How to Turn Cell Phone Into Prepaid

By Kenrick Callwood

With the right code, a cell phone can be turned into a prepaid product.
i black cell phone image by timur1970 from

Cell phone networks install software on every phone that limits their use exclusively to that particular network. To turn a contract cell phone into a prepaid cell phone, you must "unlock" the phone for use on a network that offers prepaid SIM cards. The unlocking process is simple and straightforward. You must obtain a special unlock code for your particular device and enter the code to unlock the phone. These unlock codes are available online at varying prices.

Write down your device's International Mobile Equipment Identification (IMEI) number, which can be displayed on the device by entering *#06#.

Open an Internet browser and visit a website that specializes in providing unlock codes for cell phones.

Use the search tool to query the database for your phone's brand, model and carrier. Fill in the IMEI and your contact details to complete the order if your phone code is available. Codes are sent by email.

Open the email and read the included instructions to determine how the code needs to be entered. Some phones require you to access special menus or insert a SIM card from a different carrier before entering the code. Each brand is different and the code will not work if entered without following the proper steps. Enter the code to unlock the phone.

Purchase a prepaid SIM card and insert it into the phone to begin using the prepaid service.