Last Updated on November 5, 2020 by Husain Parvez
(Updated Testing Results for 2020)
You have just purchased a used phone from eBay, Craigslist or some random person. But now you are wondering how to unlock iPhone and iPad?
Or you want to change your mobile phone company but still use your phone which is working. But you find out that you can’t transfer your phone on another carrier!?
Smartphones, especially iPhones, can be very expensive. But Apple makes sure you really want the new latest version with all the new features they add year over year to the latest iPhone models. Thus, carrier based special payment deals are a way to afford new expensive phones. However, they hold you accountable by placing a carrier lock on your phone.
Carriers selling iPhones through heavily discounted deals over the years have been restricting the phones they have been selling by locking them to their network. This was a way to discourage people from taking advantage of a great deal for a phone but then leaving for a different carrier.
Don’t end up stuck to one mobile carrier network.
No worries! You have different options to getting your phone unlocked.
With an unlocked phone, you can use your phone to any network carrier.
An additional benefit! While traveling internationally, you can purchase and use a local SIM cards. Even greater news, once you learn how to unlock iPhone, you will be able to change your phone or data plan whenever a new deal comes out.
Why Do Carriers Stop Me From Unlocking iPhone?
Bottom line: Profits, profits and profits.
Carriers make their money by charging you the monthly data plan. They entice you with great phone offers (which they typically lose some money or just break even). So, they don’t want you to take off with the great deal you just got on the phone and leave for another carrier’s network. Their way of protecting their investment is by locking you iPhone to their network only.
Usually, they will allow you to unlock your phone after you have paid it off and/or after a set term such as 2 years or more.
Fortunately, there are ways to unlock you phone. However, there are risks involved such as voiding your warranty, unscrupulous services, or even breaking the device when it comes to the process of how to unlock an iPhone.
Unfortunately, I had experienced unscrupulous unlocking services before. So, we decided we wanted to test the varying services and unlocking options for you. Please read this carefully on how to unlock iPhoen so you don’t fall victim to fake services or even breaking your phone.
From our findings, there is one guaranteed way on how to unlock iPhone without all of the risks. Not many people know about them. In all of our tests, it has always been successful in unlocking our iPhone for all versions from iPhone 4 to the latest.
Want to know what it is??? Read on…..
How Exactly Do iPhone “Carrier Locks” Work?
To better understand the unlocking services, its best understand how these locks work in the first place.
Manufacturers add in the locks into iPhones on behalf of the carriers. There is a customer firmware that placed into the phone can be used to create network providers.
They do this to keep you stuck in a contract for a defined period of time – Which is how they can profitably discounted the purchase price of the phone.
The three types of phone restrictions are the following:
- Country/Region Lock:
This lock prevents users from SIM card from outside of a particular country. This is bad for intertional travelers who would like to use a in-country SIM card which is much less expensive than out-of-country rates.
- Network/Carrier Lock:
The most common version – this lock ties the user to a specific network. Thereby, this lock prevents you from changing between providers.
- Subscriber Lock:
Usually the best deals on phones comes with a lock called the subscriber lock. The subscriber phone lock is the most restrictive. This only allows the original purchaser from being able to use a particular SIM card in the phone. With this lock it is impossible to sell you phone.
Now, for cutting-edge phones there is one guaranteed way to remove a carrier restriction.
Here’s how to access the full potential of your phone with this legal, quick and safe method. First let’s take a quick look at the other common methods on how to unlock iPhone that people try. However, before you try these options, if you can reach the previous owner
Free method: Option 1 – check to see if your phone is stolen
Apple or even your carrier network can provide you withe a method to unlock iPhone free only if it is paid free and clear. However, the phone must not be reported as stolen. Here are a few sites to check if the used iPhone you purchased was previously reported as stolen.
Stolen iPhone Check Website (for the US): Free Stolen Phone Checker
For international phones, use this stolen phone resource: International Stolen Phone Checker
Unlock iPhone Free: Option 2 – If you can reach the previous owner?
If the owner is physically near you, have them help with the following steps on how to unlock an iPhone owned by someone previously:
- Have them enter their Apple ID account credentials
- When at the home screen, sign out.
- For iOS 10.2 and earlier, proceed to Settings ==> iCloud ==> Sign Out.
- For iOS 10.3 and later, proceed to Settings ==> [your name] ==> Sign Out
- When asked, they re-enter the Apple ID credentials
- iOS 10.2 and earlier, click on Sign Out, then ==> Delete from My iPhone
- iOS 10.3 and up, choose Turn Off
- Erase the phone again by going to Settings ==> General ==> Reset ==> Erase All Content and Settings
- When the phone restarts , the Activation Lock screen should not longer exist.
If the former owner is not near you physically, follow these short and simple instructions to unlock iPhone free of cost:
Ask them to sign in with credentials at iCloud.com which was used to originally activate the phone.
Choose Find My iPhone => Select All Devices => then select the iPhone that needs to be unlocked.
Choose Erase iPhone => Choose Remove from Account.
Now restart the iPhone. At this point, you should not see the Activation Lock screen when it starts up.
Paid unlocking methods – if the unlock iPhone free options are exhausted
Now that you understand the intricacies of carrier restrictions, let’s get down to business and review your options for removing that pesky lock.
I’ll share the best option that’s guaranteed to work every time – However, I also feel a duty to show you all of the options, including the ones to avoid. My hope is that you can then avoid falling for some of these other methods, which can look great on paper, but really won’t work.
The interesting thing is that some of these bad options did work a long time ago, but have been made redundant by carrier or manufacturer innovations. If you read one guide on how to unlock iPhone methods, make it this one.
How to unlock iPhone with Software : No longer a good option.
Right when phones started getting ‘smart,’ software unlocking was the go-to method. At one point in time, I used it successfully myself.
These days, software unlocking can be risky based upon who the provider is. There are many software choices that do not work at all. Since the heyday of this method, just about every manufacturer and carrier on the planet has stopped this from being a viable option.
Hardware Unlocking iPhone: Possible but High Risk
Hardware unlocking is the riskiest option out there, as it involves actual physical alterations to your phone. This method first became popular when phones were far less complex that they are now. It involves physical alterations that circumvent the hardware that allows carriers to set their restrictions.
Many years ago, I experimented with this option and did have success. But with modern phones, I would not even think of attempting this complex procedure and anyone who offers it to you is either a genius, or ripping you off.
An iPhone is an intricate machine and no dodgy phone shop or backyard operator can be qualified to alter it. This method is almost always expensive due to the labor needed and very unlikely to work with new phones.
Not only does hardware unlocking fail most of the time, I guarantee it will void your warranty and possibly wreck your expensive new phone.
iPhone IMEI Unlocking: The Safest Way on How to Unlock Phone
We have finally arrived at the number one, fail safe way to unlock your latest phone. Although in the past other methods have had brief windows where they have worked, IMEI unlocking is timeless and guaranteed to keep on working time after time.
The IMEI number is a unique number assigned to your device and is also the key to releasing it from carrier clutches.
Carriers who still restrict handsets do so with the IMEI, which is stored in a centralized database. When you put an unsupported SIM into an IMEI locked phone, it asks you for a password. If you can get this password, then you have yourself a device that can be used freely.
You might think that to get this, you would need to interact with your carrier and pay an exorbitant fee, but you would be wrong.
It is possible to remove the IMEI restriction on your phone using a third party service for a fraction of the price your carrier charges.
Interested to find out how this works? You better be, because it is the only viable option on how to unlock iPhone and iPad in many cases.
The Secret Method to Unlocking an iPhone That Most People Don’t Know
As you have gathered from the options outlined above, there is just one good option for iPhone network unlock and that is using the IMEI code. Everyone assumes that this process is difficult or risky, but in reality it is the only legitimate and risk free option available.
Yet there are still objections to using IMEI unlocking, which I would like to address now so that there is no confusion.
First of all, a lot of people have the idea that it is illegal to unlock a phone that is under contract with a specific carrier. To be clear, not paying for a phone according to a contract is not encouraged, but actually unlocking it is not at all illegal.
Carriers have made it difficult to remove their restriction because there is no law stopping you, only the artificial roadblocks they place in your way. You should not feel guilty in any way for unleashing the full potential of your handset.
Another common misconception is that you have to go through your carrier to get an IMEI code for your device. Years ago, this was the case and it was a frustrating and expensive process.
Things have moved on from the bad old days and there are now a number of IMEI unlocking services provided by third parties which are very cost effective. The power has been taken away from the carriers and they no longer have a monopoly on restricting phones.
Finally, a lot of people shy away from unlocking their handset because they think it is going to be a costly experience. The truth is that it has never been cheaper to free-up a new model mobile telephone.
I was there in the beginning of handset unlocking and have seen some expensive methods used, but using IMEI to understand how to unlock iPhone is definitely not one of them.
With the RIGHT third party provider, you can safely remove an IMEI restriction for a little as $30.
When you consider the overall price of a modern mobile device and what carriers charge for the same service, $30 is peanuts in comparison.
When you consider the savings you could make by changing to a better deal on another carrier, can you afford not to unlock your handset?
Want to know the best IMEI unlocking service that’s guaranteed to work every time?
I’ve used this countless times myself, so I am going to introduce you to the best and most reliable IMEI code service on the internet today. I use this service with confidence day in and day out for myself and for customers who want full access to their device.
IMEIDoctor – The most reliable unlock iPhone service
Here’s a step-by-step guide to the best unlock methods on the market today.
Best iPhone Unlock Service Provider: IMEIDoctor – 9.5/10
IMEIDoctor is the best service available today that cheaply and without fail will release your handset, removing the carrier restriction that is present.
Once you have used the IMEI code service and paid a one time fee, you will be 100% free to change your carrier and use any SIM card that you want in your device. This service is completely web based and as long as you know the IMEI number of your device, you will be able to pay for the code.
Finding the code itself is easy and free, as long as you follow the instructions of the unlocking service.
It cannot be overstated how useful having an unrestricted phone is. I would never again accept a phone bound to a single network and you shouldn’t either.
Here’s why I use this particular service:
The great news is that unlike other methods, using an IMEI code on your handset is completely legal and risk free. While other methods like those mentioned earlier in the article are likely to void your warranty, you can use an IMEI code and still maintain your manufacturer warranty. Considering the already low price of these IMEI code services, it would be silly to risk losing your warranty with any other method.
- Easy to Use:
Getting your unique IMEI code to get your iPhone unlocked could not be any easier. There is no additional software and no cables needed. All you need is your phone’s IMEI code, which you then provide to the unlocking service – they do the rest for you. It is so easy that you can follow the steps yourself on the provider’s website.
- Completely Online:
Everything is available online these days and IMEI unlocking services are no different. You do not need to visit a shop or trust your expensive handset with a stranger. Everything is done using an online interface and happens very quickly. Even if you only thought of unlocking your phone a day or two before you leave on vacation, you still have time to use an IMEI code service!
- Immediate Results:
When using an IMEI unlock service, you can expect almost immediate results. For most handset models, especially modern variants, you will receive a code to remove the carrier restriction from your phone almost instantly upon providing the correct details and paying the service fee. It is almost never too late to unlock your phone.
The greatest thing about IMEI unlocking is that the service is dirt cheap. I can still remember when unlocking iPhone was a real art form and those who could do it charged accordingly. Today, IMEI code services have made the process so easy that they can offer you very competitive prices. With the savings on carrier costs and the increase in the resale of your handset you can expect after unlocking, it would be silly not to do it.
- Note: the service will not work any phones that are reported lost or stolen by the network providers.
Now is the time to act, so let’s look at how you can order an IMEI unlock code today and enjoy free and unrestricted use once you have learned how to unlock an iPhone.
Get Your Guaranteed iPhone Unlocked Today
By now, the benefits of removing the carrier block on your phone should be obvious. You can change SIM cards at will both domestically and overseas and also increase the resale value of your handset.
You can escape the clutches of the carrier and regain your freedom. Previously, achieving this freedom was a real effort with expensive and dodgy services making big promises, but rarely delivering.
However, now with online IMEI unlock services, you can safely and easily unleash the potential of your brand new handset, even if it has a carrier restriction.
Ordering your IMEI unlock could not be any easier. They explain in easy to follow steps on their own website, but I will also outline it for you here as well.
- Go to the imeidoctor.com
- Follow the guide on how to locate your phone’s IMEI number (the unique number that identifies it). This step is totally free and has easy to follow instructions.
- Select your type of device from the menu, and enter your IMEI number into the order form.
- At this point you will need to process the payment for your imei. Once you have paid, all you need to do is sit tight and wait for your phone to be unlocked. Easy right?
- Once you have the email confirmation, remove your old SIM and insert your new SIM. When you turn the device back on, it will detect the new SIM and ask for your code. Put the code you were sent in and enjoy!
By now you are probably itching to get out there and get rid of your carrier lock. There is no need to search the internet for an IMEI unlocking service though, because I have you covered.
I have looked at all of the major services out there and through trial and error have found the very best option. By using the service that I recommend, I personally guarantee you will get the very best service and a flawless buying experience on how to unlock and iPhone.
You shouldn’t just take my word for it though. IMEIDoctor gives its very own guarantee. If your code does not work as advertised, they will work with you to fix the problem, or provide you a full refund without any drama.
They really go above and beyond, providing top level service which is why I won’t hesitate to recommend them.
You could try some dodgy method to unlock your phone using hardware modification or software, but I think by now I have been able to show you why these options are not worth it, especially when they can void your warranty or destroy your device.
The only option that you should consider is using an IMEI unlocking iPhone service like IMEIDoctor. You can do this with your carrier, but it is much easier and cheaper to use a third party service and save yourself all the hassle.
Frequently Asked Questions
How to unlock iPhone with a code?
You may have purchased an iPhone tied with a carrier that at the time was giving excellent service and deals, but now you are not happy with the service, and you may want to change your carrier. Unfortunately, it is not as simple as popping another sim card and carrying out your daily lives. If you are still under the carrier’s contract and want to switch to other carrier’s, you may need to unlock your iPhone.
There are services available on the internet that can help on how to unlock an iPhone, which provided with your IMEI number. imeidoctor.com is one smooth and straight forward way to unlock your device. They guide you through the whole process, from getting your IMEI number to the payment method.
How do I unlock my iPhone for free?
There is a way on how to unlock on iPhone for free, and ideally, it should have been the only way to network unlock the iOS device that you have paid for with your hard-earned money. If you have cleared all the bills, the carrier will get your iPhone unlocked. But if you have purchased your device from someone else, check if your device is reported stolen or not.
If your iOS device was reported stolen in the past, then you are at the mercy of the previous owner, and there’s a slim chance that you will be able to unlock your iPhone for free officially. In such cases, your only option might be to look into a cheap and dependable iPhone network SIM unlocking services that offer a guaranteed unlock code at a price that won’t burn a hole through your wallet.
Why my carrier is not working on iPhone?
You may have purchased an iPhone tied with a carrier because it was cheaper than an unlocked iPhone. But now you are not happy with the service provider, be it service issues or the rude customer care agents. It is not as simple as tossing away your old sim card and inserting a new sim card with a new carrier right away on your locked Apple iPhone!
Your new carrier might not work with your locked iPhone because you have not cut ties with the old one. Hence, getting the device unlocked, either officially through the old network carrier, or through a third-party unlocking iPhone service for mobile phones, maybe your only way to get your network carrier SIM working on the iDevice.
Which is the best legit way to unlock an iPhone?
If you have not robbed someone of their iPhone, and have purchased a locked Apple iPhone for various reasons and want to unlock it, there are many third-party services on the internet which provide IMEI unlocking for your device. You can also contact your old carrier, and they will help you to unlock your device if all your bills are cleared, and all the requirements met.
One legitimate way to unlock your iPhone would be either using the official unlocking iPhone service provided by the network carrier, but that might not be the option available to everyone out there. Thankfully, there is a strong presence of reliable network unlocking service providers which allow you to get your device unlocked, regardless of the model of the iPhone or iPad, and start using it across different network operators without a hiccup.
Why my SIM Card is locked on my iPhone?
Purchasing a locked iPhone binds you with the same carrier until the contract ends. Network/carrier locks are the most common version of locked devices and are the way certain brands can provide you with the iPhone on a contract basis, giving you a way to pay for the device in part payments over a period of one or two years, while ensuring that you make good on your promise to use their network exclusively for that duration of time.
However, even if you ended up paying upfront for your iPhone or iPad, and still have it locked to a specific network carrier, this could be due to the policy and terms of service put forward by the entity. Moreover, if you purchased a used iPhone or iPad, the chances are that you could have been sold a device with network lock in place. In such cases, you will have to reach out to the original owner of the iOS device to make sure that it gets unlocked, or you could look towards a premium third-party unlocking service to get things sorted.
Is it illegal to unlock an iPhone under contract?
It is not illegal to unlock an iPhone under contract and by law, not network carrier can restrict you to using only their network carrier, especially if you have paid for it in full. Based on the user policy that is in place, most network carriers forcibly keep your iPhone locked to their service carrier if the duration since the purchase is less than 60 – 90 days.
However, even if you have not paid all of your monthly instalments on the phone, you can still look towards third-party unlocking services, which help you to fetch a working and reliable code to get your iPhone network unlock in just the matter of days. All you need to do is make sure that the SIM unlocking service provider that you select is reliable when it comes to unlocking iPhone and can do so cost-effectively and in a short span of time, like the ones we have reviewed above.
It doesn’t get any better than that right?