We all love that new phone feeling - but what to do with your old phone? Maybe you want to gift it to a friend or relative. Here are some tips for unlocking your phone:
Make sure your phone meets the eligibility rules
First things first: check if your phone is eligible to be unlocked here. Unfortunately, we can’t make any exceptions if you’re not eligible, so you will need to wait until the phone meets the eligibility criteria.
If your phone has ever been replaced through repair or an insurance claim but the new IMEI hasn't been updated on your account, we'll need what is called a " proof of replacement". You get this when you get the replacement phone. You can find your IMEI by typing *#06# into the phone.
This is so important and often overlooked. If you have photos, videos, music or other data saved on your phone, you won’t want to lose them once you give your phone away.
The easiest way to avoid this is to use a cloud storage app such as iCloud, Google Drive or DropBox, which allows you to save all your data online and then access that data from your new phone, tablet or laptop.
Alternatively, you can easily back up your data by transferring it manually (using a USB cable or memory card) onto a laptop or PC.
Reset the phone
Once you’ve requested your unlock code and backed up your data, all that’s left to do is reset the phone. If you’re gifting your phone to someone, you don’t want it to have all your information on it, plus it’s nicer to gift a clean phone the person can call their own.
To reset an Android, go to Settings > About > Reset >Erase All Data (terms may differ slightly from phone to phone).
To reset an iPhone, go to Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings.
Once you click reset, the phone will reboot back to the first day you start using it.
Use your unlock code
So we’ve contacted you with the news that your phone has been unlocked, or you have been provided with the unlock code. Super!
The next step is important to get right because unlock codes can become void if used incorrectly too many times. The process is slightly different from each manufacturer but generally speaking, it can be divided into two categories: iPhone and all other phones. You’ll need a non-Three SIM card at this stage.
For iPhones: insert non-Three SIM and simply connect the phone to iTunes. Apple have unlocked your phone remotely so once you connect you’ll see a message like ‘iPhone network unlocked’ – easy!
Other smartphones: Turn your phone off and insert a non-Three SIM. Turn it back on and you will be prompted to input a ‘Network Unlock Code’ – or something similar. That’s the code we sent you - pop it in and the phone should start as normal. Your job is done!
If you've decided to gift your old phone and you need a new number for it, see here.