Can Apple/Apple Store Unlock My iPhone or iPad from Carrier/iCloud/Passcode Lock?

My iPhone is locked, can Apple unlock my iPhone for free?

As the founder of WipeLock, I get this question a lot from my readers. Here is the answer:

It all depends.

If your iPhone is locked to a carrier, the answer is No!

Apple can’t unlock your iPhone from a carrier even if you can provide them the proof of purchase. Only the carrier or 3rd-party unlocking service can unlock.

If your iPhone is iCloud locked or disabled, Apple can unlock it for you without any charge.

What you need do is to visit an Apple Retail Store or Apple Authorized Service Provider, offer them the original proof of purchase, they will do the rest for you!

Keep in mind that this will erase all data stored in your iPhone.

It’s so lucky for you to get your iPhone unlocked by Apple, but what should you do if Apple refuse to unlock your iPhone?

In this article, I’m going to give you my professional opinion as an Apple certified independent technician. And show you how to unlock your iPhone from carrier, passcode and iCloud.

What to Do If Apple/Apple Store Refuse to Unlock Your iPhone?

Apple ever refused to unlock iPhone for FBI! So you’re not alone.

Does it mean you can’t unlock and reuse your device when Apple refuse to unlock your iPhone?

Absolutely not! There’re still some ways for you to get your iPhone unlocked.

For Carrier Lock

Carrier lock is a restriction built into mobile phones by manufacturers to limit these phones to specific network and/or countries.

It’s only used by carrier providers, and this is why Apple can’t unlock a carrier locked iPhone.

Before unlocking your device, it’s necessary to make sure your iPhone is not blacklisted since there is no way to unlock a blacklisted iPhone.

You can check blacklist status by using an IMEI checker.

example iphone xs imei check

After making sure your iPhone is clean to unlock, here are two ways for you:

Sending an Unlock Request to Your Carrier

The first way is to contact your carrier. It’s totally free unless there are some outstanding bills.

The steps are very straightforward:

Step 1. Make a phone call to your carrier and ask for unlocking.

Carrier Price Contact Info
AT&T Free 800-331-0500
Boost Mobile Free 1-866-402-7366
Consumer Cellular Free (888) 345-5509
CREDO Mobile Free 800-411-0848
Cricket Free 1-800-274-2538
MetroPCS Free 888-863-8768
Mint SIM N/A 213-372-7777
Net10 Wireless Free 1-877-836-2368
Page Plus Free 800-550-2436
Simple Mobile Free 1-877-878-7908
Sprint Free 888-211-4727
Straight Talk Free 1-877-430-2355
T-Mobile Free 1-800-866-2453
Tello N/A 1-866-377-0294
TextNow N/A 226-476-1578
Ting N/A 1-855-846-4389
Total Wireless Free 1-866-663-3633
Tracfone Free 1-800-867-7183
U.S. Cellular Free 1-888-944-9400
Ultra Mobile N/A 1-888-777-0446
Verizon N/A 800-922-0204
Virgin Mobile N/A 1-888-322-1122
Xfinity Mobile Free 1-888-936-4968

They will check if you’re eligible to unlock your iPhone. Each carrier has its own criteria, here are the most common ones:

  • Your iPhone must not be reported as lost, stolen or blocked.
  • The account associated with the iPhone must be in good standing.
  • Your iPhone must have been active on your carrier for a period of time.
  • If the iPhone was financed or leased then all payments must be satisfied and the device must be paid in full.

Step 2. After getting a positive answer from your carrier, they will ask for some information such as the IMEI number, phone number before processing your unlock request.

Some carriers may ask for the purchase proof. Just offer what they asked.

Step 3. After receiving your provided info, they will start to unlock your iPhone.

Although most carriers claim that they will unlock your iPhone within 7 business days, it can take up to 30 days according to our experience.

Step 4. Once they complete the unlock, they will inform you via email or phone call.

Step 5. Finally, you need to activate your iPhone by inserting a SIM card from another carrier.

If you don’t have one, just restore your iPhone with iTunes to activate it. Make sure you back up your iPhone before a restore.

After these steps, you’ll have your iPhone unlocked.

Although there are some unlock criteria to prevent your iPhone from being unlocked, it’s still the first option for most of the people since it’s free.

Using an iPhone Unlocking Service

Except for your carrier, some trustworthy 3rd-party unlocking service such as ExpressUnlocks can also unlock your iPhone.

Differing from the above method, there is no unlock criteria. So it’s your best option when you’re not eligible to unlock your iPhone by carrier.

What’s more, it can unlock you iPhone as fast as 24 hours.

I’m going to show you how to use one of the most effective iPhone unlocking service – ExpressUnlocks:

Step 1. Visit ExpressUnlocks.

Step 2. Enter the network your iPhone is locked to.

Step 3. Enter the IMEI number, it will automatically detect your iPhone model. You can find the IMEI by dialing *#06#

dial to find imei

Step 4. Click the unlock button to submit your order. They will start to unlock your iPhone, usually, the whole process will be less than 24 hours.

For iCloud Activation Lock

If Apple refuse to unlock your iPhone due to you can’t offer proof of purchase, there are some other ways for you.

Unlock with a Software

iCloud activation lock removal is not difficult when you choose the right tool. There are so many iCloud unlock tools, most of them don’t work.

Tenorshare 4MeKey stands out from these tools, it allows you to remove activation lock without Apple ID password in mere minutes.

The free trial allows you to check if your iPhone or iPad is supported so that you can avoid wasting time and money.

Here is how you can use this tool:

Step 1. Download, install and launch Tenorshare 4MeKey.

download buttons

Step 2. Click on Remove iCloud Activation Lock.

4mekey select remove activation lock

Step 3. Connect your iPhone to computer via a USB cable, and download the jailbreak tool.

Step 4. After jailbreaking, click on Start button. The iCloud activation lock removal process will begin. It usually takes 3 minutes to unlock your iCloud locked device.

4mekey activation lock removed

Tenorshare 4MeKey is the fastest way to unlock iCloud lock and allows you to use your device without Apple ID password.

It’s your best option when you want to unlock your iPhone instantly.

Unlock with a Service

The next option for you is to use an unlock service. iCloud unlock service can actually work for your iCloud locked iPhone but you need to choose a reliable one such as AppleiPhoneUnlock.

These services take a longer time (usually 3-5 days) to unlock your device than Tenorshare 4MeKey. Some services offer a fast option which enables you to unlock iCloud within 24 hours.

The steps to use a service is much straightforward:

Step 1. Visit their website, submit your IMEI number. You can find it on the activation lock interface.

find imei on activation screen

Step 2. Make a payment, the team of experts will do the rest for you.

Step 3. Wait until they inform you that your iPhone is unlocked.

Although this way costs a little longer time than software, it won’t jailbreak your iPhone.

What’s more, after removal, you’ll be able to enjoy all functions and features of your device. And it’s a permanent removal, your iPhone will never be locked again.

For Disabled iPhone

Don’t worry if Apple won’t unlock your disabled iPhone.

The easiest way for you to unlock iPhone passcode is to use iTunes. Just put your iPhone into DFU mode and restore your iPhone. Your iPhone will be unlocked within 20 minutes.

Of course you can unlock a disabled iPhone without iTunes, iCloud or 3rd-party software will enable you do this.

Note that there is no way to unlock a disabled iPhone without losing data unless you have a backup.


We hope that the information above provides you with a clearer picture of how to tackle this often very perplexing dilemma.

Apple will erase your iPhone from Screen Lock or iCloud Lock if you can offer proof of purchase. They can’t unlock your iPhone if it’s locked to a carrier.

Don’t worry if Apple refuse to unlock your device, the above methods will help you unlock and reuse your iPhone as normal!

About the Author

Darren is an Apple Certified Independent Technician with a passion for researching all aspects of phone locks, including Activation Lock, carrier lock, screen lock, FRP lock, and more. With years of experience in the mobile phone industry, Darren has become a leading authority in his field and has been a sought-after consultant for individuals and businesses seeking to unlock their devices.

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