How to SIM unlock the iPhone XR


When Apple first unveiled the iPhone XR a couple of years ago, many were wondering if the company would be headed down the path of the flop that was the iPhone 5c, Apple’s attempt at creating an affordable iPhone at that time.

It turned out to be nothing like the iPhone 5c, and instead it proved itself to be quite a best-seller where according to the numbers, seemingly outsold its more expensive siblings, the iPhone XS and XS Max. Now if you own the iPhone XR and its SIM is still locked to your carrier, you can read on to find out how to unlock the SIM either for free, or by using services like Movical.

Getting the unlock code from your carrier

Did you know that you can actually unlock the SIM card on your iPhone XR for free? If you call in to your carrier and request, they might actually give you the SIM unlock code, although you will need to meet some of the carrier’s requirements first. This includes:

  1. The iPhone XR needs to have been paid off in full. If you bought it fully unlocked then this shouldn’t be an issue, but if you bought it on an installment plan, then you need to ensure those monthly repayments have been paid in its entirety.
  2. You will also need to make sure that you have owned the device for at least 60-90 days, so if you just bought the phone, you might be out of luck. Since the iPhone XR is almost two years ago, we imagine that this shouldn’t be an issue for most of you.
  3. Last but not least, you will need to be in “good standing” with your carrier. This basically means that you do not owe your carrier anything in terms of bill payments, so if you do have outstanding bills, you’ll need to pay them off.

All of this is to mostly ensure that customers don’t try and run away with a free phone and leave the carrier holding the bill. Assuming you meet those requirements, then here are the steps to take to get your free SIM unlock code:

  • On your iPhone XR device, launch the Phone app and dial *#06# to pull your device’s IMEI number. You will want to write this number down somewhere where you can easily refer to it later, like the Notes app.
  • Give your carrier’s customer service hotline a call and request for your SIM unlock code
  • You will then be asked to provide the service rep with your iPhone XR’s IMEI number
  • If you meet all the requirements that we mentioned above, the SIM unlock code will be sent to the email address you provided in the next 2-5 days.
  • Once you’ve received your code, swap out the current SIM on your iPhone with the new SIM and you should be prompted to enter a SIM unlock code
  • Enter the SIM unlock code that you received in your email and you should be good to go

Getting the unlock code from a third-party service

Of course, not everyone will be eligible for a free SIM unlock from their carrier due to possibly not meeting some of the requirements we mentioned above, but not to worry. If you want to take your iPhone XR with you to another carrier or use a local SIM while traveling, there are still options available to you, such as using Movical’s SIM unlock services.

  • On your iPhone XR handset, launch the Phone app and dial *#06# to display your phone’s IMEI number
  • Write the IMEI number down somewhere where you can refer to it easily
  • Go to Movical’s website
  • Select the country you are in and the carrier you bought the phone from and also the currency you wish to pay in
  • Enter the device’s IMEI number
  • Complete the checkout process with your payment and contact information
  • Once that’s all settled and done, you should then receive the iPhone XR’s unlock code in a matter of hours up to a few days (depending on the package you’ve chosen)
  • The moment you’ve received your code, you can then swap out the SIM on your phone with a SIM from another carrier
  • When you put in the new SIM, you should be prompted to enter the SIM unlock code that you received in your email, and once you’ve done that, you should be good to go

Once you’ve entered the SIM unlock code, your iPhone XR should now be unlocked and you will not have any issues with swapping between carriers or using a local telco when you’re overseas. This will be handy, especially in other countries where purchasing a local SIM card is much cheaper than paying for roaming.

We should remind you that this does not release you from your contract with your carrier, but at the very least it does give you some degree of freedom.

Tyler Lee
A graphic novelist wannabe. Amateur chef. Mechanical keyboard enthusiast. Writer of tech with over a decade of experience. Juggles between using a Mac and Windows PC, switches between iOS and Android, believes in the best of both worlds.

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