2021 How to Unlock iPhone in 10 Minutes- Apple Support

iPhone being locked from your carrier or forgot your iPhone passcode? This article shows you the specific procedures of how to unlock your iPhone comprehensively.


Bradley | Aug 27,2021
Reporter for five years, interacted with individuals working in the technology industry.

2021 How to Unlock iPhone in 10 Minutes- Apple Support

iPhone being locked results from two possible causes. One; your iPhone being locked from your carrier. Secondly; forgetting your passcode and thus being unable to unlock your iPhone screen.

No matter which situation you meet, this article delivers the tutorials to solve this and introduces the specific procedures of how to unlock your iPhone comprehensively.

Chapter 1: Check why my iPhone is Locked

When the iPhone is locked, there might be two different kinds of reasons occurring there. Firstly, your iPhone might be locked to your carrier. This implies that you might buy an iPhone from Apple or a carrier that is already locked

The iPhone will serve you well and normally until you choose to use it with a different company, that when the issue presents itself.

Secondly, you probably forgot your iPhone passcode, and your attempt to guess it eventually your iPhone gets disabled.

Firstly, there are three ways to check if your iPhone is locked from your carrier.

1. The simplest way is to check the settings.

  • Open settings.
  • Click General.
  • Select About.

Scroll down and under “carrier lock”, if it states “no SIM restrictions” then your iPhone is not locked. However, if you see a different message such as “No SIM card installed”, then your iPhone is locked.

2. Check with your carrier; Carriers can check if your phone is ready for activation on their network by inputting your IMEI number and receiving an alert if it is locked or not and whether it is ready for activation.

3. If you have two SIM cards, from different networks. You could check if your iPhone is locked or not via using a SIM card.

  • Using the current SIM card. Make a phone call, ensure it connects.
  • Switch off your iPhone and eject the SIM card.
  • Insert the other SIM card and switch on the iPhone.
  • Make a phone call as before, if it connects then your iPhone is unlocked, if it doesn’t connect with the currently inserted SIM card then it's locked!

Secondly, to know if the passcode is the cause of the iPhone lock, just check your screen. Entering your passcode too many times it will make your iPhone be disabled as shown on the screen.

Chapter 2: How to Unlock your iPhone from your Carrier

If you are sure your iPhone is locked to your carrier, follow the instructions in Chapter 1 of this article starting from Part2 to Part4.

Step 1: General Requirements for unlocking your iPhone

Before you unlock your iPhone, you have to make sure you meet the general requirements. First, you have to make sure your iPhone has not been reported as stolen, or used with any sort of unlawful activity. Also, you should not have any financial obligations.

Third, you have to either wait until your contract is up or pay off the balance of your payment plan if you accepted a contract with your carrier.

Besides, you need to be aware that most carriers require the account to have activated for a certain number of days before they are allowed to be unlocked. Specific days regarding specific carriers are shown below.

Step 2: How to unlock your iPhone on your carrier

When you are sure your iPhone is locked to your carrier and you meet the general requirement, your next need to contact your carrier and request an unlock. Different carriers have a slightly different process of unlocking devices; you need to follow the procedure of your carrier.


To use AT&T to unlock your iPhone was active for the last 60 days, and your account has no past-due balance, then follow the steps below:

  1. Visit AT&T’s website to request unlocking, for this you need your phone number, IMEI, and AT&T account information.
  2. Submit an unlock request.
  3. If your request is approved, you will receive an email with the unlock code and instructions.


To use T-Mobile, unlock;

  • Your iPhone should not be reported as lost or blocked to T-Mobile.
  • The iPhone needs to be a device of T-Mobile.
  • The iPhone’s T-Mobile account should be active.
  • Per line of service, unlock requests should not be more than twice.
  • Minimum days to be active before unlocking: at least 40 days.

To unlock your iPhone;

  • Visit T-Mobile customer service and request an unlock.
  • If approved, a notification will be sent with the instructions.
  • Open settings > Network & Internet > Mobile network > Mobile network > Advanced > Network Unlock > Ensure you are connected to a network.
  • Choose Permanent Unlock, let the unlock complete.
  • Restart your iPhone.


For Sprint, once a device is approved for unlocking, Sprint will remotely and automatically unlock the device within two business days.

If you are using an iPhone 6 or older, it is not likely that your phone will ever be unlocked from Sprint’s network.

Minimum days to be active before unlocking: at least 40 days.

For those with SIM unlock-capable phones, Sprint will automatically unlock the phone if they became eligible for unlock, implying your efforts won’t be needed in the unlocking.


This company has one of the most consumer-friendly unlocking policies because it will automatically unlock a device 60 days after purchase. This applies to both prepaid and postpaid customers.

However, if you face any issues contact their support team.

Virgin Mobile:

Virgin mobile currently is a carrier for iPhone only, implying that, if you sign up for the new Inner Circle plan at an Apple Store, your phone will not be locked to their network.

Thus, you can take it to any carrier. However, the same phone will be locked if you buy it from virgin mobile USA for a period like one year after which you can reach out to customer care for them to unlock it.

Step 3: Final steps

After your carrier unlocks your iPhone, insert the new carrier’s SIM card into your phone. If you do not have a new SIM card yet, back up your iPhone to your iCloud account.

Open settings and reset the phone, complete the assistant setup prompts to restore your backup.

From here, you can insert your new SIM card, your iPhone is now unlocked and you can use it freely.

Chapter 3: How to Unlock your iPhone Passcode

If however, your passcode is the cause of the iPhone lock, this chapter of the article starting from Part5 to Part10.

Step 1: Don’t rush to guess your iPhone passcode

Often, people rush to guess their passcode when they forget it. However, entering the wrong passcode for iPhone continuously will lead to your iPhone being disabled.

Therefore, to avoid waiting too long for a new chance to reverify your passcode, it is recommended that you avoid wasting too many attempts guessing the passcodes. Instead, try your best to recall and make a good shot!

Most of the solutions for this require you to have a backup. If you have not had backed your data and settings up, then it is almost impossible to restore your settings and data after unlocking the iPhone.

Step 2: First of all, unlock iPhone via computer (iTunes/Apple Finder)

Before you opt for solutions that completely erase your data, it’s convenient to first attempt to unlock your iPhone via iTunes or Apple Finder as this guarantees the safety of your data.

If you have previously synced your iPhone with a computer, you can use a recent backup to restore your iPhone and reset its passcode.

This method could restore your data to the point in time when you made the backup. It will also remove the device’s passcode and give you a chance to set up a new one.

If using a Mac computer;

  • Via a lightning cable, connect your iPhone to your Mac computer.
  • Open Finder, in the sidebar of the Finder window, select your device.
  • From the bar on top of the window select General.
  • At the bottom, select “Restore Backup” from Backup.

Select those backups to restore from the list, enter your Mac password and click Restore.

If using Windows.

  • Having the computer, you last synced with, connect your device via a cable.
  • Open iTunes, if you are not prompted for a password, you can proceed otherwise try connecting to a different computer you had synced with previously.
  • Allow iTunes to sync your device and make a backup.
  • backup iphone whatsapp via itunes
  • Once the sync completes, click “Restore iPhone” allow the restoration process complete. This will install iOS.

The iOS screen will then pop up, click on restore backup from iTunes and select the backup to restore from.

However, this method will only be applicable if you had synced your iPhone to a computer and if you have an existing backup.

Step 3.1: The second method, erase iPhone via recovery mode (iTunes)

Those who did not sync iPhone with a computer could use recovery mode to remove the passcode.

No matter which generation of iPhone you have, you can find a suitable solution to erase the iPhone (including passcode, data, and settings).

After you remove the passcode, restore your data and settings.

The steps to use iTunes are;

  1. Switch off your iPhone by long-pressing the power and the volume button, drag on the slider.
  2. Connect your iPhone to your computer while holding the side button, hold the side button till the recovery mode screen mode appears.
  3. Locate your device on the computer and click on restore. The required software will be downloaded, but if it takes more than 15 minutes, the recovery mode will exit. Repeat the above procedures.
  4. Once successful wait for the process to complete and you will be able to set up your iPhone and use it again.
unlock iphone without passcode via itunes recovery mode

This method requires you to have a computer and a prior backup.

Step 3.2: The third method, erase iPhone via Find My Phone (iCloud)

If you don’t have a computer, the recommended way to remove your passcode is to use iCloud via someone’s iPhone or a different iPhone or iPad.

By logging into your iCloud, you can erase your iPhone, remove the passcode, and restore the data and settings.

If you use iCloud correctly, the latest iCloud backup shouldn’t be more than a few hours to a day or two old, so information loss should be minimal.

The steps for this are;

  1. Sign in to your iCloud account on iCloud.com.
  2. unlock iphone passcode via find my iphone
  3. Go to Find My Phone and select your device.
  4. Click on erase iPhone to erase your iPhone and remove the passcode.
  5. erase iphone passcode using find my iphone
  6. Once it completes, set it up and restore your backup from iCloud.

This method works only if you had a backup.

Step 3.3 : The fourth method, erase iPhone via Mobitrix LockAway

The above methods majorly are for people who forgot their passcode moreover, the process however successful it takes long and is complicated and if you miss a step, you can easily lose all your data and settings.

This calls for a better and professional way of erasing your iPhone, Mobitrix LockAway, is an effective and professional solution for this issue.

LockAway provides an easy and practical way to remove your passcode, unlocking your iPhone without any data loss. Some of the benefits of LockAway include;

  • Easy; with just three steps, you get to unlock your iPhone.
  • Effective – LockAway is a lifetime-to-use tool.
  • Professional – it’s a professional tool that has been used by many people.
  • Secure – you can easily unlock your phone alone with ease.

Some of the passcode that LockAway can unlock are; 4-6-digit passcode, Touch ID, Alphanumeric passcode, and Face ID.

By following the given tutorial video, and the steps below, you will unlock your iPhone.

  1. Connect the device to the computer
  2. Select unlock mode
  3. Remove iPhone lock.
remove iphone lock without passcode

Step 4: Restore the data and settings

Having removed your passcode successfully, the next step is to restore your data and settings.

  • Open Settings on your iPhone and tap General, at the bottom, click on reset.
  • Click Erase All Content and Setting, confirm by entering your passcode.
  • Tap erase iPhone and enter Apple ID.
  • Let the progress bar complete, sign in using your Apple ID once your phone restarts.
  • Click restore from iCloud backup.
  • Select a backup to restore from and restore.


In conclusion, this article offers the steps on how to unlock your iPhone whether passcode locked or locked by the carrier.

In a nutshell, to unlock the iPhone from the carrier, you need to meet the unlock criteria of your carrier, contact them for the unlock request and get your iPhone unlocked for a new network.

Secondly, the article suggests not to rush to guess your passcode if you forgot as this will make it to be disabled.

Instead, connect the iPhone to the computer that you synced with before. If they have not had any synced computer before, try the methods of erasing the mentioned above.

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