How to Remove the SIM Card Lock

By Ty Arthur

Updated September 28, 2017

i Nextel

Cellular service providers who utilize a GSM network will give you a Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) card that goes inside your cell phone and houses your rate plan, phone number, and contact information. Many GSM companies will block their phones so that SIM cards from competing companies cannot be used with them. If you want to use your phone on a different carrier you will need to remove the SIM card lock on your phone.

Turn your phone over and remove the back plate by pressing down on the raised portion and then sliding the piece away from you. Pull the battery out and look for a 15-digit string of numbers called the International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number.

Put the battery back in and the back plate back on if the IMEI number is not located under the battery on your model of phone. Turn the phone on and then press the key combination "#," "0," "6," "0," and then "#." Press the call button and then look at your phone screen to find the IMEI number.

Call your cellular service provider's customer service department and let the staff know that you want the code needed to unlock the phone. Give them your name and phone number and then provide the IMEI number for your phone.

Write down the unlock code that they give you and then turn your phone off. Pull out the battery and then remove the SIM card underneath it. Place the battery back in and then turn the phone on.

Enter in the unlock code that your provider gave you and hit the call button to unlock the phone.


There are no laws governing SIM blocking codes in the United States, so some cellular service providers may only give you the unblock code if you are within six months of the end of your contract and you can provide proof that you have moved out of the coverage area. Cellular providers may also charge you a fee for the unblock code.