How to unlock an iPhone for use on a new carrier.
Let’s pretend you’re about to go the way of Paul Marcarelli, the “can you hear me now” person, and switch from Verizon to Sprint. Before you make the transfer, there are a few things to consider, including the chore of unlocking your iPhone.
It’s an essential step in switching carriers that you may not be aware of until you place that shiny new SIM card into your iPhone and discover that you can’t send texts or make phone calls.
If you paid for your smartphone in full at the time of purchase, it’s almost certainly already unlocked, but if you purchased on an installment plan, you’ll need to take the steps below.
Not to be confused with the lock screen that requires your passcode to unlock your phone, this “unlocking” is a software-based method used by Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and others to ensure that a phone only connects to their network.
Of course, if you decide to transfer carriers and need to connect to their network instead, this will be a problem. So, here’s a simple step-by-step procedure for unlocking your iPhone.
Request that your carrier unlocks your phone.
Ensure that the iPhone is completely paid for. According to the FCC, you’ll need your carrier’s assistance to unlock the phone, and carriers with an “unlocking” policy can refuse to unlock the phone if you’re still on a payment plan for the device with outstanding payments.
Once you’ve paid your bill, go to Apple’s support page to see if “unlocking” is a service your carrier provides. AT&T, Boost Mobile, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon, Virgin Mobile, and Xfinity are among the major carriers.
To obtain an unlock, contact your carrier. If you have AT&T, you can avoid calling customer care by using this simple device unlock portal. This may take a few days to complete. Once it’s finished, you’ll receive an email confirmation.
Cancel your previous agreement.
Use a SIM card to get started.
It’s a good idea to back up your data to iCloud or iTunes on your computer before removing the SIM card and to turn the device off.
To remove your old SIM card from its tray, gently put a paperclip into the hole of the SIM card slot on the side of your phone.
Place your new SIM card in the tray and close it.
Go ahead and set up your iPhone.
If you don’t have a SIM card, you can still go ahead.
iCloud or iTunes can be used to back up your data.
Restore the phone to its original factory settings to erase it.
Use your backup to restore the device.
If an error message appears…
Reset the gadget to its factory default settings.
Check with your carrier to see if the unlock was completed successfully on their end.
Try restoring the phone from your most recent backup once more.
How to unlock an iPhone for use on a new carrier
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