How to Unlock Your iPhone

By: Jeremy Glass  | 

unlock iphone
A SIM card lock warning on your Apple iPhone? No worries — you can unlock it with just a few simple steps. Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto/Getty Images

One of the many reasons for the continuously growing divide between Apple and Android is the level of control each platform allows its users. Apple makes it notoriously difficult to unlock iPhones, putting the responsibility solely in the hands of carriers like Verizon and AT&T to do the dirty work for you. Of course, once you get past the proverbial red tape, the ability to unlock the iPhone allows Apple users to choose their carrier without having to buy a new device. Here's how it's done, according to Apple.

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Step One: Find Your Carrier

Start by going to Apple carrier support and selecting your carrier. Contact your carrier and request an unlock. Requesting an unlock may take a couple of days. Some carriers, such as Verizon, will automatically do it for free for most phones after 60 days. For AT&T and other carriers, it's a little different, so check with your carrier to determine whether there will be a charge.

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Step Two: Remove the SIM Card

If you're using a SIM card from another carrier, remove it from your phone after your carrier confirms that your iPhone is unlocked. Insert your new SIM card from your new carrier and wait for the iPhone to activate.

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Step Three: If You Don't Have a SIM Card...

If you don't have another SIM card, you can use these steps to finish unlocking your iPhone:

At this point, you may see the following message: "The SIM card inserted in this iPhone does not appear to be supported. Only compatible SIM cards from a supported carrier may be used to activate iPhone. Please insert the SIM card that came with your iPhone or visit a supported carrier store."

Don't panic. Instead follow these steps for a phone with iOS 14:

  • Go to Settings, then General, and hit "About."
  • Under Carrier Lock, look for the message that says "No SIM restrictions."
  • If you still don't see it, you're going to want to contact your carrier.

For a phone with iOS 13, or earlier:

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