Doesn't work on iOS 6.1.3 / iPhone 4S / T-Mobile. The hotspot APN is not in the preferences.plist file anymore.
Reply nicko
7:35 AM on December 6, 2013 
Hi, this procedure it's only for american user or also for italian?

Thanks
Reply Wondering
10:38 AM on December 4, 2013 
Does anyone know if this still works on tmobile ios 6.0?
Reply Lance
3:20 PM on November 30, 2013 
How to work around the non saving application from Ibackupbot?! The file wont be saved thus no modifications will be restored to the iphone?!
Any hints?!
THX in advance!!