AT&T is one of the very few US networks (perhaps the only one) that lets you check the status of your iPhone and request an AT&T Unlock online for free.
Like any other mobile network, they have their own ATT unlock policy with specific requirements.
Let’s see how you can make a free AT&T device unlock request and what you can do if your device does not really meet the network requirements.
Unlock AT&T Device requirements
Although they are not the only ones, there are the most basic conditions of AT&T unlock policy.
- Your device is SIM locked by AT&T
- Your iPhone isn’t lost, stolen, replaced or involved with fraudulent activities (to put it simply, you iPhone is not blacklisted)
- No outstanding financial balances (unpaid bills or pending device installment plan)
- Your iPhone can’t be active on another AT&T account
- At least 60 days have passed with an activated contract
At this stage, you don’t need to know any of the above, except that your device is actually locked by AT&T.
How to Unlock phone for free through AT&T Unlock Device Portal
- First name & Last name (It doesn’t have to be your real one)
- Mobile Number (It doesn’t have to be a valid number)
- Email address (Make sure you have used your Email)
- Click on the “Submit” button
5. All that’s left is to wait for AT&T’s Unlock Request approval
They usually respond within 2 business days. If your device meets all the conditions of AT&T Unlock Policy then, you will receive an email with SIM Unlock instructions. And just like that, you have managed to unlock your AT&T iPhone for free.
What happens if AT&T Unlock request is rejected
Although in most cases AT&T will reject your SIM unlock request, you have nothing to lose by using the AT&T Device Unlock application.
On the one hand, this means that the iPhone can not be unlocked for free, but it is not the end of the world since you can still do it through AT&T IMEI Unlock.
AT&T IMEI Unlock
We are talking about a paid service that will unlock your iPhone to all Mobile Networks worldwide but also has prerequisites with the first and foremost the reason why AT&T didn’t unlock your iPhone.
When the iPhone isn't paid off
AT&T will refuse to unlock an unpaid iPhone by displaying the following message.
Whether this means that there are unpaid bills or pending device installments, a Semi Premium AT&T IMEI Unlock Service is what you need. Of course, you need to make sure that your iPhone is eligible for unlock.
Just keep in mind that you will not be able to use AT&T SIM cards with your unlocked iPhone until the debt is paid off.
When the iPhone is blacklisted
AT&T will refuse to unlock a blacklisted phone by displaying the following message.
A Premium AT&T IMEI Unlock service will unlock your iPhone worldwide as long as it is compatible with it but you will not be able to use it in the US as it remains blacklisted.
The course of action I’d suggest is to unblacklist the AT&T device before SIM unlocking it. After all, you might be able to unlock it for free using AT&T Unlock Portal afterward. You can read more to our iPhone SIM Unlock post.
When the iPhone is active on another account
Although not so often, there are quite a few cases in which AT&T will not unlock your device because it is active on the account of another customer.
Of course, there is a special AT&T IMEI Unlock service for that but there are compatibility issues that you should clarify before ordering.
When the iPhone is already being unlocked
Also rare but sometimes the AT&T system is confused thinking that your device is already in the middle of the AT&T SIM unlock process.
Of course, in this case, it would be good to wait for a week in case it is finally unlocked. If nothing happens, then you cannot do anything through AT&T unless you are the original owner and account holder.
Once again, a separate IMEI Unlock service will provide the solution, actually unlocking your device but again you need to know if it can be applied.
How to make sure that your AT&T iPhone will get unlocked
A locked iPhone is never good news, but at least AT&T gives us the opportunity to unlock it for free under conditions as described by its SIM Unlock policy.
In case you do not succeed then there is the alternative of AT&T IMEI Unlock but here too there are preconditions.
Unfortunately, most IMEI Unlock providers do not mention this part of the AT&T device compatibility with the respective service (or hide it carefully in terms & conditions) because quite simply, they are not going to give you your money back when it fails.
My advice after about ten years of experience in the field of iPhone Unlock is to leave the whole process to experts who will suggest solutions that are compatible with your phone and come with a money-back guarantee.