How to Use Verizon Phones With Other Carriers

By Michaele Curtis

Updated September 28, 2017

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When you start a contract with a new mobile carrier, like Verizon Wireless, you're given a phone that's locked to its network. Your mobile carrier does this to offset the large discounts that you receive on the mobile phone when you sign a service contract. In the carrier's view, you don’t actually own the phone until you complete the contract. Although there's been some public criticism of this practice, it's standard in the mobile phone industry. Still, you can unlock your Verizon phone, and use it on another mobile carrier's network.

Turn on your Verizon phone. Go the "Settings" menu, and scroll until you see “SIM card.” Click on it to get into the next screen. Type in "MEPD" (without the quotation marks) while pressing on and holding the "Shift" button. On the next screen, you'll see five locking categories.

Press on and hold the "Shift" key continuously with one hand, and type in "MEP2" (without the quotation marks) with the other hand. When you release the "Shift" key, you'll see a prompt to enter the unlock code.

Enter the unlock code carefully. You'll only have a limited amount of attempts before the phone locks you out. When you're sure that you've entered the correct unlock code, press on the "return/enter" key. Your Verizon phone is now unlocked, and you can use the phone with another mobile carrier.

Remove the Verizon SIM card from the phone, and insert the SIM card from your new mobile carrier. It's now ready to use on the new network.


Verizon provides the unlock code to your phone at no charge once you complete your contract. Under certain circumstances, such as you legally breaking your contract, Verizon may be willing to provide the unlock code earlier. You can also get an unlock code from one of the many Internet-based companies that offer unlock codes for a fee.


Although this unlocking method works with most Verizon phone brands, there are always exceptions to the rule. Your source for the unlock code also has more specific instructions for your Verizon phone model. You can also check with Verizon customer support if you have more questions.