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Is it possible to determine if my phone is unlocked without buying another SIM card?

I don't know where it was originally purchased or what the original terms of the phone service were.

All my relatives are on the same network, so it doesn't help to borrow their SIM.

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Three methods work for deteriming if an iPhone is unlocked:

  1. You see the one time message from iTunes when it restores a phone that previously was locked and now is unlocked.
  2. You contact your carrier and they will tell you if the phone on your account has been unlocked.
  3. You swap the SIM with one that isn't from your carrier and it works.

Apple maintains a nice article explaining which carriers offer an unlock as well as other iPhone related services. If you didn't buy the phone yourself, it could have been sold originally as an unlocked phone in which case you would need to know this fact or experiment with two SIM to know if that device is in fact one that is authorized as an unlocked device.

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

Registering a free account at and entering your IMEI number for your iPhone and doing a free simlock check works for me:

enter image description here

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There is a thread on Macrumors which suggests that connecting the iPhone to iTunes on your computer will display a message stating "This iPhone has been unlocked." I can't confirm that it's true, and the conversation in that thread does state some exceptions, but perhaps it will get you started.

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This message is (if at all) only displayed once after the unlock. – patrix Jul 13 '12 at 18:08

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