How to Decode a Mobile Phone

By Joanne Cichetti

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A coded or locked cell phone can only work with the network carrier it is locked to. To decode the phone, you need the unlock code. Finding an unlock code for your phone is a simple task. Once unlocked, you can switch to any GSM carrier.

Step 1

Request your carrier to give you the unlock code. Carriers, such as AT&T and T-mobile, provide unlock codes to customers. Contact customer support of your carrier and see if you qualify to get the unlock code. Different carriers have different policies in this regard. For instance, AT&T provides unlock codes to users who've used their services for more than 90 days.

Step 2

Try a free unlock code available online. Some websites provide free unlock codes for some cell phones. Keep in mind that the free codes may not work and you shouldn't try more than three codes. Otherwise, your phone will be permanently locked.

Step 3

Purchase an unlock code from a remote unlocking website, such as GSM Unlocking, that provides unlock codes that are guaranteed to work on the phone. These companies offer 100 percent money-back guarantee for their codes.

Step 4

Enter the code into the phone. The unlock code will be sent through either of the methods described in steps 1 to 3 to your email address. The code comes with unlocking instructions specific to your phone. Generally, you're required to insert a SIM of any other cellular network and enter the code when the phone shows a "Network Restriction" message. When you enter the accurate code, your phone will accept the new SIM card.