How do I unlock my T-Mobile phone?

Android Central

Android Central
Android Central

Hate the game but not the player? Then leave your carrier behind and take your phone with you!

If you're attached to your current phone but not T-Mobile, then you can unlock your phone and take it to another provider. You'll just have to make sure it's compatible with other networks. If you want to switch to Verizon, then you probably won't have any luck with an unlocked phone; however, if you're switching to AT&T you'll have a better time.


T-Mobile's unlock requirements

You can't just ask T-Mobile to unlock your phone; you must meet certain requirements to request an unlock code.

Here's a rundown of T-Mobile's unlock requirements:

  • You have to have bought your phone from T-Mobile.
  • Your phone can't be reported as lost, stolen, or blocked to T-Mobile.
  • Your account with T-Mobile cannot already be canceled and it must be in good standing (meaning that if you haven't paid your bill in three years, you're probably not getting unlocked).
  • You cannot have requested more than two unlock codes, per line of service, in the last year. So, if you have two phones in your name, you can't have asked for more than four unlock codes.
  • Your phone has to satisfy all of T-Mobile's unlocking terms and conditions.
  • T-Mobile can request proof of purchase and "certain other exceptions may apply." So, don't say anything nasty about Catherine Zeta-Jones.

How can I request an unlock code from T-Mobile?

There are a couple different ways to get an unlock code from T-Mobile. The first and most obvious one is to contact T-Mobile customer service or hit up your nearest T-Mobile store and ask. They make it pretty clear on a few pages of their website that they reserve the right to deny any request.

Android users also have the option to download the Mobile Device Unlock app, which you can use to unlock your phone right on your phone. The best part is that you don't even have to manually enter a code. Once downloaded, you can request and unlock your phone all within the app itself.

Is there a cost involved?

If you meet the eligibility requirements, then unlocking is free. If you're trying to unlock a prepaid phone that's been active for less than a year, you have to have had more than $100 in refills since the device's first use date (not including the initial activation payment).

For non-T-Mobile customers, it's hard to say that T-Mobile has an official stance. You can definitely request an unlock code, but if someone sold you the unit without paying it off, then there will be a balance owed and you will not be able to unlock it without paying for it (prices will vary depending on the balance). That likely also means that the account associated with the phone was no in good standing, and therefore make the phone ineligible, as per the requirements.


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