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How to get your Android SIM network unlock PIN

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Screenshot: SIM network unlock PIN

Screenshot: SIM network unlock PIN

If you’re trying to change network on your mobile phone and it is using the Android operating system you’re going to need a SIM network unlock PIN. This multiple-digit numerical network unlock code is entered into box on the screen request. Once entered successfully you will then be able to insert a SIM card from a different network and continue enjoying your phone.

The unlock code itself will be different in length depending on your handset manufacturer. For example, a Samsung SIM network unlock PIN will only be 8 digits in length, whilst a Huawei SIM network unlock PIN will be 15 digits in length. As a result, there’s no 2 ways that are the same to get your code.

Handset manufacturers that use the Android SIM network unlock PIN:

  • Huawei
  • Samsung
  • LG
  • HTC
  • Motorola
  • Sony Xperia
  • Nokia

4 ways to get your Android SIM network unlock PIN.

There are a number of common ways you can get your network unlock PIN for your Android device. If you already have an active account with one of the major UK networks then the cheapest route is usually to go and put in a request to them. Alternatively, if you’ve purchased your handset from a third party you can still get a code from a paid for service.

1. Getting your unlock code from your network.

Easily the most popular and cheapest way to get your Android SIM network unlock PIN, going to your network can be simple and pain free. Each UK network has their own way of processing your application, however the end result is the same. Below we have listed some of the most popular networks and what you need to do to get your unlock code.

EE logo

EE SIM network unlock PIN.

EE are the biggest mobile network provider in the UK. Generally they require you to have an active account in which your handset is at least 6 months old. They will however sell you an unlock code if you do not have an account and the handset is not blacklisted or reported stolen.

  • Cost: £8.99
  • Waiting time: 3-10 days
  • Requirements: Active account for a minimum period of 6 months
  • Tutorial available: Yes

O2 logo

O2 SIM network unlock PIN.

O2 are one of the best networks in terms of unlocking. Since 2018 they no longer lock their handsets. Good news for some but not for people with second-hand phones that are a few years old. It’s important to note however that they will not unlock you unless you are an O2 customer. Only then will they provide you with your SIM network unlock PIN.

  • Cost: £0.00
  • Waiting time: 7 days
  • Requirements: Active account
  • Tutorial available: Yes

Vodafone logo

Vodafone SIM network unlock PIN.

With Vodafone you’re going to have to be a customer for a minimum of 30 days. If you’re already a customer then they will unlock you for nothing. If not, you’ll have a sign-up for a SIM only deal, wait 30 days and then request an unlock code. They will not provide you with a SIM network unlock PIN unless you meet the requirements.

  • Cost: £0.00
  • Waiting time: 10 days
  • Requirements: Active account for a minimum period of 30 days
  • Tutorial available: Yes

Virgin Mobile Logo

Virgin Mobile SIM network unlock PIN.

Unfortunately getting an unlock code from Virgin Mobile is not easy. The information they offer is vague. They do however provide an unlock code with every new contract so you may already have you SIM network unlock PIN in your package. Pay monthly customers will already be unlocked.

  • Cost: £15.32
  • Waiting time: 30 days
  • Requirements: Active account
  • Tutorial available: Yes

Tesco Mobile logo

Tesco Mobile SIM network unlock PIN.

Tesco Mobile are will unlock any handset that is locked to their network. Unfortunately, the phone will have to be at least 12 months old plus there is a minimum fee of £10.00 per unlock request. You’ll need to create an account and jump through the usual hoops, so no stolen or blacklisted mobile phones.

  • Cost: £10.00
  • Waiting time: 7 days
  • Requirements: Most be locked to Tesco Mobile for a minimum of 12 months
  • Tutorial available: Yes

BT logo

BT Mobile SIM network unlock PIN.

Getting your SIM network unlock PIN from BT is almost identical to EE. This is because they both use the same infrastructure. BT is a virtual network that piggy backs off of EE. As a result the same conditions and requirements apply.

  • Cost: £8.99
  • Waiting time: 10 days
  • Requirements: Most be locked to BT Mobile for a minimum of 6 months
  • Tutorial available: Yes

2. Getting your unlock code using an unlock code generator.

Generally software based, an unlock code generator uses a database to calculate your SIM network unlock PIN code from your IMEI number. There are also direct connection unlock software applications. However, as the name implies, you will need to directly connect your handset to the computer to get it unlocked. These generators usually only cover Samsung, Motorola or Nokia handsets.

Alternatively, an unlock code generator is usually software that you download onto your PC and enter your IMEI number into. These types of unlocking programs have to be paid for up front and usually cost more than any other method. This is because unlock code generators are tools mostly used by unlocking companies such as your local phone shop.

Screenshot: Example of an unlock code generator.

Screenshot: Example of an unlock code generator.

There are many unlock code generators on the market but they can be overcomplicated and restrictive. The example above can only unlock earlier models so it can be a bit hit and miss. The best one we’ve seen is from DrFone but this is a paid for service that starts at around £99.

You’ll be pleased to know that if you have a Nokia handset there are a number of free unlock code generators available for you to try. Again, DrFone have put a complete list together to get you started.

3. Getting your unlock code from an online unlocking service.

You’ll be pleased to learn that there are a myriad of online unlocking companies willing to sell you an Android unlock code for a small fee. The cost of the code will depend on which handset manufacturer you have and which network you are locked to. It will generally be the same process for each company, in that you will need to purchase the correct service for both your handset and current mobile network.

Examples of this would be a Samsung phone locked to EE or a HTC phone locked to Vodafone and so on. You’ll need to provide the company with your mobile phone IMEI number and an email address. The Android SIM network unlock PIN will then be sent to your email address along with troubleshooting instructions in case of problems.

As a rule of thumb it’s best to checkout the reviews of the company before you make your purchase. Also watch out for scams where they want you to complete some kind of offer first for a free unlock code.

Mobile phone unlocking shop sign.

Mobile phone unlocking shop sign.

4. Getting your unlock code from your local phone shop.

Last in the list but by no means least is your local phone shop. We’ve all seen the LED sign in the window of your local phone accessories shop. They usually offer cases, repairs and of course unlocking. Many of these shops will unlock you while you wait, however for some kinds of unlocking you will need to wait a week as they will use the same procedure and an online unlocking company.

With some handsets your local shop will be able to plug your phone into a PC and get it unlocked immediately. This can usually be achieved with software such as an unlock code generator. Non Android devices will probably take longer to unlock. Search Google for a phone shop near you.

Get your SIM network unlock PIN.

Last Updated On September 18, 2019

2 Comments

  1. Avatar
    James Stephens September 17, 2019 at 8:34 am - Reply

    Can you unlock Huawei Mate 20 locked to EE? I need it fast.

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