How can I get my phone unlocked?

Most phone manufacturers sell their phones unlocked. This means they can be used on multiple networks. Traditional carriers, on the other hand, lock their phones. This means that you can only use the phone on their network until you've paid off the installments on the phone and the carrier decides to unlock it for you.

For example, if you tried using a phone that's under contract with another carrier with a US Mobile SIM card, you'd be told that your phone is locked and you'll need to contact your carrier to get it unlocked. Something like this: 

Image result for sim not supported

Don't worry though, most carriers have unlocking policies, and here are the simple steps to get around those carrier restrictions:


Surprisingly, despite using CDMA technology, most of Verizon’s phones come unlocked! Verizon claims that all their 4G LTE phones (which use a SIM card) are unlocked and there is no code or process to take it over to another carrier.


You can go to to the AT&T website and fill out their device unlock form. If you meet the requirements below, you'll get instructions in up to five business days. 

  1. You must be a current or former AT&T subscriber.
  2. The device in question must be from AT&T.
  3. It must not have been reported lost or stolen.
  4. It must be attached to an account with “good standing” — i.e., one not associated with fraudulent activity.
  5. It must have been active or at least 60 days with “no past due or unpaid balance.”
  6. You’ve made fewer than five unlock requests in a single year.

Like Verizon, Sprint uses an older CDMA technology which may limit where you can take your phone to after you unlock it. Despite the shared technology, Sprint’s phones are mostly incompatible with Verizon’s service (depending on the phone).

Sprint claims that their newer SIM-based phones that launched February 2015 automatically unlock themselves once they become eligible.

If you want to check to see if you can unlock your device you can speak to a Customer Service representative through an online chat or via a call to (888) 211-4727 (*2 from a Sprint device).


Before doing anything you must meet these requirements:

  1. The device must be from T-Mobile.
  2. It must not have been reported lost or stolen.
  3. It must be attached to an account with “good standing.”
  4. It must have been active at least 40 days on the requesting line.
  5. If the device is on a service contract, at least 18 consecutive monthly payments must have been made.
  6. You’ve made fewer than two unlock requests per line in a single year.

Once you clear all those requirements you can use T-Mobile’s Mobile Device Unlock app to complete the unlocking process. You can also unlock your phone through a live chat with a T-Mobile customer representative, or by calling 1-800-746-0949 (or 611) from a T-Mobile device.

Cricket Wireless

Cricket Wireless requires that you meet the following requirements before they unlock your device:

  1. The device you want to unlock has been active for at least six (6) months of paid service.*
  2. The device is designed for use on and is locked to Cricket's network.
  3. The device has not been reported lost or stolen.
  4. The device is not associated with a fraudulent account.

If your phone fits the bill, request a Cricket Mobile Device unlock via call chat with a Cricket Support Advocate, or visit the local Cricket Store.

*The 6 months paid service requirement does not apply to Cricket devices purchased by Unlimited Plan customers before January 4, 2018.

Metro PCS

Metro PCS requires that your handset must have had active service for a minimum of one hundred eighty (180) consecutive days from the individual phone’s activation date. 

Most of their non iPhone models can be unlocked through their proprietary 'Device Unlock' app, that comes pre-installed in eligible devices. 

For all other phones, including iPhones, to unlock your MetroPCS phone, contact MetroPCS Customer Service or visit a MetroPCS Corporate Store and request the unlock code for the phone. You must provide:

  • The phone number of the handset you are unlocking
  • The name on the account
  • The account billing PIN

If you are having issues figuring out how to get your device unlocked, you can simply reach out to your previous carrier and have them guide you on how to get your device unlocked.

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