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.

Was this helpful? Yes | No | I need help

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.

Was this helpful? Yes | No | I need help

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.

Was this helpful? Yes | No | I need help
Ad

**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.
    Advertisement
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help
  2. 2
    Insert an active SIM card from a different carrier and power your phone back on.
    Advertisement
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help
  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.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

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.

Was this helpful? Yes | No | I need help

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.
    Advertisement
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help
  2. 2
    On the Root Checker app page, tap the green "INSTALL" button
    .
    Know if an Android Phone is Unlocked 03.png
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help
  3. 3
    Root Checker will request access to the following options
    .
    Know if an Android Phone is Unlocked 04.png
    Tap "ACCEPT" to continue.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help
  4. 4
    Once the app has installed, tap the green "OPEN" button.
    Know if an Android Phone is Unlocked 05.png
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help
  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.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help
  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.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help
  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.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help
  8. 8
    Open the "Phone" app on your Android device.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help
  9. 9
    Type
    :
    *#06# into the keypad.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help
  10. 10
    Write down the IMEI number that appears.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help
  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
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help
  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.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help
  13. 13
    Once payment is completed, you'll be redirected to the following confirmation page
    .
    Know if an Android Phone is Unlocked 11.png
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help
  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.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

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.

Was this helpful? Yes | No | I need help

Method 3: Android App

  1. 1
    Open the "Phone" app on your Android phone.
    Advertisement
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help
  2. 2
    Tap "*#06#
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help
  3. 3
    Write down the IMEI number that appears or copy it to your device's clipboard.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help
  4. 4
    In the Play Store, search for terms such as; IMEI, IMEI check, IMEI unlock, etc.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help
  5. 5
    Choose an app that looks reputable by checking out reviews and looking over the app's features.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help
    Advertisement

Tips Tricks & Warnings

Was this helpful? Yes | No | I need help

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!

Was this helpful? Yes | No | I need 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!

Was this helpful? Yes | No | I need help

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.
Was this helpful? Yes | No | I need help

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 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.

Was this helpful? Yes | No | I need help

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.

Was this helpful? Yes | No | I need help

See more questions like this: Check if phone is locked via IMEI number for free?

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

See more questions like this: Where is "SIM Lock and Warranty" on the IMEI.info page?

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).

Was this helpful? Yes | No | I need help

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?

Was this helpful? Yes | No | I need help

Use the Google Play app suggested instead. Not every Android phone is the same which is why two methods are suggested.

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?

Was this helpful? Yes | No | I need help

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.

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

Was this helpful? Yes | No | I need help

Most GSM Motorola phones are unlocked. You can try one of the other apps suggested on this page if you must know for sure.

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?

Was this helpful? Yes | No | I need help

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.

Was this helpful? Yes | No | I need help

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.

See more questions like this: IMEI.info SIM card status check?

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.

Was this helpful? Yes | No | I need help

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.

Was this helpful? Yes | No | I need help

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.

Was this helpful? Yes | No | I need help

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.

Was this helpful? Yes | No | I need help

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.

Was this helpful? Yes | No | I need help

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 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

Was this helpful? Yes | No | I need help

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

Wanting to unlock my Cell phone for traveling to Italy?

I have a Samsung Galaxy S3 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?

Was this helpful? Yes | No | I need help

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

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 Jun 26, 2017, from http://visihow.com/Know_if_an_Android_Phone_Has_Been_Unlocked

Was this helpful? Yes | No | I need help

MLA (Modern Language Association) "Know if an Android Phone Has Been Unlocked." VisiHow, visihow.com/Know_if_an_Android_Phone_Has_Been_Unlocked Accessed 26 Jun 2017.

Chicago / Turabian VisiHow.com. "Know if an Android Phone Has Been Unlocked." Accessed Jun 26, 2017. http://visihow.com/Know_if_an_Android_Phone_Has_Been_Unlocked.

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.

Comments

VisiHow welcomes all comments. If you do not want to be anonymous, register or log in. It is free.

Article Info

Categories : Android

Recent edits by: ctobeck, Jay, Maria

Share this Article:

Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 96,601 times.

Do you have a question not answered in this article?
Click here to ask one of the writers of this article
x

Thank Our Volunteer Authors.

Would you like to give back to the community by fixing a spelling mistake? Yes | No