Smart Tech Tune

How To Unlock A Network Locked Phone For Free In 2019 Depth Guide

I bet the reason why you have come across this review is that you have a phone purchased from another country that cannot be used in the country where you are in right now. Maybe you have a relative abroad who gave you a brand new phone for your birthday. However, you cannot use its complete features because it is locked. Technically, there are many reasons why a phone is locked to a certain network. One of which is because of the network provider company that does not want other consumers having a different network carrier to use the phone. Nonetheless, did you know that some available software could unlock phones to any network?  If you want to know more about that software, you should better finish reading this article.

Together with the advancement of technology, developers and researchers have found ways to unlock network locked phones. This can be done by using free phone unlocking software. In fact, these software or apps can be found on the Internet. Therefore, you do not have to worry about having a phone that cannot be used because we will help you figure out the key to unlock your beloved phones. This article will provide you various techniques in unlocking network locked phones. Plus, these techniques are very easy to be understood. So, get your notes ready to list down the ways on how to unlock a network locked phone for free.

how to unlock a network locked phone for free

Why are some phones locked to a network?

Before going on with the different techniques in unlocking network locked phones, we must first know why some phones are being locked by network carriers. There may be deep reasons why these network carriers lock phones.

Network or carrier lock is a restriction that network carriers embed in the system of mobile phones. The main reason why some phones are being locked is to ensure that the consumer will not change his or her network provider. These restriction is being done on phones that are purchased under contracts. For example, a certain network carrier sells a brand new high-end phone for minimum cash out. Since the network carrier is offering the phone with a promo, they will make a way to ensure that the consumer will finish paying for the phone. It is like the consequence that consumers are getting because of the convenience and affordability of buying new phones. Therefore, only the SIM card of that network carrier can be used in that network locked phone, which makes it even harder if you traveled or shipped that network locked phone oversees.

Nevertheless, network locked phones can still be unlocked. Some technical experts are knowledgeable about accessing the inside of those phones. However, you need to pay much just to unlock a network locked phone. It seems like you can save more if you would just buy a brand new unlocked phone. Did you know that you could save a lot if you would buy phones without contracts? The network carriers are earning more if you would buy phones in installment. The downside is that not only did you pay more but you also cannot maximize your phone’s features because it is network locked.

Best Ways to Unlock A Network Locked Phone

Unlocking a phone is not illegal; however, it involves tedious processes because you need technical expertise to access the innermost system of your phone just to remove the network lock. Nonetheless, there are many ways on how to unlock your network locked the phone. Listed down are the ways you can do to maximize all the features on your phone completely.

  • A.  Unlocking phone via your network carrier
  • B.  Phone unlocking services

To make it easy for you, we have already summarized the steps on how to unlock your network locked phones. However, to ensure guaranteed unlocking, you must first comply with the requirements needed by the listed techniques. After complying, you can now enjoy your unlocked mobile phone.

A. Unlocking phone via your network carrier

Every network carrier (i.e. AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon) has its guidelines in unlocking network locked phones. In fact, these guidelines are posted on their official websites to let the public know what they need before proceeding with phone unlocking.

1. AT&T

AT&T is very strict when it comes to the completion of prerequisites before unlocking mobile phones. According to AT&T’s website, these are the needed requirements to unlock their mobile phones.

  • Your mobile device must be AT&T network locked.
  • You must have already paid completely your outstanding loan, contract, or plan. Otherwise, you need to wait 24 hours are completely paying to make a request.
  • Your mobile device must not have bad records such as stolen, lost, or criminal case involvement.
  • You, as a requestor, must have a “good standing” record with AT&T (no issues with missed payments or unpaid balance).
  • You, as a requestor, must be the owner of the mobile device.
  • The mobile phone must have been active (60 days minimum) before making a phone unlocking request.
  • For business mobile devices, you, as a requestor, must have a recommendation from your company.
  • For prepaid devices, your mobile device must have been active for a minimum of 6 months.

Once you have complied with the requirements above, you can now proceed with these steps to unlock your mobile device:

  1. Fill out and submit the request form that can be found on the AT&T website. In filling out the necessary information, you may provide your AT&T registered mobile number or the IMEI of your mobile device. IMEI stands for International Mobile Equipment Identity that is a unique number given to every mobile device. This number is commonly found at the back of every phone’s battery. Just a tip, you can easily determine the IMEI of your mobile device by dialing *#606# on your mobile device or just go to about phone tab of your phone settings. The IMEI can be found on the information on your phone under Settings.
  2. After 24 hours, you will receive an email with a confirmation link. The approved request can also be checked on their website. When you click the link, the procedure for unlocking your mobile device will be shown.

Should you want to explore more on the procedure in unlocking an AT&T phone, you might want to consider going to their website or call 800-288-2020 to speak with a service representative.

2. Sprint

Sprint has been very understanding of the needs of its consumers who have been on a phone contract. In fact, their mobile devices beyond 2015 will automatically be unlocked. However, this is only applicable to consumers who are qualified. Nonetheless, Sprint has a checklist that you must comply with in order to unlock your mobile device. The process is tedious, but in the end, you will get your phone unlocked.

  • Your mobile device must be a Sprint network locked.
  • You must have already paid completely your outstanding loan, contract, or plan.
  • Your mobile device must not have bad records such as stolen, lost, or criminal case involvement.
  • You, as a requestor, must have a “good standing” record with Sprint (no issues with missed payments or unpaid balance).
  • A one-year minimum activity is required for international purposes.

Given that you have already complied with the above requirements, you can now reach Sprint’s customer service for a phone unlocking request. You can do it by talking with a customer service representative online or via phone call (1-866-866-7509).

3. T-Mobile

T-Mobile’s device unlocking service comes very handily because you need not go to any T-Mobile service centers to make a phone unlocking request. However, you need to make sure that you are a qualified requestor. Moreover, your phone must meet certain requirements to make it eligible for the unlocking service that they are offering. With this, the following are the requirements to unlock your T-Mobile device.

  • Your mobile device must be a T-Mobile network locked.
  • You must have already paid a minimum of 18 consecutive monthly fees if you are on a phone service contract. On the other hand, if you are on a phone installment plan, you must have already paid completely the device.
  • Your mobile device must not have bad records such as stolen, lost, or criminal case involvement.
  • You, as a requestor, must have a “good standing” record with Sprint (no issues with missed payments or unpaid balance).
  • If you are on a postpaid plan, your device must have been active for a minimum of 40 days.
  • If you are a prepaid user, your device must have already been active for a minimum of 12 months (with at least $100 top-ups).

The five requirements above, once complied, can already make you an eligible customer for a phone unlocking service. However, T-Mobile also expects that you have had requested only a maximum of two unlock requests annually. Also, T-Mobile may ask you to provide other important supporting documents such as proof of purchase.

The process of unlocking a T-Mobile device is very easy. They are already offering the T-Mobile Device Unlock app wherein you can request unlock and apply it directly using your mobile device. Unfortunately, it is not available on the Android Play Store nor does it have an Apple iOS version. Only supported devices have the T-Mobile Device Unlock app pre-installed. Nonetheless, you can contact T-Mobile’s support representative (1-877-746-0909) to know more about their phone unlocking service.

4. Verizon

Among all network carriers, Verizon is the kindest when it comes to phone unlocking. In fact, there are no requirements that are needed for you to be eligible for their phone unlock service. Based on the most recent policy that Verizon has released on July 19, 2019, prepaid and postpaid devices will be automatically unlocked 60 days after purchase. The main reason why Verizon is locking the device for the first two months is the prevention of theft and other fraudulent activity using the device. Therefore, these devices can only be used using the Verizon network for 60 days.

However, the 60 day period, in prepaid devices, will only start after the activation of the device. Verizon’s 4G phones that can be purchased from their retail partners’ stores have lock periods printed at the back of the phones’ boxes. For deployed military personnel, the 60-day lock period can be requested to be expedited upon request.

B. Phone unlocking service providers

Phone unlocking service providers offer paid phone unlocking using only the IMEI of your phone. These service providers are available on the Internet. Alternatively, there are also apps that can do phone unlocking service to your device. Some of the phone unlocking services include:

Even though these service providers are easy to contact, there might be an accompanying risk because they will ask you to provide payments first before they can send you codes that you can use to unlock your phone. Nevertheless, you should check the reliability of these service providers to ensure that your money will not go to waste. Still, going through the tedious process of network carriers will unlock your phones safely.

Bottom line

We are now living in a world where we are so dependent on our mobile phones. The reason for that established dependence is because these devices are handy, compact, and reliable. However, how can we fully enjoy the phones that we have bought if those are unlocked to a particular network carrier? It is very disappointing because you have spent money just to have a brand new phone, but the network carrier limits you in using your own phone. Nonetheless, thanks to science and technology because unlocking phones has indeed become easier. You just need to assess where your phones can surely be unlocked. Overall, it is still safe to go the long way or process of unlocking mobile phones than spending on phone unlocking services where you are not sure if your money would be worth it.

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