Unlock a Phone on Every Major US Carrier with these Steps

Want to unlock your device for AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile? Follow this article to the end. When you buy a handset from a wireless carrier, there might be a few possible things that could happen to your device: it might be locked or restricted to only the wireless carrier network. Locking a phone helps the carriers in subsidizing the phones to charge less. But, in case you are planning to move from your wireless carrier to another one, you will have to find out if you can unlock your smartphone and free it from its original network to use it with another completely different carrier.

In this article, we will talk about the unlocking processes and policies for the popular U.S. wireless carriers, AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint. Your device would probably be unlocked if you would have purchased it from a retail outlet, like an electronics store. But it would most likely be locked in case you would have bought it with a carrier plan or within a carrier store.

Before you follow the unlocking procedure, make sure that your phone is locked. In case you are not sure about that, contact your current carrier, or consult services like IMEO.info to check whether your device is locked to a carrier.

Know Your Carrier Technology

If you want to use your device with a carrier other than yours, please make sure to check if it is compatible with the technology of that carrier. Technologies like GSM and CDMA are widely used in the United States and other parts of the world globally. The GSM technology is used by AT&T and T-Mobile for their networks. Sprint, Verizon, and many other carriers use CDMA technology.

You need to check with the device’s manufacturer to find out what all technologies that the device is compatible with. A device manufactured with CDMA technology, when unlocked, will not work with AT&T or T-Mobile.

Looking at these kinds of situations, the manufacturers are trying to involve both the technologies in their handset manufacturing. This will make it easy for a user to switch between the two technologies.

Unlocking Policies of Major Wireless Carriers

Below we have mentioned the unlocking policies of major wireless carriers:

  • Verizon

A device that has been purchased from Verizon or even from its retail partner comes locked for 60 days. The device will automatically get unlocked after 60 days. Meanwhile, military personnel can request to unlock the device any time before the 60 days.

  • AT&T

AT&T follows a similar after 60-day period unlocking procedure like Verizon. Once that time has passed by, you can submit a request for unlocking the device. Once your request gets approved, AT&T will send you complete details regarding the unlocking procedure along with an unlocking code.

  • T-Mobile

The device having a postpaid account must be active for at least 40 days for unlocking, and the device having prepaid connections must be active for at least a year. However, there is a concession for military personnel. In case you are meeting their unlocking eligibility criteria, you can log in to your T-Mobile account to send a request regarding unlock.

  • Sprint

To unlock the device, your device must be active on their network for at least 50 days, and all the services and agreements must be fulfilled. Along with that, your account must be in good terms, and your device not be among the ones that have been reported as lost or stolen. After the 50-day mandatory service is crossed and all your device meets all the above requirements, your device will automatically get unlocked by Sprint.

So, these were the steps regarding the unlocking policies of all the major wireless carriers in the U.S. To unlock your device, you should know about your carrier technology

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