Phone Locked? Help and Advice on Lock Codes
Found that your mobile phone is locked or prompting you for a code? Here's some help
Why is my phone locked?
Today's mobile phone handsets have various different codes to keep data safe, keep theft and fraud under control, and to keep network operators and phone sellers protected.
on this page, we look at the various different mobile phone security locks and codes.
Handset Lock Code
To stop people browsing through the contents of your phone, some makes of phone handset let you set a handset lock or a phone lock. This is typically a 4 or 5 digit PIN code that the user sets. Check through your phone's menus to find your handset lock. If in doubt, refer to your phone's manual.
It's possible to lock your SIM card so that it can't be used in any phone until the SIM PIN is entered. This is a good security measure and protects you if your phone or SIM card are stolen.
The SIM lock is typically a 4 digit numerical PIN. If you enter the SIM PIN incorrectly 3 or more times, your SIM may be locked, and you will need to get a PUK code.
If you're not sure of the SIM PIN for your SIM Card, try the following:
- o2 Default SIM code
- T-Mobile Default SIM code
- T-Mobile Default SIM code
- Orange Default SIM code
- 3 Default SIM code
- Tesco Mobile Default SIM code
- Virgin Mobile Default SIM code
This is associated with your phone's SIM card. If the wrong PIN is put in 3 or more times, you'll need to enter a PUK (Personal Unblocking Key), which is an 8 digit code that you can get from your network operator. See our dedicated PUK Page for details.
Network Lock Code
Also known as a "restriction code", "network code" or "subsidy code"
When you get a new handset, in many cases this may be "locked" to a specific mobile phone network. This is done so that the mobile phone company don't lose out by people getting a discounted phone to sell on for profit.
If your phone was fixed to work on a specific network (for example, Orange), this lock may prevent you from using another SIM in the handset. You may see "SIM card rejected" or "SIM card unaccepted".
This lock can be lifted for you by contacting the network operator in question (there may be a fee for this). Call their customer service department, and they will provide you with a network unlock code.
Unlocking Service: You can also try the services of Mobile Unlocked for a hassle-free way of unlocking a mobile
The IMEI is a phone's serial number. If a phone is reported as stolen, the network will block the IMEI, preventing that phone from accessing their network. Details of blocked/stolen phones are added to a central EIR (Equipment Identify Register) and shared with all the mobile phone networks, meaning that phone can't be used again. This reduces the incentive for thieves to steal phones.
That's why it's a good idea to keep a record of your phone's IMEI. To do this, type in the following code as if you were dialling a phone number: *#06#
If you have a phone that has been blocked in this way, this probably means that either a) you reported your phone lost/stolen and have now found it, or b) you have bought a phone that has been previously reported as lost/stolen. You should contact your network operator, or the place of purchase.
Need help with SIM, Phone or Network locking? Please ask for help in our mobile phone help forum - remember to include the make and model of your handset, and the exact error message you're getting.
- UK Mobile FAQ - Help and advice with mobile phone questions
- SIM Cards in the UK - Help and information on using a a SIM card from a UK operator
- PUK Codes - SIM card asking for a PUK code? Here's our page of advice
- UK APN settings - Settings for GPRS and 3G mobile Internet in the UK
- Mobile Internet - Help with getting online from your mobile in the UK