When you are buying a new or even a used phone, it’s important to know its details and that includes knowing whether the phone is limited to a particular carrier or not. In other words, whether a phone is unlocked or not.
Now as for other mobile manufacturers, if your mobile phone is locked by a particular carrier then it will be branded by the same. But, Apple does not allow any of its iOS device to be branded by any particular carrier, hence in which case it becomes difficult to check iPhone unlock status with a mere glance.
To make this matter easy for you, we have covered several ways below with which you can do an iPhone unlock check for sure whether if your iPhone is unlocked or not.
How to Check if iPhone is Unlocked with SIM Card
One of the most reliable ways to check whether your iPhone is unlocked or not is to make a phone call using a sim card. It’s very simple and easy to follow method.
Note: For this method, you will require two different SIM cards from two different carriers.
After you’ve two SIM cards from different carriers and the iPhone which you want to confirm whether it is unlocked or not, follow the below instructions:
- Turn off the iPhone using the power down button.
- Eject the current SIM if any in the iPhone using the ejector tool that comes with it or you can use a paper clip as well.
- Afterwards, insert the other SIM card into it and restart the iPhone.
- See if the new SIM you inserted is working or not. You should see the name of the carrier on the top left corner if it is working.
- Make a call to any number to confirm iPhone unlock status.
- If the call goes through, then the iPhone is unlocked otherwise your iPhone is locked to the carrier of the other SIM.
How to Check if iPhone is Unlocked using IMEI
IMEI number is the unique identification number of any device and with the help of it, you can directly get any information regarding it through the manufacturer official website or servers.
Here in case, you can use iPhone IMEI check to confirm iPhone unlock status by getting information about it from Apple’s servers.
Find/Locate Your IMEI
You can know the IMEI number of your iPhone by any of these methods:
- On the back of any iOS device, below the device category, there are some details. You can locate your IMEI number in it.
- Goto Settings > General > About on your iOS device. You can find your IMEI number in here amongst other details.
- In the Barcode Section of your iOS device original packaging, you can always find your IMEI info.
- Then, there is always iTunes, one-stop solution for all iOS related problems.
- Go to Device Summary.
- For iPhone, click on your mobile number to see the IMEI serial
- For iPad, click upon serial number to find the IMEI
Note: Some iOS devices have IMEI code printed on the SIM Card Tray as well.
Careful Tips to Check iPhone Unlock Status via IMEI
- There is No Free Service for doing an authenticated iPhone unlock status via IMEI number. Only Apple’s GSX Database contains most up-to-date verified information about any iOS device status and they charge a fee to access
- Any iPhone IMEI Check Report won’t anyhow unlock your iPhone, rather it would make a suggestion of choosing an unlock service or which Mobile service provider to call.
- Always confirm that the service you are going to use for an iPhone IMEI Check Report, it has GSX Access. Those with having access to GSX database will have a “Next Tether Policy: value” in their report. Ask for a sample report from them.
Note: A few years back there were a few websites who used to provide such authenticated reports for free but since the huge leak of GSX accounts, there have been much stricter protocols in place. So, either the company offering free service is fraudulent/outdated or they will charge you before revealing the information whether your iPhone is unlocked or not.
Check if iPhone is Unlocked via IMEI Number
There are lots of IMEI checking service available online. Be sure that the one you choose is a CTIA Accredited IMEI Checker. There might be a couple of free ones available as well but always go with a reliable paid one with trusted reviews to get the most authenticated result.
Also, there are some marketplaces such as Swappa, Orchard etc which consists of an IMEI checker that does a GSMA Blacklist as well as Whitelist Check to see if there might be any activation issues as well.
iPhones are one of those entities which are majorly sold after being used for a while. Due to its high demand and steep prices, many who can’t afford new ones chose to settle for the old ones while those who love to stay trendy can’t wait to ditch their old ones and buy the latest version of iPhone.
For the same reason, iPhones are also stolen at a large scale which leads them to be blacklisted by their IMEI numbers worldwide across the Mobile Cell Carriers who maintain both national and global database. Blacklisting of an iPhone can also occur due to some other reasons such as if the previous owner wasn’t able to pay for their contract or if the device has become fraudulent.
Either way, you are good to first check any device whether its blacklisted or not that you are purchasing secondhand.
How to Check if my iPhone is Blacklisted
Nowadays, there are some pretty easy ways to check any device’s blacklisting status given that you know its IMEI number.
- CTIA- Accredited IMEI Checker:- Due to the fact that these get their information directly via Apple’s GSX database, they tend to supply the information on any iPhone that whether it’s blacklisted or not.
- Wireless Carriers:- All the carrier companies maintain a database of blacklisted devices, call any of them and they will clarify your doubts regarding the authenticity of your iOS device.
- Carrier’s BYOD page:- Each carrier also have a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) page on their website where you can simply enter the IMEI number and it will let you know its blacklisted or not status along with its compatibility with that particular carrier itself.
Note: Somehow, if you have a device that’s blacklisted and you can’t return it and didn’t know it beforehand purchasing it, it’s hard to get it reversed. Only Mobile Carrier can do so and you need to get in touch with the carrier originally associated with the device. Good Luck doing so!
Apart from the above, you can always call your mobile carrier and see if they can confirm your iPhone’s unlock status for you. Some of them such as AT&T also offers a device unlock portal wherein you can file a device unlock request after checking its unlock status.
Getting Your iPhone Unlocked
The policies and regulations regarding mandatory unlock of various devices vary from one country to other. You should first check the official guidelines that apply in your country and then try to contact your carrier for unlocking of your device if you are eligible for it.
You can see Apple’s Official Guidelines for Unlocking of its any of its devices. After you or anyone else has applied for your iPhone to be unlocked, you can simply confirm its status via any of these two methods.
- Connect your iPhone to iTunes and select the option ‘Restore as a New’. If your device is successfully unlocked, you will get a message saying “Congratulations: your iPhone is unlocked”. Sometimes, after the restore is complete, you won’t get the message, that could be simply due to delay in unlocking as it can take some time. Try again after some days.
- You can also go over to Apple’s official support site and select your iOS device, then choose to connect with customer care either via chat or phone. They will ask for your iOS device Serial Number (Not IMEI) and tell you its current unlock status as well as the carrier it is locked to.