Bypass Activation [webOS 1.x] | webOS Nation

Bypass Activation [webOS 1.x] 26

by Adam Marks Tue, 12 Jul 2011 10:53 pm EDT

This tip is only for devices running webOS 1.x. (This will not work on webOS 2.x devices,; we will have a separate 2.x tip in the near future)

When you activate a webOS 1.x device, the first thing the phone does is search for a cellular signal or SIM card (for GSM phones). Even if you have an active Wi-Fi connection available, if it is not an active device on your cellular account you will not be able to do much more than just turn the phone on. If your phone is a GSM device and you have a friend with an active SIM card, you should see if you could borrow it to activate your device. Once activated, just take out the SIM card out and the device will run just fine. Otherwise, there is a developer tool available that will allow you to bypass the activation requirements, thus allowing you to use your phone as a Wi-Fi only device.

Unfortunately, there are a number of limitations of developing on an Unactivated Devices. You are unable to log in to a Palm Profile, access the App Catalog, get any OTA webOS updates, or use the Phone or SMS functionality. Here comes Homebrew to the rescue! Specifically, developer Arthur Thornton to the rescue! He has created a patch that will allow you to create or login to a Palm profile on a activation-bypassed device, thus removing all the limitations above with the exception of providing Phone/SMS functionality. Continue reading after the break to learn how to bypass the activation and then log in to your profile.  

To bypass activation:

  • Visit on the webOS Developer Center website
  • Under the section "Running the Activation-Bypass Tool", download the activation-bypass tool (direct link here) to your computer
  • Follow the directions a little earlier on that page to boot your device into recovery mode
  • Once in recovery mode, run the activation-bypass tool from the command line by issuing the following command: "java -jar devicetool.jar". (for example, to access the command line on a Windows PC, press the "Start" button, choose "Run" and type "cmd". Navigate to the directory you saved the bypass tool.)
  • The device will reboot.
  • Once the device boots, it will already be in developer mode. Just activate Wi-Fi and the device will be ready to use, subject to the limitations of non-activation.

To log in to an existing Palm Profile (or to create a new one):

  • If you haven't already, activate the Wi-Fi on your device and log in to a Wi-Fi network
  • Plug in your device to a computer and select "Just Charge".
  • It should already be in developer mode, so all you need to do is load up webOS Quick Install and tap on the "feeds" button (the bottom button on the right-hand side). Select patches and do a search for the "Enable Profile Creation - Activation Bypassed" patch. Install the patch (it if asks you to install other dependant patches, install those, too)
  • Then do a search for the "Show FirstUse App" patch and install that patch, too.
  • Reboot your device
  • Once the phone is back up, you should see a new app called "First Use". Open that app and follow the steps to log in or create a new profile.
  • At the end of the process, you will get to a screen saying "Setup Complete" with a standard webOS spinning progress circle. Manually Reboot your device again.
  • When the phone comes back up, you will have full access to the device, the App Catalog, and everything else that does not require a cellular connection or phone number.

Unfortunately, none of your apps will be automatically re-downloaded from the App Catalog if you are using an existing Profile. You can still go into the App Catalog and download them all for free, as your Palm Profile will have a record of all your app purchases. Otherwise, if you need help restoring from a previous device, be sure to check out our Definitive Guide to Backup/Restoring your webOS Device before resetting your device and logging in to your profile

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Can I use this when I get my brand-spankin' new Pre3 (some undefined day in the future) and use my opening day original Pre on wi-fi only?

What I would do is before going to the Pre 3, setup a new profile on the old Pre. Since that profile will already be good (past the first use app), you won't have to worry about anything.

You may be able to do this after the Pre doesn't have service, but I cannot verify. I can verify that I have 2 Pre's with no service WiFi on no problem.

From my limited understanding, this is just to get a new (or a freshly doctored phone) past "First Use".

Is this a way to make it possible to access the usb files on a deactivated phone? My husband switched to a replacement Pre plus before I got his pics, etc. off, and I've been searching for a way to get to them short of reactivating it long enough to get them off then reactivating the replacement phone. If this works or if there's another way, someone please tell me. I haven't been able to find anyone else in my situation in the forums.

Turning the phone on and plugging it into the USB port won't expose it as a USB drive? The phone has to be activated? Hmmmmm.

This is worth a shot -- try this keyboard shortcut on your Pre to activate the USB drive mode while the phone is plugged into your computer.

All 3 keys have to be pressed down:
option key + sym key + u.

Let me know if this works...good luck!

What does the phone do when you power it up?

If it asks you to login to a profile, just create a new profile and boot the phone, you should then be able to access the USB drive no problem.

If the above doesn't work, the steps in this article will.


None of this works. Can't create a new profile, tried it but it says I have to be connected to a carrier to go any further. Tried following the directions of the developer site but I'm too ignorant to know what they're talking about when they say I have to have the latest SDK installed as well as Java. Tried to figure that out but the SDK download seems to be only for Windows 7 and Vista. All I want to be able to do is get the photos off my husband's old phone! Why do I seem to be the only one with this problem? Oh, well, this article is getting pretty far down the line, so if nobody reads it or can help, I'll just give up. He'd just better learn how to back up manually what doesn't backup through synergy from now on!

I have had to go back to using my Verizon Pixi Plus while waiting for the Pre 2 to get the webOS 2.1 update. I activated my Pixi with a different palm profile.

When I turned my Pre 2 on (now not connected to Verizon), I quickly put it into airplane mode, and turned on wifi. Internet worked, and it seemed as if I was able to check for the 2.1 update (even though it wasn't available yet).

Does this sound right? Can I monitor the 2.1 update on my Pre 2 even though it's not activated on Verizon?

So if I'm reading this correctly, you no longer need to meta-doctor a 1.x device to get it to work as wifi only?

If so, that saves a bit of work and simplifies the process a bit to create a $30 or less (on ebay for Pre minus) video/mp3/game device for the kiddos.

I had metadoctor'd a pre minus for my daughter last December. She since dropped the device and it's stuck on the Palm screen. Might just try and use regular doctor to restore then try this to log in to her Palm profile.

I was thinking on using this method to create a new profile for a new unlocked pixi plus I will get. since I might not be able to activate it with an AT&T sim to get the full app catalog with paid apps. however does anyone know If I can activate later with the non us/ non AT&T sim I am planning on using?, or at that point I would loose the access to the app catalog?

Don't know if you can help, but when I ran the command, it says Error: Connection Refused: connect



Arrggh..won't work. Dropping the file in a folder and when I run the command it's saying connection refused. Device is in recovery mode and everything.

If any device has been activated in the pass and it's been reset, you can use "devicetool" then install Preware and either "first use" patch or "Advance Configuration for App Launcher" patch, the "first use" app will show up. After you sign in to your profile through the first use app, you should be able to access the app catalog. I've done it on at least 6 palm pres.

I follow everything but when I get to the activation-bypass tool it won't run only opens to 3 files -com, META-INF, and org


what am I doing wrong?

So if I log in with my account, will that kick me out of my other phone? Or can I have my account active over both phones (and my touchpad)?

OK, so I followed the instructions to bypass activation, and received the following message in my Command Prompt. Any ideas? Exception in thread "main" java.lang.UnsupportedClassVersionError: com/palm/webo
s/devicetool/DeviceTool (Unsupported major.minor version 50.0)
at java.lang.ClassLoader.defineClass0(Native Method)
at java.lang.ClassLoader.defineClass(Unknown Source)
at Source)
at Source)
at$100(Unknown Source)
at$ Source)
at Method)
at Source)
at java.lang.ClassLoader.loadClass(Unknown Source)
at java.lang.ClassLoader.loadClass(Unknown Source)
at java.lang.ClassLoader.loadClassInternal(Unknown Source)
at java.lang.Class.forName0(Native Method)
at java.lang.Class.forName(Unknown Source)
at org.eclipse.jdt.internal.jarinjarloader.JarRsrcLoader.main(JarRsrcLoa

i ran everything as shown (or typed whatever you prefer), but when i reboot my phone after installing the two patches nothing shows up in my launcher

There are localized versions of the "show first use" patch. You need to find the developers thread for the patch, and then DL the proper localized one.

i'm confused. so if I did this would I not be able to text and make calls? i've already attempted to bypass activation once, but it didn't work.

I put my old Pre in airplane mode before I activated my new phone. If I run bypass activation on the old phone, will my contacts still be in the phone? (Do I run any risk of causing the phone to be wiped? That is what I want to avoid, but keeping the phone in airplane mode indefinitely makes me nervous knowing that if I accidently turn it off--everything goes poof.)

hay.when i am trying to create new profile my cell phone said that create it manually.last time i run my cell phone but i do not confirm it from my email id.and now when i am trying manually it is not succeeded

If you are having a problem finding the file "devicetool.jar", or the command prompt is giving a error along the lines of not being able to access the file:

I had this problem as well and I realized that my computer was downloading the file, which should have an extension of .jar, as a .zip file.

To solve this by using "saved link as" switched the file type to "all" and changed the extension to ".jar".

Hope this helps!

I live in Samoa and just purchased a brand new un-locked Palm Pre Plus from a dealer in Australia, it arrived yesterday, I inserted my Sim Card from a local mobile provider, which is not locked, as I switch it between my other phones, I then inserted the battery, switched it on and the name of the provider I am with showed up in the top left-hand corner, showing it was un-locked. It then asked me to set up a profile, I entered a new account with a valid email address, but it then said it could not create a profile, it was not connecting to anything.

It allows me to go to emergency screen, however I can dial my wife's phone number and it rings. I did notice somewhere after I could not setup a profile, that it says to enter the numbers manually off the sim card, which numbers do they refer too, as there are 4 sets of numbers.

Is there anyway I can set this up any other way, or by-pass this procedure altogether until I have the phone activated and going, or can I do it on line?

Can I plug the phone into my PC hooked to the internet and do it this way?

I am disappointed that I can't get my phone operating, I ordered and paid for it back in April, when it arrived, I found out it was locked and had to send it back, so this is the second phone I have received and still no luck. I have owed a Palm Treo 750 for around 4 years and have loved it, I wanted this to upgrade a little, though I am wondering now if I should just stick with my Treo.

However I did take my phone to a company today here that fixes Mobiles, the owner is pretty good. When I went back later today, he told me that AT&T have only made the phone available internally to certain phone companies around the world and that the phone should have been activated in Australia before they sent it over to me.

I am not too sure if this is right or not, he did print out a document that seems to explain just that.
When I purchased the phone, I was obviously hopping to be able to use all functions of the phone and as I mentioned in my email, the reason I purchased the phone in the first place
was because of using the Palm Treo for so long with no problems and it being such a good phone

Any suggestions Please.



If, like me, you are looking for a devicetool.jar, you can get it here:

worked for both my pixi and my thouchpad. obviously unzip it first. then go to recovery mode, connect via usb to a computer that has the novacom drivers and java installed, then just double-click the javatool.jar file. you'll know it worked when the recovery screen icon disappears and the device starts loading

anyway, took me a while to find.

also if you search on the actual file names of some of the webosdoctor files, you can find them too.

I have a palm pre plus can i bypass palm profile with out a usb