How to unlock iPhone: Use any SIM network in the UK

How to unlock iPhone: Summary

Most iPhones purchased in the past year or so will already be unlocked. Other iPhones can be unlocked[1] using a third-party service, but it’s very expensive. Your mobile operator will usually offer this service for free, and you can begin the process using an online web form or over the phone (contact details are listed here).

How to unlock iPhone: In-depth guide

If your iPhone is locked to a particular carrier, it can be truly frustrating.

Some iPhones[2] will only work with a SIM card provided to the carrier they’re locked to – O2, EE or Vodafone, for example. But there are other ways to unlock your iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPhone 5S[3], iPhone 5C[4], iPhone 6[5], iPhone 6 Plus[6], iPhone 6s[7], iPhone 6s Plus[8], iPhone SE[9], iPhone 7[10], and iPhone 7 Plus[11] so that you can use any SIM card. Here, we show you how.

Some iPhones are easier to unlock than others, depending on the carrier and the phone’s circumstances.

Most iPhones purchased within the past year will actually be unlocked already, but if your iPhone is older, your mobile phone provider may be able to unlock the phone for free, or you might find that you’re able to unlock your iPhone yourself. You’ll discover that your iPhone has been locked to a particular network if you insert a SIM card from another network into the iPhone and attempt to make a call. If it doesn’t work, it’s likely that your iPhone is locked to your network.

You might see an error messages such as “Invalid SIM,” “PAYT Lock,” “SIM Card Not Accepted,” “Enter SP Code,” or “Insert Correct SIM Card.” Don’t forget that the iPhone 4S uses a MicroSIM, which is bigger than the iPhone 5, iPhone 5S, iPhone 5C, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone SE, iPhone 7, and iPhone 7 Plus so be sure you’re using the correct sized SIM. Unlocking your iPhone is completely legal if you purchased the device unsubsidised or have finished paying for your contract.

However, if you’re still paying for your contract, you technically don’t own the iPhone yet, so you really should check with your carrier before unlocking it.

Here, we’ve got a list of popular UK carriers and how to go about getting your iPhone unlocked by them.

Updated on 1 August with general updates.


  1. ^ How to unlock iPhone (
  2. ^ iPhone reviews (
  3. ^ iPhone 5S review (
  4. ^ iPhone 5C review (
  5. ^ iPhone 6 review (
  6. ^ iPhone 6 Plus review (
  7. ^ iPhone 6s review (
  8. ^ iPhone 6s Plus deals (
  9. ^ iPhone SE (
  10. ^ iPhone 7 (
  11. ^ iPhone 7 Plus (

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