What to do if prompted with a SIM Network Unlock PIN | Android & iOS

Tackled in this context is a SIM-card related notice you often see when the phone’s SIM is locked. Read on to learn what the SIM network unlock PIN notice means and what to do when you see it on your Android and iOS smartphone.

What does SIM network unlock PIN mean?

The SIM network unlock PIN simply denotes that your device is asking you to enter an unlock code to access the network system and services. This is often seen in second-hand or repo units. 

Why does your phone ask for a SIM network unlock PIN?

The main reason why you’re seeing this notice is because your phone is network locked to the original network carrier and therefore cannot be used with any other SIM cards until it gets network unlocked. Your previous network provider might have locked your device to their network.

Another possible reason is that your contract with your previous network service provider for a certain period of time has ended abruptly and thus your phone asks for a SIM network unlock PIN.

How to Get a SIM network unlock PIN

An unlock code can be purchased from a reputable service provider. The code usually consisted of an 8-digit number (older phone models) and 16-digit network codes in newer devices.

If you’re seeing the error after switching network providers, just contact your previous service provider for help. They will provide you with the 8-16 digit unlock code to unlock your SIM card.

After receiving the code, power off your device and then insert the new SIM card. Be sure to secure the SIM card in place. Restart the device and it should ask for the unlock code. Simply type the code given to you by your carrier and  you should be all set.

Now, you have to be very careful when entering the code because entering the wrong code will lock you out of your device. If this happens, you will need to use a third-party Phone Unlock software.  

Other related errors you’ll see when your phone’s network is still locked to the original network carrier or can’t be used alongside other SIM cards would include Network Unlock Code, SIM PUK code, Network Control Key, Master Unlock Code, Network PIN, and SIM Network PIN blocked.

If you see any of these error messages, then you will need to secure a valid PIN or code from your current network carrier in order to unlock your SIM card and use the network services.

Third-Party SIM Unlock Tools

There are also a number of tools you can use as alternative solutions to unlocking SIM on your phone. These tools can be downloaded for free or via one-time purchase.

You can use this as your last resort in case the prior method is not applicable to you.

Just download and install the tool that’s compatible with your device as there’s a dedicated software for Android and another for iOS. Once you’ve got the right software installed, just use its built-in command to start unlocking your device.

Third-party Network Unlockers usually come in handy whenever you couldn’t get to unlock the network using the carrier’s code or you don’t have the needed code at all.

Hope this helps!

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Grace is always fascinated by technology, and her passion for it led her to become an IT professional. She started off as a computer instructor and later moved on to the BPO industry, where she worked as an account specialist and a technical support agent. From a computer instructor to a technical support specialist to a virtual technical content creator, Grace had come a long way. And she's only just getting started.

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