Unlock Samsung Galaxy phone

If you’d like to use your Samsung Galaxy phone on a different mobile network, you’ll most likely need to unlock it first. This free guide helps you to unlock a Samsung Galaxy phone from any mobile network in the UK and further afield. This free guide will show you how to unlock any Samsung phone. You can even unlock the new Samsung Galaxy S10 range.

Free Guide — How to Unlock Samsung Galaxy Smartphones.

If you got your Samsung Galaxy phone in the UK, either from a Pay-Monthly contract or with a Pay-As-You-Go sim card, it will most likely be locked to that mobile network.

Unlocking your Samsung phone, or in fact, unlocking any Android smartphone, (Unlock LG phone) is required if you plan on using your phone on a cheaper mobile network, or if you are abroad on holiday and want to save a lot of money by using a local SIM card. When you’re finished with your contract and want a new phone, you can get it unlocked before passing it on to a member of your family or a friend. If you plan on selling your Samsung Galaxy smartphone, for example on eBay, you will definitely increase the resale value by unlocking it so that it will work on any mobile phone network.

In this free guide, we explain the process involved with unlocking a Samsung Galaxy phone. We show you how to tell if your Samsung Galaxy phone is actually locked, where the IMEI number is on your phone and then we’ll go into detail about each of the major UK phone networks and give you the best methods of unlocking a Samsung phone on each network. In most cases, you’ll want to get your phone network to unlock the phone for you, but in cases where they won’t, for example, if you bought the phone from someone on eBay, we’ll show you a simple way to get your Samsung phone unlocked.

Benefits of Unlocking

People often ask why Samsung phones are locked. The simple reason is that if a phone is locked to one network, it is likely that person will stay on that network for the lifetime of that phone, and probably longer because they get seduced by the upgrades. But by unlocking your Samsung Galaxy you can choose to switch networks and save quite a bit of cash. You can also delay your upgrade cycle by 6 or 12 months and move to a SIM-only deal. With a SIM-only deal you will pay much less than a standard contract and get exactly the same number of minutes and get the same amount of data.

There are 3 reasons why you would want to unlock your Samsung Galaxy Smartphone. You can switch to a cheaper network provided your contract is over. You can use a local sim card while abroad and save on roaming costs. And your phone will be worth more money when you come to sell it because it is unlocked.

What is the legal status of unlocking a Samsung phone?

It is completely legal to unlock your smartphone in the UK. Each of the UK networks offers a method of unlocking, although some make you jump through a lot of hoops. There are also some third-party companies who have organised deals with the networks so that they can also unlock a Samsung phone without making it difficult. Remember that although we talk about Samsung Galaxy phones, we also have pages for unlocking LG phones. In fact, you can unlock any Android smartphone by visiting DirectUnlocks. If you want to unlock an iPhone, you can also do that.

For some older Samsung Galaxy phones, there are some unofficial options, including free unlock codes, through which you might be able to unlock them. This generally involves installing some unofficial software on your phone. With so much malware and viruses on Android, I would really recommend that you avoid these methods. It might seem like it’s a free option but can you imagine having malware on your phone, which could get information about your contacts, your emails and the calls that you’ve made?

Step-by-Step Instructions

It’s literally as simple as 1-2-3 to unlock your Samsung phone. Check if it is actually locked, send your IMEI number to DirectUnlocks and then use your phone on whatever network you want.

Check if your Samsung Galaxy is already locked

The easiest way to tell if your Samsung Galaxy is locked is to put a different SIM card into it and see what happens. Generally, there are 2 things that can happen. It will either show you the new network name or else it will show up an error message, for example, “Invalid SIM” The problem with this method though is that some networks “piggy-back” on a major UK network. Typically smaller networks like Giff-Gaff, or Tesco will use a Major network’s infrastructure. So a Giff-Gaff sim will normally work on an O2 phone. So that doesn’t really tell you if it is locked or not. SIM Cards are cheap now though, so you could order multiple from different networks and check them all.

Find your IMEI number

In order to get your Samsung phone unlocked you will need the IMEI number from your phone. The IMEI number is a 15-digit number that starts with 35 for a Samsung Galaxy smartphone. It’s unique to your handset and will allow the unlocking company to set the unlock code directly to your phone.

There are two methods of getting the IMEI number on your Samsung phone:

  1. Load the Settings application. On your phone, go to Settings > More… > About device > Status. The IMEI number is normally about halfway down the screen. But you know how they like to change the way the apps work. Just scroll through all the lines. Take careful note of your IMEI number.
  2. Another way of getting your IMEI number is by using your phone’s dialling screen. This is the screen that you see when you are entering a phone number when making a call. Dial *#06# (star hash zero six hash). This method has worked on pretty much all mobile phones ever since the old Nokia 3210 days. The IMEI number should show up in a new window. You just need to record the first 15 numbers that are shown (ignore any digits or symbols that are at the end — on some Samsung phones there is a slash (/) and some numbers added to the IMEI number on that screen. Just ignore them and take the first 15 numbers).

Unlocking Instructions By Network

Unlock a Samsung from Vodafone

The cheapest way to unlock your phone is to go direct to the network. Unfortunately though it’s also the method which causes the most problems. We have had a lot of feedback from people who have had to wait weeks for Vodafone to unlock their Samsung phone. They also have very strict restrictions over which phones they will unlock. You need to have had a contract with them for at least 6 months but it must also be active. So if your contract has finished, it resets back to 0 and you need to sign up for another 6 months before they will unlock your phone.

For the majority of people, it is better to use DirectUnlocks because they will unlock your Vodafone Samsung phone no matter how long you have had it. They don’t ask if it’s in contract or not. They just unlock it.

Unlock an O2 Samsung.

For some O2 customers, it can be very easy to unlock their Samsung phone. If you are a Pay-Monthly customer, who got their phone from O2, and you are still in your contract, you can normally get your Samsung phone unlocked for free. You do need to provide security information about your account and the IMEI number but after about a week it should be unlocked.

If you are a Pay-as-you-go customer, or if you didn’t get the Samsung phone from O2, or even if your contract has finished, they are not so helpful. In those cases, you will normally find it easier to use DirectUnlocks because they can unlock any Samsung phone on O2 without needing any security information.

Unlock a Samsung from Three

Samsung phones that are locked to Three are one of the easiest to get unlocked. On weekdays (Monday – Friday), DirectUnlocks say that they can unlock any Samsung device, that is locked to Three, in a matter of hours. When you compare that to how long your actual network can take, it’s brilliant.

When using DirectUnlocks, there are no restrictions on when you can get your Samsung phone unlocked — so you don’t need to have had your contract for any amount of period or use a Three Pay-As-You-Go SIM for 30 days. Just click on DirectUnlocks and follow the instructions for Three.

Unlock a Samsung from EE, Orange or T-Mobile.

At the time of writing EE have some pretty stringent rules about unlocking Samsung Galaxy phones. You must have been on a contract with them for a minimum of 6 months. So if you have been passed the phone from someone else, or if you bought it from eBay for example, you will need to either sign up for a contract with EE and pay their bills for 6 months, or else go straight to DirectUnlocks because they don’t have the same requirement.

What about “Free” Unlock Codes?

It used to be that with older Samsung Galaxy phones (Normally the Galaxy S3 and older) it was quite easy to unlock your phone for free. You could “root” your phone then run a special app to generate an unlock code. Just a few years ago this was a reasonably safe thing to do with your phone. But now, it leads to a number of issues.

The least of which is that Samsung software, since 2012, regularly checks whether the handset is running an official version of their software and will lock the phone again. Worse than this though is that just like Jail-Breaking on iOS devices, the whole industry behind rooting phones or Jail-breaking, has been taken over by organised criminals who want to install malware on your handset. When you root your phone you are bypassing any security that Samsung has put on your phone and you’re effectively allowing apps to have free access to all parts of your phone, including text messages, contact information and maybe even passwords. So it’s really not worth it. I would recommend that you pay a small amount to get your Samsung Galaxy phone unlocked properly and keep the official Samsung software on there.

SIM card sizes

Switching to another mobile network is a great way to save money. Mobile networks are a bit like banks in that they love to offer great deals to new customers and they all take their existing customers for granted. If your Samsung phone is unlocked then you will be able to switch network, and normally retain your current phone number, and save money. One thing to keep in mind though is that there are now 3 different sizes of SIM cards. So you will want to make sure that your order the correct size for your Samsung phone. This chart should be able to help you.

Handset SIM Card Required UK Model Number
Galaxy S Smartphones:
Samsung Galaxy SStandard SIMGT-I9000
Samsung Galaxy S2Standard SIMGT-I9100
Samsung Galaxy S3Micro SIMGT-I9300, GT-I9305
Samsung Galaxy S4Micro SIMGT-I9505
Samsung Galaxy S5Micro SIMSM-G900F
Samsung Galaxy S6Nano SIMSM-G920F
Samsung Galaxy S6 EdgeNano SIMSM-G925F
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge PlusNano SIMSM-G928F
Samsung Galaxy S6 ActiveNano SIMSM-G890F
Samsung Galaxy S7Nano SIMSM-G930F
Samsung Galaxy S7 EdgeNano SIMSM-G935F
Samsung Galaxy S8Nano SIMSM-G950F
Samsung Galaxy S8 PlusNano SIMSM-G955F
Samsung Galaxy S9Nano SIMSM-G960F
Samsung Galaxy S9 PlusNano SIMSM-G965F
Samsung Galaxy S10Nano SIMSM-G973F
Samsung Galaxy S10 PlusNano SIMSM-G975F
Handset SIM Card Required UK Model Number
Galaxy S ‘Mini’ Smartphones:
Samsung Galaxy S3 MiniStandard SIMGT-I8190
Samsung Galaxy S4 MiniMicro SIMGT-I9190
Samsung Galaxy S5 MiniMicro SIMSM-G800F
Galaxy Note Smartphones:
Samsung Galaxy NoteStandard SIMGT-N7000
Samsung Galaxy Note 2Micro SIMGT-N7100
Samsung Galaxy Note 3Micro SIMSM-N9005
Samsung Galaxy Note 4Micro SIMSM-N910F
Galaxy A Smartphones:
Samsung Galaxy A3Nano SIMSM-A300FU
Samsung Galaxy A5Nano SIMSM-A500FU
Galaxy Ace Smartphones:
Samsung Galaxy AceStandard SIMGT-S5830
Samsung Galaxy Ace 2Standard SIMGT-I8160
Samsung Galaxy Ace 3Micro SIMGT-S7275
Samsung Galaxy Ace 4Micro SIMSM-G357FZ
The 3 different sizes of SIM Card. There is Standard, Micro and Nano SIM.
The 3 sizes of SIM card.

© 1996 - 2022 SimplyFixIt – For more information, please visit SimplyFixIt.co.uk