Verizon is one of America’s leading carriers, but it’s not for everyone. It could be due to the high costs or maybe your local coverage, but sometimes you just have to make a change. What 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.
See also: The best Verizon phones you can buy
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 check your phone’s compatibility with other networks carefully. 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 Big Red may have unlocked your phone 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 after you purchase your device through Verizon or activate it through a retail partner. This period begins at activation for prepaid phones, 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, 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 major networks, so check ’em out right below.