How to check if iPhone is unlocked or locked: 3 methods


This article explains how you can check if an iPhone is unlocked, or locked to a specific cellular network. The difference is that an unlocked iPhone can be used on any network (like, only on Verizon, T Mobile, Sprint, etc.) while a locked iPhone can only be used only on the carrier it’s locked to. For example, a Verizon iPhone may be “locked” to work exclusively on the Verizon network and it cannot be activated on a competing carrier’s network. This is also called “SIM lock”.

Cellular carriers install software on the iPhone to lock it to their network. Unlocking involves disabling this software. This way, by locking, carriers are able to offer subsidized devices. This is why unlocked iPhones worth more money. This may be especially important if you plan to buy a used iPhone because if you are not careful your new iPhone may not work on your cell carrier.

It is always a good idea to check a new (or used) iPhone to see if it’s locked. If it is unlocked, you can switch carriers freely. You can operate your iPhone on another compatible wireless network if it is unlocked.

It is important to note that the following methods will work if you want to check to see if your iPhone and iPad is locked or not.

Is my iPhone unlocked or locked?

There are a few ways to check if your iPhone is unlocked or locked.
Follow these steps to check if your iPhone is unlocked or not.

How to Check If Your iPhone is Unlocked in Settings

  1. Start the settings app on your iPhone
  2. Tap on Cellular.
  3. Check if there is the option for Cellular Data Network. If you see it, your iPhone is most likely unlocked. But if this option it’s not available, then your iPhone is locked. You need to contact your carrier to unlock it.

The use of Settings app is not the best way to check if iPhone is unlocked or not, However, you can try a different method, as explained below.

How to Know If Your iPhone is Unlocked with a SIM Card

For you to check if iPhone is unlocked or not through this method, you’ll need to have two SIM cards, from different carriers.

  1. Make a phone call using your current SIM card. Ensure that it connects.
  2. Next, turn off your iPhone by holding down the power button and swiping the slider on the screen to the Power Off option.
  3. Eject your SIM card from the phone using a SIM-card ejector tool.
  4. Insert the second SIM card.
  5. Turn on your iPhone by pressing the power button.
  6. Place a phone call. If your call connects using the new SIM card, your phone is unlocked and good to go. If the phone does not connect, your iPhone is locked to the carrier on the first SIM.

Use an Online IMEI Checker to Verify iPhone Unlocked

There are several online tools that can help you check if iPhone is unlocked or locked. Most of them are paid for, but we’ve found one free tool to help you. Here’s how you can use it.

  1. first of all, you must find your IMEI number on your iPhone. To do this, Start the Settings app on your iPhone and go to General.
    Tap About, and then scroll down until you see the IMEI number.
  2. Head over to the websiteIMEI24, preferably on a Desktop.
  3. Type in the IMEI number you found on your iPhone and click Check.
  4. You will have to solve the captcha to prove you’re not a robot.
  5. Next, the website will display an information card. Here, look for Lock Status.

Signing off

If your iPhone is locked,Visit your wireless carrier’s retail store or call the phone number below to talk to a customer support representative:

  • Verizon: 1-(800)-922-0204
  • Sprint: 1-(888)-211-4727
  • AT&T: 1-(800)-331-0500
  • T-Mobile: 1-(877)-746-0909

And that covers everything about how to check if an iPhone is unlocked. Which method did you use to check if iPhone is unlocked or locked, Let us know in the comments section below.
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About the author
GeeksModo Staff
GeeksModo Staff
GeeksModo Staff is a team of iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple Watch experts led by Moses Johnson. We're passionate about all things Apple!

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