F.A.Q.

How do I unlock my phone?

  • 19 April 2021
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Find out everything you need to know about unlocking your phone with iD Mobile.

What is a locked phone and why do networks do it?

A locked phone means that the handset will only work with the network provider that you bought it from. So, if you want to switch to a different provider but keep your current handset, you’ll need to get it unlocked.

Networks sometimes lock their phones as part of their fraud prevention plans and to help deter thefts.

At iD Mobile, we do not lock our mobile phones, so you can use a different SIM card any time you want. The only iD Mobile phones that are locked are iPhones made before 2018.

How to know if my phone is unlocked

To find out if your phone is unlocked, just insert a SIM card from another network to see if the name of the network appears on your handset. The network name will generally appear on the top left-hand corner of your screen.

If you see the name of the other network then your phone is unlocked and you’re free to use it. If you can’t see the name of the network, it is likely that your phone is locked.

Alternatively, you can get in touch with the network provider that you bought your phone from to ask them if the device is locked. They may require additional information, such as your phone’s IMEI number, which you can find by typing *#06# on your phone’s call screen.

What to do if my phone is locked

If your phone is locked, you’ll need to get in touch with the network that supplied the handset to you and get them to unlock it.

Even if your contract has expired with the provider, you still need to contact them to unlock your phone.

Unlocking an iD Mobile device

At iD Mobile, we don’t lock our mobile phones, as we want to give you more freedom with your handset. However, there are some exceptions to this rule. The only phones that are locked by iD Mobile are iPhones made before 2018.

We do have an unlocking policy to protect us from any potentially fraudulent activity. If your phone is locked and you’ve been with us for more than 6 months and you don’t have an outstanding balance on your account, we can unlock your phone.

This is a free service and should take no more than 3-5 days.

To unlock your phone, you can chat to us online and one of our agents will assist you.

Unlocking your device from a different network

If you bought your device from another network, you’ll need to get in touch with them and ask them to unlock it.

Here’s how you unlock your phone and the time it will take on various other networks:

1. EE

  • You can instantly unlock your phone through your EE account. Sometimes there can be a delay if they need to contact the manufacturer for the unlock code
  • You must have the device for 6 months before you can unlock your device

2. O2

  • You can unlock an O2 phone any time you want, but if you’re a Pay Monthly customer you’ll need to finish the minimum term of your contract. You’ll need your device’s unique International Mobile Station Equipment Identity number. To find out what it is, type *#06# into your device. Then you’ll need to take note of the 15-digit number
  • It can take up to 10 working days to unlock an O2 handset if they need to contact the manufacturer

3. Vodafone

  • You’ll need to fill out an unlocking form to get a Network Unlock Code
  • It should take 72 hours to unlock your device but can take up to 10 working days if they need to contact the manufacturer

4. Tesco Mobile

  • You can unlock Tesco Mobiles that are over 12 months old. All you have to do is complete an online unlocking request
  • You’ll receive a text within 7 days containing a code and a link, which you’ll have to follow instructions to unlock your SIM

5. Three

  • You will need to fill out the form provided on their website. This will give you an unlocking code called a Depersonalisation Control Key.
  • Once you have requested your unlock code, you’ll get another code within 72 hours, along with further instructions.

What to do if my phone is blocked

Your SIM can be blocked if you enter the wrong SIM card PIN number three times in a row. This means your SIM will be blocked and you won’t be able to make or receive calls. You will need to find your Personal Unblocking Key (PUK).

You can contact us via our Live Chat to speak to an agent who will help unblock your phone.

Contact us about unlocking your phone

To unlock or unblock your phone, you can chat to us online and one of our helpful agents will assist you. Our Live Chat team are available 9am-8pm Monday to Friday, and 9am-6pm Saturday and Sunday.

You can also get 24/7 help and support via our iD Mobile community page, where you can browse helpful articles and talk with other iD Mobile customers.


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