To find a working unlocking code for your handset, you need three pieces of info; its brand/model number, the network, and the IMEI code. Here’s how to find them.
- Brand and model number. Chances are you already know this, as it’s likely to be written on the handset, it’s box, and any documentation you got when you bought it, so I’ll move on.
- The network. This is simply the network the phone’s currently locked to, not the one you want to get on.
- The IMEI. The International Mobile Equipment Identity is a unique number given to all mobile phones, which gets marked as invalid when phones are reported lost or stolen. To find your IMEI, simply type *#06# into your handset, and note down the number that appears.
Step 2. Find an unlocking code.
There are a raft of websites dedicated to phone unlocking. Which you should head for first depends on your handset brand.
- Nokia phones. The easiest way to unlock older Nokias is via codes found on sites like Trycktill, Unlock Nokiafree or Unlockitfree.
- Other brands. Both Trycktill and Unlockitfree do list a few codes for other brands, though no where near as many as for Nokias. Some handsets by other manufacturers are not unlockable by freely-available codes, but it’s still worth running a quick Google search to see if yours is one of the few that is (though do check it’s a legitimate source). Also you’ll find a full discussion of other phone in the Unlocking non-Nokia phones discussion in the Mobile Phone Forum.
If it transpires that you can’t unlock your phone with a free code go to Method 2.
Step 3. Use it!
The sites above will generate a code based on the info you provided, so double check it’s right first. The code will look something like this. #pw+2746763089+1# (Nokia phones), or *2767*637# (Other makes).
To unlock, take the Sim card out of the phone and put in a different network’s Sim. Now you can put the code in…
How to enter the code.
Rather than using the regular text keys you need to use the * key if you want to produce letters as opposed to numbers. To produce a ‘p’, press the * button three times within two seconds; to produce a ‘w’, press the * button four times within two seconds; to produce a ‘+’, press the * button twice within two seconds.
You should now get a message saying ‘phone restriction off’ (or words to that effect). You only have five attempts to enter the correct code so be extremely careful. If none are successful, the phone will still work, but you’ll have to go to the network or a retailer to get it unlocked instead.