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If you have an iPhone that is not part of a contract with AT&T, you can now officially unlock the device for use on other networks. We’ve discussed this before and our previous one guide on how to unlock iPhone through AT&T focused on calling a dedicated direct line, but now we show you how to fully unlock an iPhone over the internet with the help of AT & T’s online chat for tech support. This method is extremely fast, there are no waiting times, and it is easier for international users or those without access to an active one phone line.
Requirements for unlocking an iPhone with AT&T
- Any iPhone without a contract
- AT&T login – if you are not a current AT&T customer we have heard reports that you can create a new AT&T login, but YMMV
- The iPhone IMEI number found in Settings> General> About
- A valid email address to receive updates from AT&T
- About 5 minutes of your time
Assuming you meet all the requirements, jump ahead and start the simple unlocking process.
Unlock an iPhone with AT&T through the ATT website
Updated with an all-new, simpler method! AT&T has provided a new, simpler method to start the iPhone unlocking process:
- Go here and fill out the support request through AT&T, go to that page and scroll down to find the checkbox then choose ‘Agree’ to start the form process
- Wait for AT&T to process the unlock
Unlocks via the web request form are quick and you will hear back in a few days.
However, sometimes the process is even faster. Either way, you’ll hear whether the iPhone is eligible for unlock (if the requirements are met, it usually is), or if it isn’t, and AT&T will tell you why. IPhones are often rejected because they are not yet out of the contract period, so sometimes it is just a matter of waiting a little longer to be able to unlock the device.
When the unlock is approved, it is just a matter of restoring the iPhone via iTunes to complete the unlock. It’s a very simple process, but as always you will need to back upup of the device before performing an iOS system recovery.
Alternative method: request an unlock through AT&T support
The old method through AT&T support is still listed below and may work if you are having trouble with the application form, or if there is a technical issue that prevents the aforementioned technique from working.
- Visit the technical support page of AT & T’s online account, log in with a valid AT&T ID and click “Technical Support” to start a chat with a live representative
- Indicate that you want to unlock an iPhone outside of contract and enter the iPhone IMEI number
- Have the AT&T representative verify that the iPhone is indeed not contracted and provide an email address if prompted
If everything checks out, the AT&T representative will provide you with a case number and an estimated resolution completion date. The date they provide is a rough estimate and in no way represents the date you receive an email from AT&T. Sometimes AT&T will send the unlock emails within an hour, but this can take up up to 10 days, the time varies greatly based on the number of unlock requests. I have completed this process several times with multiple different iPhone models and it has worked every time although the time between request and completion has varied.
There are a few possible situations that can complicate the otherwise simple unlocking process:
- Have you bought a used iPhone or through a service other than AT&T or Apple? You may be required to provide proof of purchase
- Does the iPhone have another contract with another AT&T customer? You may have to wait for the customer’s iPhone contract period to expire up
- Do you have an overdue balance on an AT&T account? You have to pay that before AT&T unlocks the iPhone
Once you get the unlock instructions from AT&T, they basically tell you that you need to restore the iPhone to activate the unlock. Back upup before doing this so that you can go back to where you were and know that the unlocking worked because after the restore you will get the message “Congratulations, your iPhone is unlocked” in iTunes.
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