How to Unlock Your Nokia Phone

Move to another carrier or roam without high fees

If you've purchased a Nokia smartphone through a wireless carrier, such as Verizon or T-Mobile, the phone is likely "locked," which means it's restricted to that company's network. If you'd like to move to another network, or you're traveling and facing expensive roaming fees, it may be possible to "unlock" the phone, allowing you to switch between carriers.

The term "unlocking" can be confusing. Unlocking your Nokia phone from its network carrier is different from simply unlocking its keys and screen with a PIN code.

Locked Nokia smartphone
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Before You Unlock Your Nokia Phone

Before trying to unlock your Nokia smartphone, determine if it is, in fact, locked to a carrier. If you purchased the device at full price, directly from an electronics store, your Nokia smartphone probably isn't locked. If you bought the device through a carrier plan or within a carrier store, it's likely to be locked.

If you're not sure if your device is locked, contact your current carrier or visit a website like IMEO.info to get more information about your phone's status.

Next, if you want to unlock your Nokia phone to use it with another carrier, make sure your device supports that carrier's network technology. Check your Nokia phone's manual to verify what frequencies it supports, and check with your prospective carrier to make sure your device is compatible.

Bring your Nokia phone to a local carrier store, or call the carrier's customer service line to see if your device is compatible with their network.

Carrier Unlocking Policies

Here's a look at the unlocking policies of the major wireless carriers.

Verizon

Verizon's unlocking policy says devices are locked for 60 days after purchase, but notes that an unlocked Verizon Wireless device may not work, or may experience limited functionality, on another carrier's network.

AT&T

AT&T's unlocking policy spells out specific conditions and offers unlocking help and resources.

T-Mobile

T-Mobile's unlocking policy describes eligibility requirements for unlocking a device and provides a form for requesting an unlock code.

Sprint

Sprint's unlocking policy describes unlocking requirements and other notes.

How to Unlock Your Nokia Phone

Follow your carrier's specific instructions for unlocking your Nokia phone. Here's a look at the general process, though your service's steps may differ.

  1. Contact your wireless service provider and request an unlock code.

    This is usually not a problem if you're a longtime customer, but various carriers have their own restrictions.

  2. Remove your Nokia phone's SIM card.

    Consult your manual for instructions on how to do this properly.

  3. Turn on your phone without its SIM card.

    Enter your PIN code if prompted.

  4. Insert a new SIM card and enter your unlock code. You should see a "SIM Restriction Off" message.

Unlocking Services

While contacting your carrier offers the safest and most reliable method for unlocking your Nokia phone, there are online services that provide unlock codes if there's an issue with your unlocking process.

UnlockMe focuses on older Nokia phone models, while the Nokia Unlock Calculator services several platforms.

Make sure to use only a safe and trustworthy unlocking service.