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How to Unlock Your iPhone to Use eSIM
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Laura Liang
Content Editor and Customer Support at Textr
Published Jul 20, 2022

Knowing how to unlock an iPhone can be useful in numerous circumstances. It could be that you’ve forgotten your password or you might want to set up a new network plan.

Either way, it counts as unlocking the phone. In this article, we’ll look at how to unlock an iPhone. Then, we’ll discuss how you can use a travel SIM card internationally in your unlocked phone.

What is an Unlocked iPhone?

An iPhone is considered locked when it’s:

  1. Tied to a specific network carrier, meaning you can only use SIM cards provided by that carrier.
  2. When you’ve incorrectly typed your screen unlock code too many times.

On the flip side, an unlocked iPhone means you can use SIM cards from any carrier or that you’ve recovered your phone to disable the screen lock password.

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How to Check if Your iPhone is Locked or Not

Checking if your iPhone is screen locked is pretty easy. A message will pop up saying ‘iPhone is disabled. Try again in __ minutes’. The more times you enter the wrong password, the longer the screen is disabled.

On the other hand, checking if your iPhone is locked to a carrier requires a few more steps. Here’s the method:

  1. Open the Settings menu.
  2. Scroll down to General and tap on it.
  3. Select About.
  4. Scroll down to find Carrier Lock. If it says No SIM Restrictions, your iPhone is unlocked.

You can also check by looking up your phone’s IMEI number online. You’ll find this further down the same menu as the Carrier Lock option. You’ll also need the phone’s serial number, which is further up the same menu.

Then, visit a free IMEI lookup website (on a computer) and fill in the relevant information. This’ll give your phone’s lock status, which refers to whether it’s locked to a specific carrier or not.

Finally, you can try putting in a SIM card from a different network provider. Simply turn your phone off, remove your SIM, and put the new one in. Turn it back on and try making a call. If it doesn’t work, your iPhone is locked.

Checking if your phone is locked is the first step in how to unlock iPhone from carrier. Of course, if it’s already unlocked, you can skip this process and insert your travel SIM card internationally.

Open Google Phone App Call Screening

Is Unlocking an iPhone Legal?

In short, yes, providing you meet the conditions. The most obvious is that you’ve finished paying off the fixed term of your network’s plan, which could be 2 years or more. You should know if you’ve done this because they’ll be offering you an upgrade.

Alternatively, contact your network provider or use their online portal to check your plan’s status.

It’s worth noting that any iPhone bought second hand will usually be unlocked, as are iPhones bought outright from Apple. You might need to know how to unlock an iPhone if you’ve bought it privately from a friend, though.

In terms of how to unlock your iPhone when disabled, the method suggested below is also perfectly legal. This is only true if the phone is yours because unlocking stolen property is, obviously, illegal.

How to Unlock Your iPhone

The process for how to unlock iPhone from carrier is pretty easy but can take a while. It’s not something you can do alone because there’s no way to do it on the phone itself.

Here’s how to unlock your iPhone:

  1. Create a fresh backup of your data on your iCloud. You might not need it, but it’s useful to have.
  2. Contact your network provider. You might be able to do this online with a form or you might need to call them.
  3. Get them to unlock your phone.
  4. If you have a SIM from a different carrier, put it in once the unlock is finished. If not, you might need to reset your phone and restore the data you backed up.

This is the basic process for how to unlock iPhone from carrier. The exact steps may differ depending on the carrier, but it shouldn’t be too difficult. Also, you might get charged an admin fee but, again, this is dependent on your carrier.

Open Google Phone App Call Screening

Using Textr to Travel with eSIM

A travel SIM card international is an easy way to stay connected in different countries. But an eSIM is still easier because you don’t even need to buy a physical card in each country you visit. Instead, you simply download eSIM data onto your phone and you’re good to go.

Textr eSIM is coming soon and it’ll provide you with all the benefits you need to travel internationally. You’ll be able to make high-quality calls, get new numbers, and much more. Keep an eye out for its launch date!

Until then, see what else Textr can do for you. The Textr app allows you to set up multiple numbers in different countries, create SMS campaigns for business, and assign numbers to different people. You also get unlimited high-quality call minutes and SMS messages, giving you ultimate flexibility.

Start your 7-day free trial today by downloading on iOS, Android, and web browser.

Open Google Phone App Call Screening


How to Unlock iPhone Without Passcode

If you’ve forgotten your iPhone passcode or have managed to disable unlocking by entering it incorrectly, you’re not completely out of options. The steps below explain how to unlock an iPhone without a passcode. 

  1. Get access to a computer and bring your iPhone’s lightning cable. The computer needs iTunes installed.
  2. Turn off your iPhone.
  3. Put your phone into recovery mode by holding the relevant button. On iPhone 8 and later, it’s the side button. On iPhone 7, it’s the volume down button.
  4. Keep the button held down while connecting your phone to the computer.
  5. Keep holding it down until you see the recovery mode screen. It’s a picture of the cable and a computer. Once you see this, let go.
  6. Locate your iPhone using iTunes and select Restore. It takes about 15 minutes, after which you can disconnect your phone.
  7. Restore your data from the cloud because this process completely wipes it.

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Using Textr Apps Now

Available on iOS, Android and as a web app. Try for free with a US or CA phone number.