Device Unlock is an Android app that allows you to request and apply a mobile device unlock directly from the device. There is no Apple iOS version of this app available.
Things to know
The T-Mobile Device Unlock app comes pre-installed only on supported devices.
- The app is not listed in the Play Store, if the app was installed on a device before, it may appear in My apps & games > Installed. But you cannot install the app from this location.
- If the app is not listed, make sure it is not disabled or hidden on the device. The app will uninstall itself after a permanent unlock.
To use the app you need:
- A T-Mobile account.
- A T-Mobile Android device that supports the app and have the latest device software.
- T-Mobile network coverage or a connection to a Wi-Fi network.
- To meet device and account eligibility requirements.
Use the app
- Search for and select your device in Devices.
- Scroll down to How Tos and click Security.
- Look for and click Mobile Device Unlock.
Note: If this link is not available, your device does not have the Mobile Device Unlock App. Check out how to contact us to request an unlock code.
- Follow the instructions to unlock your device.
- If you are having trouble unlocking your device, contact us at 1-877-746-0909 or check out our troubleshooting tips.
Temporary unlock expiration
- When a temporary unlock expires, you receive an expiration message.
- Tap OK. If a non T-Mobile SIM card is inserted, the device reboots.
Unlock your AT&T phone or device
Learn how to unlock your AT&T phone, Android tablet, or mobile hotspot. iPads and wearables are already unlocked.
Submit a request to unlock a device
- Go to att.com/deviceunlock.
- Select Unlock your device and follow the prompts.
Not an AT&T customer? No worries. We can help you unlock your device even if you haven't signed up with yet. As long as you have an eligible device that works on our network, you're covered.1
Trying to unlock your device screen? Find out how
Check your request status
- Check your email (including spam or junk folders) or text messages for updates and instructions. If you don't have a wireless phone account, you have to select Confirm request on the email we sent youl.
- Go to att.com/deviceunlock/status and follow the prompts.
- It usually takes a few minutes to approve your request, but may take up to 48 hours. Don't have a wireless phone account? Make sure you select Confirm request on the email we sent you.
- If you can’t find the email or text message we sent you, submit another request and we’ll resend it.
- If we don’t approve your request, it’s probably because your device isn’t eligible to be unlocked. Review the list of eligibility requirements
- If your device isn't eligible to be unlocked, and you're traveling internationally, choose an AT&T International Plan.
- iPads® and wearables are already unlocked, so you don't have to submit an unlock request for them.
How to unlock an AT&T phone to use with other carriers
- If you're an AT&T customer, you can unlock your phone using a portal on the AT&T website.
- To unlock an AT&T phone, make sure you've paid for the device in full, and don't have any unpaid bills.
- Active military personnel can unlock their AT&T phones without paying for the device in full.
- Visit Insider's Tech Reference library for more stories.
AT&T is one of the biggest cell phone carriers in the world. But being tied to one network isn't always fun or practical.
Luckily, AT&T makes unlocking your phone easy. When you unlock a phone, you become its full owner, no strings attached. This means you can then switch cell phone providers without losing your phone.
Here's how to unlock your phone if you're an AT&T customer.
What to do before unlocking your phone
AT&T doesn't allow just anyone to unlock their phone. You'll need to fulfill a few requirements beforehand.
- If you've been paying for your phone (the actual device itself) on a monthly plan, you need to finish those payments.
- Make sure you don't owe any money to AT&T. This means your account can't have a past-due balance.
- The device you want to unlock can't have been reported as lost, stolen, or "involved in fraud."
The only customers who can avoid these rules are military personnel. If you're currently deployed and can provide temporary or permanent change of station (TCS or PCS) documents, you can unlock your phone without finishing your phone's payment plan. To do this, you'll need to call AT&T directly at (800) 331-0500, or chat with them online.
How to unlock your AT&T phone
1. Head to AT&T's online unlocking portal and select Unlock your device.
2. When asked if you're an AT&T customer, select Yes and enter your phone number.
Quick tip: If you're not currently an AT&T customer, but want to sign up for AT&T with an unlocked phone, select No here instead and enter your phone's IMEI number.
3. Complete the rest of the form by entering your name and email address.
4. AT&T will send you an email. Click the link in that email within 24 hours, and your unlock request will be processed. If you don't click it within a day, you'll need to go through this process again.
AT&T should respond within two business days to let you know if your request has been accepted or rejected. If you were rejected, it probably means that you still owe money to AT&T.
If your request is accepted, AT&T will send you more instructions on how to unlock your specific phone model. The steps will differ based on which phone you have.
Editor & Staff Writer for Tech Reference
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When your pesky wireless contract is finally up, it’s not uncommon to shop around, look for more cost-effective options and take your trusted smartphone with you. There’s just one problem: Your device is most likely “locked” to your old carrier, meaning you can’t just take your old device to a new provider.
However, if you can unlock your phone (the steps in this process will differ from carrier to carrier) you should have no problem switching providers without purchasing a new device. Let’s take a look at how to unlock a phone and what you’ll need to do to free your device from your old service provider.
What is an unlocked phone?
Unlocking your phone essentially means that you’re stripping it of any provider locks that prevent the device from operating on a rival network. Once you unlock a phone, you can bring it to any provider that works on a compatible network.
Is it illegal to unlock your phone?
If you’ve heard whispers about unlocked phones and questionable legality, that’s because it was illegal to do so back in January of 2013. Luckily for consumers, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA) agreed on “voluntary industry principles” for unlocking wireless phones with AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular and Verizon Wireless.
CTIA industry standards for unlocking phones are as follows:
Disclosure: Providers must reveal their policy on unlocking phones on their website.
Prepaid unlocking policy: Providers must fulfill prepaid device unlock requests within one year of the initial activation.
Postpaid unlocking policy: Providers must unlock or provide the necessary information to unlock their devices to current and former subscribers after their service agreement or device financing concludes or after the payment of early termination fees.
Notice: Providers that lock devices must notify subscribers when their devices are eligible for unlocking or will unlock the device automatically.
Response time: Providers must unlock eligible devices within two business days of a request.
Deployed personnel unlocking policy: Providers must unlock the devices of deployed military personnel in good standing.
So, unlocking your wireless phone is perfectly legal as long as the providers adhere to the principles above.
How do I unlock my phone?
As simple as it may sound, each wireless provider actually has a different set of criteria you must meet as well as instructions you must follow to unlock your device.
You must also be sure that the provider you’re leaving uses the same technology (CMDA or GSM) that your new one does. CMDA phones will not work on a GSM network and vice versa, but if your device is compatible with both types of networks, you can use your phone with any carrier.
AT&T and T-Mobile use the GSM network while Sprint and Verizon use CMDA. Therefore, you wouldn’t be able to use an AT&T-compatible device with Sprint’s network. Unlocking a GSM device is often pretty straightforward since you can use the phone on any GSM network once it’s unlocked.
CMDA phones, on the other hand, aren’t as simple to unlock and transfer. CMDA providers like Verizon and Sprint have a unique database that manages which devices can operate on their network.
So, if you’re switching up your provider, you’ll have to get permission from your current provider to unlock your phone and permission from your new one to use your phone on their network. CMDA providers do not have to allow your device to work on their network.
Find your provider in the list below to see carrier-specific guides on how to unlock a phone.
How to unlock an AT&T phone
AT&T makes things pretty simple when it comes to device unlocking as long as you have access to your my AT&T account or the provider website.
What you’ll need:
To unlock your AT&T phone:
- Make sure you meet the eligibility requirements specified to unlock your device
- Complete and submit the Device Unlock Request form
- Open the link in the confirmation email within 24 hours of receipt and note the unlock request number assigned to you
An AT&T representative will be in touch within two business days to confirm the status of your request.
How to unlock a Sprint phone
For domestic unlocks, you’ll need to contact Sprint Customer Care (855.639.4644). International and military locks will need to get in touch with Sprint Worldwide Care for assistance.
What you’ll need:
- Your Sprint account information (name, phone number, account number, password)
- The IMEI number of your device
To unlock your Sprint phone:
- Check out the Sprint unlocking requirements and make sure your device can be unlocked domestically and/or internationally
- Contact the appropriate Sprint Customer Care line and provide the specified account information
Remember, not all Sprint devices are eligible for SIM Unlock and most SIM Unlock-capable postpaid phones are automatically unlocked once requirements are met. Sprint may be able to provide the MSL code of phones that are ineligible for SIM Unlock.
How to unlock a T-Mobile phone
As a T-Mobile customer, you’re limited to two device unlocks per line each year so be sure you’re intentional about switching providers. Here’s what you can expect when you unlock your T-Mobile phone.
What you’ll need:
- An unlock-eligible device
- Your T-Mobile account information (name, phone number, account number, password)
- The IMEI number of your device
To unlock your T-Mobile phone:
- Go over the T-Mobile eligibility requirements to make sure you’ll be able to receive your unlock code
- Contact a T-Mobile representative and provide all desired information to verify that you are the account holder on file
- Make a note of the unlock code received from your representative
Some supported devices include the T-Mobile Device Unlock app. Device Unlock is only available for Android devices and allows customers to request and unlock their phone directly from the app. Learn more about how to use it at T-Mobile support.
How to unlock a Verizon phone
It’s important to note that as of July 2019, Verizon locks all phones during the first 60 days after purchase. Once the two-month period is up, all Verizon phones automatically unlock. Phones sold before the policy change should have been unlocked prior to purchase.
If you purchased a Verizon device before July 2019 and it is locked, contact the Customer Service team at 800.922.0204.
For more wireless tips and tricks, check us out on social or bookmark our Resource Center to get updates before anyone else.
Written by:Taylor Gadsden
Writer, Broadband & Wireless Content
Taylor is a veteran member of the Allconnect content team and has spearheaded a number of projects, including a data piece on the top fiber cities in the U.S. and a troubleshooting guide on how to connect your p… Read more
Edited by:Trey Paul
Editor, Head of Content
Request device unlock
Samsung: Settings > Connections > More Connection Settings > Network Unlock
OnePlus: Settings > Wi-Fi & internet > SIM & network, then choose Advanced or Network Unlock
LG: Settings > Network & internet > Mobile networks > Network unlock > Continue
T-Mobile REVVLRY: Settings > Network & Internet > Mobile network > Advanced > Network Unlock
- For Android 7 and newer, open the Device Unlock app. If you don't have this app, your device is either unlocked or uses one of the newer steps above.
- For Android 6 and older, choose your device on the Devices page, then click the Security drop-down to find Mobile Device Unlock steps.
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