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. You might get errors like "SIM Not Supported" or "Invalid SIM". 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. But you can always reach out to their customer support via chat or call at (1-800-837-4966) just to be sure.


You can go 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.


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 for 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 get your phone unlocked 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 chat or call at 1-800-274-2538, or visit the local Cricket Store. You can also request for device unlock from your account with them as well. Click here to see how.

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

Metro By T-Mobile (Formerly known as MetroPCS)

Metro 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 Metro phone, contact Metro Customer Service or visit a Metro 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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