How to Tell If Your iPhone Is Unlocked

When you purchase a second hand iPhone from eBay or Amazon, it should be of great necessity for you to check if your iPhone is in locked or unlocked status. Generally speaking, the locked iPhone can only be used on the locked network, while the unlocked one can be used on any network. If your iPhone is in locked status, a set period, around 18 or 24 months generally, goes by before this locked iPhone can be unlocked.

How to Tell If iPhone is Unlocked

For most iPhone users, they will choose to unlock their iPhone to do more things. Thus, how to tell if your iPhone is locked becomes increasingly vital currently. Before unlocking your iPhone and even after doing it, you both need to check if your iPhone is locked or unlocked. If you are looking for reliable ways to check whether your iPhone is unlocked or not, this article is written for you. Reading the following methods and begin your iPhone unlock check.

Part 1: How to tell if iPhone is unlocked through general method

Consider where you bought the iPhone to check if iPhone is unlocked

And normally, the iPhone you bought from Apple Store or a carrier is in unlocked status by default. However, if you bought your iOS device from the carrier as a part of an ongoing network plan, it is possible that your iPhone is locked.

What’s more, if you purchased your iPhone from a third-party seller on the website, such as Amazon or Craigslist, etc. there will be a documentation in the title or the receipt. Just check it to see if your iPhone is locked. If unlocked, it will say like "Unlocked".

Additionally, if your iPhone was bought second-hand from a classified seller or your friends, you can consider asking them if they know the iPhone locked status.

Think about the service plan of your iPhone to check iPhone lock status

If you know your device is on a set plan like prepaid or pay-as-you-go, that means that your iPhone is in unlocked status. If you are on an 18-month or 24-month contact, your iOS device should be carrier-locked. And it will continue until the payment is completely finished.

Part 2: How to check iPhone unlock status with Settings

Besides the general ways for you to tell if your iPhone is locked, you can also have a quick view in the Settings app in your device to verify. Follow the next steps to learn more details:

Step 1: Open Settings app

Tap on the "Settings" app from the home screen on your iPhone, which is a gear icon in grey background. After that you can choose the "Cellular" option.

Step 2: Tap "Cellular"

Find "Cellular" icon in the Settings screen. It is near to the top of the page. And if your iPhone is using U.K. English, this option will be called "Mobile Data".

Step 3: Check "Cellular Data Network" option

If you successfully find "Cellular Data Network" in this screen, it means your iPhone is unlocked. Otherwise, your iPhone is locked. But on some iPhones, such as AT&T ones, you need to tap "Cellular Data Options" first, and then you can view the option we mentioned before.

Celluar Data Network

Step 4: Verify your iPhone locked status

If you can see this option, your iPhone is unlocked. Your iPhone would be locked if you failed. Cause this option will not show up on locked device.

As for the method, however, does not always work efficiently. In a rare case, your carrier has given you a SIM card so that you can change the Access Point Name (APN) on your iPhone, which cannot be proved that your device is locked.

Part 3: How to check iPhone unlock status using SIM card

If you do want to have a check about your iPhone locked status for sure, and the solutions mentioned above are not 100% effective, you can also consider using another SIM card from different carrier to have a try. Here are the detailed guides to tell if your iPhone is unlocked via SIM card:

Step 1: Turn off your iPhone

Hold down the Power button (the power button of iPhone 6 and up is on the right side of your iPhone's casing while of iPhone 5s and down is on the top of iPhone), and keep pressing until the switch "slide to power off" appears on the screen. And swipe to the right to turn off your iPhone.

Slide to Power Off

Step 2: Eject the SIM card

Locate the SIM card slot, which is in the right side of the iPhone’s casing. And use a SIM-card ejector tool or a paper clip to eject the SIM card from the iPhone.

Eject Sim Card

Step 3: Insert new SIM card

Remove the current SIM card and replace it with your prepared other-carrier SIM card. Make sure the new SIM card is as same size as your original one.

Step 4: Turn on your iPhone

Now just reboot your device to check your iPhone locked status. Press on the Sleep button and let it on until the screen turns white.

Step 5: Open Phone app

Open the Phone app which is green and with a white phone icon on it located in the main screen. If you see a message like "Activation Code", "SIM Unlock Code" or s similar error before you can open the Phone app, your iPhone is carrier-locked.

Step 6: Dial a number and call

Dial a number and make a phone call. If you can't do this and there is an error message like "Call cannot be completed as dialed" or a similar error, your iPhone is locked.

Initiate a Call

Part 4: How to tell if your iPhone is unlocked via carrier

A direct way to verify your iPhone unlock status is to call your carrier. However, the whole process may take you several days before the carriers get back to you. Before communicating with your carrier to ask them to check your iPhone locked status, this is the default customer support line for you to contact:

Sprint Customer Service - 1 (888) 211-4727

AT&T Customer Service - 1 (800) 331-0500

Verizon Customer Service - 1 (877)-746-0909

T-Mobile Customer Service - 1 (800) 922-0204

Simply call the phone number. Once it is sent to an actual customer service rep, you can raise your claim to verify the iPhone locked status. And then provide the detailed information about your iOS devices as they require, such as your IMEI number and so on.

You may be interested in: How to T-Mobile Content Transfer to transfer iPhone contacts, messages, etc.

Part 5: iPhone Unlock Check Using An Online Service

Another way you can do your iPhone unlock check need the help of online service. In this way, you need to check whether your iPhone is unlocked with the assist of IMEI Info. IMEI Info is a site, which will read your IMEI information and confirm if your iPhone is unlocked. Just follow the guide below and begin your iPhone unlock check.

Step 1: Register IMEI Info account

If you have a IMEI Info account already, just log in and do your iPhone unlock check with it. If not, open IMEI Info's registration page and enter your account information like login, name, email address, country and verification code. And don't forget your password. When you write all information, click "Register Me" to create your account.

Step 2: Confirm the account

When you create an account in the registration page, you will receive an email from IMEI Info. Open your email address, which is the same address you entered on the registration page, and then click the email from IMEI Info. You can see a "Click here to activate your account" link, just click it and confirm your account. Doing so will take you to IMEI Info's main page where you can enter your IMEI number.

Step 3: Find the IMEI number

Open "Settings" app on your iPhone. Then tap "General" which is near the top of the "Settings" page. Then tap "About" in General page and scroll down to the "IMEI" section. And the number to the right of the IMEI heading is your iPhone's IMEI number.

Step 4: Begin iPhone unlock check

Enter your iPhone's IMEI number in the "Enter IMEI" filed. Then click the "I'm not a robot" box to verify your identity. Then click "Check" which is right of "Enter IMEI". Click "SIMLOCK & WARRANYT" and then click "Check Apple Phone Details" which is in the middle of this page. Next, if you see "Unlocked: false", which means your iPhone is locked. If you see "Unlocked: true", it shows that your iPhone is unlocked.

Using Online Service


This post is the ultimate guidance to tell if your iPhone is unlocked through 5 different methods. You can check it by iPhone Settings or using SIM card. Of course, you can check by online service and carrier service as well. If you think these methods are helpful, just share this article to those who in need. You can also share your experience and thoughts in the comment below! And do not forget to share this passage to your friends if it helps you to some extents!

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