Mobile Phone Unlocking - How to Unlock Your Phone

Mobile Phone Unlocking - How to Unlock Your Phone

What Type of Phone Locking?

There is a lot of confusion about the different ways your phone can be locked. When people describe their phone as ‘locked’ it could mean a number of different things. Here are the main ways your phone can be locked and what you can do about it:

  1. Network Locked
    This is where your phone is locked to a particular network (eg. O2, EE, Vodafone, etc.) and you want to unlock your phone so it works on any network. This is easy to get your phone unlocked and offers many benefits such as being able to switch to a cheaper sim-only deal and making your phone more valuable. This page is all about how this type of mobile phone unlocking and how to unlock your phone from the network. To find out how to do this read our article below…
  2. Network Blocked
    This is where a phone is blocked by the network service provider as a result of being reported lost or stolen. If a phone is blocked there is nothing you can do. Only the network service provider can lift the block so you need to speak to them
  3. iCloud Locked
    If you have an iPhone and it is locked to a particular iCloud account only the iCloud account holder can unlock the device. This is the only way to unlock an iCloud locked iPhone. The iCloud account holder needs to login to the iCloud account and remove it from the device. To find out if an iPhone is iCloud locked and for instructions about how to remove the iCloud Activation Lock from a device go to:
  4. Passcode Locked
    This is the passcode you set on your phone to prevent someone accessing your device. On an iPhone this is typically a 4 or 6 digit number. On an Android device this is often a lock screen pattern. If you have forgot your passcode there are ways of getting access to your device. can help you, call our technical experts for further advice on 0333 014 4262

Mobile Phone Unlocking - How to Unlock Your Phone

There are lots of benefits to unlocking your phone such as you can switch to a cheaper sim-only tariff, you can use a foreign sim when abroad for cheaper calls and if you want to sell your phone it is worth a lot more if unlocked.

Below we explain how simple the unlocking process is

Why should you unlock your phone?

There are a number of benefits to unlocking your phone.

  1. Unlocking your phone can save you money by allowing you to switch to a cheaper sim-only tariff
  2. When you travel abroad you’ll be able to swap your SIM card for one provided by a local service provider for cheap international calls and data.
  3. Handsets which are unlocked are worth more when you come around to selling them. The difference is often more than the cost of getting your phone unlocked.
  4. You might simply wish to have a phone that you can switch SIM cards with. This is particularly useful if a friend wants to use their SIM card in your phone.

Is my mobile phone locked?

Your phone is locked if it doesn’t accept a SIM card from another network provider. If you put another SIM card into your phone and an error message is displayed, then this strongly indicates that your phone is locked to a network.

Is it legal to unlock my phone?

It is commonly misunderstood that unlocking your phone is illegal - this is totally inaccurate. Unlocking your phone is the practice of removing the network lock thus allowing the phone to be used with any sim / network. It is completely legal to get your phone unlocked from the network.

What information is required to unlock my phone?

Four pieces of information are required in order to unlock your handset:

  1. Make
  2. Model
  3. IMEI
  4. Network

Your IMEI number is a 15 digit number which uniquely identifies your phone. You can find out what your IMEI number is by typing *#06# into your phones keypad. If this doesn’t work, then you might find it on the box it came in or on the back of your phone.

How much does it cost?

The price to unlock your phone depends on a number of factors including type of phone, which network your phone is locked to, what method you use to unlock your phone and how quickly you need it unlocking.

For a price to unlock your phone, either speak to your network service provider or try an online mobile phone unlocking site

How do I unlock my phone?

Firstly, if you haven't already we recommend speaking to your network provider first (e.g. 02, Vodafone, EE etc). They often offer the cheapest unlocking prices and sometimes it might even be free of charge!

Alternatively you could use an online mobile phone unlocking site such as doctorSIM that offers an unlocking service for all makes and models of phones and tablets.

Whichever route you choose, unlocking a phone is as simple as obtaining the phone unlock code. Once you request an unlock from the network provider or phone unlocking company this will be sent to you. Enter this code in your phone and your phone will now be unlocked and able to accept sim cards from any network.

Below is our recommended online mobile phone unlocking solution doctorSIM. Backed by a five star reputation on Trustpilot, they are one of the biggest and most trusted phone unlocking brands.