How-To

How To Unlock An iPhone (All US Carriers)

Tired of staying with the same carrier, and you don’t know how to unlock an iPhone?

Can’t keep up with the bills?

Or, prefer to use a better phone network?

If so, you’ve done well for yourself to click this article.

This guide will show you the steps to follow to have your iPhone unlocked from carriers, such as AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile.

More carriers will be added soon for more countries as well.

Why Unlock Your iPhone?

Most importantly, an unlocked iPhone can be put on the market for resale at a higher price than if it was locked to a carrier. By unlocking your iPhone, you can gain an additional $100-200 in your pocket.

On top of that, an unlocked iPhone will be compatible with all other carriers, while a locked phone will only be used within the network that your iPhone is locked.

If you are traveling abroad for business purposes where you will have to make multiple calls, for example, you can get a much lower rate by temporarily using a foreign carrier than the roaming rates of your current carrier.

I have to point out that you will lose your standard original phone number. Unless you don’t want to notify everyone your new phone number, you are wise to use the official country’s carrier.

Is This Guide For Me?

This guide will show you how to unlock an iPhone from A-to-Z, including but not limited to: iPhone 4, iPhone 4s, iPhone 5, iPhone 5s, iPhone SE, iPhone 6, iPhone 6s, iPhone 7. Only the most relevant and popular carriers are going to be in this tutorial. If you want me to write on more carriers, please let me know in the comment section. I’ll gladly research on how to unlock an iPhone on that specific carrier.

I also want to note that this guide is completely legal and ethical. You will not need to jailbreak your iPhone or any of that stuff.

You will not be able to unlock your iPhone if you are still in a contract with your carrier. To unlock your iPhone, you will have to pay your remaining months to pay in full or negotiate with your carrier.

In addition to that, if the account associated with your carrier is in good standing and the phone is not reported stolen, you may proceed reading this article.

How To Know If Your iPhone Is Locked Or Not?

Before you want to unlock your iPhone, it is always wise to make sure your iPhone is already unlocked or not to avoid wasting your valuable time.

You can see if your iPhone is unlocked or not by following these steps according to MacWorld.

First Method:

  1. Go to your Settings.
  2. Open Cellular or Mobile (UK).
  3. If you see an option for “Cellular Data Network” or “Mobile Data Network,” then your iPhone is possibly unlocked.

However, this method does not always confirm if your phone is unlocked or not.

Second Method:

  1. Go to your Settings again.
  2. Open up “General.”
  3. Then, open the About tab.
  4. Identify your Network.

If it shows up your network carrier, your phone is most likely locked. Otherwise, if you do not see any network on the top left, your iPhone is unlocked.

How To Unlock An iPhone

Another sure-fire way to know if your iPhone is locked or not is to contact your carrier. It does not hurt to ask, saving you the hassle of going through the unlocking process.

Unlocked Already? What Now.

After you’ve got the approval from your carrier to have your iPhone unlocked, you have to read the following steps.

  1. Power off your iPhone.
  2. Remove the existing SIM card from your iPhone.
  3. Insert the new SIM card from your new carrier in the SIM card slot.
  4. Restart your iPhone.
  5. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the setup process.

Voila! You have officially freed yourself from your worst nightmare. Enjoy your new phone carrier.

AT&T: How To Unlock An iPhone

 

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AT&T makes the process relatively straightforward. You will have to fill out a form online to request unlocking your iPhone. AT&T will then reply you in approximately two business days to inform you about the unlocking process. Usually, if you h, an e-mail will be sent to you, confirming that your phone is unlocked.

Are you eligible to unlock your iPhone with AT&T?

  • iPhone must be paid off in full
  • It should not be on another account
  • It must not be under contract
  • Your iPhone must not be under the blacklist for stolen or lost
  • It cannot be involved with fraudulent activity
  • You must have an account to verify your iPhone
  • Your account must not be past due
  • It must be an AT&T device

Note: If it is no longer on the account, you must go through as a non-AT&T customer.

Unlocking An AT&T iPhone: A Step-by-Step Guide

After checking off every requirement, continue to read the following steps:

  • Go to this AT&T website link:
    https://www.att.com/deviceunlock
  • Next, you will be on the ‘Device unlock portal.’ From there, click on ‘Unlock your device.’
  • In the device unlock portal, check ‘yes’ or ‘no’ if you are an AT&T wireless customer.
  • Enter your AT&T wireless number.
  • Enter your account holder’s first name and last name.
  • Do the captcha and check ‘Yes,’ agreeing to their eligibility requirements.

After submitting your request, you have to wait for AT&T’s response to your unlock inquiry, which will take about two business days. If it takes longer, I suggest you check your Spam folder. If nothing, then call their toll-free customer service at 1-800-331-0500.

T-Mobile: How To Unlock An iPhone

 

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T-Mobile may be much stricter on its unlocking policies as there are more requirements listed.

Are you eligible to unlock your iPhone with T-Mobile?

General requirements

  • iPhone must be a T-Mobile device
  • It must not be stolen, lost or blocked
  • The account is in good standing (not canceled)
  • You have requested no more than two mobile devices unlock codes per line of service within 12 months
  • T-Mobile may require proof of purchase or any additional information

For iPhone with Monthly Plans

  • iPhone must be active for at least 40 days on T-Mobile network
  • It must be paid in full if you’ve financed it by using T-Mobile’s Equipment Installment Plan (EIP), or leased with JUMP! On Demand™.
  • If it is under service contract term, at least 18 consecutive monthly payments must have been made (unless you have already migrated to the Simple Choice no-contract rate plan)
  • The account balance associated with your iPhone must be zero including pending charges.

For iPhone with Pay in Advance (Prepaid phones)

  • iPhone must be active for at least one year on T-Mobile network

Note: If your iPhone has only been active for less than a year, the account balance must have had more than $100 in refills since device first usage date.

Unlocking Your T-Mobile iPhone

The unlocking process is straightforward and easy as well, but it is not possible to submit a request online via their website.

You will have to contact T-Mobile customer service directly to get an unlock code.

Verizon: How To Unlock An iPhone

 

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If you have an iPhone locked to Verizon, you are in luck! No steps required to unlock your iPhone.

According to Verizon, they do not lock all iPhones once activated on their network, including 4G LTE and 3G.

“We do not lock our 4G LTE devices, and no code is needed to program them for use with another carrier.”

“We do not lock our 3G devices, other than our non-iPhone3G World Devices, and the simple code to program such 3G devices for use with another carrier is either “000000” or “123456.”

Verizon only locks non-iPhone. So, unless you are using a Samsung or LG phone, you are ready to go with your iPhone.

If you have experience problems, it’s always best to contact Verizon customer service at 1-800-888-8448. (If you are calling from your Verizon phone, dial 611 – either way, it’s your preference)

Sprint: How To Unlock An iPhone

Unlike Verizon’s unlock process, which doesn’t require you to submit any request…

Sprint demands you to go through the requirements, and then contact them directly.

Are you eligible to unlock your iPhone with AT&T?

  • iPhone is domestic SIM unlockable (DSU)
  • It must be or have been active on the Sprint network for at least 50 days
  • All associated agreements, such as Service Agreement, Installment Billing Agreement, or Lease Agreement have to be fulfilled, including payment in full of any applicable early termination or end-of-lease purchase options. As the users do not own leased iPhones, the end of lease purchase option has to be exercised and paid in full before the DSU (Domestic SIM unlock) is completed.
  • Your account has to be in good standing
  • iPhone must not be reported as lost, stolen, or associated with fraudulent activity.
  • iPhone must not be flagged as ineligible to be unlocked.

Note: If you purchased an iPhone that launched in or after February 2015, Sprint automatically unlocks your iPhone when it becomes eligible to be unlocked.

Sprint: Unlocking internationally?

Leaving the country, but need to use a foreign carrier network temporarily? Or, do you need to sell your iPhone to someone in another country? Make sure you meet the following conditions.

  • Your iPhone must have an international SIM unlock
  • You are currently a Sprint customer on active account that can authenticate as the Account Holder or an Authorized Contact
  • Your iPhone must currently be active on a Sprint account
  • Your account must be active for at least 90 days
  • It has to be in good standing
  • You must not have previously unlocked up to two devices within 12 months
  • Not flagged as lost or stolen
  • It must not associate with fraudulent activity
  • It must be eligible to be unlocked

Note: For all inactive devices, you have to contact Sprint Customer Care and request an iPhone unlock.

Sprint: Unlocking Your Sprint iPhone

sprint

 

As opposed to AT&T process, you may not be able to submit an application online. To unlock your iPhone, you will have to contact Sprint customer service directly and then ask about the unlocking process. They will gladly walk you through the unlock process for your iPhone.

You can contact the Sprint Customer Care at 1-888-211-4727 for DSU (domestic SIM unlock), or Sprint Worldwide Care at 1-888-226-7212 for worldwide unlock.

Conclusion

Not every carrier has the same process on how to unlock an iPhone. With AT&T, you only request for unlocking your iPhone by an online submission. Both Sprint and T-Mobile do not handle online requests. They only accept applications through the phone, or in-person. The easiest of all carriers is undoubtedly Verizon. With Verizon, you do not have to go through all these shenanigans, because the iPhone is already unlocked when purchased!

An unlock request will not guarantee anything. All carriers have the right to deny any application and may ask you to complete additional steps before they can unlock your iPhone.

Have you tried unlocking your iPhone already? Let me know how it went in the comment section below with your carrier or any questions you may have!

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