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How to perform a legal unlock of iPhone to use any SIM

This is our one of the first Apple iPhone tutorials. In this tutorial we will tell you how to unlock your iPhone to use different SIMs from carriers like EE, O2, Vodafone, Three, Tesco, Virgin, T-Mobile, Orange, Giffgaff and many others in it. This is fully legal because in this tutorial we are going to show you how to unlock your iPhone using  official method from your cellular company. Jailbreaking is also a method to unlock your device but that method is not legal & full of risks. After jailbreak your iPhone might show some performance issue & warranty will also be void.

How to unlock iPhone :

It is worth noting that iPhones with some cellular networks are easier to unlock that some others.Some carriers have different limitations into very deep of your iPhone & some are as easy as simply putting a code. If you have purchased you iPhone within a year or little more, it is very likely to be unlocked one. But if you have purchased earlier than that,then it will be locked & you need to unlock via different methods discussed below for different operators. When your phone is locked & you try to insert other SIM it will give some error messages like Invalid SIM, PAYT Lock, Enter SP Code, Insert Correct SIM Card, SIM Card Not Accepted and many more.

How to unlock an iPhone with O2 :

O2 is a very popular network provider in UK . It is 2nd largest telecom network provider in the UK after EE. They have a very a strict method to use a phone . If you want to unlock an iPhone from O2 network , you need to fill an online form . If you are a ‘Pay Monthly’ customer then you can unlock it anytime but you have to make full settlement of your unpaid bills. O2 customers are required to wait for minimum 12 months to unlock their iPhone which costs around £15 but when you call to the O2 customer care department, they will tell you that’s it’s free of cost. They also say that you ca n simply put a non-O2 SIM in your iPhone & connect it to PC via iTunes & you are good to go. But this is just to check.

We recommend you to go to O2 service center & opt for the best option that suits you . It takes upto 72 Hours               to unlock your device . But that’s just the maximum time frame while the unlocking happens very fast.

Link to fill the form

How to unlock iPhone with EE (Orange & T-Mobile included) :

If your want to unlock your iPhone on EE, Orange or T-Mobile you need to have had customer of one of these for at least 6 months & you must have paid all the bills up to date. EE will unlock your device for £8.99.The time required for this is upto 7 days which is the maximum time limit. If you are a ‘Pay as you go’ customer & have enough credit in your account , EE will unlock your phone for the given price. If you are not a customer & have a device of EE, then you’ll need the details of the original customer on EE to unlock it legally. Some other account information will also be required of that customer.

Link for unlock

How to unlock iPhone with Vodafone :

Vodafone also requires you to have an account in the company & should be properly used with all the bills.There shouldn’t be any pending bills in Vodafone. If you have a Vodafone account you can simply go to Vodafone’s unlocking website & easily fill up the form to unlock your device.device. When you have filled the form, the company will get back to you within 48 hours with all the other procedures involved in it.The maximum time frame to unlock your device on Vodafone is 10 days.

Link to Unlock form

How to unlock iPhone with Three :

If you want to unlock your iPhone on Three UK,it is simpler for you to get your device unlocked. The company website says that iPhones purchased after January 1, 2014 are automatically unlocked. You just need to connect it to WiFi or iTunes. But if you have Purchased your iPhone even before that you just simply need to connect the iPhone to iTunes and restore the device to unlock it. Yo will need to back up all the content from Phone to PC or somewhere else.

There is also an alternative method to fill out the traditional form.

Link to unlock form

How to unlock iPhone with Virgin Mobile :

Virgin is also a well known carrier network in UK . It has a huge user base compared to some other lesser used network operators. The company says if you  have purchased iPhone within the past year or so, it will automatically be unlocked. The simple procedure to unlock is just update the IOS & jump o IOS 8 . When you update it too IOS 8, it will be unlocked.  But if your iPhone is older like iPhone 4 you need o follow the same steps as Three. Also take a backup of your data in your PC.

How to unlock iPhone with Tesco Mobile:

If you want to unlock your iPhone from Tesco Mobile, you need to be customer of at least 12 months old & with all the bill payments to be cleared before unlocking the phone. If all the above terms & conditions are fulfilled, you just need to call  0345 301 4455 & choose ‘Unlock Your Mobile’ which will provide you a code to unlock your mobile.

How to unlock iPhone with Giffgaff :

If you are on Giffgaff, the unlocking tools has quite similar method like some others. Just follow the steps give on the website. Link is given below.

Link to unlock iPhone on Giffgaff

Using third party unlocking service  :

There are many third party websites & software that will help you to unlock your carrier locked device. But they are not reputable & reliable as compared to official unlock from the carrier from which you bought the phone. There are many retailers also who will guarantee you that they will unlock your device but that’s not always reliable. They will ask for a very small amount to unlock the device which will be somewhat equal to £25. Although these are not recommended by us but if you still want to use them, kindly read and understand all the T&Cs. Also get to know all the charges that you have to pay & hams to the phone if the unlock is unsuccessful.

How much is the max limit to pay :

We have already told our readers that this is not trusted method to go to some retail stores rather than the official company norms but if you are still going for one then what should be the maximum that you should spend on unlocking? Here we will know about that. This value should range from £10 to £25. But if you are going through the official method of the company, most probably it will be free but if company is still asking for some price, then keep in mind that this price should not go beyond the above listed limit.

How to check unlock status :

  1. Switch off your iPhone
  2. Use the SIM card ejector tool to eject the SIM card holder
  3. Get the SIM card out of the SIM card holder/tray
  4. Insert the new SIM card in the SIM tray
  5. Reinsert the SIM card holder in the phone.

Now switch on you phone & follow all the  on-screen options & navigate to home. With this way if your phone is showing the network without any error, it means the phone is unlocked.

Now with this tutorial we tried to show you some official methods to unlock your iPhone is you are in UK. The unlocking methods will vary according to countries but in some popular countries like USA, the method will be same but carriers will be different.

Shivam Singh
Shivam defines himself as a gadget lover and likes to cover every news related to gadgets. He has more than 4 years of blogging experience and is Senior Editor at GadgetOx. He has been covering Tech and Gadget news on other well-known Tech sites WinCentral and Nokiapoweruser since long. His other interests include driving and traveling. Write to him at Email: [email protected]