How to unlock your phone

How to unlock your phone

If you are under contract or on a prepaid cell phone service in the United States and don't have a high end smartphone through Verizon, such as the iPhone 5, 6, 7, 8 and 10, chances are your phone has been locked by the service carrier. If you bought your phone directly from Apple, it will be unlocked. Network operators lock phones so they cannot be used with another carrier's SIM card but there are ways around that. You must have your phone unlocked by either by the carrier or by a company specializing in unlocking your phone (like the company we recommend below) in order to use a different carrier's SIM card, including those sold through Cellular Abroad.

Here is a brief list of cellular companies in the United States and Canada and their unlocking policies.

Verizon - All 4G phones and iPhone 5's and above come unlocked. For all other models contact Verizon directly.

AT&T - All phones are locked. Contact them to see if you are eligible for unlock (typically you must have paid off the phone for them to unlock it. Otherwise, see the information below)

T-Mobile - All phones are locked. Contact them to see if you are eligible for unlock (typically you must have paid off the phone for them to unlock it. Otherwise, see the information below)

Sprint - All phones are locked. Contact them to see if you are eligible for unlock (typically you must have paid off the phone for them to unlock it. Otherwise, see the information below)

U.S. Cellular's - unlocking policy says that it will unlock any postpaid phone that is paid off or out of contract, and any prepaid phone that was activated more than 12 months ago.

Boost - phones are locked. They will unlock them as long as the device has been active on the associated account for at least 12 months and is in good standings.

Cricket Phones - are locked but Cricket will unlock the device you want to unlock if it has been active for at least six (6) months of paid service.

Straight Talk - phones come locked Straight Talk will unlock your phone after 12 months of pay-as-you-go service. It has to be consecutive, uninterrupted service.

Virgin Mobile - Any Virgin Mobile iPhone is unlocked.

Canadian Carriers

Bell - Bell now will unlock your phones. Contact them for unlock information.

Rogers - Rogers will now unlock your phones. Contact them for unlock information.

If you are unable to get your phone unlocked from your provider there are paid unlocking services available. We recommend doctorSIM. Unlocking codes are available within 24 hours and prices start from around $5. Visit their website to find out if they can provide your phone with an unlock code. Doctor SIM will also unlock most cell phones purchased outside of the United States and Canada.

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