ATT Device Unlock

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If you have an AT&T phone or tablet purchased from AT&T and are looking to take it to another carrier such as T-Mobile or a T-Mobile MVNO you may need to have the phone unlocked before you can take it elsewhere.  The following is a guide to show you how you can unlock your AT&T device.  Note, unlocking your device is free of charge through AT&T.  You should not be or have to pay a third party to unlock your device provided that it meets the conditions for unlocking.

Conditions for Unlocking

  1. The device must not have been previously reported lost, stolen or associated with fraudulent activity. 
  2. If you purchased your phone or tablet on contract or on an installment plan it must be fully paid off before it can be unlocked.  If your device was activated with the service commitment or installment plan your account must be active for at least 60 days with no past due/unpaid balances.
  3. The device must not be active on a different customers AT&T account.
  4. AT&T will unlock phones for persons who have never had an AT&T wireless account.

 

GoPhones

Officially, AT&T states that GoPhones can be unlocked but generally they must be active for at least 6 months of paid service as a GoPhone customer.  However, it has been reported that AT&T is willing to unlock brand new GoPhones as long as they have NOT been activated.  It is advised that when you request the device to be unlocked that you select Non-AT&T Mobility customer as the customer type even though there will be an option to select prepaid/GoPhone customer. (Updated: 12/14/2015.  This method worked for me.  I was able to unlock two Microsoft Lumia 640 GoPhone's that were brand new and unused.  AT&T sent me the unlock code 24h after requesting it).

 

Deployed Military Personnel

AT&T will unlock devices for active and deployed military personnel provided that they verify their deployment information.  Military personnel can get their devices unlocked even if they have an installment plan or other service commitment, however, AT&T reserves the right to limit the number of devices military personnel can unlock.

 

Early Upgrades

If you upgraded to a new phone under an AT&T early upgrade policy such as AT&T Next, you must complete 14 days of use on the network with the new device before requesting the old one to be unlocked.

How to Unlock

Once you have determined that your AT&T device is eligible for unlocking you can head over to https://www.att.com/deviceunlock/ and scroll down the page to where it says "I have read and agree to the eligibility requirements to unlock my device," tick the box and click continue.  Fill out the form that you are presented with and AT&T will email you unlock instructions with your unlock code after 2-5 business days, free of charge.  Please note, that to unlock your device you will need to have a non AT&T SIM card on hand.  AT&T will mention this in the email they send you if your device meets the qualifications to get unlocked.  Specifically you will need to have a T-Mobile or T-Mobile MVNO SIM card or other SIM card on hand to unlock your device.  AT&T MVNO SIMS will not work, as the they still use AT&T's network and your device generally does not need to be unlocked to use them.

If after following all the steps outlined here, and you find out that AT&T won't unlock your phone, you may want to give our partners from Mobile Unlocked a try to see if they can help.




Category: ATT News Tagged: device unlock
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19 Comments on "AT&T Unlocking Policy Explained"

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Ron Schroeder
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So it seems that atthas changed their policy of unlocking GoPhones as I purchased a Alcatel Allura last week at Walmart for my 12 year old son at my local Walmart store on clearance for $30, I intended to use it for T-MOBILE but att denied by unlock request saying that you now need 6 months of active paid service to unlock. Hopefully someone on eBay can get me a u lock code for about $15-16. Just wanted to give this FYI update. ????

Phil
Guest

I just purchased an LG B470 flip phone (ATT GO Phone) from best buy. I put my MVNO sim card in, turn it on and it worked. No unlocking required. I was shocked.

Joshua
Guest

hi, when i introduce the IMEI the page says:
The IMEI you entered does not appear to be an AT&T wireless phone or tablet. Please re-enter the correct 15-digit IMEI number for your AT&T wireless phone or tablet. You can obtain the IMEI number from the wireless phone by dialing *#06#.

Becca
Guest
I will never, ever give another scrap of my money to AT&T. My husband bought an unlocked, full price iPhone SE. We then decided to get a “pay as you go” GoPhone deal. I specifically told the woman at the AT&T shop that we are only in the US for the summer, and that we only wanted 5-7 weeks of phone use before we removed the SIM and went back to work in Indonesia. Well, guess what? They have effectively locked my husband’s phone for 6 months. So much for explaining our needs. At any moment, this sales woman could… Read more »
BestMVNO
Guest

Have you asked for them to unlock it? Did they give you a reason for locking it?

Becca
Guest

Hi Best
We spent a long time on the phone and the guy we spoke to was very sympathetic. He said they would send on an unlocking code from his supervisor, but all we ended up with was a “standard” email which basically said “sod off and pay us for 6 months.” _SIGH_

MaToz
Guest

The way to unlock has changed, now there are 2 option to choose from;
AT&T wireless customer: YES or NO
If your are a customer your request number gonna be: CULxxxxxxxxxxx
Non customer is: NULxxxxxxxxxxxx

After 6 months waiting, now ATT has my IMEIs in their database. Now I can request the unlock code.

Hope this info can be helpful.

MaToZ
Guest

This is how looks the retail package from the bottom.

MaToZ
Guest
How do you got unlocking your Microsoft Lumia 640 GoPhone through “Non-AT&T Mobility customer”? Do you wrote the IMEI number from the box without turning on the cellphone or is mandatory (turn on) to insert a non AT&T simcard (so ATT identify the cellphone IMEI on their system, so you can request unlock code)? I tried to request an unlock code using a brand new (sealed) GoPhone (from Walmart) with the IMEI number from the box, am got this: “Error: We found no record of the IMEI Number you entered. Check your device’s 15-digit IMEI Number by dialing *#06# (errorCode.ULP2003)”… Read more »
Bestmvno.com
Guest
Yes, I used non att mobility customer. I’ve actually unlocked two of them now, one purchased from Target and the other from the Microsoft Store. Surprisingly they both had different packaging, but unlocking worked the same way none the less. I did not turn either phone on ever, until I got an unlock code from AT&T. I just used the number that was on the box the phone came in. I don’t have the packages on me right now, to give any more information about the number. Does your phone look like it’s been opened before? I actually returned one… Read more »
MaToZ
Guest
Thanks for your reply: Not opened, completely sealed from Walmart, I bought 3 Kyocera Hydro Air (GoPhone) on Black Friday Sale, all have the IMEI number on the bottom of the plastic package. Tried to unlock request 2 of them and got the same error code, called AT&T customer service (the guy was a little rough to me) he said: use the IMEI info to request the unlock code on their website, but he was not clear to if the device need to be turn on without the sim, I explained that using the online request form doesn’t work and… Read more »
Bestmvno.com
Guest

Can you contact me via my contact form? I will then reply to you with an email address that you can use to send me a higher res picture and I’ll see what I can do

Bestmvno.com
Guest

I saved the picture and will take a look, but I deleted your comment. I believe that is sensitive information that should not be posted for security reasons

Bestmvno.com
Guest

I’ll take a look at the box for the 640 later and let you know if I have any suggestions.

MaToZ
Guest

Understand that…

and thanks again,
I don’t have any idea if really need to turn on the device (the ones that sell Walmart) to get the unlock code.

Bestmvno.com
Guest

For now, don’t turn them on. I’m not completely sure they can be unlocked if you do, but if you must turn one on, pull out the sim card before you do. That should help mitigate risk.

I can tell from the packaging, it is the same packaging as Targets. Can you return open package to Walmart? I did to Target.

Perhaps you can open one package and pull a battery to see if the information contained there is different from the box?

I can try on my end even if you send picture.

MaToZ
Guest

Ok, I opened the package, pulled out the SIM, I turned on the device check the IMEI using *#06# and the back of the phone. it’s the same IMEI as the retail package, after a couple of minutes I decided to request the unlock code. I got the confirmation email, BUT 5 minutes later I received a second email that said: “Unfortunately, your unlock request was denied because:

The IMEI number 014400001623244 you entered does not match a device compatible with the AT&T network.”

Come on what the…! Seriously!

Bestmvno.com
Guest

Hmm. Maybe try again in a few days since previously you said entering the imei just gave an error on the website

MaToZ
Guest

Its possible to return a open or any item to Walmart. But I’m gonna try turn on without the sim. Let you know my experience.