Do you find yourself traveling often? If that’s the case, you probably take your iPhone with you and have likely encountered the iPhone country lock.
This very limiting lock prevents you from using your iPhone as you normally would as it halts a lot of necessary functionality.
But what can you do to get around the lock and why do carriers impose it on their customers?
We’ll be answering these questions, and many others, in this article.
Part 1. Things About iPhone Country Lock You Need to Know
Before we go ahead and explain how to iPhone country unlock, here is some important information about this specific type of lock.
1. What is Country Lock?
The country lock is a fairly simple concept. Basically, if your carrier has a country lock on your iPhone, you’ll only be able to use the carrier’s network features while you’re in the country that you purchased the iPhone.
Let’s say you’re in the US and you bought an iPhone. If the carrier you bought the iPhone from has a country lock on the iPhone then you’ll only be able to make phone calls and use your data while you’re in the US. Obviously, for travellers, this is problematic and is usually why they end up having a second iPhone.
2. Why Do Carriers Lock iPhones?
This is a hard question to answer because a lot of carriers won’t publicly state their intentions, although we can speculate. The main reason we can assume carriers lock iPhones is to make more money.
Think about it like this: if you can’t use your iPhone outside of your country, you’ll be forced to do one of two things.
- You can either pay your carrier for a special plan which allows you to access their network in other countries (which will cost you more)
- Or you can pay them to unlock your iPhone.
Either way, they make more money. This goes for any other type of iPhone lock too, including SIM locks.
3. Can I Unlock Country Lock?
The good news is yes, you can iPhone country lock unlock in most cases. Only one exception exists where you wouldn’t be able to remove the country unlock, and this is when your iPhone has been blacklisted.
An iPhone is blacklisted if it is reported as lost, stolen, or has been linked to fraudulent activity. You can request to have the device removed from the blacklist by contacting your carrier and resolving whatever the issue is, although you are not guaranteed to have the device removed.
So, how do you know if your iPhone has been blacklisted? The best thing to do is use an accurate IMEI Checker which will provide you with a detailed report about your device.
All you have to do is put in the iPhone’s IMEI and in return, your report will show you whether your iPhone is still covered by Apple Care, whether it has any type of lock on it (such as a carrier lock), and most importantly, you’ll find out if your iPhone is on a blacklist.
If your iPhone isn’t blacklisted, then you’re good to go!
Part 2. How to Unlock iPhone Country Lock
Now that we’ve covered all the basic info about iPhone country lock unlock, the next thing we’re going to look at is the actual iPhone carrier unlock process. We’ve got 3 methods that you can use.
1. Contact Your Carrier
Your first option is to go straight to your carrier’s support team and ask for help. Nowadays it’s very common for customers to request an unlock and depending on your contract, you could be entitled to iPhone country lock unlock free.
Each carrier has different protocols in place, but here are the general steps that you’ll follow:
Step 1. Contact your carrier via phone call, live chat, or email.
Step 2. Explain that you want to remove the country lock from your device. At this point, they will likely ask for documentation to prove that you are the account holder.
Step 3. After confirming your identity, they will submit the unlock request and you will receive further instructions within the next 15 working days.
After the unlock is complete you’ll be able to insert another SIM card and use your iPhone in any other country too. There are some negatives to using this approach though.
- Every carrier has different requirements
- Depending on your contract you may have to pay for this
- It takes up to 15 working days for the unlock to process
2. Use a Service
A more reliable approach to iPhone country lock unlock is using a service. Services have an extremely high success rate and can finish iPhone unlocks in a matter of hours, rather than waiting days.
Our service of choice today is DirectUnlocks, and here are some features which make it a worthwhile service:
- Can unlock any iPhone even if the carrier can’t
- All iPhone unlocks are completed within 24 hours of the order being placed
- All you have to do is submit your iPhone’s IMEI – the professionals take care of the rest
- No jailbreaking is required and there is no risk of data loss
- Using an unlock service does not impact your warranty
There’s no doubt in our minds that DirectUnlocks is a standout service and we’d highly recommend that anyone who wants to remove their iPhone locks should check it out.
If we’ve piqued your interest then here’s how you can use the service:
Step 1. Open the DirectUnlocks iPhone Unlock page.
Step 2. Select the network that you’re connected to from the drop-down menu and then enter your iPhone’s IMEI that you want to unlock.
To find the IMEI, dial *#06# and it’ll appear on the screen.
Step 3. On the next page, enter your details and choose a payment option. After your payment has been received, the process will begin and your iPhone will be unlocked within 24 hours.
There are plenty of other services out there to choose but DirectUnlocks is among the best you’ll get. As you can tell, the steps to unlock your iPhone are straightforward and there’s no room for confusion.
On top of that, you have to do the bare minimum as their team take care of everything.
3. Use a Software
Your final option for removing your iPhone country lock is to use specialised software.
This is a riskier option because it involves jailbreaking your iPhone and there are some downsides to this method, although if you are desperate to remove the lock and aren’t interested in the other methods, this is your only other option.
We would recommend against using these software solutions simply because they do involve jailbreaking the device and this will void your warranty.
- The iPhone’s lock screen password must be turned off beforehand
- Find My iPhone must be disabled for the software to work
- You are required to jailbreak your iPhone for the software to work
- Only supports models iPhone 5S to iPhone X (newer iPhones are not supported)
- Only supports iPhones that are running iOS 12 to iOS 14.7
Cons of Jailbreaking
- Jailbreaking a contracted iPhone will void the warranty you have
- Jailbreaking can malfunction and your iPhone could be bricked (unresponsive)
- Several iOS security features are disabled during the jailbreaking process
- You will not be able to access new iOS updates and features
That wraps up our guide on everything you need to know about iPhone country lock unlock and you should now have a complete understanding of how to take care of this yourself.
Our recommendation is to use a service like DirectUnlocks. Not only is this service very affordable and easy to understand, but it’ll unlock your iPhone in just 24 hours. For those not in a rush, inquiring with your carrier is also viable (but you’ll be waiting up to 15 days!).