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How to unlock a Verizon phone
Verizon is one of America’s leading carriers, but it’s not for everyone. It could be due to the high costs or your local coverage, but sometimes you have to change. What if you love the phone you have? Or perhaps 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.
Unlocking a Verizon phone is as easy as can be. All you have to do in order to unlock a postpaid device is keep it on the network for 60 days, or about two billing cycles. If you have a prepaid device, you can power it on and wait for the prompt to enter a code. Verizon's code will either be 000000 or 123456.
What is required to unlock a Verizon phone?
If you’re hoping to get your device freed from Big Red’s network, there are a few simple requirements to know about. If it’s a postpaid device, just keep it active on the network for 60 days. Once you hit that 60-day mark, Verizon will unlock the device automatically. However, you’ll have to pay it off in full if you want to take it to another carrier. The only way around the 60-day limit is if you are active military and be stationed outside of Verizon’s coverage area.
As for certain prepaid devices, you’ll once again have to pay off the device and any outstanding account balance. Verizon makes no mention of the 60-day limit, but there’s a good chance it still applies. Once you insert a new SIM card, you’ll be prompted to enter an unlock code.
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 and 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 starts at activation for prepaid phones, so you can’t just buy a prepaid phone and wait 60 days.
No matter what you do during these 60 days — 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 to be active military and stationed outside of Verizon’s coverage area.
Read more: How to change your Verizon phone number
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. This isn’t a common situation by any means, but it does happen. 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. Call Verizon support service at *611 for manual help if either one did not work.
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 them out right below.
Best cell phone plans:
Frequently asked questions
Yes, because the phone unlocks automatically after 60 days, you will not have to contact customer service.
If you have a locked 3G World Device, you’ll need either 000000 or 123456 as your unlock code.
The best way is to call customer service at 1-800-922-0204.
Yes, it will occur automatically after 60 days. However, if you plan to bring your phone to a new carrier, you will have to pay it off.