How to tell if my phone is unlocked

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You might want your phone to be unlocked so you can insert a new SIM card, perhaps for travel abroad or summer vacation. Here’s how to tell if your phone is actually unlocked.

See if you can use a different sim card

Borrow a SIM from a family member or friend and try inserting it into your own phone. If the SIM card works, then you know that your phone is unlocked. If the new SIM doesn’t work and your phone doesn’t get any signal, then it’s locked. Remember to restart your phone before testing a different SIM card.

Look for the cellular data network

You can navigate to the settings menu on your phone and go to the mobile data menu. If your phone is unlocked, you will see a menu option for cellular data network. If this option doesn’t come up on your phone, then it’s locked.

Consider where you bought the phone

If you recently purchased the phone, think about who the seller was. If you bought the phone from someone on eBay or Craigslist, then odds are that the phone is unlocked (so the new customer can use it). In addition, if you bought the phone from the Apple store or another cell phone carrier, then it’s probably unlocked. This information might even be on your receipt.

Contact your service provider

When in doubt, you can always call the service center for your provider and have them check on the status of your phone. You will need to give them your phone’s IMEI number, which can be found in the settings menu.

Be sure to stay away from websites and apps claiming to be able to tell you whether or not your phone is unlocked. These are likely scams; besides, you can use these easier methods.

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