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.
- 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.
- 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 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.
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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.