How to Unlock an AT&T Phone in 6 Easy Steps


How to Unlock an AT&T Phone in 6 Easy Steps

Are you traveling or switching to a new carrier, but don’t want to buy a new cellphone? Fortunately, AT&T does unlock phones if you meet certain criteria. Below we show you everything you need to know about unlocking these phones, including how to unlock and AT&T phone yourself.

What is Phone Unlocking?

While you can buy unlocked phones from the manufacturer, most of us don’t. So, we have to unlock the phones before we can use them.

When you purchase a new phone from a cell phone carrier, it’s locked into that carrier’s network. You can’t insert and use another carrier’s SIM card or use it on certain networks. AT&T uses the GSM network, which means you can use it with most cell phone carriers around the world.

Older GSM cell phones (T-Mobile and AT&T in the U.S.) weren’t compatible with CDMA networks (Verizon and Sprint). But that’s mostly phased out at this point (unless you’re using a phone from 2014 or before).

When Will AT&T Unlock Your Phone?

Whereas some carriers unlock your phones automatically, AT&T does not. You will need to submit a request and wait for confirmation. But before we show you how to do that, make sure your phone is ready to be unlocked.

Here are some AT&T’s device unlock requirements:

  • Your AT&T phone installment is complete (you’ve paid off your phone)
  • Your cellphone bill is not past due
  • Has been active for at least 60 days
  • Is not on AT&T’s blocklist, or reported lost or stolen
  • Prepaid phones will need to be active on AT&T for 6 months (we wouldn’t recommend buying an AT&T prepaid phone to use on another carrier unless you plan to use it on AT&T for 6 months first)

Assuming your device meets all of these criteria, you can unlock your phone if it’s currently active on AT&T, you purchased it from someone else and have their account information, or you’re deploying in the military.

How to Unlock an AT&T Phone Yourself

You might be wondering how to unlock an AT&T phone yourself. The truth is unlocking an AT&T phone is pretty easy. You won’t need to call anyone or even log into your account. But you will need to gather some information first information:

  • The Account holder’s name
  • The Account holder’s passcode (this is a four-digit personal PIN)
  • The phone number for the device you want to unlock
  • The device IMEI (we’ll show you how to find that in the last section)
  • A valid email address

Note: It can take up to 48 hours for AT&T to process your unlock request.

Step 1: Visit the AT&T Unlock Phone website

Open your web browser (mobile web browsers work, too) and go to this website.

Go att.com/deviceunlock/ to unlock your device.


Step 2: Click Submit an Unlock Request

Click the option to Submit an Unlock Request.


Step 3: Input Your Phone Number

Type your phone number into the text field and continue.

Enter your valid phone number, which has 10 digits.


Step 4: Input Your IMEI Number

Now, type your 15-digit IMEI number (we’ll show you where to find it in the last section of this article).

Enter the IMEI number of your device.


Step 5: Submit Your Request

Choose the option to submit your request.

Click on the Submit button on the bottom right of your screen.


Step 6: Accept the T&Cs

Check your email and click the link to accept the terms and conditions.

You only have 24 hours to accept the terms & conditions.


Check out this informative video tutorial that walks you through the step-by-step process of unlocking your AT&T phone. Whether you’re switching carriers or traveling abroad, learn how to free up your device and enjoy the flexibility you deserve. Watch the video now to unlock the full potential of your phone!

How to Unlock an Inactive AT&T Phone

Perhaps you want AT&T to unlock a phone you don’t use anymore. If so, you can still get it unlocked. Here’s what to do:

Step 1: Visit the Unlock Website

Open a web browser and visit this website.

Go att.com/deviceunlock/ to unlock your device.


Step 2: Select Submit an Unlock Request

Click the option to Submit an Unlock Request.

Before you submit an unlock request, ensure you have your phone’s IMEI.


Step 3: Click No

Now you can choose No at the top to move forward without the original account holder’s information.

Tap on the No option.


Step 4: Fill Out the Form

Finally, fill out the form and submit your request. You’ll receive an email when your device gets unlocked.

Provide all the necessary personal details.


Unlock an AT&T Phone if You’re in the Military

AT&T does a great job of taking care of its military customers. If you’re deploying, you won’t need to meet the same requirements to have your phone unlocked as everyone else.

Similar to the methods above, you can visit the AT&T device unlock website and submit an unlock request. But make sure you check the option for active duty military.

You will need to provide proof of deployment, and if your device is less than 14 days old, you must return it. Outside of that, fill out the forms on the unlock site to have your phone unlocked. You can also send an email to have your AT&T phone service suspended for up to 39 months, so you won’t have to pay your bill during that time.

How to Find Your IMEI

No matter your reason for getting your AT&T phone unlocked, you’ll need your IMEI number. Fortunately, it’s listed on your phone and inside your AT&T account. Here is how to find your device’s IMEI number.

Use AT&T’s Star Services

AT&T has certain codes that you can input in your dialer app to receive information about your phone and account. If your phone is still active with AT&T, open the dialer app and input *#06#. Then, hit the call button. AT&T will send you your IMEI number.

How to Find Your IMEI Number on an Android

If you left the original sticker on the back of your Android device, you’ll quickly find the IMEI number there. However, if you removed that sticker or it has faded, you can go into your device settings and find it. You can also see it on the side of the SIM tray (pull out the SIM tray and look at the top).

Open the settings and tap on About Phone (at the bottom of the screen). Your IMEI number is located on this page and typically starts with 35.

How to Find Your IMEI Number on an iPhone

The easiest place to see your iPhone’s IMEI number is on the back of the phone. Unfortunately, not all iPhones have this option. Your other options are looking on the SIM tray or going into your iPhone’s settings.

Tap on the settings app and tap General. Then, tap About. Your IMEI number will be about halfway down the page. It’s a 15-digit number that often begins with 35.

Find Your IMEI Number in Your AT&T Online Account

Finally, you can view your IMEI number in your AT&T online account. If you pull up your bill you’ll see the IMEI number under your phone number. Or, you can pull up your installment payment details and copy and paste your IMEI from there.

Break the AT&T Chains

AT&T doesn’t make it easy to unlock your phone. However, you can unlock your device if it is unlock-eligible and you have the information necessary. Once you unlock your phone, you can use it anywhere in the world.

How to Unlock an AT&T Phone in 6 Easy Steps FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Where can I find my AT&T passcode?

You won’t find your AT&T account passcode anywhere. Your AT&T passcode is a four-digit number that you set up. You can call AT&T to reset your passcode or reset it yourself online.

How do I avoid being scammed when buying an unlocked AT&T phone?

One of the most successful scams today is stealing and selling blocklisted phones. Unfortunately, both the original owner and the new buyer lose out. The best way to avoid this scam is to have the seller meet you at your carrier’s store. You can get the phone activated on your account before ever exchanging cash, and most honest sellers are more than happy to accommodate the arrangement.

Do I need to factory reset my phone to complete the request?

While AT&T does instruct you to factory reset your phone after it gets unlocked, that isn’t always necessary. Try inserting another carrier’s SIM card into your phone. If it doesn’t give you a No SIM error, it’s unlocked.

How will I know if my AT&T phone is unlocked?

The only way to really know if your AT&T phone is unlocked is by putting another carrier’s SIM into the SIM slot. If you don’t see a No SIM message, your phone is unlocked.

How do I check my unlock status?

You can use the same website listed above to check your unlock status. Just click the Check your unlock request status button and input your information.

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