27 March 2023

How to check if your phone is unlocked

Read on to learn how to check if your iPhone or Android is unlocked.

Is My iPhone Unlocked?

If you’re an iOS user, you can easily unlock your iPhone. This feature only applies if you bought your device straight from Apple (either at full retail or through their iPhone Upgrade Program), through a third party (assuming the seller did not have a carrier agreement before purchasing), or through your carrier.


If you got your device from Apple directly, you had the choice to buy a model from a pre-selected carrier or purchase the phone outright with no carrier affiliation. If you chose the second option (i.e. outright), your device is already unlocked, and you can use any SIM card / eSIM and pick up a full signal on any carrier.


How to Check Locked / Unlocked Status on iPhone

1.    On iOS 14 and above, open Settings,

2.    Scroll down and tap on General, then select About.

3.    If you see the No SIM Restrictions message next to Carrier / Service Provider Lock, then your iPhone is unlocked.

Alternatively, you can power down your phone, place a new SIM card (for your new carrier) into the SIM tray on the side of the iPhone, then power the device back on.

If you need a refresher on how to remove your SIM, you can visit the official Apple Support Website here.

Try to place a phone call or use mobile data to see if your device supports your carrier, but be sure you have active service first. If you don’t want to activate your new SIM card just yet, check the signal icon at the top and see if it has an “x” over or next to it or check if “No service” appears on the screen. If the phone does make calls, browses the web with Wi-Fi off, or shows a signal with no marks, you’re all set to use it on another network.


Is My Android Phone Locked?

Unfortunately, Android doesn’t have an option to check SIM restrictions in the settings as newer iPhones do, but that doesn’t mean you’re entirely out of luck.


How to Check Locked / Unlocked Status on Android

1.    Access Settings from the drop-down menu or through your App Drawer.

2.    Tap on Connections, Network & Internet, or other variations depending on brand and model.

3.    Select Mobile networkCellular network, or other variation depending on brand and model.

4.    Tap on Advanced (if needed) and select Choose NetworkAutomatically select network, or another variant to open the list of carriers.

5.    If several carriers appear, the chances are that your phone is unlocked and just needs the appropriate SIM card. For further confirmation, continue to Step 6.

6.    Remove the old SIM card from your phone and insert the newly activated one from the other carrier. Try using mobile data to browse the internet but ensure that Wi-Fi is disabled.

7.    If you successfully browsed the internet, your phone is definitely unlocked.

If you want to know if your phone is unlocked without having an activated SIM card for the new carrier, try borrowing someone else’s SIM card and see if you can make a call or browse the web.

Aside from inserting a valid SIM card, you can try calling the current carrier to confirm the locked / unlocked status.


How to Remove and Insert a SIM Card on Android Phones

The Android OS gets used in numerous manufacturers’ devices, so it’s a little more challenging to provide instructions for each model. If your phone has a removable back, you’ll find the SIM Card inside or under the battery. It may also exist in the external frame. Look for a pinhole encased in the outline of the tray. Open the tray and insert another carrier’s SIM card using a SIM popper, earring, or paperclip.

What Should I Do If My Device Is Network Locked?

If you find that your device is network locked, please contact your mobile carrier to get your device unlocked. If your device was recently unlocked, eSIM support may have been disabled by your carrier for a certain time period due to security reasons.

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