How to Check If My Sprint Phone is Unlocked
There are many advantages to buying a phone through your carrier, mostly having to do with savings. However, sooner or later, most people will want to use the phone with another SIM card.
For most carriers, you have to fulfill a set of requirements before you can unlock your phone, and Sprint is not an exception. In this article, we’ll show you three ways to check whether your Sprint phone is unlocked or not.
Method #1: Inspect in Settings
The fastest way, but less reliable, is to go to your phone’s Settings and check whether you can use other network operators or cellular data options. This method is not guaranteed, but it gives you a rough idea as to whether your phone is unlocked or not. Chances are if you see several providers listed, then your smartphone is unlocked.
Check Settings to See if Your iPhone is Unlocked
- Open Settings.
- Tap on Cellular.
- Select Cellular Data.
- If you can see Cellular Data Options, it probably means that your phone is unlocked.
Check Settings to See if Your Android Smartphone is Unlocked
- Open “Settings.”
- Tap on “Netwrok & internet” or “Mobile Networks” depending on Android version.
- Select “Network Operators” on older phones or “Mobile network” on newer Android versions.
- On older phones, skip to “Step 6.” On newer Android versions, continue by tapping on “Advanced.”
- Choose “Automatically select network.” You don’t have to use the slider—just tap on the row anywhere.
- If you see several network providers listed, then your Sprint smartphone is most likely unlocked.
As previously mentioned, the above method usually shows whether your Sprint phone is unlocked or not, but it’s not 100% accurate. If in doubt, proceed to other options.
Method #2: Insert Another SIM Card and Try
If you have another carrier’s SIM card or can borrow one, this is a perfect time to use it. This method is 99.9% guaranteed to confirm if your smartphone is unlocked because if the service provider loads (showing no service), your phone is unlocked. If it’s not working, it’ll tell you “SIM card not recognized” or something similar.
On the other hand, it’s probably still locked if you can’t do any of the above. That’s assuming that the SIM card works. Make sure to use a working alternate SIM card for this method.
Method #3: Call Customer Support
You can always reach out to Sprint customer support and ask them to check it for you. You’ll get the most accurate information as well as any suggestions on what to do to unlock your phone or activate a new SIM. You can’t do this procedure via e-mail or chat, so it must get performed through a phone call. Here are Sprint customer support numbers.
Note: You may need to call them using the Sprint SIM card to prove that you’re a customer. Generally speaking, you can always contact the provider on a smartphone even when you don’t have service established.
Requirements for Unlocking a Sprint Phone
Every carrier has different requirements for unlocking the phone. Unfortunately, Sprint may have among the strictest rules. Here are the requirements:
- You have to have used the Sprint network for at least 40 days.
- All billing agreements, service balances, lease payments, and phone installments must have been fulfilled.
- Your phone is capable of unlocking the SIM card. In other words, the SIM slot should be enabled.
Now, here’s the good news. According to the Sprint website, your phone will get unlocked automatically (without user intervention) when you meet all the above requirements! If your smartphone doesn’t unlock and you think you’re eligible, contacting customer support is always a good idea.
If you’re eligible, they can unlock your phone for you, which is always a much safer option than trying to unlock it yourself or using a third party. However, they may need up to 72 hours to complete your request.
Unlocked or Carrier Phone?
There’s the never-ending debate about whether it’s better to purchase an unlocked phone or a carrier-specific phone that is locked. It depends on the deal that you’re getting. If you don’t want to pay retail price for the latest iPhone upfront, you already know what you should do. In any event, explore all the available options before making a decision.