Buying a smartphone from a subsidiary is a great way to not only get access to cheaper smartphones, but cheaper service, too. Unfortunately, this generally means that you get poorer service in some areas, and that same thing goes for T-Mobile’s MetroPCS. MetroPCS is a great way for locals to sign-up for cheap, local wireless service, but what if you’re headed to an area where the signal is poor, or you’re headed out on international travel and want to avoid high price points, you’ll want to use that MetroPCS phone on another network. However, to do that, you’ll need to make sure your MetroPCS device is unlocked first.
How do you unlock a MetroPCS Phone? Follow along below, and we’ll take you step-by-step through the entire process. Let’s dive right in.
T-Mobile might have some pretty strict requirements as far as unlocking their phones go; however, their subsidiary, MetroPCS, is a whole lot more lenient. Requirements are still pretty strict, but there’s much less of them that you have to meet. Here’s the MetroPCS unlock prerequisites:
- Your handset must have had active service for a minimum of one hundred eighty consecutive days from the individual phone’s activation date. Warranty/replacement devices will have the same unlock date as the original device, not the activation of the new replacement device.
And that’s pretty much it. As long as you have that one hundred eighty days of uninterrupted, consecutive service, you’re eligible to unlock your device.
How to unlock a MetroPCS Phone
MetroPCS is actually one of the few carriers or subsidiaries out there that automates the unlock process. Here’s how you can unlock your MetroPCS phone. You can actually do it through the Device Unlock app.
- Make sure you have an active data connection via 3G/4G/LTE or Wi-Fi.
- From the Application list, tap Device Unlock. (Note: The application may be located in the MetroPCS folder.)
- Tap Continue.
- Choose the Permanent Unlock type:
- If successful, restart the device to apply the settings. If you don’t restart, there will be an alert notification that says in your Settings or notification pane until you successfully restart the device.
That process works for most Android phones on MetroPCS; however, using an iPhone on MetroPCS is a little different. You’ll actually have to contact MetroPCS Customer Service or visit a MetroPCS Corporate Store and request the unlock code for the phone. On top of MetroPCS having to verify that it’s eligible, you’ll need to provide them the following details as well:
- The phone number of the handset you are unlocking
- The name on the account
- The account billing PIN
The good news is that if you’re military personnel, you don’t have to meet any of the prerequisite that MetroPCS has in place. To unlock your phone as a service member, follow the following steps:
- Visit a MetroPCS Corporate Store with your deployment papers or supporting documentation.
- At the store, the agent will provide you with options for unlocking the phone, and sometimes one of those options is a limited unlock request that locks the phone back up upon your arrival home.
- Once requested, MetroPCS will send the customer a confirmation email containing the unlock code for the phone.
Use a third-party service
MetroPCS doesn’t have a whole lot of red tape as far as unlocking a MetroPCS phone goes; however, it can still be a frustrating process. Luckily, you can use a third-party service to bypass those annoying hurdles. Using a third-party unlocking company can get your phone operating on another network in no time, and without all of the red tape from your carrier. It does usually cost some money, which can range from a couple bucks all the way up to an average of $60.
You’ll want to search around and research good companies for this, though. Make sure they’re reputable, otherwise you might end up handing your money to one in return for, well, nothing. Once you purchase a code, it’s usually sent directly to the provided email, and then you can follow the included steps to unlock your phone.
MetroPCS, as surprising as it is, is one of the few carriers that doesn’t have strict unlock requirements. In fact, as long as you meet the requirements in place, MetroPCS has a pretty easy and automated process in place that allows you to unlock your phone. But, if you don’t meet those requirements or get denied, you can use a third-party service to unlock your phone, if you’re willing to pay the added cost, at least.
Have you unlocked a MetroPCS phone before? What was your experience? Sound off in the comments section below.