How to Unlock an Android phone

How to unlock an Android phone

When you mention ‘unlocking’ in the Android world, two things would usually come to mind

  • A Phone locked to a foreign carrier / network
  • A pattern or PIN protected phone

In this guide, the focus will be on unlocking Android phones locked to a foreign carrier / network. If you have forgotten your Android phone’s pattern lock / PIN , exceeded your trial limits by making too many failed unlock attempts or got yourself locked out of your phone then follow this guide on .

Why do Android phones get locked to a particular network?

Some Android phones are branded, sold during a promo or are covered by a subscription agreement. For this reason, such phones are locked to the carrier for a certain period of time (and in some cases, intended to be forever). Some carriers use this as a marketing / customer base building  strategy to keep you locked to their network.

What are the benefits of an unlocked Android phone?

With an unlocked Android phone, you can use any carrier / network’s SIM card on your phone as opposed to being able to use just one.

Can I still use my Android phone without unlocking it?

Perfectly! The only function which will be disabled (unless the carrier’s SIM is present) is your ability to make / receive phone calls. You’ll have to access the internet over WIFI.

Will rooting unlock an Android phone?

No it wont. Rooting only grants root (or Admin as in Windows) access, it doesn’t unlock an Android phone by itself. Rooting might however be the first step in using alternative unlocking approaches (See ).

Will upgrading / updating the OS unlock an Android phone?

Not in all cases, at least, not by itself. All the same, see .

What happens if I exceed then number of network unlock attempts?

If you exceed the number of network unlock attempts, the phone will get hard-locked. Though its still possible to unlock a hard-locked  Android phone (via a timer reset or patching), its a very expensive procedure so STOP GUESSING! You best not exceed the limit.

Will the Android phone get re-locked after an OS upgrade / update?

This depends on the method used to unlock it. If you obtained the network unlock code then its a one-time unlock. If; however, you unlocked via some form of patching then an OS change ‘might’ re-lock the phone just like in the iPhone (See ).

How do I unlock an Android phone locked to a network / carrier?

There are two basic methods:

  • Obtain the network unlock code: You can either contact the carrier or get the network unlock code from a third-party phone unlocking website. This service is mostly not free and the price varies with phone, carrier, country and the unlocking service.
  • Use an unlocker: This method is not recommended unless you know what you’re doing. Using the wrong unlocker / patcher could brick your phone. Galaxy SIM unlock is a good example of an offline unlocker for lower model Samsung Galaxy phones. For the  greater good, we wont be providing a list of unlockers because some people will keep trying each (hoping one would work) and end up bricking their phones.

Where can I get an unlocker specific to my phone model or the correct network unlock code?

You can make this request at our forum and a forum representative will assist you.

Hovatek….just a button away!