How to Unlock Your Verizon Phone

woman using smartphone

Chances are good you don’t need to lift a finger to unlock your Verizon phone.

If you’re traveling overseas or planning on saying goodbye to Verizon, unlocking your phone is a smart move.

It’s also pretty easy, and you don’t need to be a tech guru to do it yourself. Trust us—it really is that simple.

Before you unlock your phone

Heads up: your Verizon phone is probably already unlocked.

Right now, Verizon doesn’t lock most of its phones. This means you’re already free to take your phone with you if you decide to leave. How about that!

Of course, sometimes we just can’t have nice things. While your phone is unlocked right now, Verizon did announce that they may start locking phones in the future.1

Until that time, though, you don’t have to worry about unlocking your Verizon phone unless you have what they call a “non-iPhone 3G World Device” or a 3G “Phone-in-the-Box” prepaid phone. (Unless your phone is several years old, you likely have a 4G device and probably don’t need to worry about this.)

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Heads up: You may have to wait to unlock

If you have a 3G Phone-in-the-Box prepaid phone from Verizon, you’ll need to wait 12 months before you can unlock it.

How to unlock your Verizon phone

Just enter a code and you’re set. Easy as pie.

If you do end up needing to unlock your Verizon phone, there’s good news: it’s pretty simple

How to unlock a Verizon 3G phone

  1. Access the programming menu—check your phone’s user guide to find out how.
  2. Try using either of these codes to unlock your phone:
    •  000000
    • 123456
  3. If these codes don’t work or you can’t access the programming menu on your phone, dial *611 from your Verizon phone or call its customer service for help.
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Need to unlock your SIM card?

You’ll need to give Verizon a call. Phone them up to find out how you can unlock your SIM card.

Can I use my Verizon phone with another carrier?

Short answer: yes. Long answer: it depends on if the network is CDMA or GSM.

If the whole reason you’re looking into unlocking your Verizon phone is that you want to switch, you’re in the right spot.

Switching carriers may seem like a hassle and trying to bring your own phone over can make things even more difficult. This is because not all of the wireless providers in the US use the same type of network.

There are two types of networks here in the US: code division multiple access (CDMA) and global system for mobiles (GSM). Verizon uses CDMA, which means it’s easier for you to bring your unlocked Verizon phone to another carrier that uses the CDMA network. Here’s which carriers use which network.

  • CDMA: Verizon and Sprint
  • GSM: AT&T and T-Mobile

Of course, that doesn’t mean you absolutely can’t bring your Verizon phone to AT&T or T-Mobile. But if you want to be sure, it’s best to check with whichever one you want to be your new carrier.

Ready to switch? We’ve done the research for you.

Get the scoop on what’s going on behind the scenes with our wireless provider reviews.

FAQs

What’s the difference between unlocking and jailbreaking a phone?

Are jailbreaking and unlocking your phone two different things? Yes, most definitely.

In a nutshell, jailbreaking your phone means you’re removing any restrictions the maker of your phone put in place on downloading and running unauthorized software.

For example, if you were to jailbreak an iPhone, this means you’re now able to download apps that aren’t in the Apple App Store.

Unlocking your phone, on the other hand, lets you use it with different wireless providers and even internationally. Unlocking is vital for bringing your phone with you if you decided to switch carriers.