How do I unlock my mobile phone or tablet?

If you want to unlock your device to use with BT Mobile, it depends whether it's from BT or another provider.

If you bought your mobile phone or tablet directly from a mobile provider, it might be locked. This means it'll only work with one of their SIM cards.

To unlock it, you'll need to contact your previous provider. They'll either unlock it for you, or give you a code to put into your phone.

Before contacting them, make sure you've got:

  • Your mobile phone number
  • Your account number (if you know it)
  • The make and model of the phone or tablet
  • Your IMEI number - which you can get by dialling *#06# on your device

Here are links to online forms for the main mobile providers.

EE, Orange and T-Mobile >

O2 >

Three >

Vodafone >

With other providers, you may have to ring their customer services. With most phones your unlocking code will work straightaway.

With some iPhones it may involve connecting your phone to iTunes and putting in your Apple ID. Make sure you have the latest version of iTunes and iOS before you do this.

How do I know if my device is locked?

For more help with unlocking, go to >

Put your BT Mobile SIM into your device to find out if it's locked. When it comes on, turn it off and back on again. If you can't see "BT" or a BT symbol somewhere on the screen your phone is probably locked. On an Android or Windows phone you'll need to pull down from the top of the screen.

BT Mobile network indicator

You might also see a message saying something like:

  • SIM Network Unlock PIN
  • Enter Network MEP code
  • Invalid SIM Card - Network locked SIM card inserted
  • SIM not Valid

Learn about locked phone messages on different phones >

I've put in my unlocking code, but the BT Mobile SIM still doesn't seem to work

Make sure you've put it the code in correctly and that you've completed all the steps. For some iPhones, you have to connect to iTunes to finish things off. Turn it off and back on and then try to unlock it again.

Try checking the BT Mobile SIM in another device that's unlocked, or one that already works with the BT Mobile network. If the SIM's OK, then you know it's likely to be your device that's the problem.

If your device is from an old contract or an old mobile provider, you might not be able to unlock it online. It may be best to go to a mobile phone shop.

Is unlocking a device illegal?

No, unlocking is completely legal. But if a device has been reported stolen or missing, it will have been blacklisted (or blocked). Un-blacklisting or unblocking a device that wasn't blacklisted by you is definitely illegal. The technology to unlock a phone or tablet can also be used to unblock it. That's why we only recommend going back to your previous mobile provider to unlock it.

Does unlocking affect my warranty?

If you ask your old provider to unlock your device, they'll tell you how this will affect things. In general, unlocking shouldn't affect your warranty if you do it through your old provider.

We’ve started to lock some of our handsets to the BT Mobile network. This means that if you want to use it with a SIM card from another provider, you’ll need to ask us to unlock it.

At the moment we’re only locking the handsets below:

  • Samsung Galaxy S10, S10 Plus, S10e, S9, S9 Plus, the A40, A8, A6, J6, J6 Plus J3 (2017) and J4 Plus
  • Huawei P Smart, P20 Lite, P20 Pro and Huawei Mate 20 Pro, Huawei P30 and Huawei P30 Lite
  • iPhone XS, XS Max and XR
  • Motorola G7 Power and Moto g6 Play
  • Nokia 3.1
  • Just so you know, we can’t unlock handsets that are locked to another network. You'll need to contact your mobile provider

How much does it cost?

How long have you had your BT Mobile contract?


Up to 6 months You can't unlock within the first 6 months of your contract The only exception is where you've ceased BT Mobile and paid your final bill (including any early termination charges
Between 6 and 24 months A one-off fee of £8.99
More than 24 months Free
It's a second hand device locked to BT and is more than six months old A one-off fee of £8.99

How long does it take to unlock my device?

It can take up to 10 days but we’ll do our best to unlock it sooner. If we need to contact the manufacturer to get a code, it may take 10 days. Don't worry; we'll keep you informed along the way.

How do I unlock it?

We'll only unlock it if:

  • You're the account holder for the device and number
  • You've had it for at least six months and paid your bills up to date
  • It's not reported as lost or stolen


Contact us >

Thanks for your feedback

Please select one feedback option


Need more help?