Unlike other smartphones, Nokia has made unlocking the SIM card slot on their phones a little easier than other phone manufacturers. Unlocking a phone’s SIM card slot is important if you want to use your phone with another carrier when you travel or want to switch to a different network (for any number of reasons) without buying a new phone. Otherwise, if you haven’t unlocked your phone or didn’t buy it factory unlocked, you’ll have to buy another phone while traveling or you’ll be forced to get another phone when you switch networks. Making sure your current phone is SIM-unlocked will allow it to be usable on compatible networks.
If you have one of Microsoft’s Lumia smartphones, you can SIM-unlock your phone in three steps once you have the unlock code from your the carrier (which can be requested from them after a few months of service) or can be bought online from a third party for a fee.
The following are the three steps to unlock your phone without needing to momentarily replace your current SIM card with another network’s card.:
1.) Go to your Lumia phone’s dialer menu.
2.) At the dialing menu, input the code ##7820# which will automatically bring up the SIM card slot unlocking screen, which will show a lock symbol over a SIM card (if your phone’s SIM slot is currently locked) and a blank field beneath it.
3.) In the blank field beneath the image of a locked SIM card, enter the unlock code that you received from the phone’s carrier or the third-party unlocking service. If the unlock code is valid, the lock symbol will change into an unlocked one (like the image on the left).
That’s it — just three steps! I tested out this method on my Windows Phone 8.1 device, a Nokia Lumia 630 that I’ve owned for six months and it worked quickly and easily. It was definitely a lot easier to just input the code than trying to find a friend on a different network and setting up a time to borrow their SIM card or buying one online and waiting for the second SIM card to arrive.
If you have your own tips or know of an easier method for unlocking a Lumia smartphone (or other phones) share them below in the comments section!