Every iPhone user is aware that iPhone comes with a carrier-locked SIM. You cannot change sim cards, and your iPhone is locked to a particular carrier. If you are looking to unlock your iPhone, it means two things, i.e., you want to unlock it to use with a different carrier, or you want to unlock it after you forgot its passcode.
You don’t necessarily have to rush to an Apple service provider for either of the reasons. As a tech enthusiast myself, here is an easy guide to unlocking the iPhone carrier or screen passcode. This requires no tech knowledge and is valid for all iPhone models.
Part 1: How to Unlock iPhone for Use with a Different Network Provider
The benefits of unlocking iPhone carrier
- Unlocking iPhone to use it with a different carrier allows users to change sims when out of the station and provide greater flexibility
- You can also switch SIM easily if you find another local carrier providing cheap plans
- Definitely useful for those who travel internationally frequently for business purposes etc
- If your iPhone is unlocked, you can also sell it at a good price
Note: Is it legal to unlock my iPhone?
Yes, it is entirely legal to unlock your iPhone, provided you have paid off all your past bills from your previous carrier.
How to check if your iPhone is locked by a carrier?
There are three ways to do so, i.e., through Settings, using a SIM card, or contacting the carrier.
- Using SIM card
The easiest and most reliable method to check if your iPhone is locked to a carrier is replacing the SIM card with another.
- You need to remove the current SIM card from the SIM tray.
- Replace it with another SIM card and restart your iPhone.
- Now, make the call using the new SIM card.
- If the calls get through, this means the iPhone is not locked to the carrier. If it prevents you from making a call, your iPhone is locked to your previous SIM card carrier.
You can also check if your iPhone is locked to a carrier using Settings.
- Go to Settings on your iPhone
- Tap on mobile Data > Mobile Data options
- Now tap on Cellular > Cellular Data
- Now find the option Mobile data network/Cellular data network.
- If the option is available, your iPhone is likely unlocked. If not, the iPhone is locked.
Alternatively, you can go to Settings > General > About. You will find a Carrier Lock option with ‘SIM locked’ labeled before it. You may also see an option ‘Check for carrier settings update”. If you find these options, this means your iPhone is locked to the carrier.
Another method to check if your iPhone is locked to the carrier is straightforwardly contacting the carrier.
- Firstly, you should know iPhone’s IMEI number. You can find the IMEI number in Settings > General > About.
- Go to the official website of your carrier and talk to the customer care executive to know if your iPhone is locked.
What you need to unlock your iPhone
To unlock your iPhone, the only thing you will require is your iPhone’s IMEI number.
You can find the IMEI number in Settings (as mentioned above) or see it engraved on the SIM tray. However, you will need an extraordinary vision to crack that correctly.
Alternatively, you can also dial *#06# to know your IMEI number if you have an AT&T or T-Mobile sim card. You can see the IMEI number visible on the screen as you dial the number. You can take a screenshot of it for reference.
Method 1: Contact Your Carrier to Unlock
What mobile carrier is locked to your iPhone? Check below:
You can unlock your AT&T sim card using AT&T’s official website. To unlock your iPhone, you should meet the following criteria:
- On a post-paid SIM card, iPhone should be active for at least 60 days. For prepaid, the period of at least six months.
- There should not be any pending dues
- Your iPhone bill should be paid off
- The device shouldn’t be stolen or reported as lost.
If these conditions are fulfilled, you can visit AT&T’s official website and enter your phone number and IMEI number to request a unlock. You will receive a follow-up email that will mention the next step, like entering a unlock code or other.
To unlock a Sprint post-paid SIM card, you should fulfill the below criteria:
- Your iPhone should be a capable of SIM unlock
- It should be active on the Sprint network for at least 50 days. For prepaid SIM, it should be active for 12 months at least.
- There should not be any standing dues.
- You should be a trustworthy customer of Sprint
- iPhone should not be stolen or reported lost
Either way, your next step is to contact Sprint customer care, who will follow you through the steps of unlocking your iPhone. If your iPhone is launched after February 2015, Sprint automatically unlocks the device when it becomes eligible.
The criteria for T-Mobile for unlocking the SIM card are the same. iPhones with T-Mobile sim cards should be active for at least 40 days. To unlock your iPhone with a T-Mobile sim card, you should contact customer service through its website.
If you have a Verizon Sim card on your iPhone, you will save yourself from this trouble. Starting from July 2019, Verizon automatically unlocks the devices after 60 days of usage. This is true for both prepaid and post-paid sim cards.
How to check if my iPhone is unlocked?
Now that you have performed the unlock of your iPhone, it’s time to double-check. To check if the unlocked worked, repeat the same you did to check if your iPhone is locked to a carrier or not.
You power off your iPhone. Remove the just unlocked Sim card, and replace it with the new SIM card. Turn on your iPhone and try making a call. If the call goes through, your iPhone is successfully unlocked.
After your carrier confirms that they unlocked your iPhone, follow the steps below:
- If you have switched to a new SIM card carrier (i.e. replaced your existing carrier)
Step to follow to unlock your iPhone:
- Remove your existing SIM card with the help of an ejector pin.
- Place the new SIM card in the SIM tray.
- Put the SIM tray back.
- Turn on your iPhone.
- Your device will now activate the new SIM card carrier.
Use these steps to finish unlocking your iPhone:
- Back up your iPhone to iCloud or iTunes.
- After the backup is finished, erase your iPhone.
- To erase iPhone from iPhone settings, follow Settings > General > Transfer or Reset iPhone > Erase all Content and Settings.
- After the erase process is complete, restore your iPhone from the backup you just made.
Method 2: Unlock iPhone carrier with SIM Unlock Chip
What is SIM unlock chip? The SIM unlock chip is placed below the SIM card in a SIM tray. All SIM card has microcontrollers that are used to control the cellular network. With the help of the SIM unlock chip, such traffic signals can be diverted to allow the phone to work with another carrier.
A SIM unlock chip costs around 20 to 30 dollars and can be bought online or from any mobile shop. It is safe and legal to use the unlock chips as long as their usage isn’t hampering the privacy of others.
- Remove the sim card of your iPhone using the ejector pin
- Place the chip on the sim card tray with the microcontroller’s side facing upwards.
- Place the sim card on top of the chip as you normally would
- Return the sim card tray so that it is inserted appropriately
- On the iPhone screen, edit the ICCID cod. Found on the back of every sim card.
- Restart the iPhone and follow on-screen prompts.
Part 2: How to Unlock the iPhone When You Forgot the Passcode
Do you want to unlock your iPhone because you forgot the passcode? Below are the three tricks to use.
Method 1: Unlock Your Disabled iPhone using Mobitrix Lockaway without iTunes - The Fastest and Easiest Way
Mobitrix LockAway is a professional unlocking tool that helps iOS users solve all iPhone lock issues like forgetting the passcode. The best part about Mobitrix LockAway is it is easy to use, takes about 20 minutes to unlock a disabled iPhone, and is hassle-free. It has been developed after continuous research for ten years by its R&D team in iOS cracking. It also provides 100% privacy protection and data security.
When do you need Mobitrix Lockaway?
- Remove four types of screen locks i.e., 4/6 digit passcode, Face ID, Touch ID, alphanumeric passcode
- You got a second-hand iPhone and want to unlock it
- Your iPhone screen is cracked, and iPhone is unresponsive
- You see ‘iPhone is disabled try again in X minutes/ connect to iTunes’ flash on your screen.
- Download Download and Install Mobitrix Lock Away
- Click “Unlock Screen Passcode” in the main menu
- Click Start to remove iPhone Passcode.
- The "iPhone Unlock" is complete.
Unlock screen passcode home
Unlock screen passcode product
Mobitrix LockAway - Unlock Screen Passcode - Unlock is complete
Method 2: Fix "iPhone disabled" Error via Find My iPhone
Find My allows Apple users to track their lost, misplaced, and stolen devices. Apart from the location tracking feature, it also has a “ Erase it with ease” function which we will use here to unlock the disabled iPhone (i.e. locked iPhone).
It erases all your iPhone data and settings, including the passcode. Yes, you got it there. This means your iPhone is now free from any passcode, and you can set it up again from scratch.
- Find My should have been enabled on your disabled iPhone.
- The iCloud account should be logged in on your locked iPhone.
- It should be linked with a cellular internet or Wi-Fi connection.
- You should remember your Apple ID and password.
- Visit iCloud.com on a mobile or web browser
- Enter the Apple ID and password
- After logging in, click Find iPhone.
- Enter your Apple ID and password again to sign in
- Now click on All devices and select your locked iPhone
- Click Erase iPhone. Click on Erase when the ‘Erase this iPhone?’ prompt appears.
- Enter your Apple ID and password again to continue
- A message with a verification code will arrive on your trusted device. Enter the verification code to continue.
- Now, input a phone number that can be reached and click Next
- The iCloud website will show erase started. The erase process will be shown with a white Apple logo visible on your locked iPhone.
- After the process is finished, iPhone will restart. Swipe up the screen now. iPhone will show ‘iPhone locked to owner’ screen. Enter your Apple ID and password to Continue.
- You can now set a new passcode.
Click Find iPhone
Click all device and choose your device
Click erase iphone
Method 3: Unlock a Disabled iPhone via an iOS 15.2 trick without Computer
The iOS 15.2 trick is available on iOS version 15.2 or above. As per this, when you forgot your passcode and have wrongly entered it up to 7 times or more, it shows ‘iPhone Unavailable’ or ‘Security Lockout’ screen with an Erase iPhone option on the button right of the screen. You can use this Erase iPhone option to unlock your disabled device.
- Your locked iPhone should run on iOS 15.2 or later.
- Your Apple ID should be logged in before the iPhone got locked. If you didn’t log in with your Apple ID before your iPhone was locked, the ‘Erase iPhone’ interface won’t appear.
- Find My should have been enabled on your locked iPhone.
- You need to know your Apple ID and password
- Your locked iPhone must be linked to the internet via Wi-Fi or a cellular network
- Enter the incorrect passcode seven times or over to see the ‘Security Lockout try again in 15 minutes’ interface. Look for the ‘Erase iPhone’ option on the bottom right of the screen.
- Click on Erase iPhone.
- Click it again to reach the ‘Sign out of Apple ID’ interface. Enter the Apple ID password to sign out.
- A white progress bar with the Apple logo will appear on the iPhone screen.
- After the process is complete, the iPhone will automatically restart.
- You will be asked to create the new passcode. When comes to the Apps & Data screen. Under this, you can restore your data if it is backed up on your iCloud account or on your PC.
Security Lockout try again in 15 minutes
Security lockout click erase iphone
Sign out of apple id interface
- In some cases, you won’t see the Erase iPhone option at all. This happens if you haven’t logged in to your iCloud before being locked out. This method is thus not foolproof. Even if it’s visible, you will find that tapping on it makes no difference sometimes. It stays unclickable.
- The Erase iPhone option is limited to certain iPhone models only. According to user feedback, this option is available to iPhone 13 and 11 but not iPhone 12.
What to do when you see the message “The SIM card inserted in this iPhone does not appear to be supported?
To resolve the issue, firstly, on your iPhone, go to Settings > General> About. Screen down to Carrier Lock. If it shows No Sim restrictions, this means your iPhone is unlocked. Contact the current sim card carrier to resolve the issue.
If it doesn’t show No SIM restrictions, it means the iPhone is locked to the previous SIM card carrier. You should contact the sim card carrier of your previous SIM then to first unlock your device.
If you want to unlock your iPhone for use with a different carrier, you can ask your respective carrier to unlock your iPhone or use SIM unlock chip. If your iPhone is disabled when forgot the passcode, you can use Mobitrix LockAway, Find My, or an iOS 15.2 trick to unlock it. Using Mobitrix Lockaway is the easiest and fastest of the three options. It’s a foolproof method that guarantees you a successful unlock process with no requirements.