If you’ve signed-up to a deal with a free phone from Vodafone chances are at some point you’re going to want to get it unlocked. As far as we can tell, they’re pretty good when it comes to getting your Vodafone unlock code. You may find there are a few hoops you’ll need to jump through first.
When you unlock a phone from Vodafone you’ll need them to send you your Network Unlock Code or ‘NUC’ for short. This factory unlock code PIN is then entered into your handset which then allows you to use any SIM card from network.
Important: Vodafone will not unlock your handset unless you have had an active account for 30 days.
What is a Vodafone NUC (network unlock code)?
Your Vodafone NUC is a code comprised of a series of numbers and characters that you enter into your handset. The code is used to unlock your handset from Vodafone so you can use it on another network.
The code is different in length depending on whether you’ve got a Samsung, HTC, Huawei, Nokia, Motorola, Sony, LG phone and so on. Entering the Vodafone unlock code is also a slightly different procedure for each handset manufacturer.
Other names for your NUC include: NCK, NP code, SIM network unlock PIN or network unlock code. Although the names are different the end result is the same.
How do I know if my handset is locked to Vodafone?
The quickest way to find out if you’re locked to the Vodafone network is to insert a SIM card from another network. Don’t use a Sainsbury’s Mobile, Talkmobile, Lebara or TalkTalk SIM card as they are all virtual networks or MVNO’s. That means they also use the Vodafone network – try using one from EE, O2 or Three.
You can get your Vodafone unlock code if:
- Your phone hasn’t been reported lost or stolen
- You haven’t had 3 or more unlock codes in the last 12 months
- You’ve been using a Vodafone SIM card for more than 30 days
- Your 3 previous bills are fully paid and up-to-date
How to get your Vodafone unlock code using the network unlock request form.
If you’re owner of the handset and can confidently pass the Vodafone criteria (see below) you can get your unlock code using the Network Unlock Request Form provided online.
You’ll need to provide you own the handset, that it hasn’t been reported lost or stolen, that you’ve been using it for more than 30 days, you haven’t already received an unlock code and that you’ve paid the last 3 bills.
How long does it take to get a Vodafone unlock code?
Once you’ve met the unlocking criteria and sent it off to Vodafone, they are usually pretty good at sending you the PIN code and what’s more – it’s free! Getting your free Vodafone network unlock code ‘NUC’ usually takes around 10 days.
There are however possible delays and Vodafone can get bogged down contacting the phone’s original manufacturer. Some customers report waiting more than a month for the network unlock code to arrive. If you do have problems Vodafone have put some answers in place here.
Vodafone UK also have this helpful video to guide in the right direction.
How to unlock your Vodafone handset if you don’t have an account?
You may, for any number of reasons be in possession of a handset locked to the Vodafone network. You may not, for any number of reasons be a Vodafone customer. For example, you may have bought the phone from a friend or off the internet from somewhere like ebay.
If you’ve purchased a phone locked to Vodafone and want a SIM network unlock code or unlock PIN, they encourage you to join them as a new customer. Vodafone also stipulate that where possible you should get the original owner to request the NUC on your behalf. Of course this can be impossible in a great deal of instances.
Vodafone will otherwise need you to prove the handset belongs to you. Again can be very difficult in a great deal of instances. You may have to wait up to 30 days to prove the device belongs to you and is not reported lost or stolen.
What to do if your network unlock code (NUC) is taking too long to arrive.
Firstly, if your email confirmation doesn’t arrive within 24 hours, Vodafone ask you to complete the Network Unlock Request Form for a second time. Although this a bit of a chore they don’t offer any alternative. You may be stuck jumping through more hoops trying to contact the right department.
If you did get your confirmation email, but have been waiting longer than the 10 day guideline – Vodafone are again pretty vague about what you can actually do. We imagine that dishing out factory unlock codes actually costs them a few quid.
Not just to process the requests but in support for lost or angry customers. So in this instance, again you’ll just have to wait it out. In reality, you could wait longer than 10 days – only for Vodafone to reject your request. You’ll then have to start the process again – all with no guarantees.
What to do if your Vodafone NUC (network unlock code) doesn’t work.
If you’re one of the lucky one’s to have received your NUC or network unlock code (SIM network unlock PIN), but can’t get it to work try the following:
- The unlock code is case sensitive so make sure CAPS os OFF on your keyboard
- Only enter the unlock code into the handset you gave the details of to Vodafone.
- Go back and check that the details of the handset you gave Vodafone are correct.
If you still can’t get it unlocked use our contact form and we’ll unlock it for you.
Unlocking a Samsung or Huawei phone from Vodafone using an NUC code.
Easily the 3 most popular handsets in the UK (after iPhone), both Samsung and Huawei require a SIM network unlock PIN or unlock code to be released from the Vodafone network. When you receive the code you need to enter a different SIM card from a new network. This will bring up the unlock screen where you enter your code. With Samsung you get an 8 digit code, whereas with Huawei you get a 16 digit code.