Wednesday, November 6, 2013

How to Unlock AT&T iPhone Legally | Userguide in Pictures

When you buy an iPhone through a carrier, chances are it comes locked to that carrier’s network. This usually isn’t a big deal, but if you plan on doing some travelling, or you decide to switch to another carrier before your contract is up, you’ll probably want your phone to be able to work on different networks. Not too long ago, you could unlock your iPhone by jailbreaking it and installing unlock software. Unfortunately, Apple has patched that exploit, and software unlocks are no longer possible. Follow this guide to get your iPhone unlocked through more official means.



Method 1 of 2: Unlocking Through a Carrier 

  1. Contact your provider to learn about its specific unlock policy. Most major mobile providers will unlock your phone as long as your contract is finished or you've paid the early termination fee to cancel your existing plan. They might also unlock your phone if you are travelling to another country and need to use a local carrier there. 
  1.  Contact the carrier you are switching to. Some companies are happy to unlock a phone if it's from one of their rivals. Reach out to your desired carrier and learn what their policy is.
  2. Make sure your iPhone is compatible. If you are unlocking your phone to switch to a new carrier, make sure your desired carrier accepts your phone type. For example, while the prepaid carrier Straight Talk has a “Bring Your Own Phone” program, your unlocked phone must be a GSM phone.

Method 2 of 2: Unlocking Through a Paid Service

Find a service. There are a large number of companies online that will sell you the unlock codes for your phone for payment. These companies circumvent current restrictions by operating in countries not covered by US law. 
Research your choice. Before paying any company to unlock your phone, research the company as much as possible. Find user reviews, and ask around in phone enthusiast forums. Always be wary of potential scams, especially when you are paying to skirt your carrier's policies.
  1. Retrieve your iPhone’s IMEI code. Your iPhone will be added to Apple’s official unlocked phones list, which means it will stay unlocked even if you upgrade iOS versions. To add the iPhone to the list, the company you are paying will need your phone’s IMEI (International Mobile Station Equipment Identity) code, which is unique to your iPhone. There are a couple ways to find this:
    • On any iPhone, you can dial *#06# and your IMEI code will be displayed.
    • On an original iPhone or iPhone 5, the number is engraved on the back near the bottom.
    • On an iPhone 3G, 3GS, 4, and 4S. the IMEI is printed on the SIM card tray.
    • In iTunes, clicking on your connected iPhone will display the IMEI code in the Summary window, beneath the iPhone’s storage capacity.

     Pay for the service. Oftentimes, you may have to wait several hours to a couple days in order to receive the unlock code. This is because these companies often have people working for the carriers that provide the codes for them.
    • Be sure to select all of the correct information about your device so that you get a code that works for your phone.
  2. Activate your unlock. Once you receive confirmation that your iPhone has been unlocked, you will need to activate it before the unlock takes effect.
    • Insert the SIM card from the new carrier. If you get a signal at this step then you are done. If not, continue on.
      • If you have a jailbroken iPhone, open Settings, then General and then Reset. Select Reset Network Settings, and then restart the iPhone. Proceed to the next step.
    • Activate the iPhone. If you get asked to activate your iPhone, you can do this one of two ways:
      • Directly from the iPhone over a Wi-Fi connection
      • By plugging in your iPhone to a computer and activating through iTunes.
    • If you still cannot activate your iPhone, restore it to the latest version of iOS. If your phone is jailbroken, this will remove the jailbreak. After the restore process is complete, your phone should get service.
 Via WikiHow

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