- 1 Brief explanation of the 3 methods that will help you to Check if an iPhone is Unlocked or Locked
- 1.1 1 – Checking your iPhone’s iOS Settings
- 1.2 2 – Trying 2 or more SIM-Cards
- 1.3 3 – Using an Online iPhone IMEI GSX Checker
- 1.4 Check iPhone’s Locked/Unlocked Status without SIM-Card
- 2 How to Check if an iPhone is Unlocked
- 3 How did I find the status of my iPhones (Personal Story)
- 4 Review of popular iPhone Unlock Check companies
- 5 Evaluate the Unlocked or Locked Status of an iPhone
- 6 Solution for Network Locked iPhones
- 7 Conclusion: Check if an iPhone is Unlocked – Remove Network Lock:
A locked or unlocked iPhone will make a real difference on how you can use it, so you need to know how to check if an iPhone is Unlocked or Locked.
A Locked iPhone might cause some serious issues to you, since it can only operate with one Mobile Network (1 – SIM-Lock).
There are many Network Locked (Or Carrier Locked) iPhones out there, and most of them are Used/Second Hand iPhones (2 – Most Popular Selling Phones).
People prefer buying Used/Second Hand iPhones, since their price drops significantly, especially when a new iPhone model is about to get released.
Although there are many ways to check if an iPhone is Unlocked or Locked, there are MANY people who either do not know them or they are getting tricked.
Here are the 3 most easy to follow methods that will help you to check if an iPhone is Unlocked or Locked.
Interesting fact: At least 70% of all active iPhones worldwide have a Carrier, Network or SIM Lock. This means that those iPhones can only be used with SIM Cards from that specific carrier / network.
Brief explanation of the 3 methods that will help you to Check if an iPhone is Unlocked or Locked
With these 3 methods you will be able to identify the SIM-Lock status of an iPhone.
Some of them are not 100% accurate, and other can guarantee you accurate and up to date results.
We will show you 3 kinds of iPhone SIM-Lock checking, a “Software”, a “Hardware” and an “Online” iPhone IMEI Checking.
A Locked iPhone cannot get identified just by looking it, the lock is “deeper”!
The following methods will help you to show you an iPhone’s lock status.
- Checking your iPhone’s iOS Settings
- Using a different SIM-Card
- Getting a full GSX IMEI iPhone Check Report
1 – Checking your iPhone’s iOS Settings
One of the most common questions we receive is how to check if an iPhone is Unlocked or Locked without using two or more SIM-Cards.
It is fully understandable, since many people might not own a second SIM-Card or they might not have the right SIM-Card size (Nano, micro, etc..) for their particular iPhone model.
So, one quick way to check if an iPhone is Unlocked without using two or more SIM-Cards (The next method is using 2 SIM-Cards), is through an iPhone’s iOS settings.
Editing APN settings:
This is a very practical way to check if iPhone is locked or unlocked, but you need to know that it will not show you in WHICH carrier your iPhone is locked to (If it is locked).
If you can Modify your iPhone’s Carrier and Network settings, or change the APN settings, it means that this iPhone is Unlocked.
If you cannot do that, it means that your iPhone is SIM-Locked, but again it will not reveal to you in which network it is locked to.
It is not a perfect solution, but at least you will be able to identify the SIM-Lock status of an iPhone.
It also means that you need to have this iPhone near you so you can apply the following guide:
- Tap “Settings” and then locate the “Carrier” and “Cellular” tabs.
If the “Cellular Data Network” appears, it means that either your carrier allows you to change your APN or you have an unlocked iPhone or you unlocked it.
- Eject your SIM card and shut down your iPhone. Power it back on and make sure that the carrier status says “No SIM” or “Service Unavailable“. Go to “Settings” and check if “Cellular” and “Carrier” is still there. If yes, then most likely your iPhone is unlocked
2 – Trying 2 or more SIM-Cards
This approach is probably the easiest and the most accurate way to determine if an iPhone is Unlocked or Locked.
The only “bad” thing (As the previous method) is that you will not be able to determine in which Mobile Network this device is locked to.
Again, this method requires to have the iPhone near you and at least 2 or more SIM-Cards.
Make sure that you have the right sized SIM-Cards depending on the iPhone model you want to check its locked status (3 – iPhone’s SIM-Card sizes)
How to Switch SIM-Cards to an iPhone’s SIM-Tray
Put a SIM Card from another network / carrier into your iPhone (100% Accurate)
You need to get prepared for this method;
You should have at least two SIM-Cards from different Mobile networks and a pin to eject the SIM-Cards.
You could buy a SIM Card from eBay or borrow one from a friend or family if you do not have 2 spare SIM-Cards from different networks!
If you are able to make phone calls or at least have signal with that iPhone with both SIM-Cards it means that it is unlocked.
- Shut down your iPhone by holding down the Sleep / Wake button until “slide to power off” appears. Then slide the red arrow to shut your iPhone down.
- Find the SIM-Tray of your SIM card, which is along the edge of your iPhone, and eject it by using a paper clip (push it in the small hole).
- Replace the SIM card of your iPhone with the different SIM card (and different carrier) and close the SIM-Tray
- Turn your iPhone on and then try to make a call. If you can make a call, then your iPhone is not locked. If a problem occurs, then your iPhone is locked.
- Guideline found on Apple’s website (4 – Remove or switch the SIM card in your iPhone or iPad)
Unfortunately, this method will not reveal to you in WHICH network your iPhone is locked to.
3 – Using an Online iPhone IMEI GSX Checker
This method is the most reliable one since it can provide you information that are 100% accurate and up to date (Real time updates).
It will not only tell you if your iPhone is Unlocked or Locked, but it will also provide you more information, such as Network Identification (In which network your iPhone is locked to), Blacklist status (CLEAN, Lost, Stolen or Fraud) and iCloud status.
Getting an iPhone GSX IMEI Check for accurate SIM-Lock Status
Check if my iPhone is Unlocked status with an IMEI GSX Network/SIM-Lock Check Service (100% Accurate)
What most people (And companies) use in order to receive accurate information about the SIM-Lock status of an iPhone, is an IMEI GSX iPhone Check service.
The reason that companies and professional shops use this service, is because it has access to GSX Apple’s databases and can provide accurate and up to date SIM-Lock information.
An iPhone Check Service will check if your iPhone has a SIM Lock by requesting that information directly from Apple’s GSX server. Those servers basically track all information about your iPhone, including the Lock Status of your IMEI.
Using the IMEI number to check if iPhone is unlocked is completely risk-free, even if your iPhone is stolen or lost.
With your IMEI report, you can reveal if your iPhone is unlocked or locked within minutes. A SIM Lock Report will provide you the actual SIM Lock Status as well as the Initial Lock Network. It will save you lots of headaches and money, especially when you want to get it unlocked! And no SIM Card is needed!
If you want to quickly check if iPhone is unlocked or not with 100% guarantee and without a SIM Card, there is no way around an IMEI Check.
In fact, it’s the easiest method to check if your iPhone is locked or unlocked AND receive all the information you could need about your device.
If you already bought a locked iPhone, checking your IMEI will help you figure out which network is locking it and how to get it unlocked securely. The SIM Lock Check will tell you which carrier your iPhone is locked to. Always Check iPhone Unlocked Status first to know if the iPhone is locked or not.
iPhone Unlock Checker – Using UnlockSpector.com to Check if iPhone is Unlocked:
Besides the SIM Lock Checking, you can also check if iPhone has any other hidden problems.
You can easily find out if the iPhone is reported as stolen and got blacklisted or if it’s iCloud locked. They will even tell you if the IMEI got replaced or if the iPhone is still In-Contract.
The coolest thing about their IMEI report is that it will also tell you if the iPhone is still under warranty. So you could return it to Apple without worrying.
If it turns out that your iPhone is in fact locked or blacklisted, UnlockSpector will guide you into getting that iPhone unlocked ( and even unblacklisted sometimes ) remotely through Legal methods.
- Network Identification: Their SIM Lock Check will basically reveal Lock Status and the Initial Lock Network.
- Blacklist Status
- Reason of Blacklist
- Network and Country that blacklisted your iPhone
- Find My iPhone status
- iCloud Status
- Warranty Status
- Contract Status
- Replacement Status
- Technical Details
- Suggestion of an Unlocking service specific for your iPhone
Also, you do not want to get involved with the law by selling or buying stolen iPhones. Instead of wasting your time, find out what is locking your iPhone with UnlockSpector.com
There are many of fake or free IMEI Check services online, but they are not reliable and their information can not be verified. One service that we use all the time is called UnlockSpector. It’s the cheapest and fastest way to check the IMEI of an iPhone.
Not only will they tell you if your iPhone is locked or unlocked, but they can also check if your iPhone is blacklisted or clean.
SUM UP of the 3 Methods to Check if an iPhone is Unlocked or Locked
All the above methods are able to tell you if your iPhone is Locked or Unlocked, but not all of them are 100% accurate.
Below, I will share with you some “bad” experiences I had from my online iPhone purchases, to point out how important is to CHECK an iPhone’s SIM Lock status BEFORE buying it.
The conclusion I had from my personal experience is that the iPhone GSX IMEI Check service is the best approach, but I highly suggest to read the whole article and make your own mind!
How did I find the status of my iPhones (Personal Story)
Now, I would like to share with you what lead me to write this article and how I applied the above methods in order to tell if my iPhone was Unlocked or Locked.
You don’t want to buy a locked iPhone (Like me) which is more like an iPod touch – you cannot use your own network or carrier and at worst, the iPhone won’t even get activated.
SIM locks in general cause many different types of problems. If you want to change your network, travel abroad or if you want to sell your iPhone, you obviously want to make sure that it can be used with another country’s network.
If your iPhone can not be used with other providers or networks, you have a locked iPhone!
This is extremely important if you want to unlock your iPhone, because not only accurate Network information is required, but blacklisted devices ( = reported as lost or stolen ) are harder to unlock.
And those are usually worth 20-40% less than an unlocked iPhone!
And if it turns out that your iPhone is really locked to a network, then you should find out the so-called “Initial Lock Network“.
That’s basically the network that locked your iPhone in the beginning and you need this information to be able to unlock your locked iPhone.
My first experience: I bought a locked second-hand iPhone online
Couple of years ago, I bought an iPhone 4s on eBay and when I tried to use my own SIM card, all I could see on my iPhone screen was “SIM Invalid“.
Yes, you guessed it right: The seller had sold me a locked iPhone!
From my own research, I know that there are sooooooo many people who still buy locked or stolen iPhones on eBay, Craigslist or Amazon and realize it when it’s way too late.
The seller just disappears.
eally, always check if iPhone is unlocked or locked BEFORE purchasing an iPhone!
You should always check iPhone Unlocked Status before buying it and I learned it with the hard way :S
My second experience: My brother got me a blacklisted iPhone
My younger brother wanted to make me happy for my birthday and he already knew I am on AT&T USA. He bought me an AT&T USA Locked iPhone, because it was cheaper than an unlocked iPhone.
When I tried to make a phone call after inserting my AT&T USA SIM-Card, the same thing happened.
After doing some research & checks, it turned out: The iPhone was blacklisted by AT&T, because it was still In-Contract.
So now I had a locked AND blacklisted iPhone that acted like an iPod since I couldn’t use it at all.
It took me a while until i realized that it is possible to unlock blacklisted iPhones, but it was much more expensive than if the iPhone was clean.
So, not only you need to check iPhone Unlocked Status, but also the Blacklist status.
My third (and last) experience: I bought a unlocked iPhone with iCloud activated
Totally defeated by the previous two experiences, I wanted to make things right.
So when I wanted to upgrade to an iPhone 6s ( I was using the iPhone 6 which I bought unlocked directly from Apple ), I knew that I had to know if the iPhone is unlocked and find out if it’s a blacklisted iPhone or not.
I was browsing Craigslist and found an ad that was selling an unlocked & unblacklisted iPhone.
I met with the seller and while we were standing there, I put in my own SIM Card in his iPhone, and it worked.
I was happy – I found a cheap iPhone, everything worked and I thought let’s do it.
We agreed to the price, and the seller started to restore the iPhone because his own data was still there.
But guess what: He did restore the iPhone, but he still left the iCloud activated. iCloud is a service by Apple that allows you to remotely BLOCK an iPhone.
So this time, my iPhone was in fact unlocked and unblacklisted, but because he didn’t remove the iCloud, I had to sign in with HIS iCloud ID. Which i obviously didn’t have.
At the end, I found how to remove an iCloud Lock through Legal and Official means and I was able to remove the iCloud Lock from my iPhone 6s and I still got a better final price than buying it from Apple unlocked. Yaaaay!
Review of popular iPhone Unlock Check companies
There are many iPhone IMEI Check companies, but there are also many “fake” companies. We have created a great review post for the Top 3 IMEI Check companies, which will help you to pick the best company for your needs!
Evaluate the Unlocked or Locked Status of an iPhone
If you successfully determined the SIM-Lock status of your iPhone and it is UNLOCKED, then great (There are a few more things to check which I will explain later).
If your iPhone is Network Locked, then you need to find out in which network this device is locked to. This is also a very important step, because not all Mobile Networks have the same unlocking policies.
Some Mobile Networks, refuse to deactivate the SIM-Lock from an iPhone and some others can only unlock your iPhone after completing a 2 year contract.
But, if your iPhone is locked to a Mobile Network that you want to use, then it is completely OK to buy a Locked iPhone!
Next Steps after Checking if my iPhone is Unlocked
The first step was to check if iPhone is Unlocked or Locked, but it does not end there (If you read my personal stories!).
There are plenty of “bad things” you might encounter, such as a Blacklisted iPhone, an iCloud Locked iPhone, an iPhone with Unpaid Bills, an iPhone which is under an active account or an iPhone under contract.
There are solutions for the above issues, but the best thing is to buy a full UNLOCKED and CLEAN iPhone, so you can start using it immediately after you buy it!
Checking iPhone’s Blacklist Status (CLEAN/LOST/STOLEN)
A Blacklist device will not work to at least one country (More than 2 most of the times)! Also, Blacklisted devices from Apple will not work WORLDWIDE!
The full iPhone report, includes GSMA check, which is a service specifically for finding Blacklisted devices.
The GSMA database is not accessible for the public and it contains ALL blacklisted active IMEI numbers.
Check iPhone iCloud Status (ON/OFF – CLEAN/LOST)
An iCloud Locked iPhone will not allow you to even see its Home Screen (To the iCloud Activation Screen). You will only be able to Power it ON and OFF!
Always avoid buying iCloud Locked iPhones. It is very difficult to unlock them and the resale value drops.
An iCloud / Find My iPhone Status check is included to the full iPhone report. If the results are other than “OFF“, it means that your iPhone is iCloud Locked.
Either request from the seller to deactivate it OR simply avoid buying it!
Solution for Network Locked iPhones
There are plenty of methods to remove the Network Lock from an iPhone and I already wrote a very detailed article about this (Read “How to Unlock an iPhone“).
The main 2 methods are:
- SIM-Lock Deactivation Request
- IMEI Unlock Method
Unlocking an iPhone through SIM-Lock Deactivation Request
This is a service which helps you to request a Network Unlock from your Lock network by boosting the chances for a successful unlock.
The Mobile Networks have specific Unlocking Policies, but they are well hidden, complicated and very vague.
There is a good reason for that; they do not want you to unlock your iPhone from their network, because they lose money!
Having assistance from experts is a great idea, since you only get 1 request per year (Most Unlocking Policies have that rule!).
You can pick iPhoneUnlock.Zone for requesting a SIM-Lock Deactivation.
Unlocking an iPhone through IMEI Unlock Method
The IMEI Unlock Method is also an official solution with guaranteed results.
It is more expensive than the SIM-Lock Deactivation Request, but it is ideal for iPhones that their Unlock Request was rejected from their Mobile Networks.
You can read more on the “How much does it cost to Unlock an iPhone” article, which is very detailed!
Conclusion: Check if an iPhone is Unlocked – Remove Network Lock:
The first step should always be to get a full iPhone IMEI Check report, which will Check if an iPhone is Unlocked, in which network it is locked (If it is), its Blacklist status, its iCloud status, Contract, Warranty, Financial and other status.
After finding all available information about your iPhone, you can determine if it requires a Network Lock removal solution or you can start using it without any problems!
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- how do i know if my iphone is unlocked (107)