Do you have a phone locked with a carrier that you want to finally set free? Then you’ve landed on the right page. This article will let you know what you need to unlock your device and show you how.
Before your phone can be unlocked, you have to meet some setting prerequisites:
- Make sure your device isn’t blacklisted. That is, it hasn’t been reported as lost or stolen. Also, your account with your current or former carrier needs to be in good standing.
- If you bought your phone on a contract or installment plan, your device has to be fully paid off. This doesn’t apply to Verizon-contracted phones.
- All your phone bills have to be fully paid, and you can’t have any past-due balances.
- The device you want unlocked has to have been locked to the carrier for a certain period. This period varies between carriers but usually ranges around 40–60 days, and some carriers like Boost Mobile require your phone to have been locked for at least a year.
What You’ll Need:
Your IMEI Number
To check your IMEI on Android, all you have to do is dial *#06#.
To check your IMEI on iPhones. All you have to do is open Settings > General > About. Scroll down to find the number.
Before you start the unlocking process, you have to get the following details ready:
- Account holders’ names
- Social Security Number
- The phone number associated with the device to be unlocked
If you’re in the military and about to be deployed abroad, you’ll have to provide some extra documents, like your deployment papers. This will prompt your carrier to expedite the unlocking process. Additionally, as a military member deployed abroad, you can unlock your device while still under contract.
How to Unlock Your Locked Phone
Unlocking a Verizon Phone
If your device is locked to Verizon, then there isn’t much you’ll have to do to unlock your phone. According to Verizon’s policy, newly purchased devices are automatically unlocked after 60 days. Unless the device is deemed stolen or purchased fraudulently, This policy applies to both prepaid and postpaid devices.
So, if your device is locked to Verizon’s network and it’s been more than 60 days since you bought it, then your phone has probably already been unlocked. On the other hand, if you need to unlock your device before the 60-day post-purchase period, then you’ll have to wait. According to Verizon, they can’t unlock your device before the 60 days are up.
For Deployed Military Personnel
If you’ve been given relocation orders outside of Verizon’s coverage, you can contact them and your device will be unlocked. As stated earlier, you’ll have to provide your deployment documents.
Unlocking a Phone Locked With AT&T
Go to the AT&T unlock phone page, then hit “submit an unlock request.” Once you press that, you’ll be taken to a page with a form. Fill in the form correctly. After you fill in the form, you will receive an email asking you to confirm your unlock request. The email link only lasts for 24 hours. Confirm your unlock request with the link sent to you in the email. After you confirm it, in a few minutes, you’ll receive another email saying your request was approved.
For iPhone Users
Once you receive your request’s approval, your device will be unlocked. No further action is needed from you.
For Android Users
In the unlock request approval email, you’ll be given a unique unlock code. What you do next is take out the AT&T SIM from the locked device and insert a SIM from a different network. Once you do this, a page will pop up asking you to input your unlock code. Type the code you received from AT&T and then click “unlock.” Then it’s done!
Unlocking Your T-Mobile Phone
T-Mobile now notifies customers when their device is eligible to be unlocked. Here’s what you need to be eligible.
- On prepaid accounts, the device must have been active for at least a year or have received more than $100 in refills since the initial usage date. Additionally, it must have been bought more than 14 days ago.
- If you’re using T-Mobile’s Equipment Installment Plan, or if your phone is leased through JUMP! On demand, all payments must be made, and the device must be fully paid for.
- Less than two unlock requests per line have been submitted by you in the past 12 months.
Most T-Mobile-locked Android phones can be unlocked through your settings once you meet the eligibility requirements. Other devices, such as older Samsung phones and the Google Pixel, can use T-Mobile’s device unlock app. iPhones, on the other hand, need a little more effort before they can be unlocked from T-Mobile. You’ll have to contact T-Mobile directly through a live chat or call, and they’ll help you unlock your device.
How to Unlock a Sprint Phone
According to Sprint SIM, unlock-capable devices released after 2015 will be unlocked automatically after they become eligible for postpaid accounts. If your device is a Sprint phone and was released before 2015, unfortunately it’s most likely permanently locked.
If your device is currently inactive, you’ll have to call Sprint’s customer care service at 866-866-7509 to get the device unlocked.
If you have a phone locked with a carrier that isn’t listed here, your best option is going to be calling their customer service department and asking about their unlocking process. They will walk you through that company’s specific process.
If you’re having issues using the official methods provided by your carrier, then you can opt for an IMEI unlock with third-party sellers. And yes, this method is safe and similar to the official way. Here are some trusted lock breakers:
Express Unlock (iPhones Only)