Unlocking mobile phones is confusing and difficult to understand for first time unlockers. On this page, we tried to answer the most frequently asked questions and tried to clarify the frequently encountered problems. You will find the answer to almost every question you want to know about mobile phone unlocking, and after reading the article, you will have enough information about how to unlock a mobile phone.
For Apple Iphones, please visit Iphone Unlock Guide Page.
Some Carriers activate SIM network lock on some of their mobile devices and restrict them to their network and services. SIM locked devices will work only with that Carrier's SIM cards and services. These phones will not work with other carriers unless this lock is removed.
When the devices are programmed at the factory, the SIM Lock is activated by the manufacturer, upon the request of the carrier who sells the device. SIM locked devices are programmed to work with specific providers only and when other providers' SIM Cards used, device's checks whether the SIM card belongs to that authorized provider. If an unauthorized carriers' SIM card is inserted, your device will ask you to enter the Network unlock code or display "SIM not Valid" message. This informs you that other service providers will not work with the device, unless this lock is not removed.
Many Carriers offer various promotions and discounts to make their services more attractive and to encourage mobile users to use their services. These may be the discounts they offer for phones, or may be mobile plans or discounted mobile tariffs.
In order to guarantee that they can redeem these discounts, they want their devices are used with their own services, so they aim to keep users on their own services by activating the SIM Lock for certain periods of time.
This is not the only reason. Losing phones in shops or during shipping is also a problem for them. In order to prevent this, they aim to make these phones useless by locking them to their network.
Another reason is some malicious sellers working in their stores may show the phones to be sold on fictitious people and this will cause financial damage to the Carriers. In such cases, they aim to make the phone unusable by locking it when necessary.
The above reasons may be useful for Carriers, and it is possible to qualify some of them, but this may put people who make their payments on time or who buy second-hand phones in a difficult situation.
There is not much advantage for users other than getting a discount phone. SIM Locked phones can be sold cheaper than others or offered with more affordable tariff plans.
If you don't want to change your Carrier, it's usually fine and won't be a problem as long as you use their services.
However, if you are not satisfied with your service provider and want to switch to another one and use other provider's services, SIM Lock will prevent it.
If you want to sell your phone as a second hand and if the buyer can not remove this lock, they will not be able to use another Carriers SIM cards and services.
When you travel to another country and want to use a local prepaid SIM card instead of using expensive roaming plans, SIM Lock will not allow this.
SIM lock can be removed from almost any phone. SIM lock removal is easy for most phones. Some models may require some effort, but it is still possible to unlock them. Most phones on the market can be unlocked by entering a SIM network unlock code, but a few carrier models may require unlocking software.
Majority of mobile devices in the market can be unlocked with SIM network Unlock PIN Code. When you insert a SIM card from different mobile operator (Carrier) into your phone, it usually asks you to enter the SIM network Unlock (PIN, Key, Me .etc) Code. If you have the valid code and enter it, your device will be unlocked permanently.
Although most phones can be unlocked with an unlock code, using other methods may be needed on phones that are not unlocked with a code. The unlocking methods may differ according to the device brand and model. This may be an unlock software or a special Unlock App (Mainly used by USA carriers for their devices). To give brief information, we can define them under a few methods.
Unlock Code: Manufacturers program most models to be unlocked using an unlock code. If the phone needs to be unlocked, the unlock process is completed by entering the SIM unlock code programmed by the manufacturer. This code confirms that you are authorized to unlock the phone.
Database Update: This method is mainly used for Apple devices. Iphones and Ipads do not ask for the SIM Network Unlock Code. Iphones and Ipads keep their SIM lock information in their online device databases and usually the phone is unlocked by the update made in these databases. When another Carrier SIM card is inserted into an Iphone, it connects to device database over the Internet and checks the SIM lock information. If new SIM card is not allowed, it will show message like "SIM Not Supported" or "SIM Invalid. To unlock the device, the remote database is updated and the SIM lock status is updated to 'Unlocked'. After the device confirms that the phone has been updated as unlocked in device database, it updates the phone's local memory to SIM unlocked.
Device Unlock App: This method is used for some USA Carriers only (AT&T, T-mobile, Straight Talk, Tracfone, Sprint, Verizon .etc). Some USA Carriers offer mobile device applications to unlock devices remotely. Unlocking can be done through the mobile application, but mostly you need to meet the unlock eligibility conditions. In some cases, even if you meet the conditions, the device may not be unlocked. In this case, it may be necessary to use an unlocking software. Devices locked using the Unlock App are unlocked by updating the Carrier database.
The phone's SIM lock status is updated to 'Unlocked' in carrier database and the application unlocks itself by confirming this from the carrier database over the Internet.
Unlock Software: In some rare cases, it may not be possible to unlock the phone with a code. There may be various reasons for this. In particular, some USA carriers may require phones to be unlocked with their own Mobile Apps instead of unlocking them with an unlock code. Some models may not ask for the code. In this case, it may be necessary to use a software. The device is connected to a PC with a USB cable and the phone is easily unlocked using this software. Unlocking software is very advantageous compared to other methods, it is very fast because it is delivered instantly and the process is completed in a few minutes.
The software is mostly more economical than other methods and can unlock any phone it supports very quickly.
When the phones are programmed at the factory, the manufacturer activates the SIM lock and assigns a code that can unlock it when necessary. Manufacturers keep backups of these codes in their own databases.
These codes can be shared with carriers (providers), service centers and authorized data providers. We obtain the codes through our data providers and provide them to our users.
Manufacturers do not unlock phones. They activate the SIM Lock at the request of the Carriers and tell the end users to contact the company who sold the phone.
Carriers have different unlock policies. Some Carriers can unlock phones under certain conditions and you must meet these conditions. Each company has different conditions for Unlock Eligibility and they will not unlock unless you meet these conditions. E.g.;
- If you bought your phone on a mobile contract plan, they won't unlock before the contract expires.
- If you have not completed the payment of your phone and plan, or if you have unpaid bills, they will not unlock without paying all your bills.
- They offer the condition of being a customer for a certain period of time in the plan you bought the phone (some companies requires being of an active customer at least 1 year), they do not unlock the phone before the period specified in the Contract expires.
-They may not able to unlock due to their technical problems. They may not have a code in their database or may not provide it due their technical issues or their code may not work if the phone has software issues.
-Carriers can request the information of the person who bought the phone or the account where the phone is registered. If you bought a used phone from Ebay, Amazon, BestBuy or any other platform, you may not be able to know the original account holder's information, in which case Carriers will not unlock phone.
You can use third party unlock sites like us. Third party sites have some advantages.
- Third party sites specialize in unlocking and can obtain codes from many different database sources. We obtain codes mostly from manufacturer databases through data providers and provide them to our users.
- Unlock Eligibility conditions are mostly not required. We can obtain the codes that the Carries cannot obtain, by checking different databases.
- In cases where it is not possible to unlock the phone with a code, we can also provide software that works with a USB connection, so you can unlock your phone very quickly.
- We can provide codes much faster and in less time than Carrier and Providers. You won't have to wait for weeks for the code.
Unlocking is actually a simple technical process. When device manufacturer activate the SIM Lock, they generate a random SIM unlock code and they assign this code into the phone. This code will disable SIM Lock once entered and the Phone will no longer checks if a SIM card is allowed or not and it allows all compatible SIMs to work with the phone.
This is the code that confirms that you meet the unlock eligibility conditions and that you are allowed to remove the SIM lock on the phone. In other words, this is the confirmation code that the person using the phone is authorized to unlock the phone. Once you have valid code, The unlocking is simple. Insert another Carrier SIM into the phone and you will be prompted to enter the SIM Network unlock code. After you type the code on your phone's keyboard, the process is completed. Unlock is permanent, you will not be prompted to re-enter the code.
It can be said that the biggest challenge for phone users is to obtain the valid code.
However, some difficulties may rarely be encountered. Some phones may not accept this code due to software issues on the phones but this is usually very rare and can usually be fixed by factory resetting the phone (by doing a master factory reset on the phone).
Replaced or refurbished phones may be assigned a code different from the codes assigned by the manufacturer due to the firmware update in the repair service, in this case the unlock code may not work. However, if the phones are repaired at the manufacturer's authorized services, this is usually not a problem because even if a new code is assigned at the service center, this code is updated in the manufacturer's database and the old code is replaced with the new one, so this problem does not occur on phones repaired at authorized services.
Some phones cannot be unlocked with a code, in which case it may be necessary to use a suitable unlock software. The phone can be unlocked via the unlock software by connecting it to a PC with a USB cable.
With professional help, almost any phone on the market can be unlocked. It is unlikely that such problems will be encountered when help is obtained from sites like us that provide unlock services and are specialized in this field.
Most phones on the market can be unlocked with unlock code. Some USA carriers have developed Unlock Apps for unlocking which works via database update, but it is also a fairly easy process. We make a request through our data provider and can easily unlock these phones by making the necessary update in the appropriate database. It may be necessary to use software on some devices, but in general we can easily determine which method should be used.
For Apple Iphones and Ipads, We recommend you to visit Apple Iphone Unlock Guide page as unlocking Iphones and Ipads are different than other device brands.
Some USA Carriers (T-Mobile, Metro, Sprint, Straight Talk, Tracfone .etc) have special Unlock App for unlocking their devices. These models connect to Carrier's database and check whether the unlock eligibility conditions are met. They allow other SIM cards to work if the conditions are met. However, it is not always possible to unlock using these applications. For example, if you like and buy a second-hand or used phone from Ebay, Amazon, Bestbuy or another platform, but the previous owner of the phone has not paid the bills or completed the phone's installment plan, the phone will not be unlocked. They ask you to pay the Bills but you cannot unlock it this way as you are not able to pay the bills of the previous owner of the phone. Or if you want to unlock it without waiting for the contract to expire, you cannot unlock your phone. In this case, you can get help from third party sites like us. You can easily unlock your phone by connecting it to a PC with a USB cable and using our unlock software. When you use Unlock Software, you don't need to check eligibility conditions or wait for conditions to be met.
SIM Network Unlock PIN term is used by some device manufacturers such as Samsung, LG .etc. This is actually SIM unlock code (that removes the SIM lock of the phone and allows the phone to be used with other carriers).
This code can sometimes be confused with the 4 digit SIM card PIN code. The reason for this confusion is due to the naming of the codes. The way to clear this confusion is to check if the code belongs to the device or SIM card.
4 Digit SIM Card PIN (Personal Identification Number) belongs to the SIM card and is stored on the SIM card. It only grants access to the SIM card. if enabled, it verifies that you are authorized to use the SIM card. If SIM Card PIN code activated, it will ask you to enter this code every time on every phone. It doesn't matter if the phone is locked or not because it's a phone-independent code.
8 or 16 Digit SIM Network Unlock PIN belongs to the device and is stored in the device. If activated by Carrier, SIM cards provided by Carrier will work and other Carrier's cards will not work on the phone. If you want to use the phone with other Carrie's SIM cards, you need to enter this code on the phone when prompted. The code will validate that you are authorized to unlock the phone.
Unlocking your phone does not void the warranty. The warranty is provided by the phone manufacturers and the manufacturer's authorized services do not check whether the phone is unlocked or not.
If your phone does not have any other technical faults caused by the user, unlocking does not affect the warranty of the phone, so you do not have to worry about the warranty because the unlocking process does not make any changes to the phone's software or hardware.
We offer different unlocking methods and all of them are absolutely safe.
- The most popular and most used method is entering the SIM Network unlock code and does not cause any change in your phone's software or hardware. This method is preferred by most manufacturers, so it is safe.
- The second method is remote database update on Apple Iphones and phones that store the SIM lock information in online database with Unlock App. This also does not cause any change in the phone. Only the SIM lock status of the phone is updated as Unlocked in remote database and the process is completed. It is the safest method on the market.
- The third method is to connect the device to the PC via USB and unlock it with a software. In this method, the software reads the codes from the device's memory and shows it to you on the dialog screen. The process is completed by entering the unlock code on the phone. The software only reads from the device and does not make any changes to the phone's software or hardware. So it is a safe method.
All the methods we offer are safe and do not affect the device's warranty.
Unlocking is usually an easy process. Phones sold by some USA Carriers may require little bit effort. If your phone is locked to one of the USA carriers, we recommend you to visit the carrier's page for more detailed information.
By Unlock Code: Before starting to unlock, you should have a SIM from a different carrier other than your phone is locked to.
For example if your phone is working with T-mobile, you can use a SIM from Verizon, AT&T, Digicel ..etc
- Insert your new SIM card into your phone
- Power on your phone
- On a SIM locked phone, your should see "Enter SIM Network Unlock Code" or similar message (message will vary depending on the device brand)
- Enter your unlock code and tab on OK button
- Your device will check validity of your unlock code and confirm it when valid code is entered
- The device will restart itself and allow you to use your new SIM
If you encounter problems while entering the Network Code or your phone does not accept the code, you can do a Master Factory Reset (Full Factory Reset) after backing up the data on your phone. Master Factory reset solves most of the problems that occur in code entry.
By Device Unlock App: Some models sold by some USA carriers (T-mobile, Verizon, Sprint, Cricket, AT&T, Verizon .etc) can be unlocked via their own developed Mobile Device Unlock Application. With the Unlock App, the unlock instructions are different for each carrier. You can visit our detailed unlock guidelines page for Carrier.
By Unlock Software: Unlocking with the unlock software is very fast and easy. All you have to do is put your phone in developer mode and connect it to a PC with a USB cable.
- Put your phone in developer mode.
- Plug your phone's USB cable into your PC's USB port, then plug it into the phone
- Install and run Unlock Software
- When you click on the Read Phone Info button, our software will automatically recognize the phone model.
- If your phone is asking for the unlock code, click the Read Codes button to read the code. The unlock code will be displayed on the software's dialog screen.
Then complete the process by entering this code on the phone
- If your phone does not ask for the unlock code, press the "Direct Unlock" button and wait for the process to complete. The software will complete the unlock process in 10-15 seconds
- After the process is finished, disconnect the USB cable and restart your phone
- That's all. The unlocking process will be completed successfully. You can start using your phone by inserting your new SIM card.
You can visit our special unlock page, where we provide more detailed information about the unlock software and an illustrated explanation.