3 Official Ways to Unlock an AT&T iPhone

by on October 20th, 2012

If you possess an AT&T iPhone that is out of contract with AT&T or you purchased an iPhone without AT&T contract, you can easily unlock it for use on any other network. You can unlock the iPhone through AT&T by calling a special direct line or you can unlock an iPhone through web with the help of AT&T’s online technical support chat or you can fill out a request form to unlock your iPhone. You can also unlock iPhone 5 by using these methods. Here is how to unlock your iPhone in different ways:

Before you unlock iPhone, you will need iPhone IMEI number (International Mobile Equipment Identity), that is kind of iPhone’s unique serial number.

How to Find iPhone IMEI number

Dial *#06# on your iPhone to retrieve IMEI number.


On iPhone go to Settings > General > About
Scroll down and look for “IMEI”


If your iPhone is connected to the iTunes, you can grab the IMEI number from there:

Select your iPhone from the iTunes menu.
In the “Summary” tab click on your phone number to reveal the IMEI number.

You need IMEI number in case you need to unlock the iPhone or in case your iPhone gets stolen, you cellular provider can blacklist and block your iPhone if you provide him your iPhone IMEI number.

So, you have got the iPhone IMEI number. Lets unlock AT&T iPhone.

Unlock iPhone by Call

Call AT&T either by dialing 611 from the iPhone, or call 1-800-331-0500 and then dial 0010 to speak to a representative and skip the hold time. International users can dial 1-800-335-4685.

Provide the IMEI number of the device and request your iPhone to be unlocked. AT&T will initiate a request to unlock the iPhone. Wait for the instructions to be emailed to you. Then you have to restore the iPhone through iTunes to complete the device unlock. The time it takes to receive unlock instructions varies widely, between an hour to two weeks.

Email Instructions from AT&T

You will receive a similar response from AT&T.

Thank you for contacting AT&T Customer Care about unlocking your iPhone.

We have reviewed your request and confirmed that you are eligible to have the requested iPhone unlocked.

Please allow 24 hours upon receipt of this notification to complete the unlock.

To complete the unlock, simply:

Open iTunes on your Mac or PC and verify that you have Internet connectivity.
Ensure a SIM card is inserted into your iPhone.
Connect your iPhone using the dock connector to USB cable that came with your iPhone.
Backup and restore your iPhone using iTunes. For information on backup and restore, please visit http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1414.
After restoring, your iPhone will be unlocked.

Additional information on unlocking can be found at http://support.apple.com/kb/TS3198

For questions regarding AT&T’s wireless service and iPhone, please visit the Phone/Device Learning Center.

We thank you for your continued business.

AT&T Customer Care Team

Restoring iPhone to Unlock

Open iTunes on a computer that’s connected to the Internet. Make sure your iPhone has an active SIM card in it (necessary to unlock), then plug it into iTunes. Sync it with iTunes, right-click on the device under the “Devices” column on the left side of the screen, click “Back Up.” Once that’s finished, right-click on the device and select “Restore from Backup.”

You should get the following message in iTunes: “Unlock Complete. Congratulations, your iPhone has been unlocked. To set up and sync this iPhone, click Continue.”

Unlock iPhone by Web Chat through AT&T

Make sure you have iPhone IMEI number and AT&T account login ID.

Go to AT&T’s online account management page, login with a valid AT&T ID, and click on “Technical Support” to start a chat with a live representative.

Or use AT&T wireless support chat.

Tell them that you would like to provide the iPhone IMEI number and unlock an off contract iPhone. Let the AT&T representative check if the iPhone is indeed without a contract. Provide them your email address when asked. The AT&T representative will provide you with a case number and an estimated date of completion for resolution. It can take between an hour to two weeks to sends unlock emails to you.

When you will receive the unlock instructions from AT&T, you will need to restore the iPhone from iTunes to activate the unlock. After restoring you get a “Congratulations, your iPhone is unlocked” message in iTunes.

Tip: If you want to save iPhone data, backup iPhone before restoring it (unlocking it).

Possible Causes of Complication in Unlocking Process

  • If the iPhone still on a contract with another AT&T customer, you may need to wait until that customers iPhone contract period is over.
  • If you bought an iPhone used, or through a service other than AT&T or Apple, You may need to provide a receipt of purchase.
  • If you have a past-due balance on an AT&T account, you will need to pay that before AT&T will unlock the iPhone.

Unlock iPhone by iPhone Unlock Requests through AT&T

Fill out the Support Request or request form at device unlock portal through AT&T. Requests may take up to 5 to 7 days to complete. Wait for the unlock to process by AT&T. After that restore iPhone via iTunes to unlock it.

Read about iPhone Unlocking at Apple website
Eligibility requirements for unlocking iPhone

One Review

  1. vicky says:

    I have a contract which is due in sometime to get over. Thanks for explaining step by step on how to unlock AT&T iPhone.