Sticky F.A.Q.

Unlocking your phone

  • 19 December 2018
  • 31 replies

Userlevel 8

What is a locked phone? Why do networks do this?

When a phone is locked, it can only be used on the network that supplied it. Networks will sometime do this as part of their fraud prevention plans.
Please note: The only phones that iD Mobile locks are iPhones made before 2018.

How can I check if my phone’s unlocked?

It’s easy to find out if your phone’s locked. Simply insert a SIM card from another network, and see if the name of the network appears on your handset.
If it does and you’re able to use your phone, it’s unlocked.
If you’re unable to use it, your phone’s probably be locked.

How can I unlock my phone?

If your phone’s locked, you’ll need to contact your previous network and ask them to unlock it. Even if your contract with them has expired, you still need to ask them. Your phone won’t automatically unlock.
To give you a little more information on where you stand, here’s some unlocking information from other UK mobile networks:
Tesco Mobile
Virgin Mobile

How long does it take to unlock a phone?

The actual unlocking time varies by network, and can take days. Unfortunately, there’s nothing we can do to speed up this process. Your network will be able to advise you of the exact timescale.

My phone’s locked to iD Mobile. How can I unlock it?

As with most networks, iD Mobile has an unlocking policy to protect us from any potential fraudulent activity.
We can unlock your phone if you’ve been with us for more than 6 months, and you don’t have an outstanding balance on your account.
Unlocking is free, and usually takes no more than 3-5 days.
If you’d like to have your iD Mobile phone unlocked, contact us here and we’ll get right on it.

31 replies

Hi if I buy a second hand phone and it turns out to be locked to Id mobile can it still be unlocked as I have never been an Id customer?


Userlevel 4
Badge +2

Hi @Nemes1sUKM

Welcome to the iD Community. 

The owner of the device will need to contact us, to request the phone to be unlocked. 

Please note, it will only be iPhones manufactured before September 2018, that will lock to a network. 

It’s best to confirm these details with the seller before you purchase. 




its in contract i want to use different sim card how can unlock?

Userlevel 4
Badge +6

Hi @Zmajlsokoli, unless the phone is an iPhone manufactured before 2018, it should already be unlocked. Have you tried using a different SIM in it?


Thank you,


I haven’t tried yet but I will try

is huawei p smart 2019


Userlevel 4
Badge +6

@Zmajlsokoli Okie doke, it should be unlocked, in that case. Let us know how you get on!


Thank you,


how do I unlock an iPhone manufactured before 2018

Userlevel 6
Badge +8

Hi @samtony_123,


You need to contact the network that the handset is locked to and they’ll remove it.


If it’s us, let us know and we’ll send you a Private Message to get that unlocked for you.



Userlevel 6
Badge +1

To unlock mobile pay outstanding amount of sim card. After varification they will send email with codes. After 2018 most of the company does not lock mobile.

Userlevel 7
Badge +9

Hi @samtony_123 

If the iPhone is one you had bought yourself on an iD Mobile contract, then let us know and we can have that unlocked if that’s the case.

Otherwise, as Will stated above.  You’d need to speak to the network that was previously used with.

Is the new iPhone 12 pro locked 

Userlevel 4
Badge +6

Hi @Cletusdc, nope, all of our new phones come unlocked for use with any UK network, though we’d obviously prefer if that network was us :wink:


Thank you,


Can you unlock it so it works in other countries networks? I am travelling often and I would like to be able to swap sims

Userlevel 4
Badge +8

HI @Giota 


Our phones can be unlocked, however, you would need to use a UK card SIM card within the phone.





Hi Michelle,

thanks for your response! I have raised the issue with the agents on the live chat and they seem to believe that the phones will be locked to the first sim you will enter, no matter if it will be uk network.


Userlevel 7
Badge +9

Hi @Giota,

Just to clear this up, your phone (if we sold it to you) is only guaranteed to work within the UK with a UK SIM card. That being said, the phone can often work abroad with no issues. We can only advise that you try the phone when you are abroad to see if it will work.


My old I phone 5 is locked to id mobile how can I get it unlocked?

Userlevel 7
Badge +9

Hi @Rosaleen1,

We’ll send you a PM now so we can take some details from you to get this unlocked.


I’m fed up with this crap site! I can’t get an answer and that stupid Bot is as much use a chocolate fireguard! 
I want to speak to a human. 
I need to unlock a iPhone 5s last used on ID 

can anyone help me please. I’ve tried different SIM cards but it needs unlocking 


thank you 

My email address is xxxxxxxxxxxx

the mobile xxxxxxxx

please can you unlock my phone 

thank you 

Userlevel 6
Badge +8

Hi @Owleyes07,


We’ve deleted that person info as you’d made it public.


We’ve sent you a Private message so you can provide it to us there.



Hi, I have been with ID mobile for a few years now and have 2 previous handsets (not including my current one) that I would like to get unlocked, could a staff member PM me please on how to do this as the help and support pages are just taking me in circles. Thanks in advance

Userlevel 1
Badge +6

Hey @StuartW 


We can help with unlocking your devices. 

We’ve popped you a message so we can get that sorted for you. 




Hi, I have an iPhone (pre 2018) that is locked to ID, but the ID account that it was purchased with has been closed. This means it is not possible to access telephone support from ID. Please can someone advise how to get this device unlocked? Thanks.

Userlevel 5
Badge +4

Hi @hughes 

All our iPhones sold after 2017 are unlocked to all UK networks. Have you tested another UK network sim inside the phone?