How Do I Know If My iPhone is Unlocked

If you are going to buy a new or a pre-owned iPhone or iPad, you have to know about that device first. It is very essential to inquire about the device which you are going to buy. It is good to know about if the device, which you are owning, is unlocked or locked. If a iPhone is locked, it is locked to a carrier and your iPhone is limited for one carrier. You can’t operate any other carrier or SIM card in it. If it is unlocked, it will connect to carrier of your choice.

How to check weather iPhone is Unlocked or not

There is big difference in price locked and unlocked iPhone or iPad. You have to pay more money for unlocked than locked iDevice. You can’t find if iPhone is locked or unlocked by touching or looking. As Apple does not allow to be branded by any mobile carrier, so it is not easy to find out whether An iPod or iPhone is locked or Unlocked.

If you’re not original contractor means you buy a pre-owned iphone or iPod, it is difficult to unlock iPhone for any mobile carrier. So if you’re going to buy iPhone, first check out if device is locked or unlocked. If you purchase carrier locked iPhone, it takes time and Frustration.

What is a carrier locked iPhone?

Manufacturer wants to meet mobile operator requirements so they put software code on iPhone, which called lock. They place software lock to ensure users are using their iPhone with a particular mobile carrier. If you want to unlocked your iPhone, you have to enter software code.

Read also: Why is my iMessage not working on iPhone?

So I think you have understood that carrier lock is basically a contract lock. If you buy any iPhone device at discount, you are going to agree to a particular terms and condition for a year or two year or so. This is why you get a discount on iPhone. The company regain that price reduction during the contract. That’s why after breaking contract, the company charge you early termination fee and this way they get given discount back.

Sometimes when you pay full money, your device could be locked to a carrier. Only iPhone can say clearly say,” iPhone is locked or unlocked.” So you have to know how to find out if mobile is locked or not which you wish to buy.

Why Unlocking Matters

Once you unlock the device then you can operate iPhone with any mobile carrier around the world but for this you have to be sure that your iPhone or iPod is unlocked. If your iPhone is unlocked, you can change to a carrier of your choice. So you have to know how to check whether your iPhone is locked or unlocked.

Read also: Find my iPhone without iCloud.

There are the few ways to know weather your iPhone is Unlocked or locked. Just follow the following steps and you spontaneously know about your iPhone’s unlocked status.

Using Carrier (SIM Card) check your iPhone Unlock Status

This way is the best way to find whether your iPhone is locked or not. For this operation, You will require two carrier. You can borrow it from your family member or by friend and carrier ejector to eject your carrier. Now follow given instruction step by step.

How to check iPhone is locked or not

  • Switch off your phone by using sleep/wake up button.
  • Now eject your carrier which you’re using in your iPhone by ejector or paper clip.
  • Now you have to insert other SIM card which you borrow from your family member or friend.
  • Now switch on your iPhone.
  • Now check that if new carrier is working in your phone or not. (See the carrier name on the top left corner)
  • You can make a call to confirm whether SIM card is working or not.
  • If you successfully make a call, your iPhone is unlocked. If you can’t able to make a call, your iPhone is locked.

Using IMEI Number to Verify iPhone Locked or Unlocked

This is another method to verify if your iPhone device is locked or unlocked. You need IMEI number of your iPhone or iPad. IMEI number is a serial number of iPhone or iPad. It is necessary to communicate to apple and it also provide information about iPhone or iPad.

Read also: How to Take Screenshot on iPhone.

Follow the following method to find IMEI number of your iPhone 

How to know iPhone is unlocked or not

  • You can find IMEI number from back of the iPhone.
  • Go to your iPhone setting << about. Now you can find your IMEI number.
  • You can also find IMEI number by connecting your iPhone or iPad to computer and launching iTune.
  • When using iTune go to device summary and click on phone number for iPhone and click on serial number for iPad.
  • On iPhone’s original packaging, check the bar code for IMEI.
  • Look at the SIM tray (In certain iPhone or iPad device)

Check the IMEI for iPhone Unlock

If you have get IMEI number of your iDevice, go to any CITA-Accredited IMEI checker that search Apple’s GSX database. Mostly CITA – Accredited IMEi checker charge fee. Some market sites as – Swappa and Orchard that run through both GSMA blacklist check, whitelist check and detect any carrier activation.

So you can check weather your iPhone is locked or not by IMEI number.

Check with Your Current or Future Carrier for iPhone Unlocked

There are many wireless carrier who provides IMEI checker for consumer. So you can also check IMEI with your carrier, check if they provide their own IMEI checker. It provides you all detail about your iPhone and also locked status.

Read also: How to Download free eBOOKs on iPhone.

So if your network provider provides IMEI checker, check and get internal information and also locked status. Some IMEI checker provides insufficient information. If you feel like this, try another IMEI checker.

The GSM Blacklist

If you are buying any pre-owned iPhone, first check weather your iPhone on GMS blacklist or not. GSM blacklist is created for all Apple device reported as stolen and lost. If any one report that his or her iPhone has stolen or lost, the iPhone or iPad is put on this GSM blaclist and identified via its IMEI number. IMEI stands for International Mobile Equipment Identity. Its how iPhone and other mobile recognized by manufacturers and mobile carriers.

How to know if iPhone is locked

Its also matter when any user is no longer able to pay for their contract or if you get device through fraud. It is maintained by mobile carriers and also national and global databases to share devices which is listed as stolen or lost.

The blacklist database is created for the consumer who wants to know about his/her any device with proper tools. This is the way by which any one can know about the device which they intend to buy.

Tools to Identify Blacklisted Device

There are few ways to know about blacklisted device which are given below.

  • Any CTIA-Accredited IMEI Checker-  You can check weather your phone is blacklisted or not by these checker. If you are going to buy a pre-owned device or new device by any stranger, first ask about IMEl number of device. This is how, you came to know if this phone is reported to stolen or lost.
  • Apple activation locked Status:- It’s Apple’s official tools to determined if a device is protected by activation lock. Only enter your Apple device’s IMEI or Serial number, Apple’s tell you that if apple activation lock is still enable or not.
  • Wireless Carrier:- If you don’t get any information about GSM list, call wireless carrier. They will answer any question about iPhone blacklist.

If iPhone or iPad is blacklisted, its tough to get unlock, If any one can unlock this, it is only one mobile carrier who have power to reverse the blacklisted iPhone. If you know associated with the iPhone or any Apple device, please contact them directly and ask about IMEI status.

Read also: How to Delete Pictures on iPhone?

If you find that the iPhone is locked and it also not on the GSM blacklist, there are way to unlock it. If you want to unlock and want to use it, you have to contact with your mobile phone’s carrier. They must allow to unlock it for you.

About Unlocking through carrier

If any consumer requested to unlock phone, the fcc have to unlock carrier in certain condition. The conditions are given below.

  • Every mobile carrier have to post on their website about how to unlock device.
  •  Every mobile carrier have to unlock device for consumer who have completed their contracts ( If they request)
  • Every mobile carrier have to unlock prepaid devices within a year of activation, reasonable time, payment or usage requirements.
  • Every mobile carrier have to notify customer when their devices are eligible or automatically unlock them.
  • Every mobile carrier have to initiate unlocking process within two business days of an eligible requests.
  • Every mobile carrier have to allow all military personnel who has deployed over seas to unlock their device even if contract not completed.

So if you have fulfilled any of above requirements, go ahead and call your mobile carrier to unlock your device. You can also visit their website to know about unlocking process. If you’re purchasing any pre-owned device, first ask to current owner to unlock the device.

You have to connect your iPhone to iTune to know weather your iPhone have unlocked or not. First click on restore button (Don’t click restore from back up). If the iPhone is unlock, your will see a pop up message, “Congratulations, your iPhone has unlocked.” If you don’t receive the message, your iPhone is still locked. Try it after two or three days later. Often they take time to unlock the phone.


It’s very essential to know weather the phone is locked or not. Before purchasing any new or pre-owned iPhone, you should ask IMEI. If party is unwilling or is giving any excuses, it’s better to move on and buy from anywhere else. It’s very essential know IMEI number before buying phone. Purchase from the dealer who easily provide IMEI number.

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