Even though Verizon is one of America’s leading carriers, it’s not for everyone. Whether it’s the cost or the coverage in your area, you might be considering a switch to a different network. But what happens if you love the phone you have? Or maybe you can’t afford to purchase a new one? There’s no need to worry — here’s all you need to know on how to unlock a Verizon phone.
The process varies from carrier to carrier, but luckily it’s pretty straightforward with Verizon. However, Verizon is a CDMA network, so you’ll have to carefully check your phone’s compatibility with other networks. Competitors like AT&T and T-Mobile are GSM carriers so you may see differences in coverage depending on the bands your phone supports. Ready? Let’s get started.
Do you even need to unlock your Verizon phone?
We’re not questioning whether you want to change carriers or plan to travel abroad, we’re just saying that your phone might be unlocked already. This is true for all Verizon postpaid devices as well as some prepaid options.
If you’re planning to unlock your postpaid device, all you have to do is keep it on Verizon for 60 days or about two billing cycles. The 60-day period begins either after you purchase your device through Verizon or activate it through a retail partner. For prepaid phones, this period begins at activation so you couldn’t just buy a prepaid phone and wait 60 days.
No matter what you do during this 60 day period — whether you pay off your device in full or cancel service — you can’t accelerate it or escape from its limitations. The only way to get around the timeframe is if you are active military and stationed outside of Verizon’s coverage area.
How to unlock a Verizon prepaid phone
If you’re still here it means that you’ve got a Verizon prepaid phone that hasn’t been activated or a non-iPhone 3G World device. As long as either of those options is the case, you’ll want to follow these simple steps:
1. Insert a new SIM card into your device and power it on.
2. Once prompted, you’ll have to enter one of two codes:
3. All done! Those are the only two codes that Verizon uses for unlocks. If either one did not work, simply call Verizon support service at *611 for manual help.
It really is that easy to unlock a Verizon phone. If you’re considering making the switch, you might find a few of our other guides helpful. We’ve created lists of the best plans on all of the major networks, so check ’em out right below.
Best cell phone plans: