How to Unlock a Smartphone

Updated July 20, 2017

Unlocked smart phones are very useful to have because they can be used on any wireless network instead of just one. This will give you more flexibility in choosing what type of plan you want in addition to being able to switch between carriers. Another advantage is travel. Having an unlocked smart phone will allow you to use your phone in different countries, through use of a SIM card and prepaid minutes or by subscribing to a local calling plan. The following are methods of unlocking a smart phone by yourself.

Navigate to a website that offers codes to unlock your smart phone, such as, or Most of these sites will charge a small fee for the code.

Go to "Settings > Options > Advanced Options > SIM Card" for many phones. There may be different instructions for different phones. Follow the specific instructions on how to enter the code into your phone.

Hold "Alt" and type in "mep2." Enter your code. This should unlock your phone. Note that some phones, like the BlackBerry, do not require a SIM card inside the phone while you unlock it.

Insert a new SIM card and restart the phone if you have unlocked it in order to switch service providers. You will have to buy a new SIM card, insert it and then restart the phone using the PIN that comes with the new SIM card.

Navigate to a website that offers software for unlocking smart phones,such as, or This software will generate an unlocking code for your phone, and most of them are free.

Install the software and follow the instructions specific to your phone. Typically, go to "Settings > Options > Advanced Options > SIM Card." You will have to hold "Alt" and type in "mep2." Enter your code.

Purchase a new SIM card when you plan on changing service providers or if you are travelling.


You can also request a code to unlock your smart phone by calling your current service provider, or by going to the provider's store. However, this can be a costly alternative to finding a code yourself through the Internet.


If you are using a BlackBerry smart phone, and it says that you have less than two tries left, then do not attempt to enter a code. If your phone says it has 0 tries remaining, this means that is already hard locked and cannot be unlocked by entering a code.

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About the Author

Twisha Mukherjee began her professional writing career in 2005. Her experience and focus are on philosophy, music theory and guitar practice. She mainly contributes to eHow and Answerbag. Mukherjee earned a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy from University of California in Los Angeles.