What is a locked Mobile Phone?
A locked mobile is one that can only be used on specific Cellular networks. So if you have found a low-cost SIM package and want to change your Mobile phone company or traveling abroad, your mobile will not work with the new SIM because it is locked to the specific operator.
The worst thing is that generally, people do not know until they get into the situation, for example, when you go abroad and you cannot use a local SIM.
Most of the Mobile bought directly by Mobile Companies are locked and can only work for the SIMs of the respective Mobile companies. Some of the Mobile Companies offer to roam to the guest network if you are in another country, but charges are too high for such calls and Data usage.
If you suspect that your mobile is locked, then there are several ways to cross-check. It is handy if you buy a second-hand mobile or buy it online from a marketplace that you do not trust.
How to check if your Mobile Phone is locked or not?
Below are the four most common methods used to check the status of mobile phones.
1. Try different Mobile Company's SIM
By definition, a locked mobile phone only connects to the network of a specific cellular operator. Therefore, the easiest method to check if the mobile is locked is to try another SIM card and see if the phone manages to obtain coverage. Enter the SIM, turn on the mobile and check if you can make calls or see signal bars.
This method has the advantage of being relatively easy and reliable. However, you should have a SIM card from a mobile company other than the one you usually use. Getting another SIM can be tricky. Although you can always borrow the SIM from a friend if he uses a different network - you will only need it for a few minutes.
2. Checking if Smart Phone is unlocked through IMEI
Another way to know if mobile is locked is by checking through the IMEI. The IMEI is a unique identifier that you can get in different ways. The most common is to call the number * # 06 #.
To obtain this information, you need to rely on web pages like IMEI.info, where you must enter the IMEI code (without hyphens or spaces). Then choose Check SN / WARRANTY / CARRIER. If you are lucky, on the information screen, you will have complete information about the phone's status.
By entering the IMEI number of your mobile, the website will give you information about it, such as make, model, and yes, even lock or unlock status. In the Carrier section (operator), if you see OPEN, then it is an unlocked mobile, but if you see the name of the operator, then it means you are limited to that operator.
It should be noted that this method is not 100% reliable since it does not show information for all cases. Anyway, it is an alternative and as I mentioned, it is free.
3. Checking if Smart Phone is unlocked through Manufacturer's codes
Another possible way to check the information is through your mobile manufacturer's codes, also known as the Phone's secret codes. By secret codes, it means unique numbers that you must enter in the phone dial pad to open special menus. The problem is that each manufacturer uses its own codes and does not include them in the Phone's manual. Even in some cases the same manufacturer has different codes for different phones of the same company.
Below are a few codes for different Mobile brands to check the status of your phone. You can try your luck by checking the code for your Mobile Phone brand.
· Open “Settings” (Preferences) and look for the “Mobile Data” section
· An option called "Mobile Data Network" or "Cellular Data Network" will appear.
If it appears in your iPhone, it is likely to be unlocked since Mobile Data Network or Cellular Data Network does not show if the service provider locks the phone.
SAMSUNG (OLD MODELS)
· Open the "Phone" app on your mobile (you know, the one you open when you want to dial someone's number).
· Write the following code: * # 7465625 #
· A couple of options should appear. If the first one indicates "OFF", it means mobile is unlocked. If it indicates “ON”, then the mobile is locked.
· Access the "Phone" app.
· Dial the following code: * # * # 7378423 # * # *
· A screen with options should appear.
· Select "Service info" and "Configuration".
· Locate the "Rooting Status" section. If it says "Yes", the mobile is Unlocked and If it says "No", the mobile is locked.
· Go to Settings> About phone> Software information.
· Locate the "Software version" section. If the version ends in "-EUR-XX" , it means that the mobile is unlocked.
· Open the "Phone" app on your device.
· Enter the following code: * # * # 2846579 # * # *
· A new menu should open.
· Go to Project Menu> Network Settings> SIM Card lock state query.
· If the section says, "Sim card lock state NW_LOCKED", it means that your mobile is locked by your operator.
4. Asking your Mobile Operator
If none of the above has solved your doubt, you will always have the option to ask your operator. If you bought your mobile through mobile operator and you are not sure if it is unlocked or not, then it is always possible that the customer service can give you the answer.
It will not work for phones that you have bought second-hand or do not know where they came from. Still, it will even serve as confirmation for the mobiles you have obtained directly from your operator and whose state you are not sure about. Have your phone's IMEI handy, as you will more than likely need to provide it.
HOW TO UNLOCK YOUR PHONE ?
Suppose you have successfully verified that your phone is locked and you want to unlock it to use it with another cellular network provider. In that case, there are several alternatives to do this, but in most cases (if not all), you have to pay. The amount may vary depending on the phone to be unlocked.
1. Unlock your phone by calling your Mobile Company
The first thing you should do is check that your mobile is not within the warranty time and paid off. It will make it easier for the operator to provide you with the unlock code without too many obstacles. This information is usually in the device purchase contract.
Once you have checked, all you have to do is call the Customer Service number of your mobile phone network. Once connected with an operator, tell them that you want to unlock your Mobile Phone.
It is crucial to have the IMEI number, your device's model, and any other information that may appear on the box or the contract at hand. They may ask you some security questions, but there should be no significant problem if the line is yours.
2. Unlock your phone by using DOCTORSIM
In case the Customer Service operator refuses to give you the unlock code and instructions, there is an alternative. You have to follow these steps:
· Login to the website of doctorSIM.
· Select the manufacturer of your blocked mobile.
· Enter the information they ask for (IMEI, number, operator, country, email, etc.)
· Select the payment method and accept the terms and conditions.
· Please wait until you receive the unlock code.
· Using a SIM from another operator inside your mobile, enter the unlock code and press "OK".
3. Unlock your phone by using Mobile Applications
If none of the alternatives mentioned is an option for you, some apps can unlock your mobile phone. It should be noted that these applications are not miraculous, but they work in many cases so that you can give them a try. Of course, they are only for Android and you will have to experiment with them by looking for them in the Play Store.
What unlocking apps do is give you a code, which you will have to enter on your mobile and hope for the best. If it works, you will have your mobile free. If not, you will have to resort to other alternatives. An excellent option to unlock your mobile is the Unlock.io app, created by SDWebs.
So after reading this article, I am sure you must have got an idea about the different ways to check if your mobile phone is locked and how to unlock it.