3 Effective Ways to Check If iPhone is Locked or Unlocked

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Check to know if the iPhone you intend to buy is carrier-locked because if you don’t check before purchasing a new or pre-owned iPhone, you’ll end up frustrated especially when the seller’s return policy is not favorable. In the context of this article, iMyFone will tell you the answer of “How do I know if my iPhone is locked or unlocked?” We also added a tip on what to do if your iPhone is carrier-locked.

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 labelled “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:

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:

#3. Check If Your iPhone is Unlocked Use An Online Service

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

These steps will help you through it:

Step 1: Open 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.

IMEI Info

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: unlocked: false or unlocked: true. The first means that your iPhone is carrier locked, while the second means that your iPhone is unlocked.

What to do If iPhone is Locked - Unlock It Now!

Your iPhone getting locked is not entirely unexpected. It may be due to a situation where you could not remember the complex password you have applied, hence, you go ahead to type in the incorrect passcode times and again. 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.

If you have checked around, you'd see that there exists several methods to unlock your iPhone when it gets locked. However, the easiest and safest method, which you most likely haven't heard about before, is using the iMyFone LockWiper.

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Important Features of iMyFone LockWiper:

  • You can unlock or reset your phone with just a few clicks.
  • With a few clicks, you can easily remove all data on your disabled iPhone in a reset process.
  • Bypass your 4-digit, 6-digit passcode, Touch ID as well as Face ID on your device.
  • iMyFone LockWiper works perfectly on locked, disabled or broken iOS screen.

Below are the guide to unlock your iPhone screen lock:
Step 1: Install and launch iMyFone LockWiper on your computer. Click “Start”.

remove iphone screen lock

Step 2: Then you can connect your iOS device to the computer.

connect idevice to pc

Step 3: Then you need to put your iPhone into DFU mode. Follow the guide on the interface to do that and make sure youe iPhone is connect to the computer.

dfu mode

Step 4: Once you have your device is in the DFU mode, you will be brought to the download interface. Just confirm your device model and click “Download” to continue.

download firmware package

Step 5: You need to verify the downloaded firmware and it won’t take you too long.

verify firmware package

Step 6: When verify firmware package successfully, click “Start Unlock” to begin.

verification success

Step 7: Just wait in patience. Please enter “000000” to double confirm unlocking, then click “Unlock”. When it finish. You can see the interface like below.

unlock is complete

Note: The unlocking process will also wipe all of your iPhone/iPad data.

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How to Check Unlock Status with iTunes Throughby 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.

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.

How to Completely Reset A Second-hand iPhone After Unlocking it

Unlocking a carrier-locked iPhone brings the need to complete reset the second-hand iPhone. There is no better way to reset an iPhone completely than iMyFone Umate Pro iPhone Data Eraser for Win or iPhone Data Eraser for Mac, the ultimate iPhone data eraser which is recommended by lots of media, like MacWorld, iPhoneinCanada, APPKED, etc.

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Key Features:

  • Clean many kinds of hidden junk files for free.
  • Permanently erase data from iPhone, the erased data is 100% unrecoverable, even FBI cannot recover them.
  • Allow you to preview and selectively erase almost all kinds of iOS data: messages, contacts, call history, videos, photos, internet history, accounts atc.
  • Erase also previously deleted files that are invisible but can be recovered by recovery tool.
  • Completely wiped all unwanted third-party app fragments: WhatsApp, WeChat, Kik, Viber, SnapChat, FaceBook etc.

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The steps to use iMyFone Umate Pro iPhone Data Eraser to reset iPhone:

Step 1: Connect your iPhone to PC/Mac after downloading and installing iMyFone Umate Pro. Trust your computer if requested to.
Step 2: Click “Erase All Data” tab at the left hand side of the window, then click “Erase” button.

Erase All Data

Step 3: Select security level, and type “delete” into the box to confirm.

type delete

Step 4: To start erasing all the data on your device, click “Erase Now” button.

Tip 1: What does It Mean When A Phone is Carrier Locked?

Telecoms operators can 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 usually 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 the phone is as easy as choosing your preferred network and inserting the SIM card.
Unlocked phones give you the freedom to choose your preferred carrier. Always ask for proof to be sure that a phone is unlocked before purchase.


Summary

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.