Know if an Android Phone Has Been Unlocked Quick & Dirty vs Browser-based vs Android App

Edited by Rob, Eng, Dougie, Paul Smith and 24 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.

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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.

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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.

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**WARNING**

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

  1. 1
    Power off your phone and remove the SIM card.
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  2. 2
    Insert an active SIM card from a different carrier and power your phone back on.
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  3. 3
    Attempt to make a phone call
    .
    If you are able to call or text then your phone is not locked to a particular carrier.
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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.

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Method 2: Browser-based

  1. 1
    First thing is to check if your phone is rooted
    .
    Know if an Android Phone is Unlocked 01b.png
    Go to the Google Play Store and search, "root checker", then tap the first result.
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  2. 2
    On the Root Checker app page, tap the green "INSTALL" button
    .
    Know if an Android Phone is Unlocked 03.png
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  3. 3
    Root Checker will request access to the following options
    .
    Know if an Android Phone is Unlocked 04.png
    Tap "ACCEPT" to continue.
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  4. 4
    Once the app has installed, tap the green "OPEN" button.
    Know if an Android Phone is Unlocked 05.png
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  5. 5
    The next two screens display some text about the apps success rate and to inform that Root Checker will not install root.
    Know if an Android Phone is Unlocked 06b.png
    Tap "OK" and "AGREE" to continue.
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  6. 6
    The next screen is where you can check if your phone is rooted
    .
    Know if an Android Phone is Unlocked 07.png
    Tap "VERIFY ROOT" and wait for the app to check.
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  7. 7
    If you see a message that says your phone is rooted properly, skip to the next step
    .
    Know if an Android Phone is Unlocked 08.png
    If you see a message similar to the one in the screenshot below, it means that your phone is either not rooted, or rooted incorrectly. Please review some of our popular articles on device rooting in the tips, tricks and warnings section below.
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  8. 8
    Open the "Phone" app on your Android device.
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  9. 9
    Type
    :
    *#06# into the keypad.
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  10. 10
    Write down the IMEI number that appears.
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  11. 11
    Head over to UnlockRiver.com and enter in all the information on the right side of the page and click the purple "UNLOCK NOW" button
    .
    Know if an Android Phone is Unlocked 09.png
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  12. 12
    On the following page you will see a review of your order
    .
    Know if an Android Phone is Unlocked 10.png
    Check over the details carefully before choosing one of the payment options further down the page.
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  13. 13
    Once payment is completed, you'll be redirected to the following confirmation page
    .
    Know if an Android Phone is Unlocked 11.png
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  14. 14
    Within 24 hours you'll receive an email, with an unlock code or a confirmation that your phone was unlocked remotely
    .
    Know if an Android Phone is Unlocked 12.png
    If you received an unlock code, follow the instructions in the email. Check out the UnlockRiver tutorial to see the above steps again.
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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.

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Method 3: Android App

  1. 1
    Open the "Phone" app on your Android phone.
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  2. 2
    Tap "*#06#
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  3. 3
    Write down the IMEI number that appears or copy it to your device's clipboard.
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  4. 4
    In the Play Store, search for terms such as; IMEI, IMEI check, IMEI unlock, etc.
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  5. 5
    Choose an app that looks reputable by checking out reviews and looking over the app's features.
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Tips Tricks & Warnings

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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!

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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!

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See more questions like this: I am a bit of a dummy with technical stuff, just wondered if I could change the SIM in my new phone (pixi4)?

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 dialing *#06# again.
  • You can remove paired Bluetooth devices on your phone and try dialing *#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.
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After that, you can continue with the tutorial.===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 the power button and volume 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.

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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.

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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).

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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: Firefly mobile t200 restriction unlocked code?

See more questions like this: There isn't a "SIM lock & Warranty" link or button to click on?

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. Any ideas?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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I had an HTC One M8 from AT&T. I switched to MetroPCS but was never able to use the HTC with that network. 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.

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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.

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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 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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VisiHow QnA. This section is not written yet. Want to join in? Click EDIT to write this answer.

Unlockriver.com won't unlock a Verizon Samsung Note 4. Is there another website that will?

Searching for website that will unlock a Verizon Samsung note 4

VisiHow QnA. This section is not written yet. Want to join in? Click EDIT to write this answer.

If you have problems with any of the steps in this article, please ask a question for more help, or post in the comments section below.

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Article Info

Categories : Android

Recent edits by: Ramona Bagley, ctobeck, Jay

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