Enable MMS on unlocked T-Mobile iPhone with iOS 4.2.1

Dec 11, 2010 - 32 Comments

fix t-mobile iphone mms ios4-2 One of the joys of unlocking an iPhone is being able to use it on another network of your choosing. A friend of mine just got an unlocked iPhone to work on T-Mobile, but she was disappointed to find out that MMS didn’t work by default. In versions prior to iOS 4.2.1 you can usually just set carrier settings and things work fine, but since iOS 4.2.1 you’ll need to manually edit some configuration files to enable iPhone MMS functionality on the USA T-Mobile network.

This is obviously only relevant to those with unlocked iPhones on T-Mobile. If you are interested in jumping to a different carrier, you might want to read “can I unlock my iPhone?” and then learn how to jailbreak and unlock iOS 4.2.1 with redsn0w and ultrasn0w.

Anyway, here is what worked to fix T-Mobile’s MMS with iPhone OS 4.2:

Enable MMS on T-Mobile with iPhone iOS 4.2.1

This works to enable both send and receive of MMS messages on an unlocked T-Mobile iPhone:

  • SSH into the iPhone
  • Navigate to /var/mobile/Library/Preferences/
  • Look for a file called “com.apple.mms_override.plist” and copy a backup of that file to your computer (you may want to make two copies)
  • Open the newly copied com.apple.mms_override.plist file in a good text editor (TextWrangler for Mac, NotePad++ for Windows are good)
  • Replace all data in the file with the following (click on “Download Raw” for easy copy/pasting without line numbers):

  • Now save this file, be sure it’s saved in the same .plist format
  • SSH back to your iPhone and replace the original “com.apple.mms_override.plist” file with the one you just created and saved
  • Exit SSH and reboot the iPhone

You’re almost done, wait until the iPhone reboots and then you’ll need to adjust carrier MMS settings to fit T-Mobile’s network:

  • Tap on Settings -> General -> Network -> Cellular Data Network
  • Adjust the settings as follows:
  • Cellular Data APN: wap.voicestream.com
  • MMS APN: wap.voicestream.com
  • MMSC http://mms.msg.eng.t-mobile.com/mms/wapenc
  • MMS Proxy
  • MMS Max Message Size 1048576
  • MMS UA Prof URL http://www.apple.com/mms/uaprof.rdf
  • Leave Username and Password empty
  • Save the settings and reboot your iPhone again

Now MMS should work on your unlocked iPhone with OS 4.2.1 on T-Mobiles network.

This solution was discovered on T-Mobiles message boards which are full of helpful iPhone unlock tips for that network. It’s somewhat humorous, but at least half of the ‘Non T-Mobile Phone’ board is related to unlocked iPhones running on their network. T-Mobile should really just offer the iPhone themselves officially, a large user base is using one anyway.

On a related note, it looks like some of the problem with sending and receiving MMS messages on T-Mobile iPhones is that there is a message size limit. This limitation may depend on your data plan with them.


Related articles:

Posted by: Matt Chan in iPhone


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  1. walt jones says:

    I have a iPhone 3G and I updated it to IOS 4.2.1. Now, my wifi doesn’t work and niether does my cellular data. Is there a way to do this when I can’t seem to access the phone through ssh, since I can’t download programs to the phone via the internet. A web link would be helpful.

  2. Glen says:

    Do I save it as a text file with notepad++?

  3. John says:

    Thanks to this i can send pictures on my iphone now! lol did this in 5mins tops. Thank You!

  4. Jackie says:

    I hear the above editing of the plist file works but I also need Simple instructions as I’m not that computer savvy, what the heck is SSH ur iPhone which is step 1? Are we plugging this into the PC for the steps u outlined? And what next? What step do u choose first or what program do u open up? I tunes? Then what? Thanks..

    • John says:

      SSH is this program that you have to download its called WinSCP. well that the one i use. you have to google it because i have everything saved on a flashdrive.

  5. Raven says:

    I got a new sim and mine still didn’t work. Can someone tell me how to SSH something? (Almost dummy proof it please because I’m not that computer intellegant)

  6. TexasTitan says:

    Work on first try, can send out no problems.
    Can received but with a message
    “The media content was no included do to a picture
    resolution or message size restriction.”

    Picture was only 10KB

    • Spit Shop says:

      Same deal here.. I was able to send but even the smallest of images I receive the same error.

      “The media content was no included do to a picture
      resolution or message size restriction.”

  7. daniel says:

    i have the 3g 4.2.1 6.15.00 and i did what this said and i cant get the cdn tab on the phone.. help please

  8. Matthew says:

    Is there a way to do this and not use tmobile or att? Use some 3rd party gateway that has its own subscription fees? I got several iphones, I do not want service (i can use wifi) I own a small phone company and have Bria on them… I need a way to receive pictures via MMS

  9. James says:

    Use the Tmobile MMS fix from sinfuliphonerepo

  10. Anna says:

    hey so the picture messaging works great but i cant recieve them? how do i fix it?

  11. Pete says:

    So has anyone figured this out my phone is unlocked factory from australia and it seems everyone has same prob can send but not receive any solutions out there?

  12. angelica says:

    i cant get my mms to work can get pictures

  13. angelica says:

    i can get my mms pictures to work

  14. brett says:

    i did not save my original plist file before deleting can someone please POST THE ORIGINAL PLIST FILE! thanks in advance

  15. Joy says:

    It worked for me! YEAH! I found the first part on another website but it still wouldn’t work but now that I went into settings I can at least send mms. Now hopefully I can get them too! Thank you so much!!

  16. Nick says:

    Hey Travis I have the same problem as you. I really don’t want to jailbreak it. Have you found a solution yet? I can send but I can’t receive.

  17. Travis says:

    I still can’t get the mms to work. I don’t really want to jailbreak my iPhone, but I may have to go that route. Anyone got suggestions or other settings that would work?

  18. James says:

    Thank you. I didn’t even SSH that stuff, I just input the data in the network settings and it worked. Yay!

  19. Xander says:


  20. David says:

    This worked to send mms. Still can’t receive though. Any ideas?!

  21. rick says:

    thank you. thank you. thank you.

  22. Mark says:

    I think I screwed up on the .plist format of the file. I read threw the TextWrangler manual and wasn’t able to see how to do it correctly there either. Can you please help?

  23. Nick says:

    So a new sim card will allow you to send and receive? I’ve had mine a long time as well. What are some of the restrictions that could be holding me back in my plan?

  24. Punz says:

    will this work on Simple Mobile here in the US?

  25. jlc3 says:

    One note for those old t-mobile accounts. I had a very old SIM – back in the beginning when voicetream got absorbed by t-mobile. I had a nightmare of a time trying to debug why sms, much less mms wasn’t working. t-mobile support couldn’t figure it out –

    replace your old SIM. instant working. honest. if you get stuck in being able to receive (most of the time) and only once in a while be able to send or never sent – replace the SIM. particularly if it’s several years old.


    • Davoos says:

      This is absolutely true, get the new TMobile sim cards first.

      T-Mobile knows a lot of people use jailbroke iPhones on their network and they openly serve these users so do not be afraid to ask for the newest sim type that is iPhone compatible.

    • N says:

      you are so right, I had the same problem and couldn’t figure it out until I got a new phone and switched SIMs…

    • Heidi says:

      I have used the setting for my unlocked Iphone 4.2.1 and its not working please help

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