Once your iPhone is locked into the operator it can be a pain if you need to switch the SIMS. Especially when you’re on the go, and you try to sneak in another SIM card just to find that you are blocked from using it. Knowledge is power, and first is to be prepared. Here’s how to find out, in advance, if your iPhone is locked to your carrier or not.
The easiest way is to get a backup SIM card, from a different network to your current carrier, and try it on your phone. Minutes after changing SIM card – You must reboot your iPhone to make sure – You will see the new network name in the status bar if your phone is locked. If your phone is locked, you will get a pop-up error asking you to enter a valid SIM card.
You should do this sooner rather than later if you are going to be traveling. You do not want to get stuck in a foreign country and can not buy phone service!
- Method online
If you can not get a backup SIM card and you need to know whether you are locked or not, there is a website that can help. IMEI.info or ask us. can access the public database of IMEI codes that track which phones in the world are carriers locked or not. To use this service, you will need to get your iPhone’s IMEI code – which is a unique code for your device.
If you have a SIM card installed, and only if, you can see the IMEI code by pressing * # 06 #. You can also get the IMEI code through Settings app by navigating to General> About and down.
Or, you can plug your iPhone into a Mac or PC and start iTunes. On the Summary device screen, you’ll see a line indicating your phone number (underscores the phone’s data capacity). Click on the phone number, which will reveal the IMEI code. The IMEI code is also engraved on the back cover of the bottom case in the case of some iOS devices like the original iPhone 5 and iPhone or engraved on the SIM card tray in case of iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S.
Once you have the IMEI code, go back to IMEI.info and enter the code. You will see a basic information table about the model of the phone. The details may be incorrect. For example, report me 16GB iPhone 5 as having 32GB.
Notice to the right of the page a set of colored boxes. The “simlock and Warranty” check in green is free, but you must sign up for an account at this stage. Once you have registered and logged in to your account, click on the “Simlock and Warranty” button. It will ask you to spread the word. Click Check Applet phone details button to continue.
It will take a few seconds to process your request and show if your phone is locked or unlocked (next to the SIM Lock column) as you see in the image below
What to do if you get locked out
You can contact your carrier, as in many countries they unlock your device for free or at no cost. In the US, operators like AT & T also make it easy to unlock iPhone off-contract here. There are also many sources of information on the web about how to get your phone locked, and there are many sites that, for a fee, will give unlock code.
Hopefully this can help. Let’s know how it goes in the comments.