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Unlocking an O2 mobile for use on a different network

Unlocking your O2 device for use on a different network

Does O2 lock devices?

Most devices are no longer locked to our network. Since 1 August 2018, Apple devices bought directly from us are no longer locked. And almost all new devices shipped after January 2019 are now unlocked, with Huawei dongles being unlocked since April 2019. Alcatel and Doro devices are the exceptions – they’re still locked.

What is the difference between unlocking your device and unblocking your device?

If your device is locked to a particular network and you want to use it on another network, you’ll need to ask for it to be unlocked.

Unblocking your phone is different from unlocking it. If you’ve blocked your sim by entering the wrong PIN too many times, you’ll need to request your PUK (Personal Unblocking Key) code. Fill out our form to unblock your phone.

How do I find out if my device is locked to O2?

To find out whether your device is locked, just pop a non-O2 sim into it. If it all works as normal then it’s not locked. If you get a message along the lines of 'incompatible sim', 'enter subsidy PIN' or 'enter network unlock code', then the chances are it’s locked and you’ll need to ask us to unlock it.

How do I get my device unlocked and what info will I need?

If you’ve checked and your device is locked to our network, you can ask us to unlock it at any time, for free. Choose the ‘Pay Monthly or Pay As You Go customers’ or ‘O2 Business customers’ section below to find out how to ask us to unlock your device.

To make your request, you’ll need your device’s unique IMEI (International Mobile Station Equipment Identity) number. To find it, type *#06# into your device. It will then display the 15-digit number. It's a good idea to make a note of the number to speed the process along.

Pay Monthly & Pay As You Go customers

If you’re on a Pay Monthly or Pay As You Go tariff, you can ask us to unlock your device at any time, as long as you’re in the UK. We can only unlock your device if you bought it directly from us, otherwise you’ll need to contact your provider.

If you’re on Pay Monthly, you'll still need to see out the minimum term of your contract, even if you put a non-O2 sim in your device.

There are various ways to ask us to unlock your device:

  • Fill out our device unlocking form (if we accept your request, we’ll email you within seven days with the details of how to unlock your device).
  • Go to My O2.
  • Contact us via Live Chat.
  • Give us a call on 202, free from a Pay Monthly phone, or 4445 from a Pay As You Go phone.

You’ll need to have your IMEI ready (see previous FAQ for more information on your IMEI).

How will you let me know when my unlocking code is ready?

If you’ve got an iPhone, we’ll send you a text.
If you’ve got any other device, we’ll send you an email.

What do I do after I receive my text/email?

Got an Apple device? You’ll need to put a non-O2 sim in your device and then connect your device to iTunes. iTunes will then tell you the device is unlocked.

Got an Android device? Once you’ve got your code, just enter this into your device and follow the instructions.

What might delay my code being provided?

Sometimes, particularly with older handsets, we have to contact the device manufacturer to get hold of the code. This can take up to 10 working days. We’ll keep you updated by text or email if there’s a delay.

O2 Business customers

If you’re the main account holder, you can ask for your devices to be unlocked at any time, on us, as long as you’re in the UK. We can only unlock your devices if you bought them directly from us, otherwise you’ll need to contact your provider.

Don’t forget you’ll still need to see out the minimum term of your contract, even if you put a non-O2 sim into your phone. You’ll also need to be in the UK to unlock a device.

To ask for your phone to be unlocked, just fill out our online form. If we accept your request, we’ll email you within seven days with the details of how to unlock your phone.

What do I do after I receive my email?

Got an Apple device? You’ll need to put a non-O2 sim in your device and then connect your device to iTunes. iTunes will then tell you the device is unlocked.

Got an Android device? Once you’ve got your code, just enter this into your device and follow the instructions.

What might delay my code being provided?

Sometimes, particularly with older handsets, we have to contact the device manufacturer to get hold of the code. This can take up to 10 working days. We’ll keep you updated by text or email if there’s a delay.

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