How to unlock an iphone: use any network's sim card

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Certain things in life should be simple, like figuring out how to unlock your iPhone. In an ideal world, once you’ve bought a phone, it should be yours to vì chưng with as you lượt thích — even if it means taking it khổng lồ another wireless carrier.

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However, you usually need to liên hệ your current wireless provider lớn unlock your iPhone (or khổng lồ unlock any smartphone, for that matter). That said, assuming your tài khoản is in good standing & your phone is paid off, wireless carriers should be willing lớn unlock your phone at your request.

Having an unlocked phone means greater flexibility. You can take an unlocked phone to lớn any carrier, so it’s easy khổng lồ switch your wireless service. It’s also easier to travel internationally with an unlocked phone, as you can just swap in any local SIM thẻ to get service, usually at rates that are more attractive than some of the international plans offered by your wireless carrier.

So, here’s everything you need lớn know about how lớn unlock your iPhone. (And again, much of this advice can be applied to lớn any other type of smartphone.)

What you need lớn unlock your iPhone

To unlock your phone, you’ll need khổng lồ have your device’s IMEI number. That’s the mix of digits that"s quality to each phone worldwide.

To find your IMEI on your iPhone, just launch the Settings app, and select General > About.

The iPhone 6s & later models also have the IMEI number engraved on the SIM tray, though you’ll need superhero vision khổng lồ detect those digits without a magnifying glass.

Some carriers, lượt thích AT&T & T-Mobile, also let you dial *#06# in the Phone ứng dụng to have the IMEI digits show up on the screen. Alternatively, the IMEI of your iPhone should be printed on its box — if you still have it to lớn hand.


Finding the IMEI number in the Settings tiện ích on an iPhone 11 Pro. (Image credit: Tom"s Guide)

However you track it down, the IMEI is vital for unlocking your iPhone. That’s the number your carrier will ask for khổng lồ carry out the task.

How to lớn unlock your iPhone

Each wireless provider has different criteria for who can và can’t unlock their phone (though, the conditions are fairly similar from carrier to lớn carrier). Once you’ve determined that your iPhone is eligible lớn be unlocked, it’s simply a matter of following your carrier’s specific procedure for requesting an unlock and providing your IMEI number.

Here’s a carrier-by-carrier guide on what devices are eligible và how lớn unlock your iPhone.


You can kiểm tra to see if your phone is unlocked at AT&T’s trang web (opens in new tab). (You’ll need your IMEI number to check.) AT&T lets you unlock your iPhone if you meet these criteria.

Your iPhone’s been active for at least 60 days. (If it’s a device on AT&T’s prepaid service, it needs lớn be active for at least 6 months.)Your tài khoản can’t have a past-due balance.You’ve paid off your phone.Your device isn"t reported as lost or stolen.

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How khổng lồ unlock your iPhone at AT&T: Visit AT&T’s device unlocking page (opens in new tab) to lớn request an unlock. (In addition lớn your IMEI, you’ll need your phone number & AT&T tài khoản info. Once you’ve submitted your request and it’s approved, you’ll get an thư điện tử with customized instructions. That would normally include an unlock code, but AT&T says such a code isn’t necessary for unlocking iPhones.


Sprint says you can request an unlock on a postpaid phone if it meets these criteria.

Your iPhone is SIM Unlock capableYour iPhone has been active on Sprint’s network for at least 50 days.You’ve paid off your phone. If you’ve been leasing your iPhone under a Sprint Flex lease, that means exercising the end-of-lease purchase option.Your trương mục is in good standing.Your iPhone hasn’t been reported as lost or stolen.

The criteria are different if you’re a prepaid customer. Your iPhone needs to lớn be active for at least 12 months, & it can’t be reported as lost or stolen. If your device is inactive, you need to contact Sprint Customer Care, which may walk you through some steps to lớn update your phone so that it can be unlocked.

How to lớn unlock your iPhone at Sprint: If you’ve got a SIM unlock-capable phone (which Sprint says should include any smartphone device launched after February 2015) Sprint automatically unlocks those phones for postpaid devices when they become eligible. So you may not need to vì anything.

Otherwise, you’ll need to tương tác Sprint Customer Care at 888-211-4727; prepaid customers need to điện thoại tư vấn 855-639-4644.


T-Mobile’s unlocking criteria depends on how you bought your iPhone.

Your iPhone must be a T-Mobile device.Your iPhone can’t be reported as lost, stolen or blocked to T-Mobile.Your T-Mobile tài khoản associated with the iPhone must be in good standing.You can only request two mobile device unlock codes per line of service each year.

Phones need to be active on T-Mobile’s network for 40 days. If you’ve bought the iPhone on an installment plan, you need to have paid off the device. And if your iPhone is on an account with a contract, you’ll need to have made 18 consecutive payments. On a prepaid account? Then your iPhone has to lớn have been active for a year on T-Mobile’s network or you need khổng lồ have paid more than $100 in service refills.


Verizon may have the easiest path to lớn getting your iPhone unlocked. As of July 2019, any device bought from Verizon is locked for 60 days; after that period ends, Verizon unlocks your phone automatically. That’s true for both postpaid & prepaid customers.

Now you know how khổng lồ unlock your iPhone, take a look at some essential tips and tricks for your iPhone. And you might also want to check out how to get full-screen Caller ID on quả táo 15 and how lớn activate a hidden trackpad that makes editing a breeze.