Are looking to unlock your iPhone? Read our handy guide on iPhone unlocking.
How do I know if my iPhone is locked?
If you have tried another SIM card in your iPhone and it displays an error message stating “Invalid SIM” or simply does not connect to another GSM network, your iPhone is locked.
How do I unlock my iPhone?
There are several ways to unlock your iPhone, some of which we wouldn’t recommend. Here are some common ways to unlock your iPhone:
High Street Mobile Phone Repair Shops – Not Recommended
Most people tend to think that it can be expensive and often seek out high street mobile phone repair stores to help unlock their iPhones. The problem using this method is that not all high street stores are genuine and only want to make a quick buck. High street stores often use unlocking websites (we will come to these shortly) and put their mark-up on top. The unlock can take days to complete and more often than not, the unlock is not permanent. We wouldn’t recommend visit a high street store to unlock your iPhone.
Unlocking Websites – Not Recommended
There are countless websites all offering to unlock your iPhone for a fee. Some seem cheap, other very expensive. The truth is that most are scams. The problem with using an iPhone unlocking website is that there is no guarantee the unlock with either work, will be permanent, or will even be legitimate. iPhone unlocking websites are usually created quickly by scam artists hoping to steal your money by offering an iPhone unlocking service that will never work.
Some websites try to get you to download “iPhone unlocking software” which is a big tell tell sign that something is not right. No software is able to unlock an iPhone. All official iPhone unlocking in completed either via iTunes or OTA (Over-The-Air) from Apple servers. The unlocking software will either be malware, virus or backdoor entry to let the scam artists steal your personal data. Stay away from unlocking websites.
Jailbreaking – Not Recommended
Again using software, Jailbreaking is most popular amongst techies who love to tinker with tech. A specialist piece of software can access parts of the iPhone coding to enable a “software unlocking” option. This is not a permanent unlock and may result in loss of other iPhone functions, such as GPS. While many like to play with Jailbreaking software, it does require some technical knowledge to enable unlocking of your iPhone. It can be done. It is not simple. It is not a clean way to unlock but it is free. Never pay for jailbreaking software. Jailbreak unlocks are not permanent and any future iOS update will lose the jailbreak unlock.
Network Providers – 100% Recommended!
By far the most reliable, easiest, cheapest and official way to unlock your iPhone is by contacting your network service provider. Normally, you will need to have had a contract for a period of time with the network provider. After the required period for unlocking has elapsed, you can contact your network provider who are duty bound to unlock your iPhone.
Here are a list of current UK network providers and required contract length terms with iPhone unlocking fee’s:
If you have had a contract with EE, T-Mobile or Orange for at least 6 months and have paid your bills to date, EE will unlock your iPhone at a very small fee of just £8.99! Unlocking times can take up to 7 days though. Still worth it in our opinion! Visit EE’s iPhone unlocking page here.
Had a contract with Vodafone for more than 12 months and have paid all your bills to date? Great! You can unlock your iPhone from Vodafone for free! Not to worry if your still under 12 months or are a Pay As You Go customer. Vodafone charge £19.99 to unlock your iPhone and takes approx 10 days to complete. Click here to start the Vodafone unlock process.
Did you purchase an iPhone from Three after 1st January 2014? You did? Great! Your iPhone is already unlocked! If you purchased before that date, don’t worry. You can unlock your Three iPhone by restoring via iTunes. Make sure to back up your data first! Still not able to unlock your iPhone from Three? Click here to request an unlock from Three.
If you want to unlock your iPhone from O2 you will need to complete a request by filling an online form. Good news is it is completely free to unlock your iPhone for Pay Monthly customers. You can request the unlock at anytime during your contract but you must complete the contract period without missing a payment.
Pay As You Go customers will have to wait 12 months before they can request an unlock plus it will cost £15.00. Click here to request an unlock from O2.