Unlock iPhone in 30 Minutes: Unlocking is Faster than Ever with AT&T

Jun 20, 2013 - 33 Comments

Fast unlocking an iPhone through AT&T for free Unlocking an iPhone through AT&T is now lightning fast, and in some cases you’ll have an unlocked iPhone in under 30 minutes. I recently had the chance to experience this directly while writing this article on checking the unlock status of devices, and was impressively surprised by the result. From filling out the initial unlock request form to the confirmation email completing the unlock, only 23 minutes passed. With how simple and fast it is – and yes it’s free – there is practically no reason to not unlock your iPhone this way.

We have run through the process here before, but it’s worth repeating how simple it is. You’ll need an iPhone that is locked to AT&T and has either completed it’s initial contract or bought full price out of contract. Current and previous AT&T customers will need to have the wireless number and basic account details, while non-customers and those who paid the full price only need the name, email, and the place of purchase. Then it’s just a matter of filling out a form and waiting:

Check your email in a minute or two and you’ll find a request number that can be used to follow the status, but it’s so quick now that you likely won’t need to bother. Note that all emails from AT&T’s unlocking service arrive with a subject written entirely in caps, which can look a little spammy and was even automatically filtered out as spam in one case, so if you don’t find an email after about 30 minutes check your spam folder for something that says “ATT MOBILE DEVICES UNLOCK REQUEST RECEIVED” (yes, it’s all caps). That email provides a timeline guestimate of 2-5 days, but as we already mentioned, it’s now incredibly fast. Sit back for a little while and in short order you should get a confirmation email, also all in caps with a subject “HOW TO COMPLETE YOUR AUTHORIZED ATT MOBILE DEVICES UNLOCK” – again if you don’t find this in your primary inbox be sure to check the spam folder, it appears some mail clients filtering looks at the EXCESSIVE CAPITALIZATION as a sign of something that isn’t worthy of keeping.

Super fast iPhone unlock

Though it only took a whopping 23 minutes to complete this test iPhone, it was tied to an active AT&T account, and it may take a bit longer if you are no longer a customer or never were.

To complete the unlock you’ll need a USB connection and a computer running iTunes. First you’ll want to backup the iPhone, then insert a valid SIM card into it and restore the iPhone as new with iTunes to complete the unlock. With the iPhone freshly unlocked, now restore it from the backup you made before starting and you’re good to go.

Something to keep in mind if you’re following the unlock procedure is that you must have an active SIM card of some sorts, the carrier doesn’t matter. In this case, I had a variety of sim cards available but used a nano-SIM from an iPhone 5 with the iPhone 4, fitted using one of the always useful SIM adapter kits that are readily available on Amazon for a couple of bucks.

Oddly, completing the process on the newest version of iTunes does not show the familiar “Congratulations, your iPhone is unlocked” message, but if you swap in an alternate SIM card or check if it’s unlocked through other means, you will find it has completed.

The familiar unlock message in iTunes

Even if you have no intention on using the iPhone with another carrier or traveling abroad, you should always unlock a phone if given the chance. Beyond increasing your mobile carrier flexibility, it also adds a nice boost to resale value, particularly if you’re selling a used iPhone on Craigslist or Ebay.


Related articles:

Posted by: Paul Horowitz in iPhone, Tips & Tricks


» Comments RSS Feed

  1. rahul says:


    My i phone 4 activition error and my best try this case disclose but not sucsses ,please sir help me this phone activition error .

  2. Michael garcia says:

    Please unlock my phone

  3. lumbani Chilufya says:

    Lumbani Chilufya is my name and I’m from Zambia. I do not know the exact network as to which my iphone 5s is locked to. I’m not sure where my aunt ordered the phone from. However, when I put my airtel sim card the phones says” sim card not supported” it doesn’t even go to the home screen. I have the phone box and the IMEI/MEID and all the phone accessories. can you kindly help me?

  4. Nicole says:

    I have an older version (4S) iPhone that I do not need after upgrading. Now, I have a friend that needs a phone so I’m trying to give them my old 4S iPhone. My question is, how do I disassociate/unlock the 4S while not messing up my current phone/account as the same phone number is linked to both? Any help you can give me will be greatly appreciated! Thank you!

  5. stephen says:

    Please unlock iphone 4s imei for me now… 013183000275734

  6. cory says:

    i would like to get my iphone4 unlocked so i can use a different sim card in it please and thank u

    • Diane Scott says:

      Hey, you can try giving unlockyoursim.com a go. I recommend this to anyone who wants to unlock their phones without going through the carriers. It doesn’t cost at all, you just need to complete a short survey (I know, one of those!) but it worked for me so.. it’s worth trying out. Hope this helps!

  7. Ed says:

    I requested an unlock on 3/9/16 and it still has not happened.

  8. Irish says:

    Please help me to unlock my 5s to other network (any sim)
    thank you in advance.

  9. Ellis Mosby jr says:

    I try to unlock my phone to use with another carrier how it work

  10. Adam says:

    It’s been over a week and they still haven’t unlocked my iPhone.

  11. ANiket says:

    i wnt to buy iphone 6.It is costlier buying an unlocked asi wnt to use it in india.If i buy an at&t one it will be locked and i have to take the contractcan i unlock it before completing the contract.

  12. Ed says:

    I had to Google around to find if this was an error. It took UNDER 45 SECONDS (yes, SECONDS) from the time I entered my unlock request, got the email to confirm the request, confirmed the request through my email as required and got the UNLOCKED email from AT&T. Less than 1 minute total time.

  13. Mohsin says:

    My iphone4 unlock AT&T imei012427007879795

  14. Pissed ATT Customer says:

    Ya I paid the phone of now att won’t unlock it, next stop the court house.

  15. hayelu says:


  16. umer says:

    Hi dear,i unlocked iphone4 that was at&t locked successfuly. But after updating it to 7.1.2 now its not activating.how can i activate it.plz reply

  17. gary says:

    Any ideas on how to do this with a company phone. There’s no first and last name in this case and I get an email saying info doesn’t match when I enter my name and ssn, so unlock request is denied. My company doesn’t want these old phones back when we upgrade and I’m trying to donate it.

  18. Posh says:

    Tried this, on two old att iphone 4, I got confirmation in about 15 mins for both. Really great, thanks so much, all because of your info. I got one successful unlocked message but the other one I forgot to put the SIM back in during the process, now it won’t recognize any SIM card. Keep saying NO SIM :(

  19. sujan says:

    my iphone was ordered from us at&t and all i received was the phone and the accessories ..the sim got lost and the one who brought me the phone forgot the phone id and the password..and the phone says “select the country and after that insert the sim and thats all ..i cant even get to the homescreen ..just select the country is all i see..please a little help

  20. Matthias says:

    Hi, i’ve bought a iphone 3GS with AT&T carrier, we are living in Belgium.
    In the email that i’ve recived from AT&T they write
    to put the original SIM Card that came with your device inside to unlock !
    But i dont have a Sim Card from AT&T.
    At ebay they propose from AT&T and much more cheaper from red pocket
    Does is work too? or does i need a card from AT&T

    Thanks a lot

  21. mwima says:

    how can i bypass icoud account on my iphone 5 please help me

  22. Stephanie says:

    What if u have already switched to new carrier and just want to unlock the phone just in case of resale or reuse, does the SIM card in it have to be n active network? Mine still has my old SIM from AT&T but no service to it.

  23. Trung Nguyen says:

    Does it have any fee to place an unlock order with at&t ?

  24. Aasen says:

    For people having trouble unlocking their AT&T devices, you can call AT&T and see if they will do it for you on the phone

  25. 902 says:

    I think you do have to have an active sim from that original Carrier (not just any active sim as you suggested)….As I am on the final stage of the unlock request from AT&T and I am not a former customer and my Tmobile isn’t working. However AT&T has granted the unlock for me on their end. I just need their sim to complete the process- going to AT&T tomorrow…

  26. ayus funkss says:

    Hi paul thanks for ur info,
    i’ve bought iphone 4 second condition with at&t contract. But i dont know the wireless number. And i dont have at&t account. Can you help me to unlock my iphone? Thanks very much before. Hope u always success!

    • Luv says:

      If you call them they should be able to look up your account with the first and lastname of the subscriber with you social security number that you used to start the contract…. if all else fails then try ebay as I suggested above… $1 was not too much to ask for and all he needs is you IMEI number. you can find it on the iphone box or when you connect the phone to itunes

  27. ADRIAN DOBRE says:

    Hi! I buy an IPHONE 4S from New York retail and I use the GO Phone prepaid card for 2 years and I return home in Romania so I try to unlock my phone but on at&t website for unlock they don’t find my account and how I can fix the problem.


    • Luv says:

      GO accounts are harder to trace… go on ebay.com (US ..I don’t know if ebay UK has it) They’re are sellers that will unlock your phone for as low as 1 US dollar. I have found and used them..make sure you check ratings to be sure you can trust them.

    • Diane Scott says:

      If you’re with AT&T, Sprint, T-mobile and other huge phone networks, they can usually provide the code needed to unlock your phone :) but it can take some time and I’m not entirely sure if you will need to pay. In case you’re not quite ready to do this though, you can try https://chronicunlocks.com I used it before for my phone and I didn’t have any problems.

Leave a Reply


Shop on Amazon.com and help support OSXDaily!

Subscribe to OSXDaily

Subscribe to RSS Subscribe to Twitter Feed Follow on Facebook Subscribe to eMail Updates

Tips & Tricks


iPhone / iPad



Shop on Amazon to help support this site