Verizon has never been that strict about locking their phones. In fact, most of their phones, particularly the 4G LTE phones, are unlocked from the moment you get them. So up until recently, in most cases, there’s no need to unlock Verizon phone.
However, Verizon has recently updated its policies. As of July 19, 2019, newly purchased phones and devices are now locked. According to the carrier, this is to mitigate incidents of fraud and theft. Prepaid and postpaid phones from Verizon are locked for 60 days from purchase or activation. Your phone will be automatically unlocked after the said time. But if you are a deployed military personnel, you can request an unlock even within the 60-day period.
It appears that the updated policies only apply to newly purchased devices. So if you currently have a Verizon phone you want to unlock, read on. But before anything else, we also recommend that you know the difference between locked and unlocked phones, their pros and cons.
Related: Best Unlocked Android Phones
Important Notes Before You Unlock Verizon Phone
It’s important that you read the carrier’s policies before you attempt to unlock your phone. Also, you must be fully informed and aware of what the law says about unlocking. Read what the Federal Communications Commission has to stay about cell phone unlocking.
Note: We recommend that you first contact the new network to find out if the unlocked Verizon phone will work. Verizon runs on CDMA network, which means that it may not be compatible with some wireless networks.
Method 1: Unlock Prepaid Phone-in-a-Box
Previously purchased 3G and 4G LTE devices from Verizon are mostly not locked. However, prepaid phone-in-a-box phones and devices are locked to the network. If you’re using such a device, here’s how to unlock it.
Note: As of July 19, 2019, 4G Phone-in-a-box each contains a different applicable period. You can find this at the back of the box.
Wait for 1 year
Verizon’s policies forbid you to unlock your prepaid phone-in-the-box within a 12-month period (1 year) from activation. So the first step is to wait.
Get the unlock code
For prepaid phone-in-the-box, the universal code won’t likely work. You will need to contact Verizon and obtain the code. Do this after the 12-month period.
To ask for the code, you can either dial *611 or call this number: 1-888- 294-6804.
Follow instructions and input code
The Verizon Wireless representative will provide instructions on how to unlock your phone. Most likely, you will need to access your phone’s programming menu. As long as you follow the instructions carefully, you can easily do the unlocking.
Method 2: Unlock 3G World Phone (non-iPhone)
Non-iPhone 3G phones that are world-ready are also locked. So if you own 1, follow these steps so you can unlock it and use another wireless network.
Insert a new SIM card
Get a new SIM card from the wireless carrier you’re shifting to and insert it in your Verizon phone.
Follow the user-guide or contact Verizon Wireless
World-Ready 3G phones come with instructions on how to access and go through the device’s programming menu. Each phone’s instruction is unique, so you better follow the user guide that comes with it.
However, there are instances when the user guide doesn’t provide instructions on how to access the programming menu. In such a case, the best way is to contact Verizon wireless and ask for instructions. Just dial *611 or call 1-800-922-0204.
Enter the code and unlock
There are universal codes you can use to unlock your Global-Ready non-iPhone 3G phone. The codes are “123456” and “00000”. Just choose either of the 2 and enter at the prompt. Now your phone’s unlocked and you can use another wireless network on your device.
Huawei Mate SE (Factory Unlocked) – $148.74
Looking for an unlocked mid-range phone? Check out the Huawei Mate SE. With this phone, you won’t have to worry about what network carrier to use.
- 5.93-inch FullView display
- Dual-lens camera (2MP and 16MP)
- Sleek metal design
- 2.5D glass face
- Octa-core processor
Note: GSM only
Questions People Ask About
Will unlocked Verizon phone work on AT&T?
- Yes, as far as LTE handsets go. While Verizon (CDMA) and AT&T (GSM) operate on different technology, most handsets are compatible with the carriers’ LTE.
Can Verizon unlock phone?
- Yes. They can unlock the phone, as long as the lock-period (if there is any) has passed.
Can you unlock Verizon phones for Tmobile?
- Yes. Most phones work with both Verizon’s and Tmobile’s LTE bands, respectively. This is despite the fact that each uses a different technology: CDMA for Verizon, while GSM for Tmobile.
Let us reiterate that Verizon has updated its policies recently as regards the unlocking of phone. Unlike before, newly purchased devices from Verizon are now locked for a period of 6 months to mitigate fraudulent activities and theft. We put importance in this: you must read the policies before you attempt to unlock your phone.
Needless to say, if you have purchased a phone from Verizon prior to the change in their unlocking policy, chances are, your phone is already unlocked. If not, just simply follow the methods provided herein.
Do you have other questions about this topic? Feel free to leave us a comment below.