Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority
AT&T offers just about everything you could ask for from a mobile carrier. However, this is not the right option for everyone. You might be ready to switch to Verizon, T-Mobile, or another carrier, but you don’t have to give up the phone you know and love. It doesn’t take much to free up your phone so you can take it with you. Here’s how to unlock an AT&T phone on your own.
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To unlock your AT&T phone, the company has a few requirements that you must meet. Once you meet the requirements (detailed below), you can head to AT&T’s unlock portal. You will be prompted to enter your phone number and your phone’s IMEI number, then AT&T will unlock your device. Requirements vary slightly for AT&T prepaid devices and business devices, which we’ll cover below.
HOW TO UNLOCK AN AT&T PHONE BY YOURSELF
Requirements to Unlock an AT&T Phone
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AT&T won’t just let you unlock any phone at any time. Instead, you’ll need to follow a specific list of requirements before you can free your phone from Big Blue. Here are the requirements for each specific category of device.
Postpaid Personal Device
Most AT&T users will be looking here for a way to unlock a postpaid device. After all, AT&T offers most of its phones on monthly contracts to help spread the cost of your device. Here are the requirements to unlock an AT&T postpaid phone yourself.
- Must be an active AT&T device on your account.
- It must be paid through monthly bills or paid in advance.
- He cannot have an outstanding account balance.
- It has not been reported as lost, stolen or involved in fraud.
Prepaid personal device
You may also be looking for a way to free up your prepaid AT&T phone, and the requirements are essentially the same. However, there is one key difference before you can unlock a prepaid AT&T device. It must have at least six months of service on the AT&T network.
The third and least likely type of device you may be looking to unlock at AT&T is a business device. Maybe you have a work phone that you love or just hope to keep as a backup device. Here are the requirements you must meet to unlock an AT&T business phone:
- You have permission from your company to unlock it.
- You fulfill your contract or term agreement, if applicable.
- You wait 30 days after an early upgrade on a two-year contract.
Steps to Unlock an AT&T Phone
Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority
If you’ve taken the necessary steps to make sure your AT&T phone is ready to unlock, you’ve already done the hard work. Now it’s time to walk through the three-step process on AT&T’s Device Unlock Hub. Before you begin, write down your phone’s IMEI number, which you can usually find either printed on your phone, hidden in the settings menu, or by dialing *#06# on your device.
Once you have your IMEI number, follow these steps:
- To respond Yes at the prompt Are you an AT&T wireless customer?
- Enter your 10-digit phone number and confirm that you are not a robot.
- Enter the name and email address associated with your AT&T account. AT&T will then send you a confirmation email.
- Open the email and click the confirmation link within 24 hours or AT&T will cancel your request.
Once you’ve confirmed your request, all that’s left to do is sit back and wait for AT&T to process the request. This may take a day or two, after which AT&T will provide you with specific instructions for your device.
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Can an AT&T store unlock my phone?
Yes, your local AT&T store can help you complete the unlock process. However, the service representative will likely walk you through the steps outlined above. They don’t have the authority to approve your request, so you’ll still have to wait for AT&T’s approval.
Can AT&T unlock a Straight Talk phone?
No, to unlock a Straight Talk phone you will need to follow a different process. You can check out the Straight Talk unlock guide here. Once you’ve unlocked your Straight Talk phone, you can take it to AT&T if you wish, as both carriers are GSM-based.
Can Verizon unlock an AT&T phone?
No, as with Straight Talk, carriers cannot unlock another carrier’s devices. If you want to unlock an AT&T phone for use with Verizon, you will need to follow the steps above. However, Verizon relies on a CDMA setup, while AT&T is GSM-based, so not all phones will be compatible with both carriers.
How long does it take to unlock an AT&T phone?
Once you’ve started the process, it should only take a day or two. You have 24 hours to accept the confirmation email, followed by a few days for AT&T to complete the process.