Carrier Unlocking ATT phones...

StarShot

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Original poster
Mar 31, 2014
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I have an ATT iPhone 5S that is over 2 years old and the contract is finished. I was told at an ATT store to submit my request to unlock the phone to...

att.com/deviceunlock After filling out the form at this website, I was told that my request would take about 2 days or so. I'm wondering if I will be notified that the phone is now unlocked or does it just happen automatically?
 

ZipZap

macrumors 603
Dec 14, 2007
5,513
916
I have an ATT iPhone 5S that is over 2 years old and the contract is finished. I was told at an ATT store to submit my request to unlock the phone to...

att.com/deviceunlock After filling out the form at this website, I was told that my request would take about 2 days or so. I'm wondering if I will be notified that the phone is now unlocked or does it just happen automatically?
Just did this and the email response is weird. If you got an email with instructions, your request was accepted. All you need to do is reset the phone and the plug it into iTunes. You will immediately see the unlock message.

Make a backup of the phone if you plan to restore after. The phone must have a sim in it.
 

StarShot

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Mar 31, 2014
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All you need to do is reset the phone and the plug it into iTunes. You will immediately see the unlock message.

Make a backup of the phone if you plan to restore after. The phone must have a sim in it.
Does the sim card have to be in the phone to unlock it? I plan to "Erase all content and setting" on this phone and then restore it from a backup made from another phone. After it's unlocked, I plan to trot down to my local ATT store for a new sim card.
 

rigormortis

macrumors 68000
Jun 11, 2009
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Does the sim card have to be in the phone to unlock it? I plan to "Erase all content and setting" on this phone and then restore it from a backup made from another phone. After it's unlocked, I plan to trot down to my local ATT store for a new sim card.
yes you need a sim
it doesn't need to be activated
you don't a cell number or a data plan
but you need a sim
 

bruinsrme

macrumors 604
Oct 26, 2008
6,596
2,350
Prior to the S being released I paid off the Next contract I order to sell my phone.
I paid the phone off, went to the website, requested the unlock, got the email, completed form and restored the phone.
Whether your under contract or next you have to pay the piper.
When I moved from Verizon to ATT the three 5S's for some reason we were able to use the phones prior to paying the EFT.
No matter how you cut it, moving services is expensive.
 

titans1127

macrumors 6502a
Mar 10, 2009
953
137
Once AT&T emails you that the device is unlocked all you have to do is pop in a non-AT&T sim. No need to restore. They include it in the instruction in the email but it isn't necessary.
 
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Stamas88

macrumors member
Sep 26, 2015
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Once AT&T emails you that the device is unlocked all you have to do is pop in a non-AT&T sim. No need to restore. They include it in the instruction in the email but it isn't necessary.
Question:

They never emailed me that it unlocked, it didn't take 2 days but it unlocked

This is the last email I got :


Unlock request number: ************

Thank you for contacting AT&T about unlocking your mobile device.

Congratulations! Here are your unlock instructions:

For iOS 7 or later devices, please turn off Find My iPhone before unlocking your device.

Once you have received the email confirming AT&T has approved and processed your unlock request, follow these instructions to complete the unlock for your device.

Using a Non-AT&T SIM Card:

1. 800.331.0500, or dial 611from your AT&T wireless phone.


Sincerely,
The AT&T Customer Care Team

DO NOT REPLY TO THIS MESSAGE
All replies are automatically deleted.

Am I supposed to be waiting for another email officially saying I'm unlocked or did I like get it to unlock without permission or is that the email and it's just worded poorly?

Thanks!
 

Givmeabrek

macrumors 68040
Apr 20, 2009
3,395
1,105
NY
Got exactly the same email yesterday for my 6s+. Someone worked really hard to make it as confusing as possible. I think that is the only email you will be getting. It's their way of saying that your phone is unlocked. No doubt the person that wrote that is flipping burgers somewhere......
 

StarShot

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Mar 31, 2014
970
359
Question:

They never emailed me that it unlocked, it didn't take 2 days but it unlocked

This is the last email I got :


Unlock request number: ************

Thank you for contacting AT&T about unlocking your mobile device.

Congratulations! Here are your unlock instructions:

For iOS 7 or later devices, please turn off Find My iPhone before unlocking your device.

Once you have received the email confirming AT&T has approved and processed your unlock request, follow these instructions to complete the unlock for your device.

Using a Non-AT&T SIM Card:

1. 800.331.0500, or dial 611from your AT&T wireless phone.


Sincerely,
The AT&T Customer Care Team

DO NOT REPLY TO THIS MESSAGE
All replies are automatically deleted.

Am I supposed to be waiting for another email officially saying I'm unlocked or did I like get it to unlock without permission or is that the email and it's just worded poorly?

Thanks!
How do you know it's unlocked? I received the same message on Oct 1st. It's now Oct 4th and I haven't received any further message.
 

Stamas88

macrumors member
Sep 26, 2015
70
12
How do you know it's unlocked? I received the same message on Oct 1st. It's now Oct 4th and I haven't received any further message.
I had the phone reset and plugged it into iTunes and it tells you it's unlocked

I even did it a second time to make sure
 

rigormortis

macrumors 68000
Jun 11, 2009
1,813
229
if you need a blank sim to do the easier unlocking method, i would suggest amazon. i have tried hitting up cellular stores for blank sim cards, they don't like handing them out! they want you to activate a line of service! they require you to bring your phone with you and activate it in store before they will give you a sim

none of these sim cards would be required to be activated to unlock the phone

t-mobile wants $6 to $15 for a sim card


if you want an AT&T sim, maybe the "h20 sim" would be good enough , it sells on amazon for 1 cent

a Verizon "page plus" sim can be bought off of amazon for 1 cent

i saw a dual kit by net 10 on amazon for $2 that comes with AT&T and t-mobile sims


i wouldn't try AT&T go phone sims. besides they cost $10 to $15
 

StarShot

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Mar 31, 2014
970
359
I had the phone reset and plugged it into iTunes and it tells you it's unlocked

I even did it a second time to make sure
It's been 3 days now without the confirming message from ATT saying my phone is now unlocked. Perhaps part of that problem is that the phone has mostly been powered off. I do have the old sim card in the phone.

When you plug into iTunes, did a message popup saying the phone was unlocked. I just plugged the phone in and don't see any message pertaining to unlocking the phone. If I don't hear anything from TAT by tomorrow, I'm going to call the number that was on the "unlocking procedure message".

SPECIFICALLY, where does it say the phone is unlocked when plugged into iTunes?
 
Last edited:

kevroc

macrumors 6502
Oct 15, 2011
456
118
It's been 3 days now without the confirming message from ATT saying my phone is now unlocked. Perhaps part of that problem is that the phone has mostly been powered off. I do have the old sim card in the phone.

When you plug into iTunes, did a message popup saying the phone was unlocked. I just plugged the phone in and don't see any message pertaining to unlocking the phone. If I don't hear anything from TAT by tomorrow, I'm going to call the number that was on the "unlocking procedure message".

SPECIFICALLY, where does it say the phone is unlocked when plugged into iTunes?
I'm not following your unlock process. You mention as soon as it's unlocked you are going down to the AT&T store to get a new sim. It's already on AT&T with an AT&T sim card, why would you unlock it just to go get another AT&T sim? You can put in another AT&T sim without a problem.

The phone being on or off doesn't affect it. AT&T sends Apple the information that your phone is unlocked so when you plug it into iTunes and it activates via Apple it will pass down the unlock info.

If you put a non-AT&T sim card into a locked AT&T phone it will display a message on the screen saying the sim card can't be used. If you then plug that into iTunes, it will unlock it via the iTunes Activation server.
 

StarShot

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Mar 31, 2014
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I'm not following your unlock process. You mention as soon as it's unlocked you are going down to the AT&T store to get a new sim. It's already on AT&T with an AT&T sim card, why would you unlock it just to go get another AT&T sim? You can put in another AT&T sim without a problem.
The phone in question is my wife's old phone with her number. I want to change it to my number and I thought I needed a new sim card to do this.

The phone being on or off doesn't affect it. AT&T sends Apple the information that your phone is unlocked so when you plug it into iTunes and it activates via Apple it will pass down the unlock info.
While I don't care about whether the phone is locked or unlocked in the States, I want it unlocked so that when I go overseas, I can put a "local" sim card in it.

If you put a non-AT&T sim card into a locked AT&T phone it will display a message on the screen saying the sim card can't be used. If you then plug that into iTunes, it will unlock it via the iTunes Activation server.
Not sure this applies to me in this case since my phone WILL be unlocked. The 2 year contract on this phone is completed. It's unclear to me what I will see when I plug in the phone to iTunes after it's unlocked. IF it's already been unlocked, I'm not seeing any indication in iTunes.
 
Last edited:

dancefreak

macrumors regular
Jan 6, 2004
221
167
Hermosa Beach, CA
The phone being on or off doesn't affect it. AT&T sends Apple the information that your phone is unlocked so when you plug it into iTunes and it activates via Apple it will pass down the unlock info.
Despite what the AT&T instructions say, you actually no longer need to connect a phone to iTunes to complete the unlock. As soon as you get the email confirming the unlock, the process is done. You can just pop in any other carrier's sim at that point and be on your way.
 
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StarShot

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Mar 31, 2014
970
359
Despite what the AT&T instructions say, you actually no longer need to connect a phone to iTunes to complete the unlock. As soon as you get the email confirming the unlock, the process is done. You can just pop in any other carrier's sim at that point and be on your way.
Well, I can hardly wait. Still, my question short of putting another sim card in the phone, is there a way to confirm the phone is unlocked. I plan to keep this phone under the ATT umbrella, but want the ability to plug in anther carrier when I'm traveling outside the country.
 

Applejuiced

macrumors Westmere
Apr 16, 2008
40,672
6,532
At the iPhone hacks section.
Well, I can hardly wait. Still, my question short of putting another sim card in the phone, is there a way to confirm the phone is unlocked. I plan to keep this phone under the ATT umbrella, but want the ability to plug in anther carrier when I'm traveling outside the country.
No.
There is no real way to be 100% unless you stick another carriers sim to test it out.
 

ToroidalZeus

macrumors 68020
Dec 8, 2009
2,300
871
Fill out AT&T unlock form
Check email for confirmation link.
Confirm unlock request.
Wait (usually like 5 min)
Receive response
Restore iPhone in iTunes
Activate with any sim

Unlocked iPhone.
 

kevroc

macrumors 6502
Oct 15, 2011
456
118
Despite what the AT&T instructions say, you actually no longer need to connect a phone to iTunes to complete the unlock. As soon as you get the email confirming the unlock, the process is done. You can just pop in any other carrier's sim at that point and be on your way.
That's not how mine worked, I just did mine on Wednesday. I submitted the lock request form via AT&T Website, they sent an email to me where I had to click the link to "confirm" the request, then a couple of minutes later got the unlocked confirmation email. I put a T-Mobile Sim Card in the phone and a message on the phone said I had to activate it via itunes. This is on my iPhone 6S Plus, maybe with other phones it's different.
 
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