Asked by: Hlima Doron
technology and computing smartphones

Can you buy a locked phone and unlock it?

Last Updated: 4th January, 2020

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Most cell phones sold inNorthAmerica—especially oncontract—are“locked” to a particularcellular carrier.You can only use them on that carrier'snetwork, so youcan't switch to another carrierwithout“unlocking” the phonefirst.

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Likewise, people ask, what is the difference between a locked and unlocked cell phone?

The difference is that a locked phone hasasoftware code on it that prevents you from using it onanothernetwork. An unlocked phone either doesn't have thesoftwarelock on it or someone was able to get a code that unlocksthesoftware.

Similarly, how do you know if your phone is locked? It's simple to find out if your phone islocked.Simply insert a SIM card from another carrier(you'll beable to get one free from a phone shop orby orderingone online) and see if the name of the networkappears onyour handset. If it does and you'reable touse your phone, it's unlocked.

Also Know, what does it mean when a phone is locked?

The term "locked" refers to a devices being"SIMlocked". What this means is that thephonelocked to that specific carrier and all the settingsareoptimized for that carrier. If you put another carriers SIMintothe phone then it will not work until you getthephone unlocked by the carrier who suppliedit.

How do you know if an iPhone is unlocked?

How to Check if an Phone is Unlocked in theSettingsMenu

  1. Open the Settings on your iPhone.
  2. Tap Cellular > Cellular Data Options.
  3. Look for an option called "Cellular Data Network" or"MobileData Network." If you see either one of these options, yourphoneis most likely unlocked.

Related Question Answers

Parthenia Inson

Professional

What is a unlocked phone mean?

An unlocked phone means the phone isnotlocked to a specific carrier. When you buy a phone onapayment plan or a contract, the phone is locked tothecarrier to prevent you from skipping out on the bill andsellingthe phone. If you tried to activate it on anothercarrier,it wouldn't work.

Chengcheng Sabato

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How do you check IMEI on iPhone?

Check iPhone imei or Serial number for anyAPPLEdevice
  1. In settings. Go to Settings > General > About and lookforyour device's IMEI.
  2. Dial *#06# to get IMEI.
  3. On back side of iPhone.
  4. On SIM card tray.

Mararia Mozdzinsk

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What is my mobile device number?

It is normally 15 digits long. The IMEI numbercanbe found on the silver sticker on the back of your phone, underthebattery pack, or on the box your phone came in. You can alsodisplaythe IMEI number on the screen of your mobilephone orsmartphone by entering *#06# into the keypad.

Herculina Izkurdia

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Can I unlock my Verizon phone?

Verizon states on its DeviceUnlockingPolicy page, "We do not lock our 4G LTEdevices, and no codeis needed to program them for use with anothercarrier. If you havea locked 3G World Device phone withVerizon, youcan use unlock code 000000 or123456 or call800-922-0204 for help.

Leovigilda Ifferth

Explainer

Will AT&T unlock my iPhone?

Submit unlock request form
Your AT&T phone, tablet, or mobilehotspotmust meet the eligibility requirements1 beforeitcan be unlocked. To unlock your device to workonanother wireless carrier's network:Visitatt.com/deviceunlock/. Select Unlockyourdevice.

Kapila Rethschulte

Pundit

Can you unlock a locked phone?

How to Unlock Your Cell Phone (SoYouCan Bring It to a New Carrier) Most cellphonessold in North America—especially oncontract—are“lockedto aparticular cellularcarrier. You can only use them on thatcarrier's network, soyou can't switch to anothercarrier without“unlocking” the phonefirst.

Nasrin Sirkin

Pundit

What does fully unlocked mean?

Factory Unlocked means that the phoneisn'tattached to any cell phone service and can be used withanyservice that uses a SIM card. However - sometimes (in myexperienceespecially in the US) you need to inform yourself wetheror not theinternet (3G, 4G, etc) will work withyourcarrier.

Ivalin Mimendia

Pundit

Can you use a unlocked cell phone on any network?

An unlocked cell phone can be used onanynetwork that is compatible with the phone'swirelesstechnology, including both GSM and CDMAnetworks. Insome countries, cellular providers arerequired tounlock your cell phone after yourcontractexpires.

Duha Grozmanova

Pundit

What are the benefits of a unlocked phone?

Another reason to use unlocked phones is tosavemoney when traveling internationally. U.S. cellularoperatorstypically charge high roaming fees when their subscriberstraveloverseas. But with an unlocked phone, you can buy aSIM cardat your destination and pay local rates, which typicallyare farless expensive.

Lenin Skurnik

Pundit

What does fully unlocked iPhone mean?

Factory Unlocked. Buying an unlockediPhonemeans the contract it originally came with expired;it meansyou could put in any SIM card from any of thesupported carriers onthat iPhone. Whereas a lockediPhone is under contractwith the carrier whose SIM card isin the phone, an unlockediPhone is fully out ofcontract

Iago Liñeiro

Teacher

What does it mean when a phone is unlocked international version?

"Internationally unlocked" means it maybecarrier locked in the country where you purchased your iPhonebutunlocked for use oversees.

Royal Glattli

Teacher

How do I unlock my Android phone PIN?

Android 4.4 and Below
To find this feature, first enter an incorrectpatternor PIN five times at the lock screen. You'll seea“Forgot pattern,” “forgot PIN,”or“forgot password” button appear. Tap it. You'llbeprompted to enter the username and password of the Googleaccountassociated with your Androiddevice.

Cheri Wellm

Teacher

Will a hard reset unlock my phone?

Factory Reset. Performing a factoryreseton a phone returns it to its out-of-box state.If a thirdparty reset the phone, the codes thatchanged thephone from locked to unlocked are removed. If youpurchasedthe phone as unlocked before you went throughsetup, thenthe unlock should remain even if you resetthephone

Jozefa Madalena

Teacher

Can you sell locked iPhones?

Yes, you can sell your lockediPhone– provided you can find a buyer. Everybuyback vendorwe researched requires Activation Lock to bedisabled beforethey release payment. If you are able toreset youriPhone, you can then sell it to abuybackvendor.

Eimi Planas

Reviewer

What is a network unlock code?

The network unlock code allows a phone thatisrestricted to a single carrier to be unlocked for use inothercarrier's networks. The SIM PIN is a personal identificationnumberthat is used to unlock the SIM card in order toregister itto the network.

Mayka Matabuena

Reviewer

Can you put a SIM card in a locked phone?

To unlock the phone you have to putnotnative/foreign SIM card into phone and enter thecodeit would ask you. Locked phone usuallymeansthat it could be used only with onecarrier/networkit locked to. So you have to useSIM card fromthat carrier. And SIM cards from themwillwork.

Rafaqat Solanilla

Reviewer

How is an iPhone locked?

Apple makes locking your iPhone a snap. Infact,you don't need to do anything to lock theiPhone; ithappens automatically, if you don't touch thescreen for oneminute. To lock the iPhone immediately,press theSleep/Wake button. To unlock it, press the Sleep/Wakebuttonagain.

Jerlene Bibin

Reviewer

Why are iPhones locked to carriers?

A locked iPhone simply means the phoneisassociated (or "locked" in) with a specific cellphonecarrier, like Verizon or AT&T. This means that onlyaSIM card from that carrier will work.