If you have purchased your iPhone recently it is most likely unlocked, and you should be able to use with any SIM. But if you purchased an iPhone a few years back then it could be locked to a carrier in the UK as you bought the device at a subsidized price and signed a two or three-year contract, then here are all the options you have to unlock iPhone in 2019.
How to Unlock iPhone in the UK
There are several methods to unlock the iPhone to use with any carrier SIM in the UK.
Unlock iPhone by Carrier
It is completely legal to unlock your iPhone if you have finished paying for your contract or have purchased your iPhone outright without any subsidies. Most carriers will unlock your iPhone for free if you’ve completed the stipulated contract period or paid the early termination fee (ETF).
The carrier unlock method and the IMEI based unlock are the best options, as they are permanent, persists even after restores, completely official, and doesn’t require a jailbreak or any other hacks. It also works with all iPhone models and all iOS versions.
How to Unlock iPhone on Vodafone
If you’re a postpaid Vodafone customer, you will need to request for a Network Unlock Code (NUC). Vodafone doesn’t charge an admin fee, so it’s free.
If you’re a Pay As You Go customer as well, then you can request for a Network Unlock Code for free after 30 days.
If you’ve purchased the iPhone from a friend or family member, then the best way is to ask them to unlock it for you. If you’ve purchased it from a reseller, then you will need to ensure that the device belongs to you. For that, you will need to get a Pay As You Go SIM, and use it for at least 30 days.
Here’s the link to get the Network Unlock Code. It can take up to 10 days to get the code. You can then follow a simple guide to unlock your iPhone using the NUC.
How to Unlock iPhone on Three
According to Three’s website, all phones purchased after January 1, 2014, are automatically unlocked for free when you connect to iTunes or Wi-Fi, so you should be able to use it with any carrier SIM.
Even for phones purchased before 2014, you can connect your iPhone to iTunes, and restore your device to unlock it. Alternatively, you can also use this online form.
How to Unlock iPhone on O2
According to O2’s website, all iPhones purchased after August 1, 2018, directly from them are unlocked. If your iPhone is locked, then you can ask them to unlock it at any time for free if you’re a Pay Monthly or Pay As You Go customer. If you’re on Pay Monthly, you’ll still need to complete the minimum term of your contract.
There are various ways to ask O2 to unlock your iPhone:
- Fill out our device unlocking form (if we accept your request, we’ll email you within seven days with the details of how to unlock your device).
- Go to My O2.
- You can contact them via Live Chat or give us a call on 202, free from a Pay Monthly phone, or 4445 from a Pay As You Go phone.
How to Unlock iPhone on EE
EE is the only UK network that charges a fee to unlock the iPhone, but the charges are quite nominal. If you are EE’s postpaid customer and have paid the bills for 6 months, then they will charge £8.99 admin fee to unlock your iPhone.
If you’re EE’s Pay As You Go customer, then will deduct £8.99 admin fee from your credits to unlock your iPhone.
If you’ve bought an iPhone that is locked to EE, then it will be a little tricky to unlock your iPhone as you will need the original owner’s name, phone number, and some additional account information.
You can use this link on EE’s website to unlock your device.
If you don’t have the information, then you have no choice but to use third-party unlocking solutions.
Unlock iPhone by IMEI
If you learn that you’re not eligible for an official carrier unlock or your iPhone is locked with another carrier not mentioned above, then you can opt for an IMEI unlock. It works just like the official carrier unlock, which means it’s permanent, works with all models and OS versions, persists even after a restore, and doesn’t require you a jailbreak or any other hacks.
There are a lot of IMEI unlock providers, but it’s best to go with trusted providers like Express Unlocks, as there are a lot of scammers out there. The price to unlock iPhone varies based on your carrier. They support all iPhone models such as iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone XR, iPhone X, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone SE, iPhone 5s, iPhone 5C, iPhone 5, iPhone 4S and iPhone 4.
Hope this guide has helped you in unlocking your iPhone in the UK to use any carrier SIM. If you’re in the U.S., then you can check out our article for the steps on how to unlock your iPhone on AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint.
Let us know it goes and please feel to share your experience in the comments below.
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