There is a chance that your iPhone 7/7+ is locked for all the carriers except the one you got the phone from. This might not always be the case, but most carriers tend to lock their smartphones for safety reasons.
If your phone is locked, this means that you cannot use any other SIM card except the one your carrier provided. The key to unlocking your iPhone for any carrier is the so-called IMEI number.
The IMEI Number
The International Mobile Equipment Identity, or simply IMEI, is an identification number unique to your iPhone. The IMEI number is absolutely necessary if you want to unlock your phone because all the standard unlocking methods utilize it.
However, you probably never thought about the IMEI number when you purchased the phone. And you might be wondering where to find it. Don’t worry, as there are a number of easy ways to locate this 15-digit code.
1. The Box
If you saved the box that came with your iPhone, you can easily find IMEI on the bottom side of the box.
2. The Contract
The contract you signed with the carrier contains all the information about the phone, including the IMEI. So if you kept the contract, you should have no problem locating the IMEI.
3. The Settings App
Launch the Settings app and then select General. Tap to open the About menu and swipe until you reach the IMEI number. You can simply press on the number to copy it.
4. SIM Tray
The SIM Tray of your iPhone 7/7+ also contains your IMEI number, so you can simply pop it open to see the number.
How to Actually Unlock Your iPhone 7/7+
There are a few safe ways to unlock your phone without too much trouble. None of these methods are free, so you should be prepared to spend some money to unlock your iPhone 7/7+.
1. A Repair Shop
Most phone repair shops are very good at unlocking your iPhone 7/7+ for any carrier. Their services can be costly, though, and you might be without your phone for a few days until they unlock it.
2. Your Current Carrier
There is a chance that your current carrier would be willing to unlock the phone. This would be the best and easiest way to do it. In fact, some carriers such as AT&T allow you to do it online on your own. However, the unlocking policy may vary from one carrier to another.
Usually, if you are no longer legally bound to that particular carrier (e.g. your contract has expired) and you paid for the phone, they should unlock the phone for you.
3. Online Unlocking Service
There are more than a few paid online unlocking services you can choose from. The prices are usually the same for all carriers. If you opt to unlock your phone this way, here’s what you need to do:
Go to the Website
First, you need to go to the website of the service you choose. For this example, we will use The Unlocking Company . On the homepage, you will have to select the manufacturer of your phone and the model you own from a drop-down menu.
Enter the Required Information
The service will now ask you to choose the country where your phone was bought and the carrier it was bought from. After that, you will also have to enter the IMEI number, as well as your personal info. Once done, the site will redirect you to the payment page.
Pay for the Service
Wait for the Code to be Generated
You will have to wait for up to five days to receive the code in your email inbox. When you do, you can use it to unlock the phone with a new SIM.
Although unlocking your iPhone 7/7+ can be tricky, it can come in really handy if you are not satisfied with the current carrier. Also, when your phone is unlocked for all carriers, it will be much easier to sell it. However, to avoid jeopardizing the warranty of your phone as well as any other potential problems, you should seek out a reliable unlocking service.