How to Unlock a Samsung Phone for Free

Switching cellular providers? Unlock your Samsung phone with a code

Illustration of a person using a key to unlock an icon on a smartphone

Lifewire / Derek Abella 

Unless you purchased a Samsung cellphone that was specifically described as unlocked, your phone is probably locked, which means it is tied to a specific carrier's cellular service. To use that phone with another carrier, you need to unlock it. You can ask your current service provider to unlock the phone for you. Assuming you don't have a contract or have paid an early termination fee and have paid for the phone itself, your carrier may unlock it in-store or unlock it remotely. If your carrier won't unlock the phone for some reason, you can try to unlock it yourself using one of the free unlocking services available on the internet.

Free Samsung Unlocking Software and Codes

Listed here are software programs and unlock code services designed to help you unlock your Samsung phone. 

Although this information is written specifically about Samsung phones, you may find that it applies to other Android phones also, including Google, Huawei, Xiaomi, LG, etc. 

You'll need to know your Samsung phone's model number for most of these unlocking tools. It is usually located behind the battery, so you'll need to remove the battery to see it.

  • WorldUnlock Codes Calculator — This small Windows software program generates unlock codes for many of the cell phones from major manufacturers including Samsung. After you download it and input your phone's details, including the model, manufacturer, location, and IMEI number, the unlock code calculator generates a code. The code must be entered while your phone does not have its SIM card installed.
  • UnlockSamsungOnline — There are highly detailed instructions on this site that explain how to unlock your Samsung phone using a program called SRS.
  • Free SIM Unlock Samsung Online — is an online service that generates a code you use to unlock your Samsung phone.
  • Universal Simlock Remover — This third-party software is designed to unlock a variety of mobile phones including Samsung phones.
  • FreeUnlocks — You can either pay for the unlock from this website or get it free through TrialPay.

Be Cautious When You Unlock

Unlocking your phone yourself can be a risky business because doing so may void any warranty you have, and the process can irreparably harm your phone. However, in most countries, including the U.S., it's completely legal.

Plenty of people are interested in unlocking their cellphones. If it works, unlocking your phone gives you more freedom in how and where you use it. You may be able to make cheaper calls, install new software, and do more with your phone. After you unlock your phone, though, it may not work with all carriers. Technologies differ among cell service providers, and your phone's technology must be compatible with the provider you plan to use.

Even when the phone works with a different carrier, some of the features may not work as they did previously.

Carrier Compatibility

The two network standards in the U.S. are Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) and Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA). There are a few GSM/CMDA hybrid phones available, and it looks like most carriers will switch over to GSM. GSM phones have SIM card slots, and Long Term Evolution (LTE) is a GSM standard. Any phone or tablet with LTE must have a SIM card slot. 

The moral of this story is that compatibility matters. Contact any cellular provider you are considering before you unlock your phone to make sure that your phone will be compatible with the company's service after you unlock it. 

Alternatives to Free Unlocking Codes for Your Smartphone

Buying an unlocked phone is a safer, but more expensive alternative to unlocking a phone yourself.

You can also purchase unlocking software that might work when the free software doesn't, but make sure you research it thoroughly so that you don't throw away your money. Here are a few services to check out:

  • UnlockBase — claims to have unlock codes for more than 3,000 Samsung smartphone models. They aren't free, but you can't beat the selection.
  • Dr.fone toolkit — a paid service that offers a free trial you may find useful. 
  • — covers a wide range of Samsung model unlock codes.

You can also try the web-based unlock tool at as a substitute for a software-based solution. Give the site a few details about your handset, and it emails you the appropriate unlock code. Even though it's not free, it has a high success rate at unlocking Samsung smartphones.