How to unlock an Android phone and use any SIM

You might want to be forgiven for considering that telephone contracts cross one thing like this: purchasing the telephone outright offers you the facility to change networks very easily, whilst getting the tool on contract manner you are locked to the supplier. 

Whilst this is true to some degree, it indisputably does not inform the whole tale. A locked telephone will save you you the use of your mins, texts and information with a brand new SIM, however as soon as the contract is up you are more than likely loose to do as you please.

By way of the tip of 2021, corporations will not have the ability to promote locked handsets. UK communications regulator Ofcom has presented a brand new algorithm that may save you any networks from being allowed to promote a telephone that is not unlocked, however till the ones laws come into play in December 2021, it’s possible you’ll in finding telephone you purchase as of late is locked to the provider you bought it from.

There are many nice telephone networks in the United Kingdom, so it is comprehensible that it’s possible you’ll wish to transfer supplier sooner or later. 

Simply to elucidate, we’re regarding telephones that can be locked to explicit provider suppliers. If you’re locked from your tool because of forgetting your password, PIN or swipe gesture, take a look at our information right here. 

Is it criminal to unencumber your telephone?

Should you’ve completed paying in your contract, it’s totally criminal to unencumber your telephone. The similar is going for any telephone you bought outright.

Then again, in the event you’re nonetheless within the strategy of paying off your preliminary contract you technically don’t personal the telephone but, that means unlocking your telephone to different suppliers is dangerous. Some carriers can have not anything in opposition to it, however it is indisputably value checking sooner than you violate their phrases and stipulations.

Earlier than you continue, it is value being 100% positive that your telephone is already seemed. Take a look at our devoted information to learn how.

Methods to unencumber your telephone

Unlocking a telephone can also be unusually simple as soon as you understand how.

1. First, you’ll wish to touch your supplier and request an unencumber. This will have to be the unique community, now not the community of the brand new SIM you’re attempting to make use of.

2. If you’ve had affirmation that your telephone has been unlocked through your supplier, you’ll be able to energy down the telephone, put your new SIM card into the SIM card slot, and switch the telephone again on.

three. Now, take a look at making a choice to determine whether or not or now not the unencumber has been a success. Should you’re ready to attach a telephone name over the brand new community, the unencumber has labored. If now not, get again in contact along with your community supplier for additional help.

Should you don’t have the unique SIM card, it’s possible you’ll wish to reset the telephone sooner than it may be unlocked.

Touch your community supplier

Taking a better have a look at the first step, we’ve indexed every of the preferred community suppliers in the United Kingdom that can assist you learn how to move about unlocking your telephone. To find your provider from the record beneath and apply the directions supplied.


Seek advice from EE’s telephone unencumber web page

To unencumber your EE telephone, you will have to be the account holder for the tool and quantity, have had the tool for no less than six months, have paid your invoice up-to-date and feature now not reported the tool as misplaced or stolen.

When you have an EE pay per month tool, you’ll have the ability to get your telephone unlocked at no cost in the event you’ve completed your contract. Should you haven’t, it’ll value £eight.99 to unencumber it. The similar is going for a prepaid tool (loose if purchased direct with EE through the requester, or £eight.99 if now not).

Any second-hand tool locked to EE that you simply bought by way of eBay, Gumtree and so forth will value £eight.99 to unencumber, as will any EE small industry units.

EE goals to unencumber your telephone inside 72 hours, however it could take as much as ten days in some circumstances.

You’ll in finding out extra about unlocking your EE telephone and get in touch with EE immediately through clicking right here.


Giffgaff is a bit of strange in that it provides an ‘Unlockapedia’ that you’ll be able to use to seek for your telephone make and style to learn how to move about unlocking it. You’ll in finding the Giffgaff unlockapedia right here.


Seek advice from O2’s telephone unlocking web page

O2 will unencumber your telephone at any time, at no cost in case you are on a Pay Per month tariff. Then again, you’ll be able to wish to proceed to pay in your contract till it ends.

Should you’re a prepaid buyer, it is also loose to unencumber your telephone. O2 says that one of the simplest ways to do it’s through the use of the My O2 On-line or My O2 app.

Sky Cell

Telephones bought by way of Sky will have to already be unlocked, so that you gained’t wish to get in contact with the corporate to unencumber your telephone. As a substitute, take a look at your new SIM and it will have to paintings. Should you’re the use of an iPhone, it’s possible you’ll wish to cross into Settings > Cell Knowledge > Cell Knowledge Choices > Cell Knowledge Community > Reset Settings.

Tesco Cell

Seek advice from the Tesco Cell unlocking request shape.

Should you’ve were given a prepaid telephone with Tesco Cell, it’ll be loose to unencumber 12 months after it used to be activated. To unencumber it sooner than that it’ll value you £10.

Pay per month units also are loose to unencumber with Tesco Cell, until it’s a brand spanking new, flagship telephone or pill, however Tesco will assist you to know while you get in contact along with your unencumber request.

It could possibly take as much as seven days to unencumber a telephone on Tesco Cell. You merely wish to whole the web unlocking request shape discovered right here.


Seek advice from the 3 unlocking request shape.

3 has a web based unlocking shape to be had, however in the event you bought your telephone from 3 after 1 January 2014 your tool will already be unlocked.

Virgin Cell

Maximum Virgin Cell phones will already be unlocked, so you should not have any hassle right here. Simply take a look at the brand new SIM card and it will have to paintings with out requiring to any extent further motion.


Seek advice from the Vodafone unlocking request shape.

You’ll have the ability to use Vodafone’s on-line unencumber request shape. It’ll take as much as 10 operating days to recieve an unencumber code from the corporate. You’ll wish to be up to the moment along with your expenses, too.

The use of a third-party unlocking provider

We’d all the time counsel checking along with your community supplier sooner than you hotel to a third-party unlocking provider, however once in a while it may be a lot faster and more uncomplicated.

It’s necessary to be careful for third-party unlocking services and products that sting shoppers with further expenses on the finish of the method, so remember to learn the main points sooner than you surrender your cash.

We’ve attempted and examined Physician SIM, which guarantees a reimbursement if the unencumber is unsuccessful and didn’t wonder us with any hidden charges. It might be an choice in the event you’ve attempted the strategies indexed above.

We wouldn’t counsel paying the rest greater than £25 to have your telephone unlocked. If any person is attempting to rate you greater than that, they’re attempting their good fortune.

For extra main points directions about the way to unencumber an iPhone, seek advice from our sister website online Macworld’s instructional right here.

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