How to Remove SIM Lock on iPhone with/without SIM PIN

Realizing that your iPhone’s SIM card is locked can ruin your day, but it doesn’t have to. If you don’t know or forgot your SIM PIN, there are steps you can follow to unlock it.

In this article, we will go into detail about what a SIM LOCK is and how you can unlock it.

What is SIM Lock?

Even though you know your iPhone’s SIM card is locked, you might not be completely sure what this means. Understanding what SIM lock is and how it works can help you deal with the issue more effectively.

All smartphones require a SIM card in order to connect to the nearest cellular tower to make calls and use mobile data. SIM Lock is added security that benefits users unless they forget the SIM card code or PIN, that is.

When you purchase a new SIM card, it already has a PIN attached to it. Once you use that PIN code to access your phone, you can change it.

iphone sim is lock

SIM Lock basically means that your SIM card needs to be activated either for the first time or because you just turned your phone on.

When this happens, you cannot make calls or use mobile data. This is a security feature intended to keep other people from being able to use your phone or access your data on it or the SIM card.

While that sounds like a nightmarish situation, there are ways to get past it.

To begin with, all you really have to do to get past a SIM lock is to enter the proper code. If you do not know your iOS device’s SIM PIN or forgot it for some reason, you will not be able to get past the SIM lock.

So, does this mean your iPhone is no longer any good? Of course not. As you will see below, you have options when faced with this situation.

How to Enable/Disable SIM Lock on iPhone?

Your iPhone’s SIM card contains critical information such as your phone number, billing info, and contacts. With this in mind, you can clearly see how important it is to protect your SIM card and the information on it. This is where SIM Lock comes in handy.

If someone gets past the SIM PIN, they will also get their hands on any information on your SIM card.

Setting up the SIM Card Lock on your iPhone ensures that your device will be locked and a SIM PIN will be requested if someone uses the SIM card.

Here are the steps you need to follow to set up/disable your SIM Card Lock on your iPhone:

Step 1. If you know your SIM PIN, enter it when you are prompted to do so. If your iPhone is new, you will find the default SIM PIN printed on the booklet that came with it.

  • Usually, the default SIM PIN for iPhones is 1111, 1234, or 0000 depending on the carrier.
  • However, you should try to find your printed SIM PIN before trying any of these codes since three failed attempts will lead to a blocked SIM card.

Step 2. Once you have entered the current SIM PIN, go to Settings > Cellular and scroll down to SIM PIN.

disable sim pin

Step 3. In SIM PIN, there is an option to turn it on or off. Turn it on (green).

Step 4. A pop-up will appear asking for your current SIM PIN. Enter the SIM PIN and tap “DONE.”

sim pin unlock

Keep in mind that three failed attempts will result in a blocked SIM card.

Step 5. Now just restart your iPhone and a pop-up window will give you two options: OK and Unlock. Choose the UNLOCK option and enter your SIM PIN.

What to Do if You Don’t Know the SIM PIN

Sometimes people forget their SIM PIN. This might have happened to you. Or maybe someone gave you an iPhone and forgot to tell you the SIM PIN. What can you do in this situation?

For starters, never enter a random SIM PIN or try to guess it. You might think that since these codes are only made up of four numbers you will eventually figure it out.

However, the bad part about doing this is that your SIM card will be blocked after you fail to guess the PIN three times. That is a very frustrating experience that no one should have to go through.

Instead, follow these steps:

Step 1. Contact your carrier via a different phone, online chat through a computer, or by emailing them. If you don’t know who the carrier is, all you have to do is take out the SIM card and check for a company logo.

sim card pin

Step 2. Request help from your carrier to unlock your iPhone’s SIM card. They can aid you in this with either a SIM PIN or a PUK code.

Step 3. If, even with your carrier’s help, you are not able to get past the SIM Lock, request a new SIM card.

What if Your iPhone is Locked to Carrier Lock

When you buy an iPhone from a specific carrier, it is usually locked to one carrier. Unlocking your iOS device will allow you to use it with the carrier of your choice.

Being able to use your iPhone with a different carrier means that you can look for the best deals out there and get the most out of it. You might even move to an area where your old carrier either does not provide service or that service is very poor. These are all good reasons to use your iPhone with a different carrier.

Follow these steps to unlock a carrier locked iPhone:

Step 1. There is no way to unlock your iPhone from your carrier other than directly through them. You must contact your carrier and ask for the device to be unlocked so that you can use it with a different carrier.

Keep in mind that there might be specific requirements you must meet in order to have your iPhone unlocked from your carrier.

For example, if you happen to be under contract, you will most likely have to pay for the remainder of the contract for this to be done.

Step 2. Once the request has been approved, it can take days or even longer for your iPhone to be unlocked for use with a different carrier.

Make sure to stay on top of this to expedite the process. Just call or text the carrier to check on the status of your case.

Step 3. Once your iPhone has been unlocked from your initial carrier, take out the old SIM card and insert a new one from the carrier you wish to use.


For security purposes, the SIM LOCK feature on your iPhone can be useful. However, this security block can feel daunting if you forget your SIM PIN. If you face this situation at any time, just follow the steps we outlined above to get past the issue.

Likewise, if your iPhone is locked to a specific carrier and you want to change to another, we hope the steps we guided you through in this article will help.

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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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