My iPhone 5 is running iOS 6.1, jailbroken. I've managed to lock myself out of the phone and don't know the passcode. Device is disabled for longer and longer periods of time in between incorrect passcode entries.

I've been backing up to iCloud and periodically locally to iTunes.

My objective: Ideally I would like to get back to my most recent iCloud (or local iTunes) backup, and stay jailbroken. My second most preferred choice is to get back to my most recent backup and then re-jailbreak. Worst case is bring the device to 6.1.2 (which is the latest version that there is a jailbreak for) and re-jailbreak and reinstall everything.

I am reading lots of conflicting and confusing things about how to do this, so I am not sure about the procedure.

My first attempt went like follows:

  1. Attach iPhone to PC, iTunes sees it.
  2. Download 6.1 firmware ipsw (because the latest version of iOS, 6.1.4, which iTunes tries to use, can't be jailbroken)
  3. In iTunes, hold shift then click Restore iPhone, then I pick the 6.1 file

and I get the following much-mentioned but not much solved error:

The iPhone [device name] could not be restored because the firmware file is not compatible.

Doing this while the phone is in DFU or Recovery modes doesn't change the result.

iTunes Error

I then tried the same steps, but this time selecting the 6.1.2 ipsw file. I get past the error above but after the file extracted and after talking to Apple's servers I get error 3194:

The iPhone [device name] could not be restored. An unknown error occurred (3194).

Error 3194

Lots of Internet activity for error 3194, all unsuccessful, eg. changing hosts file.

Recommendations? To reiterate, I want to accomplish what I wrote after "My objective" above; perhaps I'm going down the wrong road and this error message I am getting is irrelevant because this might not be the right path anyway.

  • You cannot install a firmware version that Apple no longer signs. Hence, you cannot install anything but 6.1.4 on the iPhone 5 that is the only version being signed by Apple. Even if you have the accompanying SHSH blobs and APTickets, it is not possible. You have lost your jailbreak for good.
    – user10355
    Jul 12, 2013 at 22:40
  • @cksun - Darn. What about approaches which exploit or bypass my lock screen and allow me to reset the passcode? I tried semi-restore.com to restore the phone to "stock" but keeping the jailbreak and it appears to have erased the phone but the passcode is still there! Which seems to mean if it can access phone contents, shouldn't I also be able to undo the passcode somehow? (Same with photos - even with the passcode I was surprised to see the photos become available when I connected the phone via usb.)
    – Howiecamp
    Jul 13, 2013 at 0:39
  • osxdaily.com/2011/01/16/forgot-iphone-passcode-how-to-reset details how to restore a phone that's been pass coded. I've never used semi restore and they say it does exactly what you want, but clearly it didn't work for you. I know Apple went to great lengths to secure a device that has a pass code so I don't think it's going to be a trivial process. If you do manage it, follow up with us so others with the same dilemma can hopefully do the same. Best of luck!
    – user10355
    Jul 13, 2013 at 1:39
  • @cksum - Thank you. First, Can you briefly explain how the signing thing works? After your comment I was reading elsewhere about Apple shrinking their signing windows. Second, I guess what you are saying is that if I got another jailbroken iPhone (6.1 or 6.1.2) and dumped the SHSH blobs and saved them, that I still would not be able to use them to revert back to 6.1/6.1.2 given the same situation? Also, I got so accustomed to my jailbreak setup that I am selling my iPhone on eBay and buying a jailbroken one!
    – Howiecamp
    Jul 15, 2013 at 13:39
  • When you install a firmware, iTunes will contact Apple's severs to make sure it's being signed. If it isn't, then the process stops there. Apple doesn't want users to pick and choose what firmware revision they install. It also wants to keep people safe from unauthorized ones. That's essentially the short of it. As for SHSH blobs, yes. They are unique to the device and cannot be swapped around.
    – user10355
    Jul 15, 2013 at 17:19

1 Answer 1


This YouTube video on Semi-Restore iOS 6.1.2, 6.1.1, 6.1, 6.0.1, 6.0 iPhone 5, 4S, 4 definitely works. It worked for me.


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