The Complete Steps to Unlock Any AT&T iPhone (2021 Version)

(Last Updated On: January 1, 2021)

There are tons of information on the internet which may be confusing so we decided to share this complete guide to unlock any AT&T iPhone in 2021.



Introduction to Unlocking AT&T iPhone

AT&T was the first carrier in the world that offered the iPhone and it was also the first to be unlocked and jailbroken by hacker Geohotz.

Since then, there has been a bumpy ride to unlock the AT&T iPhone as the hardware and software progress.

We wrote this guide so that you can get a clearer understanding on the whole process of unlocking your AT&T iPhone and what are the limitations.

This guide covers all models of iPhone including iPhone 12. In case there’s a change in the process we’ll assure you that it will be updated here so do bookmark this page!

Check and Confirm the Carrier is AT&T

There are multiple ways to check your iPhone to confirm that it’s AT&T. This is crucial to check your device unlock eligibility. The following are the three ways:

Check using Stored ICCID (Free)

Your iPhone has its ICCID stored once you have activated it with the original carrier SIM card.

The ICCID can be found under Settings > General > About.

Once you see the ICCID, you can perform a free check using this ICCID checker. The result is 80-95% accurate.

Check using AT&T’s Website (Free)

In order for you to verify your device officially on AT&T website, you also need the IMEI.

Visit AT&T’s checker and enter your IMEI. It should report immediately whether your device can be unlocked or otherwise.

Once you’ve done the check and confirmed that you do have an AT&T iPhone, you would want to start unlocking it.

Of course, we will let you know if it’s possible to get it unlocked for free.

Check Using Third Party Checker (Paid)

If for some reason you’re not entirely sure of the carrier, you can always use a third party checker that can query the Apple database directly.

An example is using this paid online checker that returns the result almost instantly.

This is done by querying your IMEI on the Apple database.

Check IMEI Status on AT&T Website

AT&T provides a status checker on their website to determine whether your iPhone or AT&T phone status is valid or eligible to be unlocked officially by AT&T.


By using the free checker on AT&T website, it will provide a sample status as shown below if it’s lost or stolen:

Looks like this device is lost or stolen so we can’t unlock it. If you think this is a mistake call 800.331.0500 or 611 from your mobile phone for help.

Lost or stolen status can be checked in real time

If the status is lost or stolen, you can’t request for unlock using the official channel, you’ll need third party service such as ours.

Also, you should consider removing the lost or stolen status before unlocking it (which we can do as well). Checking the AT&T device unlock status first will save you time and effort.

Jailbreak to Unlock AT&T iPhone?

For the past few years, there’s no longer a working method to unlock AT&T iPhone by hacking or jailbreaking it.

Jaibreaking is risky and potentially void the warranty of your iPhone

If someone is offering or selling a software that says it can unlock it, chances are it’s fake or scam. Avoid!

AT&T iPhone Network Unlock Code (Free)

iPhone doesn’t need unlock code but if you’re using other smartphones or brands, you will need the network unlock code to unlock it.

Meanwhile, people are also actively looking for free AT&T unlock code generator. This is sort of like a software that generates codes that you use to input into the phone to unlock it.

Typically AT&T provides 16 digit network unlock code for non iPhone smartphones for unlocking.

Unfortunately, this solution is not available (and will never be) so save yourself time by using the official unlocking method.

Rest assured for AT&T iPhone, all you need is to follow the instructions outlined below to get it unlocked. It is done on the carrier and Apple database.

Option 1: Unlock Your AT&T Locked iPhone for Free by Contacting AT&T Support

  1. Firstly, find out if you’re eligible for this free unlocking service.
  2. Allocate 20-30 minutes of quiet time so that you can speak or chat properly with an AT&T’s customer support representative.
  3. Once you’re ready, get your AT&T account number ready and have your iPhone in front of you.
  4. Call this number 1-800-331-0500 (Sykpe user can call for free) or login to your AT&T online account to initiate a Live Chat session with an AT&T’s customer support representative.
  5. They will ask a couple of questions but mainly will ask for your account information, email and your iPhone’s IMEI number. Go to Settings > General > About. Scroll down to get your iPhone’s IMEI number.
  6. If there’s no issue with your account, they will issue the unlock and instructions within a few hours (some are given 24-48 hours). If this is not the case, they may have to do further checks.
  7. Once AT&T confirms your eligibility, they will send you the instructions as shown above.

Option 2: Software Unlocking of AT&T iPhone

Unless if you own earlier models of iPhones, technically there is no way to unlock your iPhone using this method.

If you find websites which claim they can unlock the latest iPhone using software method, this is not true.

During the early years when iPhone was just launched, it WAS possible to unlock it via jailbreaking method.

Jailbreaking is essentially hacking the software to bypass Apple’s secured iOS that allows the iPhone to be unlocked.

This changes the internal configuration e.g. the baseband communication software of the iPhone, effectively allows you to switch SIM card.

All the latest iOS and iPhone hardware have no available exploits for the iPhone to be unlocked using software method.

Option 3: Hardware Unlocking for AT&T iPhone

If you’ve been around since the first iPhone was launched, you would know that it has been hacked by George Hotz.

He hacked the hardware of the iPhone and was able to switch carrier after that. He was known as the first iPhone hacker.

This method is not a method for average users. It requires specialise tools and skills to modify the hardware of the iPhone.

In later years, a special mini SIM card like device was created that can also unlock the iPhone.

However, this method becomes obsolete as new iOS is being released.

This method is a last resort if there’s no other way to unlock your iPhone.

Option 4: Official IMEI Unlocking (Factory Unlock)

The most reliable method of unlocking is via the official method.

The reason why I mentioned this is official it’s because the method is actually developed by Apple.

On the Apple database, each iPhone that has been produced has a data that states whether the iPhone is network locked or unlocked.

The iPhone has a unique identifier that’s called the IMEI (International Mobile Station Equipment Identity).

You can unlock any iPhone using this method simply by submitting your IMEI to the seller (like us) and the unlock will be done within certain time frame.

Certain carriers are faster to be unlocked (within hours) and some may take additional working days.

Once the status of your iPhone has been changed from locked to unlocked, simply connect to iTunes and insert a non-official SIM card to complete the process.

There is no software to download, no jailbreaking or hacking needed. Even someone who has zero technical knowledge can do this.

It also works for any AT&T iPhone with outstanding balance, financed or under contract.

The unlock is forever and you won’t have to worry about being locked anymore.

Use this link to unlock your AT&T iPhone here now.

Possible Reasons AT&T Rejected or Refused Your Unlock Request

There’s an AT&T customer based out of Dallas, Texas who purchased an AT&T iPhone last year at full retail price because he was planning to return to Torontom Canada.

However, he wasn’t able to get his iPhone unlocked even after attempted many times with AT&T customer support. He even paid all outstanding fees associated with the iPhone.

The common response he received when requesting the unlock was:

“Faxed or emailed documentation is ineligible or not received.”

One thing he didn’t do was not submitting proof of purchase to AT&T.

AT&T had revised their unlocking policy a few times over the past two years.

Important AT&T Unlock Tips

If the iPhone was never activated on AT&T’s network, they may not unlock it even after making an official request.

Another important note also is that if your iPhone was not active on the network for a period of time which they required, they will refuse to unlock it too.

AT&T Policies to Unlock Any AT&T iPhone

If your iPhone doesn’t fulfill one of the policies below, then you may not be able to unlock your iPhone:

  • The person requesting the unlock is a current AT&T customer or a former AT&T customer who can provide the phone number or account number for their account.
  • The iPhone was designed for use on AT&T’s network; all contract obligations, including any term commitment, associated with the device to be unlocked have been fully satisfied
  • The iPhone has not been reported lost or stolen.
  • The iPhone is not blocked on the network due to various reasons e.g. not paid off.
  • Current customer accounts must be in good standing with no past-due amount or unpaid balance and has been active for at least sixty (90) days.
  • Former customer account may be eligible for unlocking so long as they owe AT&T no Early Termination Fee or other unpaid balance.
  • AT&T will unlock an iPhone for an active and deployed member of the military who is a current AT&T customer in good standing and is able to provide AT&T with deployment verification
  • and for a person who purchased the iPhone from an authorized location at the ‘no commitment’ price and can provide proof of purchase.

Frequently Asked Questions on AT&T iPhone Unlock

We’ve written down our customers’ most popular questions to address your concern or anything related to unlocking your AT&T iPhone.

Do I have to unlock my iPhone to travel internationally?

Yes, because it will allow you to switch to a local carrier SIM card. Otherwise, you’ll have to pay for expensive roaming charges.

What’s the typical price to unlock AT&T iPhone?

It will be from nothing if you have an AT&T account and you have a good record of payment. Else, you’ll need to use third party services as described in this article.

Is it legal or illegal to unlock AT&T iPhone?

Yes, it’s 100% legal to unlock your AT&T iPhone. Although a few years ago it wasn’t.

What’s the typical timeframe to unlock AT&T iPhone?

The fastest would be 6 hours and depending on the status, it can take longer but none exceeding 7 working days under normal conditions. On average it’s 2 business days.

How do I enter the unlock code for AT&T iPhone?

iPhone doesn’t use unlock code unlike other smartphones. Once you’ve received the unlock confirmation email, you can switch your SIM card immediately.

How to check unlock status for AT&T iPhone?

Simply head to AT&T website if you request the unlock from them. Otherwise, check with the unlock service provider where you purchased it from.

Do I need an AT&T account to unlock my AT&T iPhone?

If you wish to take advantage of the free unlock, yes you will need to have one. The other way is to purchase the unlock service because it is available to anyone even without AT&T account.

What can I do if my unlock request is rejected?

AT&T will deny the request for good reasons explained in this article. Therefore your only choice is to purchase an unlocking service.

Service Reviews to Unlock Your AT&T iPhone

We are taking this opportunity to give you more options to unlock or fix your iPhone with other top unlocking websites for you to choose from, so that you don’t have to waste more time by doing more research.

We have included a list of websites that can remove blacklist, clean IMEI/ESN and iCloud unlock below.

All the suggested websites below have the same steps, you submit your IMEI under Settings > General > About, complete the payment and wait for the confirmation that your iPhone or smartphone is unlocked.

DirectUnlocks – World’s #1 Unlocking Service

They are the world leader in iPhone unlocking and have constantly delivering results.


  • The world leader in iPhone unlocking
  • AT&T iPhone unlock specialist
  • Most unlocks can be done within a few hours and the cheapest too
  • Fast turnaround time (mostly 24 hours or less)
  • They unlock any carrier worldwide
  • Possible to unlock blocked devices


  • Customer support takes up to 2-3 days to respond
  • Some next tether activation policies (US Flex etc) are not supported – USA Smartphone Expert

The expert for all iPhones on US based carriers.


  • Specializes in US iPhones
  • Fast unlocking service
  • Good customer support
  • Full refund guarantee


  • Limited carrier unlock choices
  • Cannot unlock blocked iPhones
  • Unclear unlocking instructions – The Newest and Fastest Growing Unlocking

The newest kid on the block and gaining popularity.


  • Fastest growing unlocking service on the internet
  • Clear unlocking steps
  • Easy to order on the website
  • Also able to unlock iCloud
  • Wide range of Apple and Android unlocking services


  • Sometimes go beyond the promised time frame
  • Customer support quality inconsistent

AppleiPhoneUnlock – Apple Certified Service

Apple specialist and focusing on iCloud unlock.


  • Instant unlock service for supported devices
  • iCloud unlock service at only $28 and can be done within 72 hours
  • Unlock done in hours
  • Certified Apple specialists
This website can unlock this within 72 hours


  • Status tracker not accurate or updated
  • Support team is busy
  • Activation status not informed

iPhoneUnlock.Ecwid – iPhone Blacklist Removal Specialist

The most extensive blacklist removal service on the internet.


  • Blacklist removal of iPhone from major carriers
  • Able to unlock iPhone with uncommon activation policy
  • Custom services (email to ask)


  • Services sometimes not available
  • Confusing checkout process

Our preferred choice is for the most reliable service, refund guarantee and great customer support.

AT&T iPhone Unlock Summary

Having your iPhone locked to AT&T or other carriers is suck.

This means the carrier will charge you whatever amount they want, causing you to incur high charges when you roam or travel overseas.

Thankfully, it is possible to unlock your iPhone which allows you to switch carrier of your choice or use your iPhone with any carriers.

There are a few ways to unlock your iPhone as discussed above.Here’s a detailed explanation of the available unlocking options that will make your iPhone permanently unlocked.

These are the possible ways of unlocking AT&T iPhone:

  1. Free Method by Contacting Support
  2. Software unlocking
  3. Hardware unlocking
  4. Official IMEI unlocking

Choose wisely but always choose option 4 whenever possible! Remember to browse our online store for the best solution to unlock your iPhone.


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