How to Unlock a Samsung Phone for Free

Switching cellular providers? Unlock your Samsung phone with a code

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When you purchase a Samsung smartphone, it is usually locked, which means it is tied to a specific carrier's cellular service. To use the phone with another carrier, you need to know how to unlock your Samsung phone.

Information in this article applies specifically to Samsung smartphones.

How to Unlock a Samsung Phone

Illustration of a person using a key to unlock an icon on a smartphone
Derek Abella @Lifewire

You can ask your current service provider to unlock the phone for you. Assuming you don't have a contract, or you paid an early termination fee and have paid for the phone itself, your carrier may unlock it in-store or remotely. If your carrier won't unlock the phone for some reason, you can try one of the many free unlocking services available on the internet.

Free Samsung Unlocking Software and Codes

You'll need to know your Samsung phone's IMEI number and model number for most online unlocking tools. The model number is usually located behind the battery, so you'll need to remove the battery to find it. Once you have the necessary information, use one of the following services to unlock your phone:

Some unlock methods require you to remove the SIM card.

Benefits of Unlocking Your Samsung Phone

Unlocking your phone gives you more freedom over how and where you use it. You may be able to make cheaper calls, install new software, and expand your phone's functionality.

Risks of Unlocking Your Phone

In most countries, including the U.S., unlocking Samsung a phone is completely legal; however, it will likely void the warranty, and it could irreparably damage the device if done wrong.

Buying an unlocked phone is a safer alternative to unlocking a phone yourself.

Carrier Compatibility

After you unlock your phone, 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. Contact any cellular provider you are considering before you unlock your phone to make sure that it will be compatible with the company's service. 

Alternatives to Free Unlocking Codes for Your Smartphone

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.
  • Dr.fone toolkit is a paid unlocking service that offers a free trial. 
  • CellUnlocker covers a wide range of Samsung model unlock codes.