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How to Know If Your iPhone Is Unlocked, Plus What That Means?

Your iPhone Is Unlocked

In this fast-paced world, we forget multiple things. From the keys of our house to the food and even forgetting to pay for electricity or water.

Does that apply to our gadgets that are a lot like our savior in this Modern jungle? If your iPhone Is Unlocked?

I think yes. Having the freedom to explore your iPhone, your most prized possession as you please and by that, I try to imply that you should be able to switch especially your carrier services!

How to Know If Your iPhone Is Unlocked ?

Your iPhone Is Unlocked

Some people purchase one those pay as you go phones but many end up purchasing iPhones that are under contract with a cellular service provider.

Such type of phone may be called a LOCKED phone or Contract phone where switching from one service provider to the other is not available and you may be fined if done!

So your iPhone comes either Locked or Unlocked.

What is the difference between the two?

As mentioned above a Locked iPhone can not switch carrier providers as it has a software code that is preventing that from happening. Your unlocked iPhone comes with either no software lock( If that is how it was purchased) or you were able to get a code that helped you get a code for unlocking it. This enables you to swiftly shift from one carrier provider to the other by replacing your SIM card in the slot.

Pros of having an Unlocked iPhone?

  • The biggest perk of having an unlocked iPhone would definitely be the fact that you are free to switch carriers.
  • If you are a frequent traveler ( Work or leisure ) an unlocked iPhone giving you that flexibility to switch. Life becomes easier and cheaper as you have the freedom to opt for a service provider from the country you are visiting saving a lot on roaming!
  • It also saves you from purchasing a new iPhone when you are sick. And tired of the old provider’s continuous hike in data plans.
  • An unlocked iPhone will have a higher resale value.

CNBC quotes that “Apple will sell unlocked phones for prices ranging from $649 to $949, depending on screen size and storage space. Locked iPhone 6s start at $199.”

This comparable price is the difference is something that doesn’t go unnoticed. So Apple broadened its horizons to other network providers from AT & T to Sprint and Verizon by 2011 and then much later to the Unlocked category but this unlocked category is not subsidized by any of the carrier brands as the customer will not be regularly investing in their network plan.

Please note that the newer models of iPhone such as XS, XS Max, and XR come sans the SIM card ports and instead so they have an embedded SIM or eSIM. Here there is no need for a separate card, as long as your carrier supports the eSIM operation.

Lets now jump down to “How do know if your iPhone is unlocked?”

METHOD 1- Through the SETTINGS

To check if your iPhone is unlocked

1. Open up the settings app on your phone.

2. Scroll down till you reach CELLULAR and then tap on it.

3. Tap on CELLULAR DATA OPTIONS once you open up Cellular.

check cellur data

4. If you see Cellular Data Network as an option then that means your iPhone is unlocked and if you don’t then it is probably Locked.

However, A Blog by iPhone life Magazine calls this method to sometimes be INACCURATE.

Read more: Best Ways to Unlock iCloud Locked iPhone 6/7/8/X/XS/XR/XR

METHOD 2- Checking if iPhone is Unlocked using an online tool

For this, you will require your IMEI number, the number unique to every iPhone. IMEI or International Mobile Station Equipment Identity can be easily checked by

1. Open up your settings

2. Scroll down till you reach GENERAL

3. Tap on ABOUT and then scroll down until you reach the bottom of the list. And you will spot your IMEI number there.


Now lets come down to how to use the IMEI number to check if your iPhone is unlocked. Most online blogs talk about using IMEI info to check the status as it is one of the most reliable out of all the other online websites that offer similar services and charge you a lot more money than IMEI info.

IMEI info
1.Click Here to head on to the website.

2.  Fill out your IMEI number in the space bar provided on the page and then click on “I’m not a robot”

3. In just a few moments after it has matched your IMEI number against those stored in the database.

4. If your number was correct the website will display all the information about your iPhone. From the day it was produced and even the carrier attached to it!

METHOD 3- Using the SIM card to check if your iPhone is unlocked

Ideally, you would require 2 SIM cards for this method to fully work. If you don’t then I would suggest you borrow it from a friend or a family member.

1- Start by switching off your iPhone.
switch your iPhone

Long press the on/off button on the right corner of your iPhone.( method remains the same for all your iPhones, even X, XS, and others )

2- You will need to use the pin you would’ve gotten with your iPhone. Or just a safety pin or paper clip to open up the SIM card slot/tray to remove the SIM card.

3- Place your new SIM card that is of a different carrier, ensure it is of the same size! Proceed to place this new SIM card into the tray and then push the tray back in.

4- Turn on your iPhone by long-pressing the on /off button.

5- Once the iPhone is turned on try calling somebody using this new SIM card on your phone.

If your iPhone is unlocked you will be easily able to reach whoever you are calling. But if it is locked an Error Message will pop up and you will not be able to call up the person.

An unlocked iPhone gives you freedom from a multitude of things and uses your phone whatever way you wish to so if you have been struggling with this issue, do try these methods out.

Read More:

How to Unlock Android Phone with Google Account

Top Methods to Read PDF out Loud on iPhone

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