Last Updated on March 14, 2021 by Husain Parvez
(Recently Updated Testing Results – 2020)
Guide on How to unlock iPhone 5s, 5c and 5
Of three available unlock methods for iPhone 5, 5s, and 5c, the only reliable and effective one is IMEI Unlocking (sometimes called factory unlocking). Software methods haven’t worked since the iPhone 3 was released, and hardware locking is a dangerous scam that could destroy your device while also voiding your warranty.
IMEI solutions don’t require you voiding your warranty or downloading a potential virus into your device. All you need to do is get a phone industry insider to add your device to the global database of iPhone’s that are able to be used on any network and you’re free to choose whichever carrier you want!
So how to get your iPhone 5 unlocked? The best place to get an iPhone IMEI unlock depends on your location.
There’s nothing worse than being locked to a poor quality carrier.
They hold it over your head like a death sentence “Sure, we have poor service. Sure, we want to charge you crazy global roaming fees. Sure, we’re expensive. But there’s nothing you can do about it!”
In any other industry, this wouldn’t fly. Which car manufacturer gets to decide what petrol company you use? Which computer store gets to decide what electricity provider you choose?
None, that’s how many. Yet phone carriers have been doing it for years and getting away with it.
Lucky for you, they can’t do it anymore because you can now get your Apple iPhone unlocked and move away from your carrier whenever you want to.
There are three primary methods you can choose from, but only one that works. So how to unlock iPhone 5s?
Here’s a breakdown of the three iPhone 5 / 5s / 5c methods (including the only one that’s actually worthwhile):
Option #1: Software iPhone Unlock
(Which doesn’t work anymore)
I’ve fallen for this scam. Actually, I’ll let you in on a secret – I have fallen for this scam twice. It consists of a great looking website that claims it’s software can unlock your mobile device.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t work and hasn’t worked since Apple released the iPhone 3. They plugged the flaw in the system and now software unlocking is a dirty lie.
Please don’t fall into the same trap as me and fall for this.
Avoid unlocking software for the iPhone 5, 5c and 5s at all costs.
Option #2: Hardware iPhone 5C Unlocking
(Which will void your warranty)
Unlocking iPhone 5 by this method is another one of those ‘guaranteed’ methods that just aren’t worth the risk.
To do it, you have to take your mobile device into some back alley in a dodgy part of town, and a creepy-looking stranger will ask you for $100+ to modify the hardware of your device.
That’s right, someone you’ve never met before and have no reason to trust is going to use his dirty, greasy hands to open your iPhone and change the physical chips and wiring inside.
Yes, it’s as bad as it sounds.
The worst part is that even if he is successful (which they are in about 30% of the time), you’ll be left without a warranty. Is that what you want? A 30% chance of success and no warranty?
No, me neither.
It’s best to stay WELL away from hardware unlocking.
Option #3: Network or IMEI iPhone 5 Unlock
(The ONLY reliable and permanent method out there)
The final, and only reliable, safe, and permanent, unlock for your iPhone 5, 5s, or 5c, is IMEI or Network Unlocking.
Every device ever produced has a unique identifying code known as it’s IMEI code. Apple has a global database of these codes where every iPhone is listed.
As well as listing the model number, colour, memory size, and production date, it also lists whether the device is locked to a particular network.
An IMEI solution simply involves getting your iPhone’s IMEI lock status changed from ‘locked’ to ‘unlocked’.
You aren’t required to download any unknown software, and nobody has to pry open up your device to risk voiding your phone’s warranty. The only thing that occurs is the phone’s status is updated on Apple’s master global database.
It’s that simple.
Because of this, IMEI or Network Unlocking is the ONLY method I recommend.
But where do you get one? And who do you get it through?
Well, I don’t have contacts who can do this, but there are companies who know industry insiders who can get your device solved quickly and easily.
How to Unlock iPhone 5 to Any Network
The iPhone 5 is among the most popular versions of Apple’s iPhone that ever came out. The single-SIM Sim card device which was carrier-locked meant that users could not use the iDevice with any other cellular network, apart from the one that came with it. For this very reason, you need to unlock iPhone 5 and let it free for use for every other network provider out there. There are different methods on how to unlock iPhone 5 depending on the network carrier you are locked to.
Unlocking Sprint iPhone 5
Sprint allows you to unlock your phone for international travel, so you can pop out Sprint’s SIM and pop in one from an overseas carrier. To be eligible, you’ll need to meet the following requirements:
- You must be an active Sprint customer to unlock iPhone 5c Sprint.
- The Sprint iPhone to be unlocked, must be active for at least 90 days, with no overdue payments.
- You cannot get iPhone 5 Sprint unlock for more than one device during the span of 12 months.
If you need to unlock Sprint iPhone 5s for overseas military service, you will be required to provide evidence of your deployment, and not have any other unlocked Sprint device within the past year.
T Mobile iPhone 5s Unlock
- The iPhone should officially be purchased from T-Mobile, either online or from a registered T-Mobile service partner.
- The T Mobile iPhone 5s unlock can only happen if the device is not reported as lost or stolen, and not blocked by T-Mobile before.
- The account with which the T Mobile unlock iPhone 5s process is being done should be in good standing, meaning there shouldn’t be any dues pending or cancellations.
- Customers can request the code for unlocked iPhone 5c T Mobile only two times every 12 months per iPhone, registered with the individual account.
- The unlocking terms and conditions in place by T-Mobile for iPhone unlocking should be met.
iPhone 5 AT&T Unlock
AT&T states that it will reply to any request for unlocking AT&T iPhone 5 within two business days of the request.
- Go over to att.com/deviceunlock.
- Read and agree to the eligibility requirements for iPhone 5s AT&T unlock process.
- Complete and submit the request form to unlock AT&T iPhone 5s.
- You will be sent a confirmation email with your iPhone 5 unlock request number.
- Choose the link sent to you in the email within 24 hours of receiving it to confirm your iPhone 5s AT&T unlock request.
- AT&T will then respond to you within two business days.
- AT&T will finally send you instructions for unlocked iPhone 5 AT&T if your request is successfully approved.
Unlock Verizon iPhone 5s
When you buy an iPhone from Verizon, the phone comes with a SIM lock put in place. The SIM lock is there for a time period of 60 days, no matter where you purchased the Verizon iPhone from. After the 60-day period, the iPhone is automatically unlocked and cannot be locked again. The policy by Verizon is put in place to prevent theft and is valid for prepaid as well as postpaid users.
There is no code required to unlock Verizon iPhone 5s that has been released recently, you might encounter an issue when using a SIM card of a different carrier on an older device such as a Verizon iPhone 5c unlock. In such cases, you can decide to use these default codes to unlocking Verizon iPhone 5 – “000000” or “123456”. If you need more assistance on how to Verizon unlock iPhone 5s officially, reach the customer service number dedicated to unlocking at 888-294-6804.
Here, we have discussed the official network carriers that work with the Apple iPhone, and a quick guide on how you can proceed to unlocking iPhone 5s and other variants officially. However, the official method does not seem to work for everyone, which is why you may need to seek other methods of unlocking.
General Guide to Unlock iPhone 5 on Any Network
1. First located your IMEI code. This is the unique id for your iPhone and you need to provide it so you can get it unlocked. The steps to find it are below
- Method 1: Dial *#06#
- Method 2: For iPhone 5 or newer, your IMEI is located on the back of the device
- Method 3: For non-activated mobile devices, there is a little “i” button on the activation screen, click it and you’ll see the IMEI on the screen
Here are my top 3 recommendations:
The Top 3 iPhone 5 / 5S / 5C IMEI Unlock Service Providers
So now that you know what unlocking is and what methods you should avoid, here are the top 3 services that I have used to unlock the iPhone 5, 5c and 5s.
1. IMEIDoctor (9.5/10) – The best choice for IMEI unlocks inside the US and Canada
UnlockBase is without a doubt my #1 choice for iPhone 5, 5s, and 5c devices.
PROs: First of all, they’re cheap. They’re consistently 20% – 30% cheaper than just about every other IMEI unlock service on the web.
Normally, when someone’s that much cheaper than their competitors, it means you’re getting an inferior quality product, but that’s not the case with iPhoneIMEI They’re cheaper because they process more unlocks than any other service (according to one customer support representative, they’re processing more than 200 unlocks per day). The more you process, the cheaper it becomes and that means they can unlock your iPhone for less.
My big concern with their cheap prices was it was going to mean no customer support. I was glad to be proven wrong. When I needed an update on how much longer the process was going to take (turns out it had already been unlocked and their notification email was in my junk folder), their support team responded within 7 minutes. Amazing.
And finally, the last reason why IMEIDoctor is #1 on my list is the speed of their service. The very nature of device unlocking makes it an uncertain and slow process. Some companies I’ve used (see below) have taken up to 45 days to give me what I paid for. I was very happy when my AT&T unlock was processed in less than 3 hours… That’s what I call service!
Cons: The only downside with IMEIDoctor is they don’t have the biggest range of unlocks outside North America. There’s a few there, but it’s not as comprehensive as the #2 on my list.
If you’re not in North America, definitely check out IMEIDoctor but you might have to keep scrolling.
SUMMARY: IMEIDoctor.com are cheap, fast, and have fantastic customer support. Whilst they don’t have the biggest range of unlocks, if you’re in the US or Canada, you should definitely use them to free up your mobile phone today!
If you’re on a tight budget, don’t want to wait weeks, and you’re in the US or Canada, unlock your iPhone with IMEIDoctor now.
2. DirectUnlocks.com (9/10) – Unlock your device 5 if you’re outside North America
DirectUnlocks.com is another great unlock company.
Pros: First of all, they’re not some flash-in-the-pan startup that’s popped up in the last few months. They’ve been around since the first generations of the iPhone, and they’re very experienced with the iPhone 5/5s and 5c. I’ve used them more than once, and so have many of my family and friends.
Secondly, they’re fast. Like REALLY fast. When I first used them, I started the process on a Friday night. I thought there’s no way this would be completed until at least Tuesday. However, on Saturday morning, I was surprised to find an email to say that my iPhone 5 was now unlocked. They really are ahead of the game here.
Thirdly, they have unlocks available for just about every carrier in the world. Seriously, try them. Locked to Orange in the UK? They can unlock it. Softbank in Japan? They can unlock it. Bharti Airtel in India? They can unlock it. Any phone, any carrier, any country. It’s truly amazing.
And finally, their customer support rocks. When my mum unlocked her device, she managed to put the wrong email address in… (She’s not too tech-savvy). To make sure we didn’t miss any notifications, I called them (Yes, they have phone support) immediately to fix it all up and it was all done in less than 3 minutes.
Cons: Whilst they can unlock just about any carrier in any country, they are a little more expensive in North America, especially with AT&T. If you’re not in the US or Canada, definitely try them out but if you are, I’d go with imeidoctor.com.
SUMMARY: DirectUnlocks.com is a great choice to unlock your iPhone 5 if you’re outside North America. They’re fast, cheap, have great support, and the biggest range of unlocks on the market.
To unlock your device outside the US or Canada, head to DirectUnlocks today.
3. IMEI Codes (5/10 – Not recommended)
IMEI Codes is my final iPhone 5 unlocking alternative to iUnlock Pro. Maybe alternative is the wrong word; distant back up is more like it.
They will unlock the iPhone 5, 5c, and 5s, however, don’t expect a quick unlock or a detailed email answer to any of your questions. It is a no-frills unlocking service that should only be used if my other two picks aren’t available.
Of the three iPhone 5 / 5s / 5c unlocks available, only one is safe and effective.
- Software unlocking doesn’t work.
- Hardware unlocking can damage your device and void your warranty.
- IMEI unlocking is the only truly effective and safe method for unlocking your iPhone 5 / 5s / 5c.
There are several iPhone IMEI unlocking services available, and the best one for you depends on your location.
Related articles on Why The Lucky Stiff:
- How to unlock iPhone 5s, 5c and 5 - June 11, 2020
- How To Unlock iPhone 6/Plus & 6s/Plus For Any Carrier? - June 6, 2020
- iCloud Unlock – How To Easily Remove Activation Lock On Used iPhone in 2021 ? - May 29, 2020