Last Updated on March 6, 2021 by Husain Parvez
Want to unlock Cricket phone and use it with different SIM cards for maximum data and calling benefits? Here’s everything you need to know about unlocking mobile phones on the Cricket cellular network, and some convenient third-party methods to do it.
Even before most of the developed world could enjoy the service of wireless cellphones, there was a market growing in the United States for network operators. The very first to join the race was Ameritech Mobile Communications, which is now popularly known as AT&T and continues to be the frontrunner among U.S. based cellular network carrier brands. For decades, now AT&T has been a staple network operator within the United States, even with the rise competition with names such as Verizon and Sprint to capture the budget mobile data market.
For years, AT&T has been a contract-style mobile network service provider just like the cable companies, offering a mobile phone and usage plan to lock down customers. However, the celestial growth in the mobile world forced AT&T to look into no-contract services, which was highlighted by its purchase of Cricket Wireless in the year 2014. Since then, Cricket Wireless has become the go-to brand to get cheaper mobile phones on affordable usage plans that can be paid for upfront.
Unlock Cricket iPhone – But Why?
Not only does having a Cricket Wireless phone grant you access to the robust network set up by AT&T all across the country, but it also makes the most out of its GSM capabilities to work with any unlocked smartphone. But what if you want to take your Cricket phone to another network, or wish to use the smartphone abroad? There are plenty of reasons why you would want the freedom to unlock Cricket phone after paying in full for it, and here are just a few:
International Travel – For those who are always on the move, being connected to friends and family back home is a necessity. Keeping your Cricket Wireless network-locked phone SIM card activated during an international journey can be an expensive ordeal, which is why the ability to swap out the SIM card for one from a local network carrier brand is the right choice to make. With an unlocked smartphone, you can save big by skipping past the international roaming charges and get yourself a prepaid SIM card that is cheaper and easier to manage.
Selling the Phone – If you’ve ever browsed the market for a second-hand phone, you’ll see a clear distinction between unlocked and network-locked phones, with the unlocked variants being relatively more expensive. If you’re planning to sell off your smartphone while it can still fetch you a great price, then selling it in an unlocked state can help you bring in more cash since it allows the buyer complete freedom over the SIM card they wish to use with the device.
Cheaper Carriers – If you bought your smartphone with the Cricket Wireless network carrier and end up paying a premium price for the calling and data usage each month, it might be time for a change. Since you’ve already paid for your phone in full, wanting to cut down on the monthly phone bill is the smart move, and the best way to do so is to switch to a network carrier that offers the structure of a plan suiting your usage needs.
Official Way to Unlock Cricket iPhone
As much as the network carrier would love to keep you in chains and serve you the same mobile usage plans, the federal intervention dictates that, under certain conditions, the network carrier is obligated to unlock the networking capabilities of your smartphone. Although Cricket Wireless is meant to be a contract-free network option from AT&T, it too has certain devices in its inventory that may need to be unlocked officially by the carrier in order for you to use them.
Unlike several other network carriers that force you through a lengthy process when unlocking a mobile device, Cricket Wireless has a straightforward unlocking policy, since all of its devices have to be paid for upfront. However, you still need to adhere to the basic guidelines that have been established to unlock Cricket phone from the network.
- The Cricket Wireless mobile device you want to unlock from the network must be active for at least six 6 months and paid for.
- The mobile device must be originally designed for use on the Cricket Wireless network.
- There should not be a formal report of the device registered of being either lost or stolen by the owner. If it is found to be in such standing, the device will be blacklisted and you will be unable to have it unlocked.
- The mobile device should not be associated with a fraudulent account. Similarly, the Cricket Wireless account should also be listed in “good standing.”
According to the official Cricket Wireless policy in support of the Military Personnel, the company will unlock one Cricket-based mobile phone for a military service member, even if they do not meet the requirements. However, the person must be able to provide the deployment papers or other supporting documentation that verifies their military employment status.
How to unlock a Phone on Cricket Wireless
Once you’ve checked the list above and qualified for the unlocking procedure, the steps to get your Cricket Wireless smartphone unlocked are quite straightforward. Rather than sending you down a rabbit hole trying to unlock the smartphone, the network operator allows you to unlock your device right from the web portal itself.
- Using the Cricket Wireless web portal, log into your account.
- Depending on your Android device, you might even need to complete the unlocking process using the myCricket app
- Sign in using your credentials and then head over to the Account Settings menu on the screen.
- Scroll down to find the phone number that is associated with the Cricket phone you wish to unlock.
- Use the Request Unlock button to view the unlock code right on the screen, or in the case of an iPhone, you will receive a text message with the unlock code.
Additionally, if you’re having trouble using the self-help web portal, Cricket Wireless customer service over at 1-800-CRICKET is always available to help you guide through the entire unlocking process.
Unlock Cricket Phone with a Third-Party Service
When comparing Cricket Wireless to most of the other network operators in the United States, the unlocking process is fairly simple due to the fact that all of its devices are offered on a no-contract basis. Since you’ve paid for the device in full upfront, the network carrier allows you the freedom to switch to other network operators after a fixed duration, if you see fit. However, there can be instances when you’re unable to unlock your Cricket Wireless phone using the official unlocking process.
Even if you did get yourself a brand-new Cricket Wireless phone with full payment, you need to activate the device with a valid Cricket Wireless SIM first. Inserting the SIM for the first time would begin the 60-day usage period, after which the device can be officially SIM unlocked for good. If you purchase a device from Cricket Wireless but do not insert a working Cricket SIM in it first, the device will be locked even after the 60-day period. In such cases, your only hope to get the Cricket Wireless locked device working on another network SIM is to seek the help of a third-party unlocking service, namely DirectUnlocks.
How to use DirectUnlocks with Cricket Wireless
DirectUnlocks has created a formidable position for itself in the SIM unlocking business, by offering safe, simple, and budget-friendly network unlocking service. Supporting not just unlocking of Cricket Wireless and other network operators in the USA, the unlocking service extends to countries such as the UK, Canada, and many more. DirectUnlocks does offer a high rate success rate, but the most impressive feature of it has to be that the device is unlocked within days, whereas the network unlocking process can take up to weeks in some cases.
Step 1: Fetch the IMEI Number
Before you can begin the simple process of getting your Cricket Wireless device SIM unlocked, you will be requested to fetch the IMEI number. The IMEI number is a unique code that is fingerprinted to your phone by the manufacturer, which acts as an identifier and is used by the authorities to track down the mobile device if it is lost or stolen. To find out the IMEI number that is linked to your Cricket Wireless phone, here’s what to do:
- Open the Phone app on your mobile phone.
- Bring up the dialer and enter the following code – *#06#*
- Press the dial button, and now you will be able to see a pop-up window with the IMEI number of your phone displayed on it.
Make sure that you write down the IMEI number shown on the screen since you will be needing it later on to request the unlock code.
Step 2: Use DirectUnlocks SIM Unlock Service
With the IMEI Number of your device within your reach, you can now head on to DirectUnlocks service provider to gain complete control of your mobile phone’s network.
- Head over to the DirectUnlocks website using the web link – www.DirectUnlocks.com.
- On the home screen, find the region from where you’ve purchased your phone, which should be the United States in the case of Verizon.
- Now under the Country of your selection, pick the Network Carrier as Cricket Wireless and continue.
- Here you will be able to view the unlocking fees that DirectUnlocks charges for each of the network operators.
- When you click on the network carrier name, you will be asked to Choose the Model as well.
- You will now be asked to enter the IMEI Number, so type in the code that you fetched earlier on your device.
- The next screen will give you additional details about your model and ask you to confirm the IMEI number you have typed in.
- You will be able to view the Average Timeframe mentioned by DirectUnlocks to complete the unlocking process.
The SIM unlocking process will now begin and the service will give you the ability to track the unlock progress using the reference information sent to you via email. Once the SIM unlocking process is completed, the unlock code will be emailed to you, so make sure to verify the email address you sign up with.
Note: DirectUnlocks boasts a high clearance rate by offering SIM unlocking services, but there can always be certain cases where the SIM network service provider does not deliver at all, or on time. However, you are always secure with your money backed by a guarantee, and even after the unlock code doesn’t seem to work for you, you connect with DirectUnlocks and claim a full refund right away.
How to Check If My Cricket iPhone Is Locked?
Getting a phone can be a strenuous process, and not being sure if it’s locked or not could bring forth more trouble. Back in the day, there was a visible difference between mobile phones that were locked to a specific carrier network, and those that came factory unlocked right out of the box. The factory unlocked mobile phones came with no cosmetic difference, but the network locked mobile devices had the logo of the network carrier attached to them.
For instance, in the case of some mobile devices, you would find the Cricket logo etched into the back of the smartphone. However, this does not seem to be the case when it comes to Apple iPhone, which seems to be exempted from the network carrier name branding like most other smartphones out there. Regardless of whether the iPhone is factory unlocked or associated with a mobile carrier, there will be no identification mark on it. This makes it even harder for one to find out if a specific Cricket iPhone is unlocked or not.
However, you could easily overcome this by knowing a few things:
Firstly, always look at what you’re buying. All product listings have specified whether an iPhone is locked to a carrier or unlocked.
Secondly, if you have bought a phone and don’t know if it’s locked, you could use the trial and error method to use a different SIM card than your original carrier. If the device works perfectly and doesn’t provide an error message, then your device is unlocked. However, if it shows that your iPhone isn’t compatible with this SIM card, then your phone is locked.
Thirdly, you could follow the steps below:
- Switch off the phone.
- Now take out the Cricket Wireless SIM and put it somewhere else.
- Insert a new carrier’s SIM card inside the device.
- Turn on the phone.
- If it is an unlocked phone, it will boot up as usual, and the device can be used with all other carriers.
- If a message pops up while turning on and states “SIM Locked,” “Network Locked,” or “Enter Unlock PIN,” then the device is locked, and you need to unlock it.
Finally, the last step you could do is call the customer care of your network provider, which in our case should be Cricket, and ask them if your device is locked or not.
Unlock All Cricket Networks and Models
Unlocking a Cricket phone is, unfortunately, difficult for new users. It requires some particular conditions to be met, and then you could start the unlocking process. Let us get to the requirements or needs that Cricket demand you to have:
- The iPhone that you plan to use across other network carriers, should be bought from a retailer verified by Cricket.
- The mobile phone should be locked to the Cricket network in the first place.
- The iPhone should have been active for at a minimum of six months of paid service on that device.
- All the monthly bills and contracts must have been paid off.
- The iPhone should not have been reported lost or stolen or suspended for fraud
Note: The six-month paid service agreement does not apply to Unlimited Max Plan customers that bought the plan on or before January 4, 2018.
Now how do I unlock my device? If you’re sure that you meet all the eligibility requirements listed above, then follow the process below:
- Go to the app and sign in to “My Account.”
- Now visit “Account Settings” and select “Get Code.”
- Scroll down to the bottom and locate the number of the phone for the unlock.
- Now, select “Request Unlock.”
- The unlock code for Android phones will be displayed on the screen, and iPhone users will receive the unlock code via a text message.
Now that you have the unlock code, you can remove the old SIM and put in a new one. This will prompt you to put in an unlock code. After filling in the code, reboot your device and enjoy an unlocked iPhone.
For all other phones except iPhone:
- Turn off your phone, remove the SIM Card, and put in a new SIM Card from another carrier.
- Turn your phone back on and follow the prompts displayed on the screen and enter the unlock code.
- Now, restart your phone to complete the unlock process.
Note: Some Android phones can be unlocked using the “myCricket” application. The following steps would be useful for unlocking through the “myCricket” app:
- Open the “myCricket” app.
- Tap on “Unlock Device” and then tap “Unlock” on your screen.
- As your phone is unlocked, restart it to complete the unlocking process.
What’s the Unlock Code for Cricket Phones?
The Unlock Code for Cricket iPhones is a numeric code sent to your iPhone when the unlocking process begins. This code is unique and is required to unlock your device to work with different carriers. Every code is unique and is specifically made for your phone. This code is also just used for a single device and can’t be used on different devices.
Note: The unlock code provided to unlock Cricket iPhone is specific to the device only. There are several unauthorized service providers online, which claim to offer the unlock code for Cricket iPhone online, either for free or at a cost. We recommend that you steer clear of them, and choose only the preferred network unlocking service providers we have mentioned down below.
How Long Does It Take to Unlock Cricket Phone?
The unlocking process can take a minimum of a single day to at most of a week. However, if you’re still stuck after a week, then call customer care for further support. This can be done by dialing the following number 1-800-CRICKET (274-2538) or 61.
What if You’re Not Eligible to Unlock Your Cricket Phone
The most popular way for network operators to reel in new customers is to get the iPhone at a monthly cost, which makes it easy to afford these rather premium mobile devices. However, the catch that comes with this monthly affordable purchase, is that you can only use the device with the official network carrier’s SIM that it came with. Since Cricket, like all other network operators out there, wants you to continue using its service, does not automatically unlock the iPhone.
Well, if you don’t meet all the conditions for unlocking your device from Cricket, you could always rely on the different unlocking services present on the market. We have tried many and recommend the best ones in this article. The unlocking process is simple enough and requires nothing more than the IMEI number of your device, and it supports all models with fast unlock code deliveries.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much will it cost to Unlock my Cricket iPhone?
The pricing will depend on the model and network subscription your Cricket iPhone is locked to. Many factors play a role in the cost, and all your bills or dues must be cleared before the unlocking process begins. For instance, if you have paid for the iPhone in full, the unlocking service should be free, as long as you meet the requirements listed by Cricket.
Will my unlocked mobile device work on all networks?
Well, Yes and No. Network technologies such as GSM, LTE, or CDMA vary throughout the United States and globally. Your phone must be compatible with the network to enable access throughout the services and functionality.
Note: Locked devices are made for a specific purpose and can provide a little trouble working for different carriers.
Is unlocking an iPhone illegal?
No, unlocking is a privilege granted to all users and is allowed by every network carrier on the market. However, it isn’t recommended to violate any rules and not pay your bills. If you have completed your contract, you are free to unlock your device.
Will unlocking my iPhone enable it to work with different international networks?
Traveling internationally can be a hassle, and unlocking phones from country to country may seem to be a hassle. However, mobile networks can differ from country to country, ensuring that your device can be unlocked and be a life-saver.
When is my iPhone eligible for unlocking?
Your network provider can unlock your phone after you have filled in all the details, match all the required conditions, or paid an early termination fee for the unlocking process.
After decades of ruling the mobile network space with supremacy in terms of connectivity and pricing, AT&T could not keep up the stronghold with the emergence of other brands. In an attempt to cater to the customers who wanted an affordable and non-binding agreement when buying a mobile phone and connection, the telecom giant took Cricket Wireless under its wing. Although the usage plans offered by Cricket Wireless are fairly affordable and you’ll hardly ever feel the need to switch your network carrier, this feeling could quickly change when you need to travel overseas and the crushing costs of international roaming take over.
Are you among those who paid in full for their mobile device and now want to learn how to unlock Cricket phone to test it out on other networks? Would you rather wait days or even weeks to see if your phone qualifies for an official unlock from Cricket Wireless, or would you rather have your smartphone up and running with complete freedom with DirectUnlocks? Do share your opinion in the comments section right down below.
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