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How to unlock a locked SIM card manually

Updated April 17, 2017

If your phone uses a SIM card to operate, you can activate a security feature called a SIM PIN. The SIM PIN protects your SIM card from unauthorised use, and must be entered in order to use your phone. Enter it incorrectly three times and your SIM card becomes locked. You can unlock your SIM card on your own, however, by typing in a PIN unlock key. Your network can provide you with the unique PUK code for your device.

Contact your network provider by calling the freephone customer service number. (Find this on your provider's website or a recent bill). You will need to verify your account password before the PUK code is released to you.

Power your phone on. You will see a "SIM Locked" or "Enter PUK" message. Type in the eight-digit PUK code and press "OK."

Type in a new four to eight-digit PIN code when prompted, then press "OK."

Verify your new PIN code by re-entering it when prompted. Press "OK." Your SIM is now unlocked.

Warning

If the PUK code has been entered incorrectly 10 times, your SIM card is permanently locked. You will need a replacement SIM card.

Things You'll Need

  • Phone with locked SIM card
  • PUK code
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About the Author

Amy McClain has worked as both a feature writer and a copy editor for a prestigious daily newspaper. She also enjoys writing as a hobby and takes creative writing courses in her free time. She has worked in sales and marketing for a wireless company for over seven years.