There are a few ways to check whether or not your iPhone is unlocked. For those out of the loop, if your iPhone is unlocked, this means that it is able to be used with most carriers around the world. If your iPhone is “locked” this means that you can only use it with the original carrier it was intended for.
Typically, a locked phone means that you’re still making payments with the carrier, or an iPhone purchased from a carrier as opposed to one purchased directly from Apple.
How to check if your iPhone is unlocked
Put a different carrier’s SIM card in
The easiest method to check if your iPhone is unlocked is by popping another SIM into your iPhone. Make sure the SIM isn’t from the same carrier you are currently using.
If your iPhone is unlocked, the phone will automatically detect the carrier, and you should see a signal strength in your iPhone’s status bar.
If your iPhone is not unlocked, you’ll see an error on your iPhone saying the iPhone is currently locked to your previous carrier.
Restore your iPhone to factory settings
If the above method isn’t working and you’re not seeing any indicator of failure or success, or if you don’t have another carrier’s SIM card, you may need to restore your iPhone to factory settings.
Before restoring, you should call your carrier to confirm that they’ve pushed the unlock through on their end. If not, try calling Apple to see if there may be an issue with your iPhone’s hardware.
To do this, you’ll need to plug your iPhone into iTunes on a Mac or Windows PC. Once connected, tap on your device, and tap Restore.
Note that this will completely wipe your iPhone and anything stored on the device that has not been backed up to iTunes or iCloud will be removed. Be sure to have a backup of your data if that’s important to you.
This may take a while depending on the speed of your computer and your internet connection.
Once the restore is complete, you should get a message saying your iPhone has been successfully unlocked.
For more help getting the most out of your Apple devices, check out our how to guide as well as the following articles:
- How to check what carriers and countries work with your iPhone
- How to enable mono audio for AirPods
- How to wirelessly charge your iPhone
- How to change the default email account on iPhone
- What is iCloud Drive?
- How to backup iPhone to iTunes on Mac or PC
- What are iOS devices?
- How to merge contacts with iCloud
- How to set up and use Find My iPhone
- How to disable Smart HDR on iPhone
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