If you have bought an iPhone with a specific phone company and after your contract is over you want to change your service provider, you need to unlock your phone. Most of the times the carrier will sell a phone to work with the services they provide. Unlocking your phone is perfectly normal once your contract is over. If your service provider didn’t meet your expectations, you can change it. This does not mean you have to change your phone.
Sometimes a family member buys a new phone and gives the old model to a relative or friend. This is a very common practice, especially if the phone is still working properly. You may need to learn how to identify a locked phone first. The main sign of it is that you cannot use another service provider. Since the phone is still tied to a different network, you have to learn how to unlock iPhone. Don’t worry, and there are several options you can try to be able to use this phone.
- Contact the service provider
This is the first option. It has to be done by the owner of the iPhone most of the times. In some cases, you can do it if you present a consent letter or some other documents. The seller may ask for some ID to verify this person is your relative or to verify that the phone was given to you.
The service provider can unlock your iPhone easily. Most of the time, they can even do it for free. If the person that is selling the phone does it in the first place, it will save you some time.
- Use a third party
Some companies offer the service of unlocking iPhones for a fee. These services always tell you that the process is going to be easy and fast, but this is not the case. Be careful with scams and only work with people you can run some verification.
If you want to use these services, make sure to read all their terms and conditions before signing or paying anything. Check for their refund policy, legal terms, and contacts. There should be no hidden fees or extra payments. And the job has to be done successfully, of course.
- Pay attention to IMEI codes
This is the safest way to unlock phones of all kinds. IMEI codes are linked to your contract and your SIM card. They are handled by the service providers but can also be used by third parties. The IMEI unlock is the best option because it only eliminates the bond between the person who owns the contract and that specific device. If you are learning about unlocking phones, make sure you are talking about IMEI unlocking.
- Hardware unlocking
This is probably one of the riskiest options right now. In the past, they were very common because phones were a lot simpler than now. Try to modify the hardware of an iPhone, and you will probably end up with a useless piece of plastic. This method tries to create a modification that circumvents the hardware that connects the phone with the carrier.
Another side effect of this method is that physical alterations of the phone will break any guarantee that the original seller had with the contract.
- Software unlocking
This was a very common method when smartphones first appeared. Their software was rather simple, and some people decided to erase it all and install a new one. The thing is that now this option is not viable. Free open software available is not always good. And it does not match the various hardware in the market.
- Restoring your iPhone
This tip will help you have a clean iPhone, ready to go to other people’s hand. The problem is that this will not allow you to change carrier. So, it is just a way of deleting all private content and personal information. Once you have restored the phone, it is better to call the carrier and ask for help.
- Once unlocked
Try your new SIM card once your iPhone has been unlocked. You should be able to make phone calls and everything. If it is not working probably, you might have to contact them again!