How to Tell If Your iPhone Is Unlocked & What Does it Mean?

How to Tell If Your iPhone Is Unlocked & What Does it Mean? If you’re buying or selling a used iPhone, it’s helpful to know if it’s locked to a carrier or unlocked. Also, you’ll need to make sure it doesn’t have an activation lock. Here’s how to check both. How To Lock Your SIM Card Now

iPhones can be bought unlocked from legitimate vendors (including Apple), but you should know how to tell if an iPhone is unlocked before you make your purchase. Whether you want to make sure your phone is unlocked so it’ll be worth more or you’re just thinking of switching carriers. Things To Consider Before You Buy An Unlocked Smartphone

This article explains how to find out if your iPhone is unlocked, and therefore isn’t tied to any one phone company. Methods include checking the iPhone Settings, using a new SIM card, and using an IMEI service. How To Tell If An IPhone Is Charging While It’s Off

How to Check if an iPhone Is Unlocked in the Settings Menu: Go to Settings > Cellular > Cellular Data Options. An option like Cellular Data Network indicates an unlocked iPhone.

How to Check if an iPhone Is Unlocked via a SIM Card

If you travel overseas, your phone isn’t going to work unless you have a truly excellent service plan. The easier and more affordable option is to swap your existing SIM card for a local SIM. This will give you a new phone number to use in that country but will grant you the ability to use your phone and data on the road.

  1. The first step is to power off your iPhone.
  2. Remove your current SIM card
  3. Insert another SIM card in the phone.
  4. Power the iPhone back on.
  5. Try to make a call. If your iPhone is able to connect to the network with a new SIM, then it’s unlocked. If your phone is unable to connect to the network, then your device is locked. There are several ways to get around this, such as contacting your carrier and asking them to unlock the device, or using a third-party service. Some carriers may charge to unlock a device. However, certain areas have legislation requiring companies to unlock mobile devices free of charge.
  6. You’re done!

How to Check If iPhone Is Unlocked: IMEI Lookup Online

There are quite a few online tools that allow you to check if your phone is unlocked using the IMEI number; however, the vast majority want you to pay about three dollars to get the info. I found a couple of free tools, though. In general, it’s best to be very cautious about using online tools like this, especially if they’re unverified. As such, I recommend this approach only if it’s your last resort and you absolutely don’t want to call your cellular service provider.

Here’s how to know if your iPhone is unlocked using the IMEI number:

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Scroll down and tap General.
  3. Tap About.
  4. Scroll down until you find the IMEI number.
  5. If you have an iPhone X or later, you may notice a second IMEI listing. If this is the case for you, save that second IMEI number; you’ll need it.
  6. Finally, make note of your iPhone’s Serial Number, located in the top section on this About screen. 
  7. Now visit or, preferably on a computer.
  8. Fill in the requested information and submit.
  9. You may need to solve a captcha to prove you’re not a robot.
  10. Then the website will present you with an information card. Look for Lock Status.

What Does It Mean When an iPhone is Unlocked?

An iPhone that’s unlocked can connect to any carrier, and can bring in a higher price when sold. If your iPhone is unlocked, you could switch from Sprint to Verizon tomorrow and your same phone will work just fine, which is highly desirable! iPhones that have been purchased directly from Apple are likely to be unlocked.

But if you bought the iPhone through a carrier on a contract, the phone will be locked until the contract is over and paid in full. It’s also possible to buy a used, locked iPhone that becomes unlocked later when the previous owner has finished their contract. That’s why it’s important to know whether the iPhone you’re buying is unlocked or not.

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