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How to Unlock SIM on iPhone

unlock-sim-on-iPhoneAfter a reboot or after swapping your SIM card, your iPhone might prompt you to “Unlock SIM”. What does that even mean, you might ask? This is a guide on how to unlock SIM on iPhone and get rid of that confusing prompt. Unlocking the SIM card on iPhone does not require a reboot or any kind of special equipment, but rather a simple procedure that you can follow right now.

You might have seen the screen that informs you of the status “SIM Locked” before, it looks like this on iOS 7, iOS 8, iOS 9 and probably newer versions, too:


An intuitive reaction to this screen would be to not fully read it and simply tap “OK”. But wait. Now the SIM is still locked, despite you wanting to unlock it. Fortunately, there is a quick way to get this dialog back.

By the way, if you’ve never defined or changed your iPhone’s SIM PIN, check the default PIN your carrier is using for the card. You can retrieve the default PIN by looking at the documentation or manual that was sent with the SIM card.

Unlock SIM on iPhone via Phone App

Phone > Call someone

The easiest and most straightforward way to get the “SIM Locked” dialog back so you can unlock your iPhone is to open up the “Phone” App, then initiate a call with any number or any of your contacts. The dialog will return, allowing you to tap “Unlock” and enter your SIM PIN for unlocking purposes. You can even enter a bogus number such as “333” and hit the green button, instead of calling an actual number.

Unlock SIM on iPhone via Settings App

Settings > Phone > SIM PIN

Another way to pull up the unlock prompt is to visit your “Settings” App. Head over to the “Phone” section and finally select “SIM PIN”, your iPhone should now ask you to unlock the SIM card.

From here, you’ll also be able to change the actual SIM PIN itself. Read on to find out how this is achieved.

Changing or disabling the SIM PIN code on iPhone

Settings > Phone > SIM PIN

By following the same menu path as above, we can actually go in and change the SIM PIN that protects the SIM card our iPhone is currently equipped with. After entering the current PIN, simply tap “Change PIN” to enter a new one. You can also slide the toggle to the “off” position and disable the SIM PIN altogether. It is recommended to at least use a Passcode on your iPhone for security and privacy purposes.

managing the iPhone SIM PIN code