The Techie Guide of How to Unlock an iPhone

There has been a lot of confusion surrounding the phone unlocking industry for a number of years and exactly how it is done for different phones. Usually phone unlocking is done correctly with the use of an unlock code. A lot of people know this and then assume they need an unlock code for their iPhone (any model). However, this isn’t the case. I’ll explain why below, after clearing up phone unlocking for anyone who is slightly confused about the subject.


Phone unlocking in most countries is completely legal and doesn’t have to be done by the network who locked the phone. Generally, when it comes to unlock codes, companies like Mobile Unlocked have access to the databases were unlock codes are stored and can then supply the code unique to the IMEI on your phone. If you were to order the code directly from the network they will supply the exact same code but will often charge a higher price and take longer, obviously to discourage customers from unlocking their phones.

When a phone is unlocked, it removes the network/SIM lock on the phone, which when active, only lets the phone receive a signal from one specific network. So when this lock is deactivated, the phone can then accept SIM cards from all compatible networks worldwide, allowing people to use the phone with a cheaper or preferred network either at home or when travelling.

iPhones are slightly different to the norm and this is important to know if you want to unlock your iPhone. There is only one official method of removing this lock on iPhones, and that is a process which involves iTunes. If iTunes isn’t used in the unlocking process then the service will only be temporary with the lock become active again once the phone is updated or connected to iTunes on a computer. Therefore, ensure any service you use must involve iTunes or you could regret it later.

So what is the process? The first thing to do is to order the unlock. Once the order has been submitted, a request is sent to Apple to update their iTunes servers so they know the IMEI of the phone you have should be unlocked and remain unlocked permanently. Once the confirmation has come through from Apple and you have received the email to let you know the phone is ready, you’ll need to follow these steps:

  • Update the iTunes software on your computer
  • Ensure your iPhone has the most recent version of iOS
  • Insert a non-accepted SIM card into the phone and connect the iPhone 5 to your computer then wait for iTunes to detect the phone
  • Disconnect the iPhone from the computer, and wait 20 seconds
  • Reconnect the iPhone to the computer and wait for iTunes to detect it again
  • Your will then see a message to let you know the phone is unlocked

It is a really simple process to go through and as mentioned before, it is the only way of ensuring your phone is unlocked permanently.

Darren Kingman

Aritcle by Darren Kingman on behalf of

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