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  • [How To] Unlock Your AT&T iPhone

    Unlike Verizon which unlocks all its 4G devices, AT&T still locks its iPhones to its network. This means you cannot take your AT&T iPhone, drop in a T-Mobile SIM and expect it work. Before you can bring that iPhone to a new carrier domestically or overseas, you have to meet the minimum criteria and go through AT&Tís official channels to unlock the device. Want to find out if your iPhone is unlocked? And how to unlock it if it is locked? Read on for information on unlocking your iPhone on AT&Tís network.



    Do I Need to Unlock my AT&T iPhone?

    AT&T locks all of its iPhones to its network, so you likely will need to request an unlock. If are not sure whether your phone is eligible to be unlocked, you can check online here via AT&Tís website. The carrier will remove this restriction on your iPhone if requested, but there are several requirements you must meet before the carrier will approve your request.

    The device must be designed for use on, and locked to, the AT&T wireless network.
    It must not be reported lost or stolen.
    Itís not associated with fraudulent activity.
    All the deviceís service commitments and installment plans are completed, and all early termination fees are paid in full.
    The device is not currently active on a different AT&T customerís account.
    If you performed an early upgrade, you must wait the 14-day buyerís remorse period before you can request to unlock your previous device.
    If the device was activated with a service commitment or installment plan, your account must be active for at least 60 days, with no past due or unpaid balance.
    Once your phone meets the minimum criteria, AT&T will send you a notification with information about how to unlock your phone. If you need additional details, AT&Tís unlocking policy is available here.


    How Do I Unlock my iPhone on AT&T ?


    Unlike Sprint which takes some of the burden off the consumer by removing this restriction when a customer is eligible , AT&T will not unlock your iPhone automatically. You need to make a specific request as follows:

    • From your desktop or tablet, go to AT&T Wireless Consumer Device Unlock Request.
    • Read and agree to the eligibility requirements to unlock your device.
    • Complete and submit the form.
    • Youíll receive a confirmation email with your unlock request number.
    • Select the link in the email within 24 hours of receipt to confirm your unlock request.
    • AT&T will respond within two business days.
    • If your request is approved, AT&T will email an approval email. AT&T may reject your request or require you to send in additional information.
    • After you receive the email approving your unlock request, remove the AT&T SIM card and insert the new carrier SIM to begin set up.
    • My iPhone is Unlocked, Now What?
    • Most carriers will walk you through the process of unlocking your phone, so no need to worry about those details. Once it is unlocked, you can use your iPhone on another carrier by following the instructions below:
    • Power off your iPhone.
    • Remove the existing SIM card from your phone.
    • Insert the new SIM card (from the different carrier) in the SIM card slot.
    • Restart the iPhone.
    • After the iPhone restarts, follow the on-screen instructions to complete the setup process.


    Update from user KUPE:

    The ATT Carrier unlock procedure works as advertised above, but you will LOSE YOUR JAILBREAK in the process.

    I have unlocked several of my ATT iPhones using the ATT Carrier Unlock Request. It works as advertised provided that you have satisfied any contract period. In fact, posted below is the exact email you will receive from ATT when your Carrier Unlock request is approved. Read step 4 very carefully. To achieve the unlock, you must do a restore of the phone using iTunes. That will install the latest iOS which as we speak is not jail-breakable.

    This is fine if you are simply wanting to unlock the phone to increase its resale value- I've done that every time I've sold my iPhones. But if you are planning on keeping it and value your jailbreak, don't mess with this until a current jailbreak is available.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ ++++++++++

    Thank you for contacting AT&T Customer Care about unlocking your AT&T Mobile device.

    We have reviewed your request and confirmed that the device may be unlocked.

    Please allow 24 hours upon receipt of this notification to complete the unlock process.

    1. Open iTunes on your Mac or PC and verify that you have Internet connectivity.

    2. Ensure the original SIM card that came with this device is inserted in your iPhone.

    3. Connect your iPhone using the dock connector to USB cable that came with your iPhone.

    4. Backup and restore your iPhone using iTunes. For information on backup and restore, please visit Use iTunes on your Mac or PC to restore your iPhone, iPad, or iPod to factory settings - Apple Support.

    5. After restoring, your iPhone will be unlocked.


    Have you unlocked iPhone on your carrier? Did you run into any issues? Please share your experiences in the comments.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: [How To] Unlock Your AT&T iPhone started by Caiden Spencer View original post
    Comments 15 Comments
    1. rolandgabor's Avatar
      rolandgabor -
      Bs AT&T.
    1. Manolo Bleu's Avatar
      Manolo Bleu -
      Did this 2 years ago for my i5. Pretty straight forward
    1. vinaygoel2000's Avatar
      vinaygoel2000 -
      Always use this to unlock my phones when I upgrade to a new model. Sell the unlocked ones unlocked. Easy as 3.14159265359.
    1. jadelover1234's Avatar
      jadelover1234 -
      Quote Originally Posted by rolandgabor View Post
      Bs AT&T.
      Sprint actually makes it very difficult to unlock.
    1. u4styx's Avatar
      u4styx -
      I had one of mine done a while back for 30 dollars online without att knowing.
    1. Kupe's Avatar
      Kupe -
      WHOA WHOA WHOA!!!! The ATT Carrier unlock procedure works as advertised above, but you will LOSE YOUR JAILBREAK in the process.

      I have unlocked several of my ATT iPhones using the ATT Carrier Unlock Request. It works as advertised provided that you have satisfied any contract period. In fact, posted below is the exact email you will receive from ATT when your Carrier Unlock request is approved. Read step 4 very carefully. To achieve the unlock, you must do a restore of the phone using iTunes. That will install the latest iOS which as we speak is not jail-breakable.

      This is fine if you are simply wanting to unlock the phone to increase its resale value- I've done that every time I've sold my iPhones. But if you are planning on keeping it and value your jailbreak, don't mess with this until a current jailbreak is available.

      ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ ++++++++++

      Thank you for contacting AT&T Customer Care about unlocking your AT&T Mobile device.

      We have reviewed your request and confirmed that the device may be unlocked.

      Please allow 24 hours upon receipt of this notification to complete the unlock process.

      1. Open iTunes on your Mac or PC and verify that you have Internet connectivity.

      2. Ensure the original SIM card that came with this device is inserted in your iPhone.

      3. Connect your iPhone using the dock connector to USB cable that came with your iPhone.

      4. Backup and restore your iPhone using iTunes. For information on backup and restore, please visit Use iTunes on your Mac or PC to restore your iPhone, iPad, or iPod to factory settings - Apple Support.

      5. After restoring, your iPhone will be unlocked.
    1. HovikGas's Avatar
      HovikGas -
      Quote Originally Posted by Kupe View Post
      WHOA WHOA WHOA!!!! The ATT Carrier unlock procedure works as advertised above, but you will LOSE YOUR JAILBREAK in the process.

      I have unlocked several of my ATT iPhones using the ATT Carrier Unlock Request. It works as advertised provided that you have satisfied any contract period. In fact, posted below is the exact email you will receive from ATT when your Carrier Unlock request is approved. Read step 4 very carefully. To achieve the unlock, you must do a restore of the phone using iTunes. That will install the latest iOS which as we speak is not jail-breakable.

      This is fine if you are simply wanting to unlock the phone to increase its resale value- I've done that every time I've sold my iPhones. But if you are planning on keeping it and value your jailbreak, don't mess with this until a current jailbreak is available.

      ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ ++++++++++

      Thank you for contacting AT&T Customer Care about unlocking your AT&T Mobile device.

      We have reviewed your request and confirmed that the device may be unlocked.

      Please allow 24 hours upon receipt of this notification to complete the unlock process.

      1. Open iTunes on your Mac or PC and verify that you have Internet connectivity.

      2. Ensure the original SIM card that came with this device is inserted in your iPhone.

      3. Connect your iPhone using the dock connector to USB cable that came with your iPhone.

      4. Backup and restore your iPhone using iTunes. For information on backup and restore, please visit Use iTunes on your Mac or PC to restore your iPhone, iPad, or iPod to factory settings - Apple Support.

      5. After restoring, your iPhone will be unlocked.
      You only need to restore if it's an older iPhone (pre iPhone 5 I believe).
    1. vinaygoel2000's Avatar
      vinaygoel2000 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Kupe View Post
      WHOA WHOA WHOA!!!! The ATT Carrier unlock procedure works as advertised above, but you will LOSE YOUR JAILBREAK in the process.

      I have unlocked several of my ATT iPhones using the ATT Carrier Unlock Request. It works as advertised provided that you have satisfied any contract period. In fact, posted below is the exact email you will receive from ATT when your Carrier Unlock request is approved. Read step 4 very carefully. To achieve the unlock, you must do a restore of the phone using iTunes. That will install the latest iOS which as we speak is not jail-breakable.

      This is fine if you are simply wanting to unlock the phone to increase its resale value- I've done that every time I've sold my iPhones. But if you are planning on keeping it and value your jailbreak, don't mess with this until a current jailbreak is available.

      ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ ++++++++++

      Thank you for contacting AT&T Customer Care about unlocking your AT&T Mobile device.

      We have reviewed your request and confirmed that the device may be unlocked.

      Please allow 24 hours upon receipt of this notification to complete the unlock process.

      1. Open iTunes on your Mac or PC and verify that you have Internet connectivity.

      2. Ensure the original SIM card that came with this device is inserted in your iPhone.

      3. Connect your iPhone using the dock connector to USB cable that came with your iPhone.

      4. Backup and restore your iPhone using iTunes. For information on backup and restore, please visit Use iTunes on your Mac or PC to restore your iPhone, iPad, or iPod to factory settings - Apple Support.

      5. After restoring, your iPhone will be unlocked.
      I can guarantee you that phone is unlocked even if you don't restore. Have done it on 3G, 4, 4S, 5, 5S, 6 Plus.
    1. towboattrash34's Avatar
      towboattrash34 -
      If I unlock ATT 6 or 6+ what other carriers can I go to ?
    1. Simon's Avatar
      Simon -
      Quote Originally Posted by towboattrash34 View Post
      If I unlock ATT 6 or 6+ what other carriers can I go to ?
      Any other GSM carrier. So in the US, t-mobile would be one option.
    1. SpiderManAPV's Avatar
      SpiderManAPV -
      Quote Originally Posted by Simon View Post
      Any other GSM carrier. So in the US, t-mobile would be one option.
      Iím using an ATT iPhone 6 on sprint right now. They can go on any American carrier at least. Iím not sure about international.
    1. towboattrash34's Avatar
      towboattrash34 -
      Thanks so Verizon is not an option.
    1. Simon's Avatar
      Simon -
      Quote Originally Posted by towboattrash34 View Post
      Thanks so Verizon is not an option.
      As far as I know you can use them too.
    1. szr's Avatar
      szr -
      Quote Originally Posted by Kupe View Post
      WHOA WHOA WHOA!!!! The ATT Carrier unlock procedure works as advertised above, but you will LOSE YOUR JAILBREAK in the process.
      Actually the problem is a lot of people as well as documentation out there indeed says that you need to restore to get the "Congratulations, your iPhone has been unlocked" screen in iTunes that confirms that the unlock has succeeded.

      But this can be triggered without restoring. Normally one can just insert a SIM card from another carrier and then connect via USB to your machine with iTunes open.

      If you don't have another SIM card and are jail-broken, then delete /var/root/Library/Lockdown/activation_records on your device and reboot and then connect it to your computer with iTunes open.
    1. szr's Avatar
      szr -
      Quote Originally Posted by Simon View Post
      As far as I know you can use them too.
      Verizon is notorious for making it really difficult to bring phones they didn't originally sell onto their network. I think they may have relaxed this stance in the past year or so, but can still make it difficult and they have been known to revoke or prevent certain promotions from applying to you if do manage to get such a device onto their network. You mileage can very much vary these days but at least there appears to be more hope now than their used to be in the past.