How do I unlock a BT device to use with another network?

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.

From December 2021 all devices are sold Unlocked, meaning they can be used with any network SIM card.

Prior to this, all devices used to be provided locked to the network, meaning you needed to request it to be unlocked.

For Apple devices, the unlock is performed remotely after you have requested it, for Android you will need a code and device-specific instructions to unlock it.

The following devices have always been provided unlocked or have been unlocked for you:

  • Google Pixel (all variants)
  • Oppo (all variants)
  • One Plus (all variants) 

When can I unlock my device?

If you have a locked device, you can now unlock it at any time within your contract period.

How much does it cost?

All devices are free to unlock.

How long does it take? 

If you need to unlock your device call 0330 123 4150 and an advisor will do this free of charge.

When it might take longer

Sometimes we may need to contact the manufacturer for an unlock code. This can take up to seven working days. When you request it, we’ll take contact details and let you know once we have it.

Contact us >


Glossary of unlocking terms

Device: Phone, iPad or tablet

Locked: A device locked to a network, which means it can't be used on other networks without being unlocked.

Partially unlocked: An Apple device that has been unlocked by BT and is awaiting customer action to fully unlock. 

Fully unlocked: A device that has been unlocked to use on any network.

Unlock code: The code provided by the network to unlock the device.

Bricked: An Apple device that has not been fully activated.

Unbricked: An Apple device that has been fully activated.

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