Selling locked phones has been banned since December 2021, but many devices sold earlier that were tied to a specific network.
Unlocking the device means that yous can use whatever SIM card yous like, whether you want to switch to a new network or apply a pay equally y’all go plan. Hither’south how you safely unlock your phone – without spending a penny.
What do I need before I unlock my phone?
Dissimilar network providers have their ain rules about how and when you’re allowed to unlock a device. Information technology’southward of import to bear these in mind, as using the wrong procedure could cause you issues. That said, typically you need the same information to get started.
Make sure y’all have:
Your mobile phone number
Any account numbers, log in details and passwords
The proper noun of the phone manufacturer, e.g. Apple, Samsung or Google.
The make and specific model of your telephone.
The IMEI number -you tin find this on the box the device came in and is ofttimes included in the settings on your device. Otherwise, yous should be able to become it by dialling *#06#.
You may also need:
A PAC lawmaking (if yous’re moving to another network and desire to proceed your phone number the same)
A STAC lawmaking (if yous want a new phone number with the new network)
How practise I unlock my phone?
Commonly, the cheapest and about straightforward style to unlock your phone is past request your network provider. If you’re out of your initial contract, the company must do this for free. Fifty-fifty if you lot’re still in term, all the major networks should allow you to unlock fee-costless.
Near phone networks enquire you lot to fill in an online form. What happens side by side depends on your device. If y’all have an iPhone, you can usually merely use a new SIM card one time your network has confirmed that it’south unlocked.
If you don’t have a new SIM, maybe because you’re planning to sell the device, yous can simply support to iCloud and and then erase your device. With other devices, such equally Samsung handsets, your provider should transport you an unlock code. Yous need to enter this code into the handset before a new SIM will work.
If your phone is second mitt, it might exist trickier to go it unlocked, every bit many networks insist it needs to exist done past the original owner. This makes sense, as it’southward an extra barrier to criminals stealing phones.
There are unlocking services that might exist able to do it for you, usually at a cost. Experts propose that you lot should await for high street stores offering this service, rather than going online where you could fall foul of dodgy websites. Some stores only accuse you if they’re successful in unlocking the device, while others make y’all pay whatever the effect.
If you’re looking online, do your due diligence, read reviews to make certain that other customers have been successful. Be certain to check the terms and atmospheric condition carefully to run into what you’re getting.
Be warned, if you apply a high street store or online website, you could invalidate the phone’south warranty. This ways you lot have less protection if the device is damaged. Make sure you’ve tried asking your network kickoff, before you get down this road.
How do I unlock my phone with an IMEI number?
Your IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) number is a unique identification for your specific device. It’s normally xv digits long, and you can notice it in one of 3 ways:
On the box your telephone came in
In the settings on your phone
Past dialling *#06#
Usually, you need the number to unlock whatever device. Showtime by speaking to your network provider, so consider a high street store if that doesn’t work.
How much does it price to unlock a telephone?
All the major networks at present offering to unlock your phone for free even if you’re in your contract term. This includes:
If you need to apply a high street store or online service, you should look to spend effectually £10.
How long does it take to unlock a telephone?
Requesting an unlock is a quick and hurting-free process, usually involving filling in a short form or making a quick phone call. Once you’ve done the admin your stop, you might find you lot have a await on your hands before the unlock is completed.
This varies depending on the device y’all accept and the network you lot’re with. Mostly, about providers say yous can await an iPhone device to be fully unlocked within 72 hours. Other handset manufacturers can vary from anything between 15 minutes and 10 working days.
How exercise I know if my phone is unlocked?
If you bought your telephone after December 17, 2021, it should be unlocked already. Many devices sold earlier and then were too unlocked automatically, simply others were tied to a network.
By far the simplest way to find out if your phone is unlocked is to borrow a friend’s SIM card from a different network provider and try popping information technology in. If at that place’s no bespeak, this suggests the phone is locked, however, it’s worth restarting the device as sometimes in that location’s a delay. Try making a telephone call later the restart. If you’re not continued – it’due south probably locked.
You might be asked for a SIM unlock code, in which case, yous know yous’ve got a locked device.
Telephone unlocking by major networks
EE – How to unlock an EE phone
EE says that if you accept any of the post-obit devices, it volition already be unlocked:
All Google Pixel devices
All Oppo devices
All OnePlus devices
For other handsets, you lot can unlock online for gratis using their online form – starting with your IMEI number.
O2 – How to unlock an O2 telephone
O2 says the bulk of its devices aren’t locked. This includes:
Apple tree devices bought since August 1, 2018.
Almost all new devices shipped after January 2019
Huawei dongles bought since Apr 2019.
Alcatel and Doro devices are the exceptions – they’re nevertheless locked to the O2 network.
If you’ve got a device that is locked, for instance an older handset, the easiest way to unlock it is on the My O2 website.
Log in to My O2 on your browser
Select ‘More’ in the menu bar at the elevation of the page
Choose ‘Unlock your device’.
Yous can also contact O2 via live conversation or phone call 202 from a Pay Monthly phone, or 4445 from a Pay As You Go phone.
O2 should transport y’all an unlocking code. iPhone users are sent a text, at which point they should be able to use a new SIM immediately. Android owners get an email with a lawmaking that needs to be entered onto the handset.
If y’all have a actually one-time handset, O2 says this can take upwards to 10 working days, but it should be far quicker with mod devices.
Heaven Mobile – How to unlock a Sky Mobile phone
All Sky Mobile devices come unlocked, so you don’t need to practice annihilation.
Tesco Mobile – How to unlock a Tesco Mobile telephone
To unlock a Tesco Mobile phone costless of charge, y’all just demand to complete an online unlocking request and then follow the instructions.
Tesco says information technology will text you inside 7 days with the code and a link.
Three – How to unlock a Iii telephone
All devices bought later January ane, 2014, are already unlocked.
If you have an older telephone, you tin get information technology unlocked by filling in their online form
Virgin – How to unlock a Virgin phone
Virgin says that all the mobile handsets it has sold are already unlocked, so yous should be good to go.
Vodafone – How to unlock a Vodafone phone
Vodafone says that many of its devices, including all Apple products, are already unlocked. If you find your device is locked, you can but fill in this online form to get the lawmaking you lot need.
The network provider says information technology typically unlocks devices within 72 hours. Notwithstanding, information technology says sometimes information technology volition need to cheque your details or contact the device manufacturer, which could take up to ten working days.