How to Unlock iPhone: 3 Different Ways

iPhone Locked

3 Ways to Unlock Iphone

It is obvious to feel trapped and helpless when you find that your iPhone is locked to be used only by a specific carrier or a network. This is when you start looking for how to unlock iPhone, as it is essential for using it with a SIM card of another carrier.

The latest smartphones are certainly costly and everyone loves to keep up with the latest technology. For most of us, it is ideal to get one such phone through a carrier-based deal. However, it is available at the cost of carrier lock.

If one such iPhone is what you have brought before the recent years, you know how annoying it is to stick to a single network and forego new, tempting deals. Well, the good news is that there are ways to unlock this Apple phone.

There is more than one way when it comes to how to unlock iPhone such that you can use any carrier network and grab any new data plan or deal. Your iPhone will also work with the local SIM cards, which is what you will love to do if you travel frequently.

This post aims to inform how to unlock all older models including iPhone 5s, 6 and 6s. Let’s get started by knowing whether it is legal to unlock an iPhone.

Is It Legal to Unlock an iPhone?

Yes, it is legal to unlock your iPhone in any nation if you have made the full payment for your contract or brought it unsubsidized. However, it is always wise to check the laws of your region or nation before proceeding with the steps of unlocking the iPhone, as the laws can change anytime.

If you are still paying for the phone, the carrier is still the owner of the phone until the full payment is done. In this situation, the carrier may not be in the favor of unlocking the phone. This is because of the fear of you switching to another carrier without paying the pending amount.

In case the iPhone has come from a friend or if it is second-hand, you may not be sure of whether it is locked or not. To know whether it is locked or not, pop in a SIM card that is of another carrier or network. Your phone will not function using that network if it is locked.

Nevertheless, not working on another network also means that it is blacklisted. Thus, it is wise to invest a dollar or two in an iPhone carrier checker. If not blacklisted, read ahead to know how to unlock an iPhone.

How to Find whether an iPhone is Locked or Not?

One way is already discussed above, which is trying a new SIM card. If the phone has been purchased from an Apple Store, there is no need to worry. This is because, by default, your phone is unlocked.

However, if brought from a carrier, you are likely to get error messages such as No SIM installed or Invalid SIM. Well, even this could be an OS issue instead of being an indicator of a locked phone.

If it is an OS issue, just flip ON and OFF the Flight mode and restart the gadget. Alternatively, just cleaning the SIM card area and then reinserting the card will also fix this issue. You should also check for the carrier settings update by navigating to Settings/General/About.

If you still get an error message, you have no option but to unlock the phone.

How to Unlock iPhone: The Basic Way

Contacting your network provider is the basic way to unlock your iPhone. Often, the network providers do it for free. Here are the steps for the same:

  1. Make an unlock request to your network provider. Once the request is accepted and executed (this takes a few days), go through the remaining steps.
  2. Reset the phone if you have not yet received the original SIM.
  3. Switch OFF your phone.
  4. Insert a SIM of another network.
  5. Restart the phone and see whether the phonies working over the new network by making a call.

The procedure to make an unlock request varies from one network provider to another. For example, in case of Vodafone, an online unlocking form is available if you have an account and its owner details. It takes almost 48 hours to talk with you on this request and another 10 days to unlock the phone.

Similarly, if it is Three and have brought an iPhone prior to Jan 2014, just connect the phone to iTunes, take a backup, and restore the phone. In case of O2 and Giffgaff, there is an app or a tool for unlocking the phone. If O2 accepts the request, you get to know the procedure of unlocking in seven days.

How to Unlock an iPhone using EE Account

If you have ever maintained your EE account for a minimum of six months, EE will do the unlocking for you. However, you should have paid all the bills on time. Regardless of whether the contract is active or not, you need to pay a price for the same. Further, it takes up to seven days to unlock your phone.

In case you are not the EE customer, some research is required. You can try and get the name of the owner and EE phone number from eBay.

How to Unlock an iPhone Using a Third-party Tool

There are a few mobile unlocking services available on the Internet. Although not always reliable, you may try an online tool for unlocking your iPhone. To make this option reliable, it is strongly advisable to go through the small print prior to purchase. Otherwise, extra bills in the name of hidden fees may be on your way.

Some reliable online services include Doctor SIM with a return policy if unlocking fails and with no hidden fees, and ExpressUnlocks that works for most networks.


There is no need to stick to a single provider if you desire to use different SIM cards as well as network services. It is just that you need to choose the right method that you feel is more apt for implementing how to unlock iPhone.

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