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How to unlock mobile phones

There are all sorts of reasons that you might want to unlock your mobile phone, perhaps you want to move to a cheaper network or one which offers appealing extras, or maybe you want to sell your phone to someone on a different network. Whatever the reason, actually getting it unlocked is achievable in several different ways, and these are outlined below.

Ask your network

Often the easiest way to get a phone unlocked is to simply ask the network that it’s locked to if they’ll remove the network lock for you. Whether they will or not varies, depending on the specific network and your own circumstances. To use O2 as an example, if you’re already on a contract with them, they will unlock your phone for free, and if you’re not in a contract, they’ll still unlock it. They’ll just charge you a small fee for the privilege.

Get an expert to do it

There are various independent shops and market stalls which offer to unlock your mobile for you, normally for roughly £5 - £10. If possible, it would always be advisable asking your network before going to one of these places, as your network will use an official unlock code. What these places do is more akin to hacking, and as such, there is always a small risk that your phone could end up damaged in the process. However, if for whatever reason you can’t get your network to unlock it for you, then one of these places should have no problem.

Do it yourself

There are various websites selling tools to help you to unlock your phone as well as online tutorials on how to actually do it. There are several methods and it will vary slightly depending on the phone that you have. However, as long as you’re moderately tech-savvy, you should be able to manage it. That said, it holds the same risks as getting someone else to do it, perhaps more so, if you’ve never done it before. Again, ask your network if they’ll unlock it before resorting to doing it yourself.


However, once your phone’s lock has been removed, you’ll be free to use it on any network and be able to switch network whenever you feel like it. Having an unlocked phone will also increase the value of it, if you plan to sell it afterwards.

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