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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 (366,953 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


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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.



by Anonymous
on ‎06-03-2017 09:41

Just tried that, now we'll wait and see if it works. If it does, great - but why didn't the CHAT line people do that for me???????????

on ‎06-03-2017 09:50

Live chat is tick box process driven. 

If a box can't be ticked the process falls over!

by Anonymous
on ‎26-04-2017 09:15

I just receive texts say 'we need to contact the phone's manufacturer'. Very frustrating!!

by Anonymous
on ‎22-06-2017 13:27

Sorry, not helped me at all. I have just put the new sim card in, connected iphone to itunes and I am getting the same message " Sim card not supported, request iphone be unlocked by carrier- O2!!" Here we go again...

on ‎22-06-2017 13:32
@Anonymous you need to follow the process to unlock first. Just replacing the sim card and connecting to iTunes won't unlock it.
on ‎22-06-2017 13:35
by Anonymous
on ‎22-06-2017 13:44

Dear M15 and Cleoriff

I have spoken to O2 once and been on chat libe twice. Each time they have takne my mobile number, phone make and IMEI number and told me that I will receive an email to confirn phoune unlocked. I did not get an email the first 2 times.  I am now on  48 hrs of my 3rd lot of 72 hours. I did receeive2 an email which says "to unlock , follow link". The link I followed, same as the one you posted, does not show HOW to unlock. It just tells me to follow another link.. which does not tell me how to unlock.  This is the problem. I am just in a loop of links... wihout anything being done. Unlockign phones can take a few seconds. Why is it so complicated to do?

on ‎22-06-2017 13:47

@AnonymousAre you on a contract or PAYG phone?

on ‎22-06-2017 13:49
It isn't complicated usually. You fill in the form and submit it. https://www.o2.co.uk/apps/help/help?qid=1&q1=2&route=unlocking&case=Handset%20Unlocking%20Form
by Anonymous
on ‎22-06-2017 14:06

Dear Cleoriff, I was on contract

M15 I have filled in form and given them verbally and over chat line 3 x times all the infomation they need to unlock the phone.

As I said. I have had 3 attempts in 10 days to have my phone unlocked,  This is the 4th attempt now in 2 weeks to have my phone unlocked, having being sent a link today by o2 which has taken me no where. The cost in loss of earnings is now an issue.

on ‎22-06-2017 14:11
You need to ask them what the problem is then as to why they can't unlock it. This process works for 99% of the customers who use it, so there must be either an issue with your phone or gross incompetence from the advisers you have spoken too.
by Anonymous
on ‎18-11-2017 21:03
Im totally peeved off. I just paid off my handset for my samsung s6 edge and was givinh it yo my 10yrs old grandaughter. I got the new samsung s8 plus and was told by cust assistant at the shop that he had unlocked it so my grandaughter can use her ee sim card. This did not happen. I spent 3 days on the fone to o2 cs and was given a unlatching num. This still didnt work then i called yet again,had to wait for email which i got today and its the same unlatching code and it still wont unlock fone. I feel at a loss for my grandaughter who is visably upset and this is angering me that this issue isnt gtn resolved. Who can help
‎18-11-2017 22:00 - edited ‎18-11-2017 22:01

I’d raise a complaint and possibly seek the help of your loca market stall if no luck with o2 


on ‎20-11-2017 08:52

I think that they are giving you the unlock code for your new phone and not your old one.

Follow the complaint process as detailed above.

In order to get the correct unlock code, try using your old phone for a little while until it shows up on your account (either online or through the app for My o2) and then request the code (if you are pay monthly then you can request it through the app).

on ‎14-06-2018 18:11

 Thanks for updating @MI5. Hopefully CS are aware of the changes to unlocking payg phones

on ‎14-06-2018 18:18
Fingers crossed
on ‎22-06-2018 20:54

Cheers M15, tried your link above which seemed to work but then 02 came back with 'not an 02 device' - it came from CPW on 02, does this change things?


I emailed them at mycare@o2mail.co.uk which is the address provided only to be told they have shut down email service..doh! 


"Thanks for your email, but we have now shut down our email support service.


Don't worry though, for instant help speak to us on Live Chat, where we'll try to solve your issue straight away".


on ‎22-06-2018 21:03

@Owe2If your phone came from CPW it won't be locked. Your best bet is to try another sim in it just to test it

‎22-06-2018 21:10 - edited ‎22-06-2018 21:11

If it's an Android or Windows phone it won't be locked @Owe2 but if an iPhone it will be.

Let us know so we can advise.

on ‎22-06-2018 21:14

Cheers, it's Android (still the old TuGo phone).


Is there a check I can perform? 

on ‎22-06-2018 21:18

@Owe2Just try the phone with another sim. This should prove it's unlocked

on ‎22-06-2018 21:21

Easiest way is with trying an EE, Voda or Three sim in it.

You can order free PAYG sims for testing from any of their network websites.

on ‎22-06-2018 21:31

Thanks for the pointers folks

on ‎22-06-2018 21:34

Good luck Smiley Wink

on ‎12-07-2018 19:35

So far so good, quick question for you all, does tacking a SIM out of say an EE phone and ttrying it in another 02 phone (to see if it's locked) make any changes to the SIM itself?


I seem to recall reading about this somewhere that each phone writes back or sends info to the network about the new hand set, might be baloney though.


As an aside, and after huge deliberation (read lazy) I ended up on EE expecting much change with bells and whistles 4GEE..


..nope, slightly better ..until I switched on WiFi calling, calls connect almost instantly and so far pretty clear, if anyone is still stuck after losing toogoo this could be a good alternative.


Phone choice Hauweooo Smart P, very happy. 



on ‎12-07-2018 20:38
No changes are made to the sim card.
on ‎12-07-2018 20:51

Cheers M15, always helpful as usual - wots happened to your signiture ?

on ‎12-07-2018 20:55

Sigs don't show in this section mate as it's on a different platform for some reason?

‎12-07-2018 20:58 - edited ‎12-07-2018 20:58

The technical term is 'legacy' normally reserved for Windows XP progs Smiley Happy

on ‎12-07-2018 21:14

or "crap" Smiley Wink

on ‎12-07-2018 21:23
I suppose I really should slot another Sim into the 2nd Sim slot on my OP3T, "just to see"... 👀
on ‎12-07-2018 21:25

To see what?

If you mean if it's unlocked, I can assure you it is.

on ‎12-07-2018 21:26

And we still have this 'glitch' where we are unable to go straight to the most recent post.

We are taken to the first post...(the guide) and scroll on and on and on ...till we get to the most recent!

Any news on a fix for this yet @Martin-O2?

on ‎12-07-2018 21:28

Personally, I think all my posts are worth reading twice (at least lol)

on ‎12-07-2018 21:30
Yes, I went through the MyO2 process some months back, a few days later I got something telling me my 3T was indeed unlocked already. Thanks for this guide, @MI5 👍
on ‎29-07-2018 14:22

Not sure why I have to get an o2 (free admittedly) sim, put it in and use that phone number (the phone is second hand, so I don't know the number it used to be used with, so 'the form' is useless otherwise).

I just got an EE phone unlocked, all they needed was the IMEI, make and model.

Much easier.


on ‎29-07-2018 14:26

O2 require that the phone is used and registered on the network.

You can do that with either a contract or PAYG sim.

EE still charge to unlock a PAYG phone, don't they?

on ‎29-07-2018 15:41
My 02 phone was unlocked as mentioned above, something to do with purchasing from CPW - not sure of exact reason but ee sim worked from my new phone without issue. I had an interesting one off conversation with 02 support when I mentioned T00Goo, apparently they stopped it because of new Eurowide pricing plan and therefore not much demand. I have to admit, wifi calling is a lot better solution imo, works without having to check its working if that makes sense. Any recommendations for where to sell old phone Note 3, 02 keep offer 30 pounds which might be one option.
on ‎29-07-2018 15:49

@Owe2 CEX is the best place to sell and unless it's an iPhone,ALL cpw phones are sold unlocked.

on ‎29-07-2018 16:19

Cheers bud, will give them a try.

on ‎25-09-2018 10:58
Rang Saturday asking for pac code and nuc code. Told I could unlock phone on the website. Did this. Still locked on Sunday. Rang monday(72hours later) told it can take between 72 hours and a week, really?
on ‎25-09-2018 11:06

 There is currently a delay with unlocking so I'll tag @Marjo to help you.

on ‎26-09-2018 22:23
Still waiting for iPhone to be unlocked after a couple of days. Can I remove the SIM card and place it in a new iPhone or do I need to leave it in the locked iPhone until O2 ‘unlocks’ it?
on ‎26-09-2018 22:43

No need to have any sim in the phone at all.

on ‎28-09-2018 13:44

I have a iPhone 7 locked to O2.Its PAYG and is in credit.I have tried a few times to unlock it using

MyO2 Unlock and the manual form.I have never received any acknowledgement from 02 and the phone is still locked.Any advice please

on ‎28-09-2018 14:01


There are problems with unlocking at the moment. I will tag @Marjo @Martin-O2 our community managers, to see if they can help you.

on ‎28-09-2018 15:43

Hi @Darren9659, can you try with a non-O2 SIM in the phone to see if it works? In many of these cases the phone is actually already unlocked in the background, just just to rule that out before we escalate this to be looked at in more detail. Smiley Happy Connecting to iTunes might also resolve it. Can you check and let me know if this worked? If not, we'll have a look for you.

on ‎28-09-2018 16:10



I tried a EE sim and also connected to iTunes.Its definately locked to o2.

Its says sim not supported.

Thanks darren

on ‎28-09-2018 16:23

@Darren9659 dropping you a private message here on the forum shortly to get a few additional details - let's get this sorted for you then. Smiley Happy

‎28-09-2018 16:28 - edited ‎28-09-2018 16:28

@Marjo Cleoriff

Thanks for your help