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How to unlock your iPhone on T-Mobile

You can always get your iPhone unlocked from T-Mobile if you want the ability to change SIM cards or carriers. Not all carriers will accept every unlocked phone, though, so if you already know which carrier you want to switch to, check with them to make sure your iPhone will work on their network.

What are the requirements to unlock on T-Mobile?

Like all service providers, T-Mobile has certain conditions, restrictions, and various other requirements you need to fulfill before you can request an unlock code for your iPhone.

Here's a rundown of T-Mobile's unlock requirements, as stated by T-Mobile:

  • You have to have bought your phone from T-Mobile.
  • Your phone can't be reported as lost, stolen, or blocked to T-Mobile.
  • Your account with T-Mobile cannot already be canceled and it must be in good standing (meaning that if you haven't paid your bill in three years, you're probably not getting unlocked).
  • You cannot have requested more than two unlock codes, per line of service, in the last year. So, if you have two phones in your name, you can't have asked for more than four unlock codes.
  • Your phone has to satisfy all of T-Mobile's unlocking terms and conditions (opens in new tab).
  • T-Mobile can request proof of purchase and "certain other exceptions may apply."

Additional requirements for postpaid accounts

  • The phone must have been active for at least 40 days on the same line.
  • It must be paid in full.
  • The account balance must be zero, even for canceled accounts.

Additional requirements for prepaid accounts

  • The iPhone in question must have been active for at least one year.

OR

  • The account must have at least $100 in refills since it was opened.

How do I request an unlock code from T-Mobile?

Contacting T-Mobile customer service (opens in new tab) is the most convenient way for you to start the process. You also have the option of hitting up your nearest T-Mobile store and asking in-person.

T-Mobile—just like all the other carriers—says they reserve the right to deny any request based on their own discretion. So don't be completely surprised if they decide to decline your request.

Luke Filipowicz
Luke Filipowicz

Luke Filipowicz has been a writer at iMore, covering Apple for nearly a decade now. He writes a lot about Apple Watch and iPad but covers the iPhone and Mac as well. He often describes himself as an "Apple user on a budget" and firmly believes that great technology can be affordable if you know where to look. Luke also heads up the iMore Show — a weekly podcast focusing on Apple news, rumors, and products but likes to have some fun along the way. 


Luke knows he spends more time on Twitter than he probably should, so feel free to follow him or give him a shout on social media @LukeFilipowicz.

9 Comments
  • You didn't mention that if you are on the EIP (The payment plan for the cost of the phone), you must have it completely paid off.
  • If you are on EIP, your phone does not have to be paid off.
  • That's not true. I don't have one of my iPhone paid off but I got it unlocked. As long as you're in good standing. Sent from the iMore App
  • I just asked I was traveling overseas an got my phone unlocked like in 2 days. :)
  • "Your account cannot be already canceled" I actually work for T-mobile and submit unlocks almost every day. If your account is canceled, we can still submit the unlock. You may also want to include that your phone must show some type of usage within the past 40 days for the unlock to go through.
  • The AT&T process seems easier. Sent from the iMore App
  • The AT&T process with the online form seems easier. Sent from the iMore App
  • Unlock eligibility for monthly phones, tablets, and mobile internet devices
    The device must have been active on the T-Mobile network for at least 40 days on the requesting line. If the device is financed using T-Mobile’s Equipment Installment Plan (EIP)or if it's leased through JUMP! On Demand™, all payments must be satisfied and the device must be paid in full. Direct from tmobile support site But I guess there is leanancy on this. Just don't bank on it. Sent from the iMore App
  • Paid My iPhone 6 in full and used as a prepaid account with t-mobile for six months. After request to unlock my phone received the following response by e-mail denying to unlock: TMobile
    Sim Unlock Request
    Sim Unlock Reference: 1116****
    IMEI: ***************
    Thank you for taking the time to contact TMobile.
    Unfortunately, we are unable to provide the unlock code at this
    time. After review of the account we have determined that the device is not in use with the corresponding mobile
    number. TMobile
    policies and procedures state that the device must be in use on the mobile number requesting
    the unlock code. If this is a new device please allow 34
    business days prior to submitting a new request to allow
    your usage to update in our system.
    Thank you,
    SIM Unlock Department
    Thank You,
    Customer Service
    TMobile
    USA, Inc.
    ARSystem Notify <DoNotReply@T‐Mobile.com>
    Thu 1/5/2017 1:16 PM