How to unlock an iPhone from any network – Free guide

In our guide, we discuss how to unlock your iPhone, including the latest iPhone 12 and iPhone 11 or even the iPhone X, 8, 7 or 6, as well as what to do when you have a second-hand device that needs unlocking. We also explain unofficial methods of unlocking your iPhone and if they are actually worth it. Read on to find out everything you need to know about unlocking your iPhone from any network permanently.

Photo by Daniel Frank from Pexels

Why unlock an iPhone from a network?

Unlocking your iPhone from the network it is currently locked to means that you can use your iPhone on multiple networks such as EE, Vodafone, T-Mobile and O2, rather than being tied down to the network you originally purchased your iPhone from.

This gives you complete control over your iPhone and your tariff, so that you can shop around for better SIM only deals, rather than taking out a new contract and being tied down for 24 months or more. Not only that, but you can insert any SIM card globally, giving you ultimate access to deals and networks when travelling. In this guide we will tell you how to unlock your iPhone from all UK networks through the recommended IMEI unlocking method.

What to do when you get a new or second-hand iPhone

Most likely, when you get a new iPhone it will be locked to the network provider that you bought it from, such as EE, O2 or Vodafone, which means you cannot use any other SIM card unless it’s with the same network provider.

If you have a second-hand iPhone or are considering purchasing one, there are a few important details you’ll want to find out before unlocking your iPhone. The most important information you will need to know before unlocking your iPhone is whether or not the device has been blacklisted. A blacklisted iPhone generally cannot be unlocked as the phone’s unique IMEI number will be blacklisted. This can be frustrating if you haven’t checked these details before purchasing a second-hand iPhone. To avoid this, you can use a blacklisted check service to check the status of any iPhone using the unique 15-digit IMEI number.

Getting your iPhone unlocked

If you want to unlock your iPhone from a UK network such as EE or Vodafone, OfficialSIMUnlock can unlock your iPhone using the official unlocking method which will unlock your iPhone permanently and legally. This unlocking method allows you to bypass the mobile network provider and unlock your iPhone quickly and easily using just the IMEI number.

Why you should use IMEI to unlock your iPhone 

Unlocking an iPhone by IMEI is incredibly simple and straightforward. All the hard work is done for you through Wi-Fi or your 3G/4G data connection. Using a service like OfficialSIMUnlock will save you time and effort compared to going to a network provider to request it to be unlocked, which can take up to 30 days as well as going through various processes which can be hard to navigate. With this official method of unlocking an iPhone, you can feel assured that your iPhone will be permanently unlocked without voiding your warranty or damaging your iPhone’s software.

Finding your IMEI 

To unlock your iPhone through an official unlocking method, you will need your unique IMEI number.

Here are a few different methods for retrieving your iPhone IMEI number:

  1. Dial *#06# on the dialling keypad of your iPhone and your IMEI number will appear on your iPhone screen.
  2. Open the menu on your iPhone and go to Settings > General > About and you should be able to view your IMEI number on this screen.

It is important that your IMEI number is entered correctly when unlocking your iPhone.

Why are iPhones locked to a network?

Any iPhone bought directly from a network provider is most likely locked. This is because the network provider will have a contract with phone manufacturers including Apple to offer discounted deals to customers in exchange for a new iPhone with a monthly contracted plan. These days, contracts last a minimum of 24 months and your monthly bill covers your data and the cost of the iPhone, which is why you can’t stop the contract halfway through and why networks block your phone from being used with another provider.

You won’t be able to tell if your iPhone is locked or unlocked to the network just by looking at it or going in the settings. However, there is a really simple way to find out if your iPhone is locked to a network provider by following these steps:

  1. Take out the SIM card from your iPhone
  2. Insert another SIM card from a different network (usually the network provider is printed on the SIM card)
  3. If a prompt appears on your screen stating something similar to “Invalid SIM” or “SIM not recognised” this means that your iPhone is locked to a network provider.

OfficialSIMUnlock offer an easy way to unlock your iPhone from any network without having to go through a mobile network provider.

How to unlock an iPhone from O2

If your iPhone was purchased directly from O2 then it is likely that it will be locked to the network. The quickest and easiest way to unlock it from O2 is to visit OfficialSIMUnlock and fill out their simple online form. All you need is your IMEI number!

If you bought your iPhone directly from O2 then you can ask them to unlock it for you if you are the original owner but it may take longer and require your contract term to have ended.

How to unlock an iPhone from EE

EE offer a service to unlock your iPhone network, however, if your iPhone is still under contract with EE then you may not be able to unlock it with them directly without paying a large fee to end the contract early. To unlock your EE iPhone with the network provider you will need to be the EE account holder and your device will need to be out of contract. The quickest and easiest way to unlock any iPhone from EE is to visit OfficialSIMUnlock and fill out their simple online form. All you need is your IMEI number and your iPhone will be permanently unlocked from the network.

How to unlock an iPhone from Vodafone

Vodafone may be able to unlock your iPhone from its network, however, this may take up to 10 days and the process can be hard to navigate. If you didn’t buy your iPhone directly from a Vodafone retailer or from their website, you may not be able to unlock your device with them as you are not the original owner. An alternative option is to visit OfficialSIMUnlock as they can unlock all Vodafone iPhone devices through their online service whether you are the original owner or not. This official unlocking method will unlock your device within 72 hours permanently and will not affect your warranty or any future software updates.

What are the different methods to unlock an iPhone from a network?

The official method of unlocking your iPhone is through the recommended IMEI unlocking process, your iPhone warranty will remain valid and your unlock is legal and permanent. If you are considering jailbreaking your iPhone by finding a code or software online, we highly advise against this.  While this may be a free solution to unlock your iPhone, it definitely isn’t a secure one. By using an online code or by jailbreaking your iPhone using online software, there is no guarantee that these methods will work without damaging your iPhone in the process. If they do work, there’s no assurance that this will unlock your device permanently. For example, you may update iOS on your iPhone and when the update is complete, your device may reverse the unlock and your iPhone may go back to being locked. Alternatively, you may find that your device does not work properly after unlocking it using software or an unofficial code.

The cost-effective benefits of unlocking an iPhone from a network

Break free from your network provider and shop around for better and affordable deals elsewhere with an unlocked iPhone. The cost of unlocking your phone is very cheap compared to being tied down to monthly bills that you know you can get cheaper with another network.

Not only do you have the control of saving on your monthly bills, but you can also save money when travelling abroad by inserting a local SIM card to avoid costly roaming charges on data, calls and texts. This is especially useful if you travel a lot, visit family abroad or go away on business occasionally.

Lastly, unlocking your iPhone will increase the value of your device when you decide to sell your iPhone.

© unlockphone 2021