How to Unlock iPhone Carrier for Free without SIM Card?

Carrier locks have been around for a long time but with modern smartphones, more people have become aware of them. These locks are best known for preventing users from inserting a SIM card from a different carrier.

The issue is that removing carrier locks isn’t common knowledge. Unless you know exactly what to do, you’ll be unsuccessful at removing the lock.

Fortunately, after you’ve read our guide below, you’ll know how to unlock iPhone carrier easily.

Part 1. How to Unlock iPhone Carrier for Free? (Within 7 Days)

Now it’s time to focus on how to unlock iphone 6/7/8/X… from carrier.

First, we’ll be looking at how you can do this through your carrier.

1. What You’ll Need to Unlock iPhone Carrier

Before you get in touch with your carrier, you must prepare. They will request some basic information about your iPhone and account, so make sure you have the following details ready to tell them:

  1. The name registered to your iPhone
  2. The iPhone phone number
  3. Your account number
  4. The iPhone’s IMEI number

Other details may be requested depending on your carrier, but these are the main details you can expect to be requested.

2. Steps for iPhone Carrier Unlock

Now that you have this information ready to go, you can start with the unlocking process. Here are the steps you need to follow:

Step 1. Start by contacting your carrier and requesting an iPhone carrier unlock.

Step 2. The carrier will request details such as those above and may also request payment.

Step 3. After submitting the request, wait up to 7 days until they have your iPhone unlocked.

Step 4. Once it’s unlocked, remove your SIM card and insert the SIM card from the other carrier you want to connect to.

You will then be able to connect to the new carrier network without any issue. The process might vary depending on your carrier, but this is generally how it goes.

Part 2. How to Unlock iPhone Carrier Fast? (Within 24 hours)

Another way for carrier unlock is with the IMEI method. Unlike the previous method, this will unlock iPhone without SIM card of original carrier.

1. Benefits of IMEI Unlocking

So, why should you use this IMEI method over the generic unlock PIN method? Well, there are a lot of benefits to this approach that make it preferable, including:

  • Suitable for unlocking any iPhone or iOS device, even the oldest models
  • This is guaranteed to permanently unlock your iPhone (even if you factory reset)
  • Works for unlocking iPhones that are still within a contract
  • IMEI unlocking does not affect your warranty
  • There is no need to jailbreak your iPhone for this method

2. Recommended IMEI Unlocking Services

As you can see there are plenty of benefits to using an IMEI method to understand how to unlock iPhone carrier.

When it comes to choosing a service that fulfils this, there are 2 we’d recommend depending on your location.

DirectUnlocks (for UK & NA)

directunlocks iphone unlock

DirectUnlocks is a fantastic service. This service is best for anyone in the UK or in North America who needs an iPhone carrier unlock.

When you use DirectUnlocks, expect nothing but the best. To make things better, this is an extremely affordable service so anyone is able to take advantage of it.

In order to unlock iPhone from carrier, follow the steps below.

Step 1. Go to the DirectUnlocks iPhone Unlock page and find your current carrier.

Step 2. On the next page, enter your iPhone’s IMEI number (which can be found by dialling *#06# on your phone). Click on Unlock for any SIM card to proceed.

order verizon iphone11 unlock

Step 3. You will then have to agree to the Terms of Service and complete the order.

That’s all there is to it. Once you’ve finished this process, your order will be placed and the carrier lock will be gone in no time at all!

verizon iphone11 unlocked

DirectUnlocks is a simple service to use, as you can tell from above, and doesn’t overcomplicate carrier lock removal.

ExpressUnlocks (for Rest of World)

expressunlocks service

For users who don’t live in the UK or North America, the service we’d recommend you use for carrier unlock iPhone is ExpressUnlocks.

This service is equally as effective as DirectUnlocks although we’ve found that it is better catered towards other countries.

When you’re trying to choose a service for removing your carrier lock, rather than going straight to the carrier, these are the services we’d recommend.

They offer top-notch services and you won’t break the bank with them either.

Part 3. FAQs About Carrier Unlock iPhone

1. Why is iPhone Carrier Locked?

Carriers lock the iPhones they sell if the customer signs up for a contract. This lock will be active for the entirety of the contract or until the customer pays to remove it.

The reason for the lock is so that customers can’t sign up for a cheap contract to get a new iPhone, then go to another carrier and get a better SIM card plan.

2. How Does an iPhone Carrier Lock Work?

Unlike other types of iPhone locks, carrier locks don’t alter the device’s hardware or the software installed on it. Every iPhone has a unique IMEI and to add a carrier lock, your carrier simply updates the database entry for your iPhone’s IMEI to “locked” and specifies which carrier it is locked to.

Anytime that your device detects a new SIM card, it also detects the carrier it came from and checks the IMEI database.

3. How to Know Which Carrier My iPhone is Locked To?

If you’re unsure of which carrier your iPhone is locked to, finding out is easy. All you have to do is submit your IMEI to WipeLock iPhone IMEI Checker.

And you’ll receive a detailed report that specifies whether a carrier lock is active, which carrier the iPhone is locked to, and you’ll also receive a free guide on how to remove the lock.

example iphone xs imei check

Compared to other IMEI checkers, this one excels for many reasons. The reports are written by experts (not automatically generated), the data is manually checked with several databases, and 100% accuracy is guaranteed.

4. Is it Legal to Carrier Unlock iPhone?

Yes! As long as you’ve fully paid for your iPhone’s contract and have no outstanding payments, it is legal to carrier unlock iPhone.

If you are in the middle of the contract, it’s a good idea to contact your carrier and inquire about this.

5. Can I Unlock iPhone for Any Carrier for Free?

When you do an iPhone carrier unlock, you won’t have complete freedom to connect to any other carrier.

There are two types of network: GSM and CDMA. If your iPhone originally came from a carrier with a GSM network, you will only be able to connect the iPhone to other GSM networks. This also applies to iPhones that were originally on a CDMA network.

6. Can I Unlock a Blacklisted iPhone?

You can’t unlock a blacklisted iPhone no matter what you try. If an iPhone has been reported as stolen or lost, it will be blacklisted and unlocking it will be impossible. Before you try to unlock an iPhone, you should check if it is blacklisted.

This is another reason to use iPhone IMEI Checker. With the report you receive from this service, you’ll find out the blacklist status of the iPhone.

7. Why Carriers Won’t Unlock iPhone?

Carriers don’t want you to leave their network, it’s as simple as that. If you go to a different carrier then you won’t be paying for a plan with them anymore, you’ll be paying a competitor. To try and keep customers on their network, they purposely make learning how to unlock iPhone carrier a difficult task to do.

However, nowadays many carriers are moving away from this model. After a certain amount of time, typically after the contract has ended, they will automatically disable the carrier lock.

8. Will Jailbreak iPhone unlock it from carrier?

No! Jailbreaking won’t unlock your iPhone. There are only two ways to unlock your iPhone carrier as above.

BONUS: What to Avoid When Unlocking iPhone Carrier

Before we wrap up this guide, there are a couple of important things that need to be watched out for when you’re unlocking your phone.

  • Free Unlocking Tools. These can be very appealing if you want to carrier unlock your iPhone as fast as possible. However, they’re dangerous to use more often than not. These tools usually have malware embedded or at the very least, don’t actually work. Either way, you should avoid them as much as possible.
  • Phone Repair Stores. You might also want to try a computer/phone repair store and see if they can unlock your iPhone from carrier lock. We’d also highly suggest that you avoid these stores. The main reason is that they will require access to your device to remove the lock, meaning they will have access to your personal data too.

Overall, it’s best to stick with the two options we presented you with. Using a free software solution or visiting a repair store can be risky, so be cautious of them.


Now you’ll be able to unlock your carrier locked iPhone for use with a different carrier. Unlocking iPhone carrier can be very useful. Not only can you remove your carrier locks, but you can help your friends and family by walking them through the process too!

Our recommendation would be to use either of the IMEI services – DirectUnlocks or ExpressUnlocks. Both of them have proven to us that they are reliable and highly effective at removing carrier locks, and their reviews speak for themselves.

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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