How to Unlock Mobile Phones

Written by ivy liu
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Did you lock your cell phone by accident? Or are you trying to change cell phone carriers and keep the same phone? If you are trying to save money with a different cell phone provider, now you can keep your existing cell phone if you unlock your mobile phone. Follow these steps to unlock your cell phone.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Your cell phone carrier’s customer service number
  • Optional: software or service professionals

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  1. 1

    If you are trying to switch phone carriers, contact your new one and confirm that your existing phone is compatible with their network. If so, explain that you’d like to keep using your current phone and see if they can help. The customer service representative may be able to help you unlock your phone or point you to some good resources.

  2. 2

    Contact your service provider and ask for an unlock code. Some will provide you with the unlock code, possibly for free if you are a long-time customer.

  3. 3

    Search online for directions related for your specific model. For example, you could search for “unlock T-Mobile phone.” Some mobile phone carriers will allow you to get your unlock code online without having to contact them. Depending on your phone, you may be able to find out how to unlock it from a website by figuring out your unlock code.

  4. 4

    If the above steps fail, you can search to buy software online or enlist the help of a service to unlock your cell phone.

Tips and warnings

  • If you have somehow accidentally locked your phone -- go to the closest store for your service provider and they will help your unlock your phone.
  • If you are changing service providers, the new provider is likely to subsidise most of the cost of a new phone, so you could also consider getting a new phone at a reduced price.
  • Before buying software or services, find out what the guarantee and refund policy is. Try to find comments online from satisfied customers through a Google search.

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