Major cellular carriers – Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, and others – typically lock their networks on their store-bought iPhones or pay through an installment plan. What does this really mean though? A cell phone lock is a software code that ensures that your mobile phone only connects to a specific network. Conversely, unlocking your iPhone means that if you are dissatisfied with the service, you can switch carriers, move to a different area, travel, or when you change the network from your old Want to keep the handset.
To switch carriers, you must depend on your current carrier to unlock your phone. Although Apple cannot unlock your iPhone, its support page lists carriers that offer unlocking services, such as AT&T, Boost Mobile, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon, Virgin Mobile , Xfinity, and many.
To unlock your iPhone you need to meet certain criteria. For example, your phone must be paid in full, by completing an installment plan or coming to the end of another contract signed by you. The handset cannot be reported lost or stolen, and your account must be in good standing. If you paid your iPhone in full, it is probably already unlocked. Unlocked iPhones are generally worth more than locked mobile devices. It is a good idea to unlock your phone when it goes off-contract. If you are ready to unlock your iPhone, then how to do it.
Contact your carrier
Verify that your carrier provides unlocking. Note that it may take a few days to complete the process after you have submitted your request.
- Contact your carrier and request an unlock.
- Wait for your carrier to confirm that your iPhone is unlocked.
- If you have a SIM card from a different carrier, remove it and insert a new one.
- Reset your iPhone
- If you do not have another SIM card, then backup your iPhone.
- After backup, erase your iPhone.
- Restore your iPhone from the backup you made.
Error message? What to do here
You can see this message on your computer or your iPhone: “The SIM card inserted in this iPhone is not supported. Only compatible SIM cards from a supported carrier can be used to activate the iPhone. Please insert the SIM card that came with your iPhone or visit a supported carrier store. “If you see that message, do this:
- Since iOS 14, you should check the status of your phone. Go for Adjustment, Mango, And select About this. Look for the called section Carrier lock. This section should say No sim restrictions. If you don’t see that message, then your carrier probably hasn’t unlocked your phone yet. Contact your carrier immediately to find out what’s going on.
- This should be enough to unlock your iPhone properly, but if you continue to have difficulties, you may have to restore your iPhone to factory settings and reboot from backup.
Unlocking an AT&T iPhone
Start the process here.
If you have AT&T, you can use the convenient device unlock portal to avoid customer service phone contact. This process may take a few days, and upon completion it will receive a confirmation from you. To separate your iPhone from the AT&T network, you must first do the following.
- If you are on an existing contract or an installment program, pay the balance, including any termination fees.
- If you have paid your balance early, wait at least 24 hours after payment.
- Make sure that your phone is not reported lost or stolen, that it is not involved in fraud, and that the account is in good standing.
- Your phone must be activated for at least 60 days, with no previous dues or unpaid payments. It also cannot be activated on a separate AT&T customer account.
- If you have upgraded quickly, you will have to wait for a 14-day “buyer’s remorse” period (30 days for business customers) before unlocking your old phone.
- Military members can unlock iPhones, including those on installment plans, but be sure to enter their active-duty status when filling out AT&T’s forms.
- When ready, provide AT&T with your EMEI number on the unlock page (dial * # 06 # to find it).
Confirm whether the unlock has been completed or wait for a confirmation email by consulting AT & T’s online unlock status page. If unlocked, remove your AT&T SIM card and insert the SIM for your new carrier to begin the setup process. Don’t worry about iPads and wearable devices with LTE connections. Which are separated from the smartphone and unlocked.
Unlock a verizon iphone
Start the process here.
Both prepaid and post-paid iPhones that you purchase from Verizon are locked for 60 days after purchase, then will automatically unlock.
- Devices purchased from Verizon retail partners are discontinued for 60 days of activation, not purchase.
- Both prepaid and postpay devices follow the same 60-day rule.
- If you are posted as a member of the military, contact Verizon directly to unlock by request.
Devices that you purchase from Verizon’s retail partners are locked for 60 days after activation. After 60 days, Verizon removes the lock automatically. This means that if you have fulfilled all financial obligations and your phone is otherwise clean, you can remove the Verizon SIM card and insert a different one from your selection. Customers who are in the US Army and stationed outside the Verizon coverage area can unlock their iPhones upon request even during a 60-day lock period.
Unlock T-Mobile iPhone
Start the process here.
You must have many terms and conditions before T-Mobile is unlocked from your iPhone network.
- Your account must be in good standing, and your phone should not be reported lost, stolen, or blocked on T-Mobile.
- You have requested more than two mobile device unlock codes per service line in the last 12 months.
- If the device is financed using T’s Mobile’s Equipment Installation Plan (EIP), all payments must be made and the device must be paid in full unless otherwise specified.
- For post-paid accounts, your phone must be active on the T for mobile network for at least 40 days. If the equipment is on a canceled account, the balance must be paid in full.
- If the device is in an account with a service contract term, at least 18 consecutive monthly payments must be made. Or, the account must migrate to a no-contract rate plan.
- Prepaid iPhones must have been active on the T for mobile network for over a year. If active for less than a year, the refill must have more than $ 100 since the date of first use of the prepaid account.
- T at Mobile may request proof of purchase or additional information at its discretion, and some other exceptions may apply.
- As with other carriers, exceptions to military personnel, trade, and government accounts may apply in certain circumstances.
T-Mobile must send unlock notifications to your phone after becoming eligible, and you must send an unlock code that you must enter. If you do not have this information, contact T-Mobile directly and ask for it. Then you have to look in your phone settings Permanent unlock Alternatives, this may vary slightly between manufacturers, but the link we have given above has more information. Contact T for Mobile Customer Service for details.
Unlock sprint iphone
Sprint no longer exists. Following its merger with T-Mobile, the carrier is no longer a unit. However, this presents a problem, as will T-Mobile. In college Unlock iPhones purchased directly from T-Mobile, not from Sprint. If you have a Sprint iPhone that is still closed, your best bet is to call the customer care number and clarify your situation:
- Post-paid customer: 888-211-4727
- Previous Sprint Forward Customers: 855-639-4644
Unlock a UScellular iPhone
Start the process here.
The iPhone Model 7 through 12 and SE2 have been discontinued in the UScellular network after activation to prevent fraud and theft. For 4G LTE devices launched before February 1, 2016, some can be unlocked through software updates. UScellular-locked 1X and 3G devices launched before February 1, 2016 can be unlocked with customer service requests.
After the 120-day lock period expires, if your account is in good standing, UScellular automatically unlocks the above iPhone model. During the 120-day lock period, the carrier will unlock your post-paid device upon request if you are on military duty with a deployment overseas. Your post-paid account must be in good standing or paid in full, and you should meet all financial obligations.
Third party lock breakers
If you encounter problems with an official carrier unlock, you can still opt for IMEI unlock, which serves as the identification for the official carrier unlock. There are a lot of IMEI unlock companies, but it is best to go with trusted vendors like Express Unlock, DoctorSIM, MobileUnlocked, UnlockBase, Cellphone Unlock, UnlockUnit, Unlock River and Unar Radar. Check out review sites like Trustpilot before making a final decision or making a payment. The price of unlocking iPhone varies depending on your carrier. Lock breaker services support all models from the latest iPhone 11 series that return to the iPhone 4.
Most third-party unlocking services operate in the same way. From their website, you pay for email-based unlock codes, usually less than $ 100. Most require payment in advance. Reputed unlocking services have customer support lines and codes are delivered quickly.
Buy an unlocked iphone
Every iPhone you buy from Apple – either online or from the Apple Store – is unlocked, except for specific carrier financing options. An unlocked iPhone lets you choose the carrier you want. To get started with a new carrier, do the following:
- Turn off your iPhone
- Remove the current SIM card from your old carrier.
- Insert a new SIM card for your new carrier.
- Restart your phone.
- Upon restart, follow the on-screen instructions to set up your phone.
You can also buy a SIM-free iPhone, meaning that your iPhone does not come with a carrier SIM card, which frees you to use a SIM card from any compatible carrier. Of course, you will have to pay in advance and full for your new phone.
If you can’t pay in full, you can consider Apple’s iPhone upgrade program, where you get an unlocked iPhone as a sim-free option. Not only do you avoid upfront costs, but you have to pay in monthly installments and are eligible for the upgrade after 12 payments. The program includes the AppleCare + Protection Program, which provides $ 4.17 per month for AppleCare + as well as protection from theft and loss. The upgrade plan requires a credit check.