How to unlock an iPhone

iPhone 14 Review
(Image credit: iMore / Stephen Warwick)

Most iPhones become locked to a specific carrier once a SIM card has been installed. This means that the iPhone can only be used on that specific carrier. Luckily, the steps to unlock an iPhone have never been easier, and we'll send you in the right direction to get it done. 

If you're selling an iPhone, you can increase the value if it's unlocked. That way, the buyer doesn't have to pay to have it unlocked or go through the trouble of figuring out how to unlock an iPhone themselves. After unlocking an iPhone, the device should then work on most GSM mobile networks (as long as it's compatible with that network's radio bands).

How to unlock an iPhone

How to unlock any smartphone is specific to the carrier. You'll have to go through your carrier and request an unlock code (in most cases) and won't be able to do it yourself.

Keep in mind that you must still be a customer of the carrier to which the phone is locked; otherwise, you're out of luck. There will also be some requirements that must be met before your carrier unlocks an iPhone. Your account will have to be in good standing, and you'll have to be up-to-date on all your bills. Your iPhone cannot be reported as lost or stolen and it has to be paid in full. Your carrier reserves the right to refuse you an unlock code at any point, so be nice!

There is third party software you can purchase in order to unlock your iPhone, but we do not recommend it since it may be unsafe.

We'll walk you through how to unlock an iPhone with AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, and Sprint in an easy to follow guide. 

iPhone unlocked

Once you've followed our simple guide and contacted your carrier, your iPhone should be unlocked within a few days. Nowadays, the best iPhones, like the iPhone 14, ship with no SIM tray and eSIM compatibility. The process should be identical to unlock these devices, although if you bought the device directly from Apple, it will already be unlocked. 

Mick Symons

Mick is a staff writer who's as frugal as they come, so he always does extensive research (much to the exhaustion of his wife) before making a purchase. If it's not worth the price, Mick ain't buying.

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