Check to know if the iPhone you intend to buy is carrier-locked before purchasing. If you don't check before purchasing a new or pre-owned iPhone, you might end up frustrated and annoying especially when the seller's return policy is not favorable. This article gives you the answer to "How do I know if my iPhone is locked or unlocked?". We also added tips you need to know about carrier locked phones.

How do I Know If My iPhone is Locked or Unlocked

#1. Check If Your iPhone is Unlocked via Settings

This method is one of the oldest methods of checking if an iPhone is unlocked, but it's still very efficient with every version of iOS. Here are the steps to take.

Step 1: Launch your iPhone "Settings".

Step 2: Click "Cellular".

Step 3: Find the option labeled "Cellular Data Network". If you can find this option, then your iPhone is unlocked, but if not, your iPhone is carrier-locked.

Cellular Data Network

#2. Check If Your iPhone is Unlocked Using a Different Carrier's SIM Card

I presume you know what a carrier SIM Card is? Then, this method is to replace the iPhone's original carrier SIM Card with another mobile operator's SIM Card. If a notification with the caption "SIM Not Supported" or some other request is made from the phone app such as "Activation Code" or "SIM Unlock Code" is displayed, then your iPhone is carrier-locked.

Here are the steps to check if your iPhone is unlocked with a SIM card from a different carrier:

Step 1: Switch off your iPhone using the power button.

Step 2: Locate and open your SIM card slot using your SIM eject tool or a small paper clip. You will find the SIM slot by the iPhone casing, and you can open the SIM slot by pushing the SIM eject tool into the small SIM tray Hole.

Step 3: Diligently pull the SIM tray out once it pops out, and replace the SIM card with another mobile operator's SIM card.

Carrier's SIM Card

Step 4: Insert the tray back, and switch on your iPhone. If your iPhone request for a passcode, enter your passcode or use the touch sensor to pass.

Step 5: Click on your iPhone app. If it's requesting for a "SIM Unlock Code" or an "Activation Code" or you experience error before opening the app, then your iPhone is carrier-locked.

You can also refer to this video for further details:

Is My iPhone Unlocked? How To Check | weBoost

#3. Check If Your iPhone Is Unlocked with iTunes by Restoring

Another way to check an iPhone's unlock status is simply resetting to factory defaults and restoring through iTunes. This can be done by connecting the device to a PC. You should see the familiar "Congratulations, the iPhone is unlocked" message on your screen. If that happens, just know the iPhone has been unlocked.

congratulations. your iPhone has been unlocked

This message is usually shown by AT&T if you use their free unlocking methods after a contract ends. The same thing applies if you requested a SIM unlock through network providers like Verizon or Sprint while still on contract.

#4. Check If Your iPhone Is Unlocked Use an Online Service

This method is long and it entails using the IMEI Info registration page to check if your iPhone is unlocked.

Step 1: Visit IMEI Info's registration page, and create an account.

creat account

Step 2: Enter the required information in the specified fields and click "Register Me!"

Step 3: Confirm your registration by clicking on the link sent to your provided email address. This would take you to the IMEI Info's main page where you will enter your iPhone's IMEI number.


Step 4: To find your iPhone's IMEI number open iPhone "Settings" and click "General > About", and scroll down to IMEI section – you'll find the number there.

Step 5: Input the IMEI number in the field provided on the IMEI Info's main page.

Step 6: Click "I'm not a robot > Check > SIMLOCK & WARRANTY > Check Apple Phone Details". You'll see the message "unlocked: false" or "unlocked: true". The former means that your iPhone is carrier locked, while the latter means that your iPhone is unlocked.

What to Do If iPhone Is Locked - Unlock It Now!

If you attempt a wrong password input on your iPhone for more than ten times, it becomes locked, with the message "iPhone is disabled, connect to iTunes" popping up times and again. Several methods exist to unlock your iPhone when it gets locked. However, not all the methods work effectively as they claimed to be. The easiest and safest method, which users speak highly of, is using iMyFone LockWiper - professional iPhone unlocking software.

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  • Unlock or reset your phone with just a few clicks.
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  • Works perfectly on locked, disabled or broken iOS screen.
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Video Tutorial about 3 Steps to Recover/Reset iPhone Passcode without Losing Data

Unlock iPhone Screen Passcode

Step 1.Download, install and launch the iMyFone LockWiper on your PC or Mac. On LockWiper, choose "Unlock Screen Passcode" mode.

unlock iphone 7 with imyfone lockwiper

Step 2.Click "Start". Then connect your iPhone to your computer. Once connected, your iPhone will be automatically detected. Then you need to click "Download" to continue and allow the program to download a firmware for your device.

imyfone lockwiper downloads firmware

Step 3.After downloading, the program will verify and extract the firmware for your iPhone. After that, click "Start Unlock" and the program will start unlocking your iPhone

imyfone lockwiper removing lock from iphone 7

Step 4.Now all you need to do is sit back and wait for a couple of minutes. Once the unlock finishes, click "Done" and you can enjoy your newly unlocked iPhone immediately.

disabled iphone 7 unlocked by imyfone lockwiper

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Tips You Need to Know about Carrier Locked Phones

#Tip 1. What Does It Mean When a Phone Is Carrier Locked?

Telecoms operators make agreements with phone manufacturers to develop special software code that prevents the device from being used on any other network. These software locks can, however, be unlocked by using different software code to unlock the device.

iPhone carrier locked

The mobile devices locked in this manner are bought by the users on the contract during which they receive a discount, and the user is expected to abide by the contract terms which usually lasts for two years. For iPhone contracts, this agreement makes it easy for the mobile operator to recoup their investment after offering the user a discount for the device. If you wish to cancel the contract, you will be charged a termination fee which will cover the remaining payment value.

There are also some deals where iPhones are sold without discounts, but they are carrier locked. If you wish to buy an unlocked phone, you must directly ask for a phone that is unlocked to avoid making a costly mistake.

#Tip 2. What Is the Importance of Unlocking Phones?

Unlocked phones can be used with any carrier or network worldwide on the GSM band. Using phones without carrier restriction give you the freedom to choose your preferred carrier and use their SIM card and cellular services.

#Tip 3. Be Clear about the Unlock Status before Purchasing a New or Second-hand Phone

There is a vast market for pre-owned phones. They are sold at cheaper rates by owners who want to upgrade their devices. You can purchase these iPhones/iPads and enjoy using them but they must be unlocked, or you may encounter difficulties. Before payment, request for the IMEI. With the IMEI you can determine the status of the phone. If the seller is unwilling to reveal the device's IMEI, you may want to buy from another seller to avoid issues after purchase. Always ask for proof to be sure that a phone is unlocked before purchase.


From what has been discussed above, you should have had an impression on the cause and consequence of using a carrier locked the phone. This article has introduced 4 effective methods on how to check if your iPhone is carrier locked. In addition, the professional iPhone unlock tools iMyFone LockWiper. Download the free trial of the tools if you happen to come across the problem mentioned above!

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