Many smartphones purchased or leased from carriers come locked. This means they are restricted for use on one particular carrier only until they’ve been unlocked. SIM lock applies both to domestic and international networks. This means if you want to pop out your Sprint SIM card and replace it with a local one, you’ll need to unlock your phone first. We’ll show you how to unlock Sprint phones in just a few easy steps.
Before you unlock your phone, you should know that doing so isn’t necessarily going to guarantee functionality on another network. In addition, it may not unlock all features such as only operating voice service and not data. Finally, not all devices can be unlocked.
With that said, however, it should be easy enough to unlock your Sprint phone. Note Sprint can only unlock phones from their network. So if you’re trying to change to Sprint, you’ll need your previous carrier to unlock your phone first. Finally, Sprint will only activate devices that are certified to work on their network.
The type of plan you have with sprint will determine how to unlock your phone and whether it’s even eligible. After your phone is unlocked, pop in your SIM card. It should fine, but if you’re having issues, make sure to contact your new carrier right away.
Here are the criteria for Sprint postpaid plans:
- Device must be SIM Unlock ready
- Device must have been active on Sprint network for 50 days or longer
- All service, installation, and lease agreements
must be fulfilled.
- Because leased devices aren’t owned by users, the end of the lease purchase option has to be paid in full before Sprint will unlock phones.
- You must have an account in good standing
- The device can be reported as lost, stolen, or associated with any type of activity that renders it ineligible.
Note that Sprint will automatically unlock any postpaid devices once they become eligible.
Sprint Forward Devices
Customers using Sprint Forward devices can unlock their phones quite easily. They only have to meet two criteria:
- The device hasn’t been reported lost, stolen, or flagged ineligible
- The device has been active on the account for 12 months or longer alongside an active account
To unlock your phone, simply contact customer care to request an unlock. If you believe you match your requirements, you can also contact the Sprint Prepaid Customer Care center at 855-639-4644.
You can unlock Sprint phones that have been inactive at the Sprint Customer Care center. Provided they are eligible, Sprint will perform an over-the-air update to unlock programming. This process generally only takes a few minutes.
Sprint Unlocking For Military Personnel
Sprint has a special unlocking service for individuals serving in the military deployed overseas. They can unlock phones in a few different ways if you have an account in good standing. Authorized account holders and family members can request to unlock on your behalf. Each phone number on the account can have up to two unlocked devices. Military members and their families can contact Sprint by calling 888-226-7212.
Sprint Master Subsidy Code
For devices that are not unlock-capable sprint may be able to provide a “Master Subsidy Lock.” This is a special code used for many devices manufactured before February 2015. Sprint can send you a text message and the unlock code of your plugin. Note, this code does not guarantee functionality on another carrier. Finally, any reprogramming done to the phone may prevent it from being reactivated on Sprint.
Sprint’s Not Helping Me. What Do I Do?
Sprint reserves the right to reject unlock requests for many reasons. The most frustrating for most people will be those with leased phones looking to travel abroad. If this is the case for you, you can try using a third-party unlock service or heading to a local phone store.
Unlock services are fairly easy to use and affordable and a solid long term option if you’re planning to travel or work abroad. Many phone and electronics stores should also be able to perform the same service. However, make sure you backup and sync your phone because sometimes these attempts can clear all your data.
Finally, if you’re comfortable with these services, you can workaround unlock issues in a variety of ways. Nowadays, you can purchase portable Wi-Fi hotspots both at home and abroad very affordably. You can also look into purchasing a used, unlock smartphone. Nowadays, you can find many options including older model iPhones, Samsungs, and more for $200 or less.
How to Unlock Sprint Phone
Unlocking your Sprint phone is easy. If your account is eligible, simply contact customer support. It’s better to do this before you go abroad, however, you can still make the call from many international locations.
If your phone isn’t eligible, such as those with leased devices or other issues, you still have options. You can try out a third party phone unlocking service or bring your device into an electronics store. If you’re not comfortable with this then you can purchase a portable Wi-Fi hotspot or a cheap smartphone to use while on the go. Either way, unlocking your phone is easy and can be done in just a few minutes.
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