Got an LG smartphone and want to use it on another network other than your current one? For that, you’ll need to unlock it. Phones bought from most carriers come as locked out of the box, but generally, if you meet the criteria set forth by the carrier, they’ll give you a code that will allow you to unlock your phone. With it unlocked, you’ll be able to use it on other networks, which is especially helpful for international travel when you want to use a local carrier in your destination country.
That sounds nice and all, but how exactly do you unlock a LG phone? Follow along below, and we’ll show you how.
Consult your carrier
Unlocking an LG smartphone varies from carrier to carrier. Each carrier has a different Unlock Policy — no carrier is the same. You can either find your carrier’s Unlock Policy online, where many of them have detailed guides and policy available. Or, you can call up your carrier and ask a Customer Service Representative about their Unlock Policy. They’ll be able to point you in the right direction, and they might even be able to help you out by seeing if your phone is even eligible.
Each carrier generally has their own list of prerequisites that you have to meet in order to unlock an LG phone Some even have a longer list of prerequisites that you’ll have to meet than others. Others ship their phones unlocked from the get-go. And some are pretty strict, requiring you to be paying for service for a straight 180 days.
One of the most important parts to unlocking your LG phone is that it isn’t blacklisted. A blacklisted phone is almost impossible to unlock — these are usually reported as stolen, lost, or reported as involved in fraudulent activity. When that’s done, the phone is placed on a “blacklist.” Blacklisted phones cannot be unlocked, nor can they be used anymore on the network of origin.
Once you verify the requirements that your carrier imposes on you, you can actually start the process of unlocking your device. Again, this varies from carrier to carrier — some have an online request portal, where others have an automated app where it’ll automatically verify that prerequisites are met, and then display a unlock code on the screen, as well as text the code to you.
If you’ve done any research at all, you probably know that the requirements to unlock a device is an overall pretty strict process. Luckily, on most carriers, they are pretty lenient as far as military and service members go. They can actually skip out on most of the prerequisites by providing deployment papers as part of the verification process. This allows service members to insert a local SIM to whatever country that they are traveling to. Generally, an expedite is usually involved in the process when it comes to military members, so it’s always best to get on the phone with a customer service rep or bring verification in-store.
Use a third-party service
Carriers have this unfortunate red tape in place for a lot of reasons. It’s there to help mitigate their own losses; however, they also want to make it difficult for you to hop from carrier to carrier, as they want to keep your business/money.
However, if you don’t like that red tape, you can actually skip out on it pretty easily, at least if you don’t mind paying an extra few dollars. By using a third-party unlocking company, they can give you a code that can get your phone operating on another network in no time, and without all of the red tape from your carrier. Many current services out there can unlock phones by brand or by the carrier that it’s locked to. It does usually cost some money, which can range from a couple bucks all the way up to an average of $60.
You will definitely want to make sure that you’re using a service from a reputable company — the amount of unlock services out there that are a scam is quite high. If you don’t do your research properly, 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.
As you can see, it’s overall a difficult process to unlock your LG phone. Carriers certainly do not make the process easy, though if you don’t mind the “pay to play” model, a third-party unlocking company can get you sorted out in a jiffy.
Have you unlocked a LG phone before? Did these steps work for you? Sound off in the comments section below.