iPhone screen notifications

How to check if your iPhone is unlocked?

If you’ve bought a refurbished iPhone, inherited one, or are planning to sell your old iPhone, it's always good to check if the iPhone is actually unlocked or not so that it can work with any UK SIM card. Here’s a simple guide to help you find out.

First thing’s first - what is an unlocked iPhone?

An unlocked iPhone essentially means it can be used with any network carrier and is not tied to just one network. The obvious benefit of this is freedom to move to any network plan that suits you, thus making it a very economical option for future benefits down the line. Read further about what "unlocked iPhone" means here. Another plus point if you’re planning to sell your old iPhone is that sim free iPhones sell for a lot more since they are accessible to anyone in the market who is looking for a new iPhone.

Find out if your iPhone is unlocked before going on your next holiday!

Other than getting a higher resale price with an unlocked iPhone, another key benefit for checking if your iPhone is sim free is when you’re about to go abroad. Knowing that your iPhone can use a foreign SIM card will make your life easier (and cheaper) to use the local tariff with internet and calls in the country you’re visiting. For more information on how to unlock your iPhone, we've created a quick and easy guide to unlocking your iPhone through your local network carrier.

Here are the 4 easiest ways to check if your iPhone is unlocked.

The #1 easiest way to find out if your iPhone is unlocked: just call your carrier!

Before we get into other methods of figuring out if your iPhone is unlocked, we wanted to point out that the easiest way you can find out is by just calling your carrier! This approach is our favourite because even if your iPhone isn't unlocked, your carrier will be able to unlock it for you if you have no outstanding debts or fully paid off your contractual agreement. Just tell them that you're going away on a holiday and they will be glad to help :) Here are the contact numbers that you should call depending on your network carrier:

  • O2: 0344 809 0202

  • EE: 0800 956 6000

  • Vodafone: 03333 040191

  • Three: 0333 338 1001

  • Virgin Mobile: 0345 454 1111

  • Tesco Mobile: 0345 301 4455

  • iD Mobile: 0333 003 7777

The #2 easiest way to find out if your iPhone is unlocked: check in settings

A pain free and speedy way is to check your iPhone’s settings which takes literally 30-seconds! 

  • Open Settings in your iPhone.

  • Tap on General

  • Then tap on About.

  • Scroll slightly down until you find Network Provider Lock.

  • You should then find the answer as ‘No SIM restrictions’ to know if your iPhone is truly unlocked. If it doesn’t say this, it will likely say ‘Sim Locked’ or something else, indicating that your iPhone is most probably SIM-locked to a network carrier.