If your Samsung cell phone is locked to a particular GSM network, and you wish to use it on a different network, there are many ways for you to unlock it. First, you should try a free solution. If you are unsuccessful, prepare to spend some money for the unlock code. Whichever unlocking method you choose, keep in mind that unlocking is merely a one-time activity that unlocks your Samsung to all GSM networks permanently.
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Find out your phone’s International Mobile Equipment Identity number (IMEI) by typing "*#06#" on the phone’s keypad. Another way is to look underneath the phone’s battery where the IMEI number will be printed on a sticker. An IMEI number is a unique ID number that helps recognise your phone.
Contact the customer services department of your network carrier and request an unlock code for your Samsung phone. Your account must be in good standing for the network carrier to assess whether or not you qualify to obtain the code. You will have to give the phone’s IMEI number to the network carrier rep, and wait for them to generate the code (usually takes a couple of days). They will give you the unlocking instructions along with the code.
If you are unable to get the code from the carrier, you will have to purchase it.
Provide the phone’s IMEI number to a website like Global Unlock, Samsung Unlocking or Unlock it Now (see Resources). These websites generate unlock codes based on the IMEI number of the handset. The price of the code varies depending on the network and the specific Samsung model. You will have to pay using your credit card or PayPal account, after which the code will reach you via e-mail.
Use a software for unlocking the phone. Websites like Fast GSM, Unlock Samsung Online and Unlock it Now sell unlocking software, which can be purchased and downloaded to your PC. Connect the phone to the computer via USB cable, and run the unlocking software. Each software works differently depending on the network and the handset, so follow the instructions that come along with the program to complete the unlocking process.
Tips and warnings
- Usually, a software costs slightly more than the unlock code, but it depends on the exact model of your Samsung phone.
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