Welcome to the O2 Community

Has your question already been answered? See the community FAQ's

How-to Guides

Unlocking an O2 phone to use a different SIM card.

by on ‎03-11-2016 16:01 - last edited on ‎11-09-2020 15:02 by Community Manager (367,878 Views)

Please note: all new O2 devices are sold unlocked, so you just need to test a different SIM in the phone before you request unlocking. If it is indeed locked, then you can follow the rest of this guide.

Note also that since June 2018 it is completely free to unlock any O2 phone at anytime. Smiley Happy


SideButton_New.png Message us on Facebook Messenger Message us on Twitter



If you want to use your O2 contract or PAYG phone with a SIM from another network, ie a local SIM when on holiday, you will need to release the network lock.


If you have a monthly contract it is free to get your phone unlocked......


Any phone can be unlocked (No exceptions).

The easiest way is by using the link found in your MyO2 Unlock (this assumes that it is the current phone you are using is the one you want to unlock)

If you want to unlock a phone you have stopped using, all you need to do is submit this form manual form taking care to enter the correct details. Pay attention in particular to the security question as this is the most common cause of failure.


PAYG as above.


If you have just purchased a PAYG phone which was previously supplied by O2, insert an O2 Simply PAYG SIM free sim and top up. Make a few calls to register the phone on the network then fill out the form as above manual form


Business users can also submit the form for a free unlock.


Once the form is submitted it can take upto 28 days to receive the unlock code but it is usually much quicker - Typically within 7 days.


You will receive the code with instructions on how to complete the process with your specific handset, but in general, you insert a non O2 SIM card and enter the code when prompted.

For iPhones you will not receive a code. Just replace the O2 sim with one from a different network once you receive notification that it is unlocked.

If the unlock fails first time, try connecting to iTunes to complete the process, but this is not required for every phone.


Note: Unlocking the phone does not relieve you of any contractual obligations. You still need to complete your minimum term as agreed.



Note for iPhones:

If you’ve already requested an unlock for your iPhone but you feel it hasn’t worked, try the following:

1) Insert a non-O2 SIM in the phone

2) Connect to Wi-Fi

3) Go to Settings > General > About, and enter your Apple ID and password, and you should be good to go.

If it’s still not working, please contact customer services on 202 or 4445 or post on the community so we can escalate the issue for you.



on ‎13-12-2018 17:38
Hi..@gmarkj@M15@ all of community who's been helping an OAP out.. many thanks..Just to keep you updated.. EmilieT@Nichola on my case re unlocking my Huawei p.smart..SEEMINGLY..this can take upto 6WEEKS..Have been trying to get it unlocked since 13th Nov.!What is patience a virtue..Just don't understand why SO long! to unlock!
on ‎13-12-2018 17:40

Awful and shocking!

Let's hope it's quicker for you.

on ‎16-12-2018 02:21
How does the confirmation arrive to me? Via text or email? Am in Australia now and was not aware that my iPhone was locked, so hoping this can be resolved quickly as will be relying on my phone for maps and staying in contact with family
on ‎16-12-2018 09:31

@NickD you'll get a text to say it's been completed at which point you can just switch to your new SIM. You don't get a code for an iphone.

on ‎17-12-2018 07:16
@NickD Hopefully u get your iphone unlocked quickly.. Enjoy Australia.
on ‎07-01-2019 19:35
I have an iPhone 5 locked to o2 and I have been waiting 8 days do get an email from o2 and nearly on to my 9th day of waiting what do I do
on ‎07-01-2019 19:39

@Jbmcrunch resubmit the request again.

on ‎07-01-2019 19:51
I have already done that
on ‎07-01-2019 20:05

Have you called to chase it up?

on ‎07-01-2019 20:09
@Jbmcrunch.. Sorry to say I've been waiting since..Wait for it! 13th Nov..for my Huawei psmart..to get unlocked/unlatched.. Hope fully you have better luck than me!So frustrating!
on ‎07-01-2019 20:12

In contrast, I submitted a request and had the unlock confirmation in less than 24 hours and that was over Christmas......

Amyway, I'll tag @EmilieT as it seems to be taking too long for you guys.

on ‎07-01-2019 20:50
@M15 thanks.. @EmilieT on my case. Seemingly it's Manufacturers Huawei holding things up. 😠
on ‎07-01-2019 20:58

Very strange @B52 as no manufacturers lock their phones - only the networks do !

on ‎07-01-2019 21:04
Must ask @ EmilieT about that..unless I've misread her PM. Thanks for your support@M15..much appreciated 😊..you must get fed up with me.. moaning..haha
on ‎07-01-2019 21:07

No, but I do get fed up with O2's delinquency @B52

on ‎10-01-2019 18:42
Big thank you community@MI5@EmilieT @Nichola mycare have send me my unlocking code.. Hallelujah! I just topped up £10 bundle yesterday from 02..As have payg..sim..can I still use it..if I put my unlocking code in? Or do I loose it?…As unsure as not tecky minded. Is there anything else I need todo..or am I better phoning customer services.. Thanks again for all your patience..Am now a Happy Pensioner..🤗
on ‎10-01-2019 18:51

Great news @B52

Unlocking won't prevent you from using your O2 credit but to complete the process you need to put a non O2 SIM in your phone.  

Once that is done, you can put your O2 SIM back in and use the credit up.

on ‎10-01-2019 18:56
@M15 THANKS for that! Your a star..
on ‎10-01-2019 19:16

@B52 ,Great to hear that your sorted .

on ‎10-01-2019 19:24
@starry great relief.. many thanks for your support..shame u didn't have any luck..
on ‎29-01-2019 10:47

 @EmilieT Can you please help me in getting my old iPhone unlatched from O2 network.  

I've followed all the instruction shown at the beginning of this post and I've been unable to unlatch my iPhone.  I've completed the online form twice to only have it declined because I nolonger have an active O2 SIM in the phone.  I spoke to customer services on Saturday 26th Jan, explaining all the issues I've had so far, they filled out a form for me and said that the contact number I provided will not affect the unlatch request and I'll have a response in 72 hours.  I've just received an email saying I've once against been declined because my contact number is not being used in the iPhone.  I cant believe how painful this process is.  Please help?

on ‎17-03-2019 10:51

I received the unlatching code, but no box popped up to enter it after I'd inserted the new sim. Is there another way to change it?

on ‎17-03-2019 11:05

If you sim is accepted it means the phone isn’t locked or has already been unlocked previously. 

on ‎29-04-2019 15:01

@EmilieT  please could you help with my phone unlock code?

on ‎30-04-2019 13:29

Ok, purchased my daughter a 2nd hand Iphone 6S locked to O2.

I have a pay monthly contract phone with o2 (samsung s8+).


I took my pay monthly o2 sim out of my samsung and put in the Iphone and submitted the unlock proceedure via my account where I had to put Iphones Imei number in (current in use phone was recognised as the iphone)


The unlock is under progress, and I just need to wait for it to go through.


Question is, can I put the sim back in my S8 or do I have to keep the sim in the Iphone and wait for unlock 1st?

on ‎30-04-2019 13:42

@Rich001 you can put your SIM back in your phone now. 

on ‎27-05-2019 19:29
I've now raised 6 unlock requests for my phone, 3 online, 3 via chat. I'm now 13 days since the first request and still paying airtime which is what I'm trying to stop! How can I escalate this?
on ‎27-05-2019 20:09

I'll ask @EmilieT to help you @sohagan857 

on ‎10-07-2019 23:36

I followed the recommendations from this community (followed link )  - i.e. putting the O2 sim in and making an unlatching request using the IMEI number of that phone. I returned my O2 sim to my current phone. 6 hours later I received an email instructing me to connect the non-O2 sim into the device to be unlocked and connect it to iTunes. I did this and hey-presto the new sim is live and everything worked. I feel lucky not to have had to wait more than a few hours. 


Thanks for all the clues from everyone. Reading other's experiences helped me. I hope mine helps some others. The link I used is posted by: Marjo **Personal info**16 16:01 - last edited on ‎**Personal info**18 17:47


on ‎13-07-2019 16:00
Hi, have been trying to get an iphone6s unlocked that was gifted to my husband by a friend when his phone went for a swim. My daughter is currently using the phone in Canada and costing the daily travel rate to do so but would like to unlock it but we keep getting emails saying....has not been used on our network with the MPN
provided, so it will not be possible to unlatch it.just spoke to customer services on 202 and they were no help except to say get the person who gave my husband the phone to get it unlocked! He is a fisherman friend, they meet occasionally, we don't even know his mobile number! Any help would be gratefully received.
on ‎13-07-2019 16:38

If it is locked to O2 then they have to unlock it by law. Their response is usually that unless the phone has been used on their network they can't unlock it.

Are you sure that it is locked to O2 because if it has been bought overseas then it will be locked to the parent network and that network will have to unlock the phone.

on ‎13-07-2019 17:36

The phone will need to have been used on o2 for it to show on the system first. 

on ‎13-07-2019 18:02
@jonsie and @MI5 thank you for replying. To the best of my knowledge the phone was a UK purchased and used phone. It was spare when the guy upgraded and he gave it to my husband. Unfortunately my daughter did not put her SIM in it until in Canada as she didn't realise it was locked until she tried a Canadian SIM and then thought she could use the 'unlock my phone' from the app. She has her usual iPhone se with her for departing and arrival calls but did not want to unlock it and have to back up and reset it. I understand if they think it could be stolen but we even have the box with part no etc. Very frustrating😒
on ‎13-07-2019 18:58

I suspect it isn't locked to O2 but to another network. Unfortunately, O2 won't unlock it until it shows on their own network.

As for your daughter's se, it won't need to be reset. The phone is unlocked by Apple and then you need to put in the Canadian sim. It really is that simple, no backup and reset required at all.

on ‎13-07-2019 19:25
@jonsie surely if her O2 SIM works in the iPhone 6s then the phone is locked to O2? Why would her SE be unlocked by Apple, surely she needs to request from O2? At least if she doesn't need to reset that will be good🙂
on ‎13-07-2019 19:41

Ah, I wasn't clear that her O2 sim worked in the phone so yes it will be locked to O2. Unfortunately, as the phone has not been used in the UK with the sim, it will not register on their system because it's on the roaming Canadian network. The phone will need to be physically in the UK to show on their systems.

Her own se will have hopefully been working in the UK so will have already  been registered. The unlock form will need to be done to O2 who will then submit the IMEI to be unlocked. It is then unlocked on the Apple system and she will receive a text to say it's been unlocked and to onnect to itunes. That part does not now need to be connected to itunes. Simply put the Canadian sim in and she is good to go.

It' the donated phone that she will find difficult to get unlocked until she comes back to the UK.

on ‎13-07-2019 19:47
@jonsie thank you for your response. I may stop trying now that I have exhausted all my options🙂
‎21-11-2019 23:20 - edited ‎21-11-2019 23:21

Hello, how do I know if a phone is unlocked before buying it? I want to buy a nokia 3310 3G but I don't know if it is locked to the O2 or unlocked, anybody?

on ‎21-11-2019 23:23

O2 no longer sell locked phones so all are unlocked to any network.

on ‎03-01-2020 15:19

Does anyone know how I can get O2 to unlock my iPhone 6?

I haven't been an O2 customer for a while so using the online form that requires me to enter the date and amount of my last bill is not an option.

I believe that it can be unlocked if I have used it on the O2 network recently and as I am using a Giffgaff sim which uses the O2 network would this not work?


on ‎03-01-2020 15:22

No it needs to be an O2 sim that registers the IMEI on My O2.

on ‎03-01-2020 15:32


Just get a free O2 payg sim and follow the help in the first post of the thread.

on ‎03-01-2020 15:42

Thanks @MI5 and @jonsie. I was hoping there was a way of doing it for free but I'll give it a go.


on ‎03-01-2020 15:46


It could be free if you know anyone with an O2 sim already?

on ‎03-01-2020 17:59

Thanks a good point @MI5 

Would I just need to use the sim to connect to the network or would I need to make calls with it in place?


on ‎03-01-2020 18:02
Maybe a couple of calls and a text. Just until it showed up in the MyO2 account.
on ‎30-03-2020 13:46
I’ve been through all suggestions.
I can’t phone using my iPhone as it’s disconnected to O2; I can’t do anything manual as I can’t access myO2 as that been disconnected.
on ‎11-04-2020 12:07
Hey guys, I tried unlocking but now get an email saying there was multiple unlock requests so it’s not working. Any idea how long I have to wait before I can try again?

on ‎11-04-2020 13:27

I'd give it a week or call in Guide: Coronavirus Community Help and Support 

on ‎26-10-2020 16:57
Thank you for help everyone Chris7