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Bring Your Own Phone

Unlocked: Our guide to unlocking your phone

To bring your phone to Q Link Wireless, you will need to “unlock” your phone before activating it. But what is a locked phone? And if you have a locked phone, how do you unlock it?

What is a locked phone?

A locked phone is a cell phone that is already tied to a phone provider. There are a couple of reasons why you may own a locked phone, including:

  1. You bought your phone from your previous provider and you now want to use it with Q Link Wireless.
  2. You bought a used phone (or were given one from a friend or family member), and the phone is still locked on the previous provider’s network.

Sometimes a phone provider will lock a phone onto their network even after the phone contract is paid off or expires. All kinds of phones can be locked. It doesn’t matter if your phone is old or newer. If the phone has been used before, it may still be locked.

What happens when I own a locked phone?

A locked phone will only work with its original provider’s network. Even if you put in another SIM card from a different provider, the phone won’t work.

Therefore, you cannot use your phone with Q Link Wireless until you unlock and release it from the current provider’s network. Once a phone is unlocked, you can take it to any wireless carrier you want.

Don’t worry, unlocking your phone from its current provider is very easy! It can be done by contacting the phone’s current provider and requesting your phone to be unlocked. We will explain how to unlock your phone later in this guide. Check other trusted phone unlocking services.

How do I find my phone’s current provider?

Find out your phone’s current provider by calling 611 from your phone. You can also go to www.freecarrierlookup.com and enter your phone number.

How do I check if my phone is locked?

There are a couple of ways to check if your phone is locked. The steps are different for Androids and iPhones.

Android Phones:

There are two ways to check if your Android phone is locked:

#1 Check Available Networks in Your Settings—

  • Go to your phone’s Settings.
  • Then go to Connections.
  • Go to Networks (this depends on your phone model and the version of Android OS, but it will say either Mobile Networks, Cellular Networks, or Networks).
  • Select Network Operators (this may take a few moments to search for available networks).

If only one available network appears, or if Search Network Operators do not appear as a selection, then your phone is probably locked.

locked android phone available networks
Checking a locked Android phone using the Available networks method.

If several available networks appears after this method, then your phone is probably unlocked.

Unlocked android
Checking an unlocked Android phone using the Available networks method.

#2 Insert a SIM Card from Another Carrier—

For this method, you will need a SIM card from another carrier.

  • First, make sure your phone is turned off.
  • Then, remove your phone’s SIM card.
  • Replace with your other SIM card from a different provider.
  • Turn on your phone’s power.
  • You will see the provider’s name at the top of your screen has changed.
  • Make a phone call.

If you cannot place the phone call, then your phone is probably locked. If you can place the phone call, then your phone is probably unlocked.

iPhones:

Now, let’s go over how to check if your iPhone is locked. There are three ways to check if your iPhone phone is locked:

#1 Check Carrier Lock Status in Your Settings (for iPhones updated to iOS 14 and newer)—

  • Open your phone’s Settings, and select General.
  • Tap on About.
  • If you see “SIM locked” next to Carrier Lock, then your phone is locked.
iPhone locked SIM carrier
Checking a locked iPhone using the Carrier lock method.
  • If you see “No SIM restrictions” next to Carrier Lock, then your phone is unlocked.
iPhone unlocked SIM carrier
Checking an unlocked iPhone using the Carrier lock method.
  • This method may not be supported in all iPhone models. If you do not see Carrier Lock in the About section in your iPhone’s Settings, then please refer to one of the two methods below.

#2 Check Cellular Data Network in Your Settings—

  • Go to your phone’s Settings, and then Cellular.
  • If you don’t see Cellular Data Network as an option in this menu, then your phone is probably locked.
  • This method may not be supported in all iPhone models. If you do not see Carrier Services or Cellular Data Network in your iPhone’s Cellular Settings, then please refer to one of the other two methods explained here.
Locked iPhone Cellular Data Network
Checking a locked iPhone using the Cellular Data Network method.
  • If you see a Cellular Data Network option in this menu, then your phone is probably unlocked.
Unlocked iPhone Cellular Data Network
Checking an unlocked iPhone using the Cellular Data Network method.

#3 Insert a SIM Card from Another Carrier—

For this method, you will need a SIM card from another carrier.

  • First, make sure your phone is turned off.
  • Then, remove your phone’s SIM card.
  • Replace with your other SIM card from a different provider.
  • Turn on your phone’s power.
  • You will see the provider’s name at the top of your screen has changed.
  • Make a phone call.

If you cannot place the phone call, then your phone is probably locked. If you can place the phone call, then your phone is probably unlocked.

How do I unlock my phone from my current provider?

There are a few requirements for requesting an unlock from your phone’s carrier. They are the following:

  1. Make sure your phone is paid off from its current provider. Your phone’s provider will not unlock your phone until all financial contracts are met.
    • If you’re still making monthly phone payments to the current provider, then you’ll have to contact them to pay off your lease or contract.
    • If you purchased or received your phone from someone else and the phone is not paid off, you cannot pay off the phone’s contract. Please ask your phone’s provider for further instructions, or upgrade your phone with Q Link Wireless.
  2. Your phone’s provider will not unlock your phone if it is flagged as lost, stolen, or involved with fraudulent activity. Please ask your phone’s provider for further instructions, or upgrade your phone with Q Link Wireless.

If you meet all of the requirements, then all you have to do is contact your phone’s provider to unlock it! Remember, carriers may ask you multiple times to stay and not unlock your phone. They want you to keep paying for their services. You may need to be firm with them and tell them several times that want to unlock your phone.

We have created this easy guide to help you unlock your phone from your current carrier. Simply find your provider from the list below to learn about unlocking your phone.

Assurance Wireless

AT&T

Boost Mobile

Consumer Cellular

Credo

Cricket

FreedomPop

Google Fi

Kroger Wireless

Metro by T-Mobile

Mint Mobile

Net10 Wireless

SafeLink Wireless

Simple Mobile

Sprint

Straight Talk

Tello Mobile

Ting

T-Mobile

Total Wireless

TracFone

US Cellular

Verizon

Virgin

Walmart Family Mobile

Wing Alpha (Xfinity Mobile)

Assurance Wireless:

You can contact Assurance Wireless at 1-888-321-5880, or visit their Help Center.

Unlocking requirements:

  • The device must be provided by Assurance Wireless
  • The device has been active for at least 12 months

How to unlock from Assurance:

  • Contact Assurance Wireless at 888-321-5880 to receive the unlocking code
  • Make sure you are connected to the T-Mobile or Sprint network or Wi-Fi.
  • Choose your device on the Devices page, then click the Security drop-down to find Mobile Device Unlock steps.
  • Select Permanent Unlock
  • Wait while the device completes the unlock.
  • Restart the device.
  • Contact Assurance Wireless if:
    • You do not see the apps or settings listed for your device, as it may require an unlock code.
    • You meet the eligibility requirements but cannot unlock your device.
    • You have a device not listed on the Devices page.

AT&T:

To unlock your phone from AT&T, go to AT&T’s unlock your device page on their website, then provide your account information to log in. There you can receive an unlock code. Or you can contact AT&T at 1-800-331-0500.

Unlocking requirements:

  • Your device isn’t active on another AT&T account.
  • Your service must be active for at least 60 days with no past due or unpaid balance.
  • AT&T PREPAID (formerly GoPhone) devices must have at least 6 months of active service.

How to unlock from AT&T:

  • Go to AT&Ts unlock your device page
  • Provide account information
  • Confirm and receive unlock code

Boost Mobile:

Please contact Boost Mobile for further assistance with unlocking your phone from their network.

Unlocking Requirements:

The device has been active on the associated account for at least 12 months

How to Unlock from Boost:

Eligible customers can request a domestic SIM unlock by contacting Boost Mobile Customer Care at 1-888-BOOST-4U

Consumer Cellular:

Please contact Consumer Cellular at 1-800-345-5510 for further assistance with unlocking your phone from their network.

Unlocking Requirements:

You must have been active for a minimum of 180 days of service

How to Unlock from Consumer Cellular:

Call their customer service for step-by-step directions.

Credo:

Please contact Credo for further assistance at 1-800-411-0848 with unlocking your phone from their network.

Unlocking Requirements:

  • The device was purchased from CREDO
  • The device has been activated on our service for at least 90 days

How to Unlock from Credo:

Call their customer service for step-by-step directions.

Cricket:

Please contact Cricket for further assistance with unlocking your phone from their network.

Unlocking Requirements:

  • The device you want to unlock has been active for at least six months of paid service on that device.
  • The device is designed for use and locked to Cricket’s network.

How to Unlock from Cricket:

  • Call Customer Support at 1-800-CRICKET (1-800-274-2538).
  • To request a Cricket Mobile Device unlock, please call or chat with a Cricket Support Advocate, or visit your local Cricket store.

FreedomPop:

Please contact FreedomPop at 1-888-743-8107 for further assistance with unlocking your phone from their network.

Unlocking Requirements:

If you’ve purchased a new iPhone from FreedomPop you may submit an unlock request after twelve (12) months of continuous paid active service on a FreedomPop plan.

How to Unlock from Freedompop:

To unlock your device, please submit your unlock request to support@freedompop.com.

Google Fi:

Please visit Google Fi’s Help Center, or contact their customer service for information on unlocking your phone from their network.

Unlocking Requirements:

Please contact Google Fi at (855) 696-1128 for assistance.

How to Unlock from Google Fi:

Please contact Google Fi at (855) 696-1128 for assistance.

Kroger Wireless:

Please contact Kroger Wireless at 1-866-434-7796 for further assistance with unlocking your phone from their network.

Unlocking Requirements:

Kroger Wireless will automatically unlock Kroger Wireless phones purchased from The Kroger Family of Co. stores no later than one year after initial activation, for customers that are in full compliance with Kroger Wireless’ Terms & Conditions.

How to Unlock from Kroger i-wireless:

If you have questions about the status of a phone unlock request, you may contact Kroger Wireless Customer Service by calling 1-866-434-7796 or visiting their website.

Metro by T-Mobile:

Please contact Metro by T-Mobile at 1-888-863-8768 for further assistance with unlocking your phone from their network.

Unlocking Requirements:

  • The device must be purchased from Metro by T-Mobile.
  • One hundred eighty (180) days must have passed since the device’s activation date.

How to Unlock from Metro by T-Mobile:

  • Make sure you are connected to the Metro by T-Mobile network or Wi-Fi.
  • Swipe up on your Home screen to open the Apps tray and follow the steps below:
    • Newer Samsung Devices (2019 or newer): Settings > Connections > More Connection Settings > Select Network Unlock
    • Other Android Devices: Use the Device Unlock app or Unlock app pre-installed on your device and follow instructions on-screen. If you do not have this app, your device is unlocked or it is on a 2019 or newer OS.
  • Select Permanent Unlock
  • If you have an Apple device, once it becomes eligible, Metro by T-Mobile will automatically authorize, and initiate unlock for your device remotely. To complete the unlock on your device, please follow these steps.
    • Verify that your device is eligible to be unlocked.
    • Make sure your device is on WiFi.
    • Insert a non-T-Mobile SIM card into your Apple device and complete the first-time use.
      • If the device has already been set up, follow the on-screen instructions to sign in to your Apple ID.
      • If you don’t get the setup prompt or if no SIM is available:
        • Back up your iPhone.
        • After you make a backup, erase your iPhone.
        • Restore your iPhone from the backup you just made.

Mint Mobile:

Please contact Mint Mobile at 1-800-683-7392 for further assistance with unlocking your phone from their network.

Unlocking Requirements:

  • Customers are eligible for this program only once every twelve months.
  • A person who requests unlocking must be the customer of record with Mint Mobile on the service and Mint Mobile can, at its discretion, require proof that the requisite party is the customer of record.

How to Unlock from Mint Mobile:

Customers who would like to check if they are eligible for or can submit a request to unlock their phone(s) can do so by calling customer care at 1-800-683-7392.

Net10 Wireless:

Please contact Net10 Wireless for further assistance with unlocking your phone from their network.

Unlocking Requirements:

  • Customers must request handset unlocking. NET10 will unlock the phones of current and former NET10 customers without charge. Non-former customers may request unlocking, but NET10 may charge a reasonable fee.
  • The NET10 phone must have been activated on NET10 Service for no fewer than 12 months with Service Plans redeemed in no fewer than 12 months

How to Unlock from Net10 Wireless:

Please contact Net10 Wireless at 1-877-836-2368 for assistance.

SafeLink Wireless:

Please contact SafeLink Wireless for further assistance with unlocking your phone from their network.

Unlocking Requirements:

  • Only the original approved SafeLink subscriber is eligible to make the request.
  • Customers must have had their locked device activated on SafeLink service for no fewer than 12 months, received Lifeline supported service or redeemed air time cards in no fewer than 12 months, and not have had their telephone number recycled or ported.
  • Customers must request this interim unlocking solution while their service is active or within 60 days after their service expires. This 60-day grace period applies even if the customer’s telephone number was recycled or ported.
  • Customers must currently own a SafeLink branded handset model activated with SafeLink service after February 11, 2014.
  • Customers are eligible for this program only once every twelve months.

How to Unlock from SafeLink Wireless:

Please contact SafeLink at 1-888-442-5102 for assistance.

Simple Mobile:

Please contact Simple Mobile for further assistance with unlocking your phone from their network.

Unlocking Requirements:

  • Simple Mobile will unlock the phones of current and former Simple Mobile customers without charge. Non-former customers may request unlocking, but Simple Mobile may charge a reasonable fee.
  • The Simple Mobile Handset must have been activated on Simple Mobile Service for no fewer than 12 months with Service Plans redeemed in no fewer than 12 months.

How to Unlock from Simple Mobile:

Customers who would like to check if they are eligible or submit an unlocking request can do so by calling 1-877-878-7908.

Sprint:

Please contact Sprint for further assistance with unlocking your phone from their network.

Unlocking Requirements:

  • The device must be sold by Sprint.
  • The device must be or have been active on the Sprint network for a minimum of 40 days.
  • Sprint may request proof of purchase or additional information at its discretion and certain other exceptions may apply

How to Unlock from Sprint:

Customers who would like to check if they are eligible or submit an unlocking request can do so by calling 1-888-211-4727.

Straight Talk:

Please contact Straight Talk for further assistance with unlocking your phone from their network.

Unlocking Requirements:

  • Straight Talk will unlock the phones of current and former Straight Talk customers without charge. Non-former customers may request unlocking, but Straight Talk may charge a reasonable fee.
  • The Straight Talk phone must have been activated on Straight Talk Service for no fewer than 12 months with Service Plans redeemed in no fewer than 12 months.

How to Unlock from Straight Talk:

Customers who would like to check if they are eligible or submit an unlocking request can do so by calling 1-888-442-5102.

Tello Mobile:

Please contact Tello Mobile for further assistance with unlocking your phone from their network.

Unlocking Requirements:

  • The device is currently active on Tello Mobile and the applicable account has been active for at least 90 days.
  • The account associated with the device does not have more than 1 unlocked device within a 12-month period; each account is allowed 2 device unlocks within a 12-month period.
  • The device must remain active for at least 30 concurrent days, with the same subscriber/number, on the same Tello Mobile account

How to Unlock from Tello Mobile:

Customers who would like to check if they are eligible or submit an unlocking request can do so by calling 1-866-377-0294.

Ting:

Please contact Ting for further assistance with unlocking your phone from their network.

Unlocking Requirements:

Contact Ting at 1-855-846-4389, or visit their website: https://ting.com/blog/unlocked-cell-phone/.

How to Unlock from Ting:

Contact Ting at 1-855-846-4389, or visit their website: https://ting.com/blog/unlocked-cell-phone/.

T-Mobile:

Please contact T-Mobile at 1-800-937-8997 for further assistance with unlocking your phone from their network.

Unlocking Requirements:

  • The device must be sold by T-Mobile.
    • Unlock eligibility for mobile devices on Postpaid plans:
      • The device must have been active on the T-Mobile network for at least 40 days on the requesting line.
    • Unlock eligibility for mobile devices on Prepaid plans
      • At least 365 days must have passed since the device was activated on the T Mobile network.
      • If the device was activated less than 365 days ago, then the Prepaid account associated with the device must have had more than $100 in refills during that period for each line active on the account. In addition, more than 14 days must have passed since the device was purchased.
      • No more than 2 mobile device unlocks have been completed per line of service in the last 12 months.

How to Unlock from T-Mobile:

  • Make sure you are connected to the T-Mobile network or Wi-Fi.
  • Select your device type below and follow the steps:
    • Android:
      • Swipe up on your Home screen to open your Apps list and follow the steps for your manufacturer:
        • Samsung: Settings > Connections > More Connection Settings > Network Unlock
        • OnePlus: Settings > Wi-Fi & internet > SIM & network, then choose Advanced or Network Unlock
        • LG: Settings > Network & internet > Mobile networks > Network unlock > Continue
        • T-Mobile REVVLRY: Settings > Network & Internet > Mobile network > Advanced > Network Unlock
        • Older Android or other manufacturers:
          • For Android 7 and newer, open the Device Unlock app. If you don’t have this app, your device is either unlocked or uses one of the newer steps above.
          • For Android 6 and older, choose your device on the Devices page, then click the Security drop-down to find Mobile Device Unlock steps.
      • Select Permanent Unlock and wait while the device completes the unlock.
      • Restart the device.
    • Apple iPhone:
      • If you have a locked iPhone that’s eligible, Contact us so we can submit the unlock.
        • If your iPhone is showing unlocked on My T-Mobile, follow these steps to complete the process.
    • Other devices:
      • Choose your device on the Devices page, then click the Security drop-down to find Mobile Device Unlock steps.
      • If the steps mention an unlock code, Contact us so we can provide it.

Total Wireless:

Please contact Total Wireless for further assistance with unlocking your phone from their network.

Unlocking Requirements:

  • Current and former Total Wireless customers without charge. Non-former customers may request unlocking, but Total Wireless may charge a reasonable fee.
  • The Total Wireless phone must have been activated on Total Wireless Service for no fewer than 12 months with Service Plans redeemed in no fewer than 12 months.

How to Unlock from Total Wireless:

Contact Total Wireless at 1-866-663-3633.

TracFone:

Please contact TracFone for further assistance with unlocking your phone from their network.

Unlocking Requirements:

Contact TracFone at 1-888-442-5102 for unlocking requirements.

How to Unlock from TracFone:

You can check if you are eligible or submit a request in TracFone’s online portal at www.tfwunlockpolicy.com, or contact TracFone at 1-888-442-5102.

US Cellular:

Please contact US Cellular for further assistance with unlocking your phone from their network.

Unlocking Requirements:

  • After 120 days US cellular will automatically unlock devices that are not:
    • U.S. Cellular cannot unlock devices that have been sold by other carriers.
    • U.S. Cellular locked 4G LTE devices that were launched before February 1, 2016; some of these devices can be unlocked via a software update.
    • U.S. Cellular locked 1X and 3G devices that were launched before February 1, 2016; some of these devices may be unlocked upon request. Please contact Customer Service for assistance with these devices.
    • U.S. Cellular may not be able to unlock a device due to technology obsolescence.

How to Unlock from US Cellular:

Contact US Cellular at 1-888-944-9400.

Verizon:

Please contact Verizon for further assistance with unlocking your phone from their network.

Unlocking Requirements:

  • Beginning on 7/23/2019, devices purchased from Verizon are locked for 60 days from the date of purchase. This policy applies to new and existing customers, postpaid and prepaid plans, and customers porting their service to another carrier.
    • Device purchased at full retail price or on a device payment agreement – Locked for 60 days from purchase.
    • Device purchased on a device payment agreement and paid off prior to 60-day requirement – Locked for 60 days from purchase.
    • Customers unlocking service – Device remains locked until the 60-day requirement has been met.
    • Verizon service canceled while the device is locked – Device remains locked until the 60-day requirement has been met.
    • Prepaid customers – Locked for 60 days from purchase

How to Unlock from Verizon:

Contact Verizon at 1-800-922-0204 for assistance.

Virgin:

Please contact Virgin for further assistance with unlocking your phone from their network.

Unlocking Requirements:

The device must be HSPA or LTE compatible. Please visit Virgin’s Help Center for more information, or contact Virgin at 1-888-322-1122.

How to Unlock from Virgin:

Contact Virgin at 1-888-322-1122.

Walmart Family Mobile:

Please contact Walmart Family Mobile for further assistance with unlocking your phone from their network.

Unlocking Requirements:

  • Walmart Family Mobile will unlock the phones of current and former Walmart Family Mobile customers without charge. Non-former customers may request phone unlocking, but Walmart Family Mobile may charge a reasonable fee.
  • The Walmart Family Mobile Phone must have been activated on Walmart Family Mobile Service for no fewer than 12 months with Rate Plans redeemed in no fewer than 12 months.

How to Unlock from Walmart Family Mobile:

Customers who would like to check if they are eligible or submit an unlocking request can do so by calling Customer Care at 1-877-760-8760.

Wing Alpha (Xfinity Mobile):

Please contact Wing Alpha at 1-888-936-4968 for further assistance with unlocking your phone from their network.

Unlocking Requirements:

  • The phone must be an Xfinity Mobile device.
  • The phone cannot be active on another Xfinity Mobile customer’s account. If the phone previously was active on another Xfinity Mobile customer’s account, it must be paid for in full.
  • You must have completed and paid for at least one full billing cycle of Xfinity Mobile service since purchasing the phone.
  • A minimum of 60 days must have passed since you activated the phone.
  • The device must have been purchased on the account of the authenticated customer who is requesting the unlock.

How to Unlock from Wing Alpha:

  • If you meet the unlock eligibility requirements, contact an Xfinity Mobile specialist via chat or text at 1-888-936-4968 to request the unlock.
    • If you are in the military, you’ll need to visit a store before calling.
  • Once Wing Alpha receives your request and confirms eligibility, they will email you an unlock code.
  • When you receive your unlock code, insert a non-Xfinity Mobile SIM in your phone.
  • Enter the unlock code provided by Xfinity Mobile.

What if I am having issues with unlocking my phone?

Some CDMA smartphones may be tied to a heavy contract with their previous carriers that will not allow them to be transferred to a GSM network.

If you believe you may be experiencing this situation, you will most likely have to purchase a new smartphone to enjoy our upgraded network or bring another smartphone you have.

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