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PUK Code - UK Help and Advice

Information and advice relating to PUK codes, and how to handle a locked SIM card in the UK

Unlock Mobile Phones


What is a PUK?

PUK stands for Personal Unblocking Key, and it's a code that's associated with a mobile phone SIM card.


Why am I being asked for a PUK?

Your mobile phone's SIM card has a four-digit PIN code enabled by default. If you enter the PIN code incorrectly three times, a lock will be put onto the SIM card, and you need a PUK code to unlock it. If your mobile phone is asking you for a PUK, then one of two things has happened:

  • You have entered the SIM card's PIN code wrongly three times.
  • Your network operator has locked your SIM card (this normally happens when the SIM is reported lost or stolen).


Where do I get a PUK?

If you're being asked to enter a PUK, you will need to contact your network operator to get your SIM card unlocked. This is for security reasons. Note that only your mobile phone network operator can legally provide you with a PUK code to unlock your SIM card.


UK Networks

Here's how to get a PUK for your network operator:

UK Network
PUK Code Information
3 / Three
Tesco Mobile
Virgin Mobile


Need a new SIM card?

  • o2: Offering up to two free SIM cards. Each SIM comes with unlimited free texts when you top up just £5 a month. Go to
  • T-Mobile: Offer two free PAYG SIM cards. Details at



Q. What happens if I enter the PUK code incorrectly?

Typically you will be allowed ten tries at getting the PUK entered correctly. If you fail to enter a valid PUK, you will normally be required to get a new SIM card.

Got a question about PUK codes, or mobiles in the UK? Ask in our Mobile Phone forum


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