So you’ve got a phone from T-Mobile, and maybe you’re headed to an area where there isn’t a great presence from the carrier, or you want to save yourself money on extra charges because of an upcoming international trip. To fix either of those problems, you need an unlocked phone. By unlocking your T-Mobile phone, you’re able to use it on other networks, not just T-Mobile’s. But, if you purchased your phone directly from T-Mobile that can make things a little more difficult — it’s not easy unlocking phones that are directly purchased from a carrier.
However, we’re going to take you step by step and show you what you need to do to unlock a TMobile phone. By the end of this guide, you’ll be able to use your phone from T-Mobile on other networks in the United States, as well as local international networks. So let’s dive right in!
Sprint might be one of the most strict carriers as far as unlocking goes, but T-Mobile definitely beats everyone else for the most exhaustive list on prerequisites you have to meet in order to unlock your phone.
- The device, naturally has to be one from T-Mobile. If it’s not, you, obviously, cannot use T-Mobile to unlock it.
- The phone must not be blacklisted, such as reported lost, stolen, or used in fraudulent activity.
- The phone attached to the T-Mobile account must be in “good standing”, i.e. payments are made on time.
- You must have an active T-Mobile subscription.
- The line you are requesting the unlock on must have been active for at least forty days.
- T-Mobile doesn’t require you to have an installment plan paid off; however, you must have at least 18 consecutive monthly payments made. T-Mobile will consider an unlock at this point; however, in most cases if you are…
- using T-Mobile’s Equipment Installment Plan or it is leased through their JUMP! On Demand program, all payments must be made and the device paid off.
- T-Mobile also might deny you based on how many unlock requests you’ve made in a year. If you made more than two unlock requests per line in a single year, T-Mobile will likely deny your unlock request.
- T-Mobile, through their Device Unlock App — or over the phone — may request a proof of purchase from you before you can proceed.
How to unlock your T-Mobile phone
Now that we have the long list of prerequisites out of the way, we can finally get to actually unlocking the T-Mobile phone. T-Mobile actually has one of the most seamless and automated ways to unlock a device, and that’s through an app.
So, first, you can unlock your T-Mobile phone through the T-Mobile Mobile Device Unlock app, so long as you meet the aforementioned requirements.
The other option is to head over to the T-Mobile website and get on a live chat with a T-Mobile Customer Service Rep. You can request an unlock there, and you’ll obviously be asked to verify some account credentials. The other option is to actually get on the phone with T-Mobile at 1-877-746-0909 and request that a line be unlocked.
You can call the same line for requests to unlock a prepaid device; however, there are some additional requirements that you have to meet. For one, the device must have been active for at least one year. On top of that, the device must have had $100 or more in prepaid refills.
Use a third-party service
If T-Mobile is saying that they cannot unlock your smartphone, or you just don’t want to go through the hassle of verifying all of those requirements, you can use a third-party service to unlock your T-Mobile smartphone. Using a third-party unlocking company can get your phone operating on another network in no time, and without all of the red tape in place from T-Mobile. 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 nothing.
Here we’ve shown you how you can unlock your T-Mobile phone. T-Mobile easily has some of the most strict prerequisites of them all. They advertise themselves as the Un-carrier, better than the other carriers out there; however, they make it impossible to leave. Luckily, if T-Mobile won’t unlock your phone, one of the many unlock services out there will be able to.