In all articles, we stand on the grave importance to fully know the status of an iPhone before buying a used one or trying to unlock it. Although the unlocking services are constantly changing while the online markets are full of locked iPhones (without of course saying so in the product description), we have 3 methods to check if an iPhone is unlocked or locked.
How to tell if your iPhone is unlocked in 2020
We divided the methods into 3 major categories.
- Software: via iPhone Settings
- Hardware: By using 2 or more SIM-Cards
- Online: With an iPhone Unlock Check
You don’t need to be an iPhone expert to follow any of our guides. Εach method has its pros and cons, however, only one of them is totally accurate and helps to unlock any iPhone successfully.
1 - How to know if your iPhone is unlocked via Settings
Extremely easily and quickly, you can get a pretty good idea of an iPhone’s SIM Lock status in a minute.
Prerequisite: To already have the iPhone in your possession
- (Step 1) Power ON your iPhone
- (Step 2) Tap on “Settings” and then go to “Cellular”
- If you can find the “Cellular Data Network” tab then most likely your iPhone is Unlocked
- If you don’t see the Cellular Data Network option, then most likely your iPhone is locked by a mobile network
- (Step 3) Power OFF your iPhone and eject the SIM-Card
- (Step 4) Re-do the whole process from Step 2
- If there is the “Cellular Data Network” option without the SIM card, then there is a good chance that your iPhone is unlocked
- It’s completely free
- It’s not 100% accurate, because the presence of the “Cellular” option alone does not mean that it is definitely unlocked. However, its absence will most likely mean that your iPhone is SIM locked.
- And as if the lack of accuracy was not enough, another major drawback is that you can’t tell you which carrier is locking the iPhone.
- At the same time, you will have no clue about other locking issues (blacklisted, active on another account, unpaid bills, etc)
- It can’t be done remotely
2 - How to check if the iPhone is unlocked with two or more SIM cards
With this method, you can definitely tell if your iPhone is SIM locked or not in 5 minutes.
Prerequisite: To already have the iPhone in your possession and two or more SIM Cards
- (Step 1) Power OFF your iPhone
- (Step 2) Insert the first SIM-Card inside SIM-Tray (Use the proper tool to eject the SIM-Tray to be 100% sure that you will not damage it – Read Apple’s Guide on Switching SIM-Cards
- (Step 3) Power ON your iPhone
- (Step 4) Check your iPhone’s Screen
- (Step i) If it shows a “SIM not supported” or “SIM Invalid” message, then your iPhone is Locked
- (Step ii) If you can normally access the Home Screen but you cannot make any phone calls, your iPhone might have a different kind of a lock (maybe Blacklisted)
- (Step iii) If you can make phone calls, then this means that this SIM-Card it allowed (It is not 100% sure that your iPhone is Unlocked)
- (Step 5) Power OFF your iPhone again and insert the second SIM-Card
- (Step 6) Power ON your iPhone and check your iPhone’s Screen
- (Step i) If it shows again the “Step 4i” error codes, then your iPhone is definitely locked to a mobile network
- (Step ii) If you can access the Home Page but you cannot make any phone calls, then your iPhone is SIM Unlocked for sure, but most likely it is Blacklisted
- (Step iii) If you can make phone calls, then your iPhone is Unlocked (At least inside the country you currently live in)
- Once again, free
- This time, you can really tell if your iPhone is locked
- You might also identify the locking network.
If you have other SIM cards in your possession, then you can try them too. If you are lucky and you find a SIM card that lets you make phone calls, then the provider of this SIM is also the locking carrier
- You can’t really tell if your iPhone is unlocked
- It might take too many SIM cards to find out which network is locking your iPhone
- It can’t be done remotely
3 - iPhone Unlock Check using IMEI
This method can check if your iPhone is unlocked or locked remotely within seconds.
Prerequisite: The IMEI number of the iPhone.
The companies that actually offer IMEI Check services have access to databases (GSX, GSMA, CEIR) used by Apple and all networks worldwide to determine the lock status of all iPhones.
By accessing these databases, they guarantee accurate and real-time results, which means that after completing the service you will know exactly if your iPhone is unlocked or not and in which mobile phone company. And this time we are not just talking about SIM Lock status.
- In a few seconds, you will know the full iPhone Lock status without a doubt
- If the iPhone is locked or unlocked
- Which carrier is locking it
- If it is blacklisted, for what reason and inside which country
- If there are unpaid bills or device installments
- The contract status
- If the iPhone is iCloud locked
- IMEI/Serial replacement status
- With this information, you can now safely
- Buy the used iPhone you are interested in, without complications and unpleasant surprises
- Find the right service to successfully unlock it
- Everything is done remotely. Extremely useful with the huge coronavirus problem
- iPhone Unlock Check is a paid service since it needs to access non-public databases which require a small fee
- Although at first glance it seems that there are countless companies that can check iPhones, few of them have real access to these databases. Obviously, those who offer iPhone Unlock Check services for free don’t.
What's the ultimate way to check an iPhone?
Summarizing what we said in the table below, I think we have the undisputed winner.
|Benefits||IMEI Unlock Check||Using 2 SIM Cards||via iPhone Settings|
Reveal Full iPhone Status
(Only for SIM Lock)
Guaranteed Unlock Results
Although the last 2 methods are free, they require the physical presence of the iPhone, so you can check its settings and try other SIM cards.
You have nothing to lose by trying them out (if you can) but unfortunately, they do not provide safe results.
If we want to buy a used iPhone online, then we simply cannot use them. In case we want to unlock the phone then we don’t know any of the information for choosing the appropriate service since each of them has completely different conditions. After all, most iPhone Unlock providers bet on this as they will not give you your money back when it fails.
On the other hand, the iPhone Unlock Check is always available and with few dollars can show you with absolute accuracy if your iPhone is unlocked or locked remotely with a detailed online report. Ιt’s no coincidence that the majority of our visitors use iPhone Unlock Check services to save time and to be 100% confident about their iPhone status.
There is no doubt that the iPhone you buy will be exactly what you expected while with the appropriate IMEI Check provider you will have full support and all the guaranteed unlock options at the same time.
Verified iPhone Unlock Check Providers
For the last ten years, we have worked with a very large number of companies offering IMEI Check services. In recent years, we have come up with two.
- They are able to provide instant and very detailed reports but they do not stop there
- They are ready to provide ongoing support and guidance even with online meetings with their iPhone Unlock experts
- In addition, every recommended iPhone Unlock service is completely guaranteed