How to Check the Carrier Lock Status on an iPhone

When you purchase a new iPhone, it is typically carrier locked to a specific cellular service provider. This means that the phone can only be used on that provider’s cellular data network and is incompatible with other networks. If you are traveling or moving to a new area and would like to use a different network, you will need to unlock your iPhone. This article will show you how to check carrier lock status on your iPhone and unlock it if necessary.

Selling, purchasing, or transferring carriers will need you to verify that your iPhone® is unlocked beforehand. To verify this, you may call the current carrier network, check the Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) card, or seek up this information using the International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) code.


What is a Carrier Lock, and why should you care? 

Carrier lock is a term used in the wireless service industry to describe the process of locking a mobile device to a specific carrier. A locked device cannot be used on any other carrier’s network. The wireless company uses this practice to control their devices’ use and prevent them from being used on competitors’ networks.

While most users are not affected by carrier lock, there are some situations where it can be a problem. In the United States, a locked device can be used on any carrier’s network that is not locked to a different carrier. However, if you cross a state line and wish to use your phone on a different carrier’s network, you will need to unlock your phone.


What does it mean to unlock an iPhone?

how to check if my iphone is unlocked by imei

An unlocked iPhone may be used with any network operator throughout the world (free to use with any carrier).

  1. After signing a contract with AT&T® or Verizon, you are generally committed to them for the term of your contract—the phone is locked.
  2. The unlocking process for your new iPhone is standard when you purchase it from the Apple® store.
  3. Unlocking your new iPhone after purchasing it from the Apple® store is standard procedure.


How can you Check iPhone Unlocked or Not?

Here are a few methods to determine whether your phone is unlocked and used on any network.


How to check carrier lock on iPhone

how to check if my iphone is unlocked by imei

Calling or checking the iPhone carrier is the only sure method to learn whether your phone is unlocked (or how to unlock it). This may take a long time, and you’ll only learn about your phone, not a new one you’re considering purchasing.

Go to your mobile carrier’s website to see whether your phone is unlocked for free (here are links for AT&T and Verizon). Both the serial number (which can be found in Settings > General> About under the “Serial number”) and the iPhone IMEI number may be necessary to authenticate the device.


How to check if IMEI unlocks my iPhone

PTA IMEI check , how to check if my iphone is unlocked by imei

Every iPhone has a unique IMEI number of 15 digits. A device’s unique serial number, or “IMEI,” is a permanent feature of the device and may be used to identify whether or not the device is currently connected to a certain carrier network.

You may do an iPhone IMEI info check to verify whether you can use a previously owned phone on your preferred network and prevent stolen devices from being activated.

Your iPhone’s IMEI number may be found using this method.

IMEI numbers are located on your iPhone’s battery compartment or by dialing *#06# on the phone’s keypad.

Utilize a Free Online iPhone IMEI Scanner 

Plugging your iPhone into an internet database will reveal whether or not it’s locked after you’ve located your iPhone IMEI number. In Google, you’ll see dozens of results for “online IMEI checker,” but the vast majority of them will link to a paywall where you’ll be required to input your credit card information. The following are all the same: Both will inform you whether your iPhone is locked or not.


Check the settings

You may also check the Settings app to see whether your iPhone is unlocked quickly and easily.

  1. Take a look at the settings.
  2. You may get this information by going to General > About.
  3. Keep your eyes peeled for Carrier Locks. Your iPhone is unlocked if it reads No SIM limitations in the settings. Said phone is likely to be locked if it says “SIM Locked” or anything of the kind on the screen.

Check your current SIM card if this doesn’t work or if you’d want to double-check that your Settings are correct.


How to check iPhone sim lock

sim lock ios

Whether you want to know if your iPhone is unlocked, you’ll need to check your carrier SIM card first. You’ll need two SIM cards, but they must be the same size from two separate service providers. Borrowing a sim card from a friend is necessary if you only have one. These are the actions you need to take:

  1. When the Power Off slider appears, press and hold the Side button until it disappears, then drag it off.
  2. If you have a Face ID-enabled iPhone, press and hold Volume Up and Side button until the Power Off slider appears, then drag it off.
  3. To access the SIM card tray, use a paperclip that has been straightened.
  4. Remove the phone’s SIM card.
  5. The metal on the SIM card is highly delicate and should not be touched.
  6. Gently re-insert the second SIM card into the SIM card tray.
  7. Press and hold the Side button for around two seconds to turn on your iPhone.
  8. Make a phone call. Error warnings indicate that your iPhone has been locked, so proceed with caution. If the connection is made, your smartphone will no longer be locked.


What are the Advantages of Unlocking a Phone? 

There are several advantages to owning an unlocked phone. A few of them are listed below.

Increased flexibility

Increased flexibility is the first benefit of having an unlocked phone. With an unlocked phone, users are free to choose their carrier and can switch between carriers at any time. When users switch carriers, they do not need to purchase or return a new phone.

More choices for carriers

The second benefit of an unlocked phone is more choice for carriers. A user can choose the carrier that best suits their needs. Depending on a user’s needs, they might find themselves choosing between the carriers that offer better coverage or those with lower rates.

More affordable plans

The third benefit of an unlocked phone is more affordable plans. Since there are no carrier-specific costs, users can save money by switching carriers to find the best plan for them.

More international use

The fourth benefit of an unlocked phone is more international use. Users can take their phone overseas and enjoy the features they love while still benefiting from a great experience on their carrier of choice.

Increased resale value

The fifth benefit of an unlocked phone is the increased resale value. When users get a new phone, they often sell their old one and recover some of the cost of their new phone. This process is much easier when they can use it internationally with a carrier of choice.


The sixth benefit of an unlocked phone is the ability to customize it. Users can add accessories such as a case, a screen protector, and other devices that aren’t available from their carrier. This allows them to have more control over their device.


Why Can’t I Use My Unlocked Phone On Other Networks?

unlocked sim iphone

Some unlocked phones can’t be used on other carriers’ networks, so you may be perplexed as to why. Unlocked phones are not bound to a certain service provider, such as AT&T or Verizon. This means that you can use it with any carrier that you choose. The problem is that each carrier has different frequencies and bands that their phones operate on.

Because of this, we’ll go through a few possible reasons your phone could not operate with a different carrier.

Blacklist Check

There are banned phones, and they exist. Why? This is because many of the phones available on the market have been misplaced or stolen. Before purchasing a phone, it is critical to ensure that the device is authentic. Ask the vendor to provide the IMEI number so that you can determine if the phone is legitimate or not. In the future, you won’t have to worry about losing or stealing a phone because of this. Not even the most popular carriers will work with a phone that has been banned.

CDMA Vs. GSM Phone

Let’s suppose that your phone isn’t banned before we get started. What else possibly be the explanation for this? Many phone model aren’t cross-network compatible, which is a disappointment. In essence, GSM networks are used by certain phones, whereas others use CDMA networks. AT&T and T-Mobile are the most probable networks to function with your GSM-based phone.

On the other hand, CDMA-based phones only work with Verizon and Sprint. If a CDMA carrier accepts your GSM phone, certain of its functionality may be restricted. Your phone may not operate appropriately with another network or vice versa.


Has It Been Legalized to Unlock a Mobile Phone

Yes, it has been legalized to unlock a mobile phone. The Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act, signed into law by President Obama on August 1, 2014, makes it legal for consumers to unlock their phones without fear of punishment from their wireless carrier. This new law also requires the carriers to unlock phones upon request once the customer’s contract has expired.


How to Keep an Unlocked Phone Running at Its Best 

Unlocked phones should be just as easy to maintain as locked phones, if not easier. Ultimately, the variations between the phones are mostly down to their interoperability with the network providers. Don’t worry about complicating matters further if you don’t use unlawful methods to unlock your phone.

Unlocked phones also won’t work if you want to switch networks rather than simply carriers, as we previously said. There may be compatibility issues between GSM and CDMA phones. When choosing a carrier, you should always check whether it is compatible with your phone’s network before signing up.

As the last point to consider, carriers often provide advantages to locked phones that are not available to unlocked devices. Locked phones sometimes come with payment options that aren’t always available directly from the manufacturer. In addition, you won’t be able to use some carrier-specific software code or software updates on your unlocked phone.


Why would You want to buy a ” locked ” smartphone versus one “unlocked”? 

It’s possible to purchase a locked phone for several reasons.

  1. The first reason is that locked smartphones are often cheaper than unlocked smartphones. This is because the original carrier subsidizes the cost of the phone to make it more affordable for customers to buy. Locking the phone to a specific carrier also helps the carrier sell service plans.
  2. The second reason is that locked smartphones cannot work on other carriers’ networks. This can benefit those who travel internationally or those who want to use their smartphone in areas where their carrier does not offer service, such as rural areas.
  3. A third reason for locking the phone is if the user does not want a carrier’s data to be used. This can include a user who did not purchase the phone from the original carrier or uses a different carrier’s network. A carrier can take unlock request for no charge. The carrier may choose to unlock a phone after the original carrier contract expiration or upon request by the user.

In conclusion, by following the steps in this article, you can check how to check carrier lock on iPhone. If it is, there are a few things you may attempt to unlock it. If all else fails, you may need to contact your carrier for help, or a simple conversation or phone call to Apple Support was considered very useful by Experts who went to Apple’s support site.

Rubay Sheraz

Rubay Sheraz is a blogger, writer, and tech enthusiast. A recent graduate in Journalism from Punjab University, Rubay applies her journalism skills to help others understand how technology can be leveraged for social change.

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