How to Unlock a Phone From T-Mobile to Change Carriers

Amora R Jelo

To unlock a phone from T-Mobile, there are several requirements to meet for eligibility.  The process to unlock a T-Mobile phone is more involved than other major carriers for certain devices.  It takes approximately two business days to unlock a phone from T-Mobile.  Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more […]

  • To unlock a phone from T-Mobile, there are several requirements to meet for eligibility. 
  • The process to unlock a T-Mobile phone is more involved than other major carriers for certain devices. 
  • It takes approximately two business days to unlock a phone from T-Mobile. 
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

Are you thinking it’s time to upgrade your phone and switch to a new carrier?

If you’re a T-Mobile customer, there are a few hoops you may need to jump through, depending on your phone and plan. If your device is eligible, T-Mobile will remotely unlock it within two business days. 

Below are all the requirements and steps you’ll need to unlock your iOS or Android phone and plan.

How to unlock a phone from T-Mobile

There are several requirements you may need to meet for eligibility, depending on how you purchased your phone. 

Requirements to unlock any phone from T-Mobile 

  • Your phone must be purchased from T-Mobile.
  • The phone cannot be reported lost or stolen.
  • Your account with T-Mobile must be paid in full and in good standing with no fraudulent activity. 
  • You can’t have requested more than two device unlocks within a year.

Requirements to unlock a postpaid T-Mobile phone 

  • Your account must be fully paid off, including any payments for the device. 
  • Your device must be active for at least 40 days on T-Mobile’s network.

Requirements to unlock a prepaid T-Mobile phone 

  • The device must be active on a T-Mobile network for one year.
  • If the device hasn’t been active for a year, each active line on the account must have had over $100 in refills since activating the account, and the device must be 14 days past its date of purchase. 

How to unlock an iPhone on T-Mobile  

Once you’ve met all the eligibility requirements, you need to contact T-Mobile in order to submit a form to unlock your phone.

If the phone is already unlocked, T-Mobile’s site offers a guide for using the phone with other carriers.

How to unlock an Android phone on T-Mobile

The process will vary slightly depending on your phone’s manufacturer, but you need to be connected to either the internet or the T-Mobile network. 

You will first need to head to your Settings app and then follow these steps on your device. 

On Samsung phones, Tap Connections, then More Connection Settings, and select Network Unlock.

On OnePlus phones, Tap Wi-Fi & internet, then SIM & network, and select Advanced or Network Unlock.

On LG phones, tap Network & internet, then Mobile networks, then Network unlock, and select Continue.

On a T-Mobile Revvlry phone, tap Network & Internet, then Mobile network, then Advanced, and select Network Unlock.

Next, on any device, select Permanent Unlock to unlock the phone. Then restart your device. 

Unlocking an Android through T-Mobile’s Device Unlock app

T-Mobile customers with an Android 7 device or newer can request a code that unlocks your phone through the Device Unlock app from T-Mobile. This application only works on select supported devices and is already installed on the phone. 

To check if your device can use the Device Unlock app, go to T-Mobile’s Devices page in a web browser, search for your device, and select it from the list of device images that appear as you type. 

t-mobile phone unlock - search for devices page

Search for the name of your device and select it from the resulting list.

Insider


On the page for your device, scroll down to the How Tos section, click Security, and then select Mobile Device Unlock from the dropdown menu for further instructions on unlocking your device. 

If your device lacks a Mobile Device Unlock option on that page, it may be ineligible to use the Device Unlock app. In that case, you should contact T-Mobile for further instructions. 

Military personnel exclusions for unlocking a T-Mobile phone 

Regardless of the type of phone you have, if you’re an active military personnel you can have your phone unlocked at any time as long as the account is in good standing and you have documentation to confirm your deployment. T-Mobile asks that you contact them to assist with the unlocking process.

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