The ultimate question. Just how is phone unlocking done? The answer for the majority of cases is through the use of an unlock code.

Unlock codes can be found by using a service like ours or by contacting your network directly. Either method will result in the exact same unlock codes being found, so just go with whichever method you prefer. The main differences will be the price that you pay and/or the time it takes for the unlock code to be provided to you.

Mobile phones are built with a network lock programmed inside them. The manufacturer will either make this lock active at the request of a network or leave the lock inactive entirely. Irrespective of the phone being locked or unlocked, each phone has a unique unlock code created for its IMEI. When the lock is made active, the phone is then programmed to recognise that it will need its unlock code if the user ever wants to unlock it.

Most modern smartphones will automatically prompt the user for this unlock code when a non-accepted SIM card is inserted. However, older phones and even some newer ones won’t do this. This might be because the phone isn’t programmed to request the unlock code when a new SIM card is inserted or because the phone may have been rooted or currently blocked preventing the prompt from appearing. If you’re phone isn’t programmed to work this way (such as iPhones explained below) then you might need a different method of unlocking the phone or instructions to follow to enter the unlock code. If you need different instructions, these will usually come with the unlock code you have been provided with, however, there are tons of videos on YouTube for each specific mobile phone, so alternatively a search there will help.

There are phones that don’t use unlock codes to remove a network lock. We covered the other two unlocking processes in our article answering if all mobile phones need an unlock code. The short answer was no. Software can be used, such as iTunes for iPhone handsets. Nokia phones also have a software available which can automatically input the unlock code (which the user never sees).