Know if an Android Phone Has Been Unlocked Quick & Dirty vs Browser-based vs Android App
Edited by Rob, Eng, Dougie, Paul Smith and 23 others
You might think that you can do whatever you like with a mobile phone once you've purchased it, including taking it to whatever carrier you like. Sadly, you might be mistaken. SIM locking is a practice common to many telecom companies. It involves the company locking the devices it sells to its own network. In other words, there's no guarantee that the phone you buy with Company A will work if you switch to Company B" unless you get it unlocked.
There are ways to beat these companies at their own game by unlocking your device and taking it to whatever company you like. Or leave it there and enjoy the peace of mind, whatever you prefer. If you're not sure if your phone has been unlocked, there is a way to check.
Android users will be thrilled to learn that there are easy ways to see if their phone has been unlocked. This is extremely useful if you are purchasing a used phone and you want to make sure you can use it the way they want. It's also good to just check to see if your phone has been unlocked. Here's how you do it.
- 1 **WARNING**
- 2 Tips Tricks & Warnings
- 3 Questions and Answers
- 3.1 Given the question details, how do I unlock my phone?
- 3.2 Is my Android phone locked? I followed the instructions but nothing happened?
- 3.3 There is no option to check if phone is unlocked on the website that you directed me too?
- 3.4 Is there any new way to tell if a Galaxy Note3 is already unlocked. I am going international in one week and want to rent a SIM card?
- 3.5 Is my LG G3 smartphone an unlocked phone?
- 3.6 The option to click "SIM lock & warranty" does not come up?
- 3.7 How do I know if my phone is compatible with a different carrier?
- 3.8 The instructions on your website don't seem correct, how do I check if my Samsung Note2 is unlocked?
- 3.9 Can I do a bulk check of IMEI's for Android devices to confirm they are unlocked?
- 3.10 I entered my IMEI number
- 3.11 Why doesn't my GS7 Edge that is unlocked from AT&T work with VZW?
- 3.12 IMEI doesn't appear how do I fix this?
- 3.13 All my apps were moved to the SD card. My device storage is still full. Why?
- 3.14 Is my phone locked by my previous carrier?
- 3.15 I can't verify my account, how do I bypass it?
- 3.16 Help with TracFone from Straight Talk?
- 3.17 I am putting my IMEI NUMBER AND IT SHOWS IT TO BE INVALID and I cannot put the serial no?
- 3.18 When I press *#06# on my dial pad nothing happens it just stays on my dial screen how come?
- 3.19 Wanting to unlock my Cell phone for traveling to Italy?
- 4 Referencing this Article
- 5 Comments
Due to recent Android security policy changes, the below method (quick & dirty) is currently the only reliable way to confirm if an Android phone has been unlocked.
Method 1: Quick & Dirty
- 1Power off your phone and remove the SIM card.Advertisement
- 2Insert an active SIM card from a different carrier and power your phone back on.Advertisement
- 3If you are able to call or text then your phone is not locked to a particular carrier.Attempt to make a phone call.
Because of recent security updates, the below method for checking if an Android device is unlocked requires using a paid service. If you follow these steps and purchase an unlock code that doesn't work, you can get a full refund. It is still highly recommended to use the first method in this article when possible.
Method 2: Browser-based
- 7If you see a message that says your phone is rooted properly, skip to the next step.
- 8Open the "Phone" app on your Android device.
- 9*#06# into the keypad.Type:
- 10Write down the IMEI number that appears.
- 11Head over to UnlockRiver.com and enter in all the information on the right side of the page and click the purple "UNLOCK NOW" button.
- 14Check out the UnlockRiver tutorial to see the above steps again.Within 24 hours you'll receive an email, with an unlock code or a confirmation that your phone was unlocked remotely.
As mentioned above, the following method on checking if an Android phone is unlocked is currently unreliable. If you have an older phone that runs Kitkat OS, there is a possibility that an app can tell whether your phone is unlocked. However, It's highly recommended that you follow the steps in the first method for accurate results. Please use caution when installing apps of this nature and remember to check all the available app reviews before proceeding.
Method 3: Android App
- 1Open the "Phone" app on your Android phone.Advertisement
- 2Tap "*#06#
- 3Write down the IMEI number that appears or copy it to your device's clipboard.
- 4In the Play Store, search for terms such as; IMEI, IMEI check, IMEI unlock, etc.
- 5Choose an app that looks reputable by checking out reviews and looking over the app's features.Advertisement
Tips Tricks & Warnings
- Unless you specifically want to unlock your phone, it's probably not useful for you to know whether or not it is unlocked.
- There are numerous apps and services available to help you unlock a phone. Take the time to research the process for your specific device before trying to unlock it.
- Root a Samsung Galaxy S5
- CF-Auto-Root for Samsung Galaxy S5
- Root and Unroot LG G2
- Root Samsung Galaxy S4
- Root the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 Using Odin V3
- Install Odin3 and Root My Samsung Galaxy S3
Questions and Answers
Given the question details, how do I unlock my phone?
I "donated" to www.unlockphone.me and received an unlock Code. I bought a pay as you go SIM card at 7-11, and put it into the phone. When I power up, I encounter a screen that asks me to input the unlock code. When I put in the unlock code provided by www.unlockphone.me, the phone tells me the code is not accepted. . . Prior to buying the unlock code, I checked whether or not the phone was locked. I found that the only lock was on the service provider and that I had the ability to make 5 tries. If I assume my attempts are being counted, I am down to 2 more tries. Help! The code is probably 0000 or 1234. Contact the manufacturer of the device before you make any more attempts. The phone was never locked before so they should have listed the default code in the user manual. It is worth contacting them because you are probably not the only one who has encountered this!
See more questions like this: How can I check if my Android phone is unlocked without a SIM card to check against?
Is my Android phone locked? I followed the instructions but nothing happened?
I typed *#06# and nothing happened. Is there something else I should be doing?
- You can reboot your phone and try dialling *#06# again.
- You can remove paired Bluetooth devices on your phone and try dialling *#06# again. You can just disable Bluetooth (either from the notification panel or from "Settings", "Wireless and Networks", and "Bluetooth").
- Turn off the phone and take the battery out to reveal the IMEI or MEID (for CDMA networks) code under it.
- Press the home button. Tap on the "Apps" icon in the lower-right corner. Tap on "Settings". Tap on "About phone". Tap on "Status".
- Navigate to https://www.google.com/settings/dashboard and click on "Android". This will reveal your IMEI or MEID.
After that, you can continue with the tutorial.
See more questions like this: I am curious as to whether or not my phone is locked or not
There is no option to check if phone is unlocked on the website that you directed me too?
I have recently purchased a Galaxy S6 and have been using a with virgin mobile SIM only I bought the phone off ebay and it has been working well until today it was stuck in boot loop this morning so I reset using power button and vol down button. it asked for the SIM pin that was accepted except this time it's asked for a network pin that I have tried the normal pins from phone access . the phone now says "network locked SIM inserted". the SIM works fine in a different phone. any ideas. My phone was working fine on Virgin and has only just started saying that the phone is network locked. I have tried: Hard reset, soft reset. I have googled the problem but no answers. I think it was caused by: No idea I have tried everything I need to find out if this phone was previously locked to a network and if it has defaulted back to this.
When you purchased it off eBay, do you remember if they listed what network the phone was previously on? Virgin has a Support Page for your situation. They suggest logging into your Virgin Account first to request a Pin/PUK code for your SIM. If this fails then they say to call them so they can work with you on properly unlocking your device. The Virgin pin should work since this phone worked with a Virgin SIM previously for you.
See more questions like this: I was going to check If this phone I bought was really Unlocked?
Is there any new way to tell if a Galaxy Note3 is already unlocked. I am going international in one week and want to rent a SIM card?
SIM card will only work if my phone is unlocked. My son bought this phone on eBay, he is not sure if it is unlocked
Download and install GalaxSim Unlock. Launch it and check if it offers to unlock your phone. If it does, then your phone is locked. There is also the "SIM lock status" line that shows whether the phone is locked or unlocked. The other methods are shown in the article above (the best one being inserting different SIM cards into the phone).
Is my LG G3 smartphone an unlocked phone?
Considering purchasing and international SIM card for travel out of the country. I own an LG G3 previous carrier AT&T. Trying to decide whether I need a new instrument or just an international SIM.
You should be able to swap out to an International SIM card. Especially if the phone is unlocked from AT&T. One thing to look into is the international plans for the carrier you currently have. Many have competitive international roaming plans that are not so bad to the wallet. Especially if you use WiFi as much as possible. This way your phone number will be the same. Keep in mind, that you may not get 4G connection overseas no matter how much you try to tweak the phone.
The option to click "SIM lock & warranty" does not come up?
I enter the IMEI and info about my phone come up. There is an option to click "warranty" but no option for "SIM lock & warranty". When I click on "warranty" it simply takes me back to the main page where I have to enter my IMEI over again. Any suggestions?
Use the Google Play app suggested instead. Not every Android phone is the same which is why two methods are suggested.
See more questions like this: Hello, I am looking to check if my Android phone (very old one) is unlocked and if not so how to unlock it? Thanks?
How do I know if my phone is compatible with a different carrier?
If I buy this phone from my friend that is an AT&T phone, can I switch it to Straight Talk?. I have tried: I have tried nothing. I think it was caused by: Nothing just needs a new one
Straight Talk has a Bring Your Own Phone program. You can check here to see if the phone you wish to purchase is compatible. Then you would purchase their AT&T compatible SIM for your phone.
See more questions like this: How to find out by what carrier is your phone locked?
The instructions on your website don't seem correct, how do I check if my Samsung Note2 is unlocked?
I'm trying to check if my phone is unlocked. I followed the instruction on the Method 2, found my IMEI and input it on the IMEI website, clicked Check and on the new page, there is no "SIM card and warranty" to click on. Now, what? The step after click on Check is not correct. is there something else I should be doing?
This Google Play App Galaxy SIM Unlock will tell you if your phone is locked. You can uninstall it if your phone is unlocked or use it to unlock your phone if it is still locked to a carrier.
See more questions like this: How do I check that my Samsung S5 is unlocked without putting in another SIM?
Can I do a bulk check of IMEI's for Android devices to confirm they are unlocked?
I am a wholesaler of cellular phones. I would like to do bulk checks on IMEI to confirm the unit is unlocked. Do you offer that service?. I have tried: Nothing. I think it was caused by: Nothing
This Youtube Tutorial shows you a fast way for all carriers and models of phones. You will still need to check one at a time, though.
See more questions like this: There is no check when I go to IMEI.info to see if my Android (Samsung Note4) is unlocked?
I entered my IMEI number
A screen said free Motorola info, the screen has a number of items in it, but next the info is blank, no info on unlock status. I have tried: Entered my IMEI number followed the directions. I think it was caused by: That's why we are talking
Most GSM Motorola phones are unlocked. You can try one of the other apps suggested on this page if you must know for sure.
See more questions like this: I put in the IMEI number and the phone it brings up is not the phone I bought?
Why doesn't my GS7 Edge that is unlocked from AT&T work with VZW?
I went through the unlocking process on my GS7 Edge (was AT&T). I put in the code, tried my VZW SIM card and I cannot make calls. Just emergency calls. It recognizes my number but I cannot make any calls. An Ideas?
AT&T uses GSM while Verizon uses CDMA for voice calls and data. The Galaxy 7 Edge has some versions that are dual band for voice calls but your best option is to contact Verizon directly regarding your issue. They are making a huge push for customers to bring their own phone and put it on Verizon. You also may not have unlocked your phone correctly.
IMEI doesn't appear how do I fix this?
When I tap *#06# nothing happen. What should I do?
Go into Settings and find About Phone. Then select Status. Within this menu is IMEI information. Once you select that your IMEI will be displayed.
All my apps were moved to the SD card. My device storage is still full. Why?
Whenever I try to download a new app I'm told not enough space. I have tried: Moved all apps, pics, etc., to the SD card. I think it was caused by: I've tried everything I've been told to do, so I'm asking you. I've come across your name on VisiHow but never need additional info.
A: I'm not sure how you actually moved "apps" to the SD card. If phones are anything like computers, the apps are installed onto the phone, with very specific directory written in them. If you just copied the installed folder over to the SD card, all the directory would be wrong and the apps won't function...I think...although, I'm not a computer expert.
However, your problem seems to be copying files over to the SD card instead of actually moving them. Since you've "moved" stuff to the SD card, try taking the SD card out and verify if the files exist in it with a computer and then check if the files are still on your phone.
Is my phone locked by my previous carrier?
I had an HTC One M8 from AT&T. I switched to MetroPCS but was never able to use the HTC with that network. AT&T had released the phone number (I assume it's because I wanted to keep the same number after moving to MetroPCS) but I don't know if AT&T has completely unlocked it.
Upon checking with Metro PCS, the HTC One M8 is not compatible with a Metro PCS SIM card. They only support the HTC One and HTC One S. You can check with Metro PCS's Bring Your Own Phone Compatibility Tool before you decide to purchase a phone and use it on Metro PCS.
I can't verify my account, how do I bypass it?
How do I bypass my Google account on Samsung S7
You can follow RootJunky's method of for bypassing Google FRP Verification in this YouTube Tutorial. It will take you about 10 minutes and then you will be able to use your phone again.
Help with TracFone from Straight Talk?
I purchased a Samsung Galaxy from a man on Craigslist and he told me that he got it from Walmart on Straight Talk, but they don't recognize the IMEI. Is there any way I can get this phone connected? When it is powered up, it says TracFone wireless, inc. I have tried: Straight Talk said they don't have the phone listed and I need to have it re-scanned, but I can't do that because it is not a new phone. I think it was caused by: I may have been scammed
Straight Talk offers an Activation Kit for Samsung Galaxy devices. Use their BYOP tool to see if your phone will need the activation kit. Speak directly with their phone Customer Service if you encounter further issues. The Walmart kiosk people are okay but do not always know what to do with an unlocked used phone. Whoever told you that you can't rescan a used phone is completely wrong with Straight Talk's Bring Your Own Phone policy.
I am putting my IMEI NUMBER AND IT SHOWS IT TO BE INVALID and I cannot put the serial no?
MY PHONE'S serial number has letters but I cannot type the No. since I can only type numbers. Can you please confirm if my cell phone is unlocked. Thanks.
Use one of the apps suggested above since you can't type in alphabetic and only numeral.
When I press *#06# on my dial pad nothing happens it just stays on my dial screen how come?
When I type this in on my phone it does nothing how come I have an LG g flex 2 on the sprint network also in the setting under about phone it used to say sprint under the brand now it says chameleon do you know why. My phone does not respond to *#06# when I dial it on my dial pad. I have tried: *#06# and also I have contacted sprint because it used to say sprint under the brand and on the home screen witch it does not say anymore now under the brand it says chameleon. I think it was caused by: I was trying to do a esn change with my provider and they had me doing all sorts of codes and different things and they had my phone stuck on a screen that just said configuring you phone and I had to find a way to bypass that
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Wanting to unlock my Cell phone for traveling to Italy?
I have a Samsung Galaxy S 3 that is no longer under contract and I own. I want to take it to Italy and use it there mainly for calls within the country by getting a SIM card when I get there. From what I've read my phone seems to have been repackaged as the number inside, under the battery is a 14 digit number (not a 15 digit #) there is no number on the box it came in either. When I do the *#06# on phone pad nothing happens. (I tried that on another phone to see if it really worked and got the number immediately).I went to the provider that I bought the phone from and they said it was locked but they "don't unlock phones" . I thought they were supposed to if you asked. anyway, I don't want to show up in Italy with a phone nobody can unlock so I would prefer to do it here and now. Can you suggest the best way for me to proceed? I haven't read anything about the *#06# not working or what to do when you can't find the IMEI number anywhere. Also I was under the impression there was a law that phones had to be unlocked if you asked your server to do that and you owned your phone. am I wrong about that? what exactly is the law and how can it help me?
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Referencing this Article
If you need to reference this article in your work, you can copy-paste the following depending on your required format:
APA (American Psychological Association)
Know if an Android Phone Has Been Unlocked. (2017). In VisiHow. Retrieved Apr 27, 2017, from http://visihow.com/Know_if_an_Android_Phone_Has_Been_Unlocked
MLA (Modern Language Association) "Know if an Android Phone Has Been Unlocked." VisiHow, visihow.com/Know_if_an_Android_Phone_Has_Been_Unlocked Accessed 27 Apr 2017.
Chicago / Turabian VisiHow.com. "Know if an Android Phone Has Been Unlocked." Accessed Apr 27, 2017. http://visihow.com/Know_if_an_Android_Phone_Has_Been_Unlocked.
Categories : Android
Recent edits by: ctobeck, Jay, Maria