How to Unlock an iPhone

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Manuel Moreno Molina
@manuelmorenomolina
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A few options are available for unlocking an iPhone. Some online services offer to do it quickly for a few euros. The law also obliges operators to do so free of charge at the customer's request, provided that he has been a subscriber for at least three months. Here's how.

This is a scenario that generally applies to the purchase or resale of any phone. But for the iPhone, it's a bit special since the unlocking goes through Apple's services. Reason why it can take several hours or even a few days going through the operator. Two options can be explored regardless of the operator or MNVO.



Unlock your iPhone: contact the operator

Orange and SFR continue to block devices purchased from them. Free and Bouygues Telecom haven't done this for a while. Unlock an iPhone with a Bouygues SIM is only necessary for older models. Whatever the case, a form is available on the site of the operators concerned for any unlocking request.

The process is completely free and legal. The law requires operators to unlock phones free of charge three months after purchase on customer request. It is also possible to do so before this deadline, free of charge with some operators and for a fee with others. It is important to specify that for a subsidized smartphone, the unlocking is not comparable to the breach of the commitment which entails the payment of heavy costs.

Here are the different operator links for an iPhone unlocking request or any smartphone in general:

  • To unlock an Orange iPhone: Click here
  • To unlock a Bouygues iPhone: Click here
  • To unlock an iPhone SFR: Click here

The information required on the forms varies. But it is essential to have your IMEI number. To find out the IMEI of the device, enter the universal USSD code *#06#. Your email address will also be required. The message will be sent to you once the iPhone is effectively unlocked. The process can take several hours to a few days.



Finalize the unlock with iTunes

Once the confirmation email is received, the rest of the process happens in iTunes. Occasionally, just restart the iPhone.

    • Put the new SIM card in the device or the current one
    • Turn on the device and enter the PIN code
    • Open iTunes on your Mac or PC which must be connected to the internet
    • Connect the iPhone to the computer by the cable
    • The iTunes app will automatically detect the device. Then simply click on the device icon in the Summary tab, then on Restore iPhone
    • The process will take a few seconds to a few minutes depending on the speed of your Internet connection.
    • Once the unlocking is finalized, a confirmation message will be displayed on the screen

Unlock your iPhone using a third-party service

Several online services promise to unlock iPhones remotely. All are not equal and it is often difficult to sort the wheat from the chaff. All unlocking must go through the official path. Improper unlocking can damage the smartphone, void any warranty. Also, an iOS update could return the iPhone to its original frozen state.

The advantage of paid sites (which cost one to two tens of euros) is that they allow you to receive the confirmation email more quickly in order to finalize the process as quickly as possible. If you prefer to use one of these services, make sure they have good customer feedback. This is the case, for example, of Fleety or Solar Mecano.


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