We’ve been contacted by literally hundreds of you asking us about SIM unlocking. So here it is – a Samsung Geeks tutorial giving you the lowdown on how to SIM unlock a Samsung Galaxy S4, S3, Note 3 and various other Galaxy phones for FREE.
Why is my Samsung Galaxy Phone SIM Locked?
One of the biggest frustrations for Samsung users is finding that their Galaxy phone is SIM locked to a particular network. This is great for the individual networks because it allows them to provide subsidised phones for their customers. Unfortunately it tends to be bad news for the customer because there are no guarantees that a new SIM card from a new network will work with your phone.
In fact, there’s every chance that it won’t work.
In this article we’ll be exploring various options that are available to you. We know that this is a real gripe among Samsung users and so we wanted to provide you with the best resources to work out how to unlock the Samsung Galaxy phone that you have. Whilst some of you are interested in finding out how to SIM unlock a Samsung Galaxy S5 or Note 4, unlocking tends to be more of an issue for those of us with slightly older models – usually because you’ve come to the end of a fixed contract or because you want to give your phone to a friend or family member.
DISCLAIMER: Samsung Geeks cannot be held liable for any losses resulting from following these methods. We’ve included various methods – including contacting the relevant network directly – but it is important to state that there are no guarantees that a particular method will work for your phone. Please be aware that you attempt to SIM unlock your Samsung Galaxy phone at your own risk.
Option 1: Ask Your Network to SIM Unlock Your Samsung Galaxy Phone
This is probably the easiest way to get your Samsung Galaxy phone unlocked, especially if you’re not particularly tech-savvy and are concerned about making mistakes. Some carriers will charge a fee for this process – but if you’re a long-time customer and you ask really, really nicely they might just unlock the phone for free.
We know that some of you have had more difficulty with some networks than others. As a preliminary step we’d encourage you to speak to your network’s customer services department. It won’t hurt to ask them if they SIM unlock your Samsung Galaxy phone for free – and it will ensure that any warranties/guarantees remain unaffected.
This is a particularly safe option if you’re trying to SIM unlock a Samsung Galaxy S4 or Note 4. The fact that these are higher value phones means that you’re probably more inclined to pay the unlocking fee. It’s not a free option, but it’s still the most reliable way to SIM unlock your Samsung Galaxy phone.
Option 2: Use an Online Tutorial to SIM Unlock your Samsung Galaxy Phone
The good news is that Samsung are the world’s largest smartphone producer – shipping a whopping 85 million units in the first quarter of 2014 – which means that there are lots of people out there producing online tutorials to help you unlock your Samsung Galaxy phone.
Here are some of the best that we’ve found….
How to SIM Unlock a Samsung Galaxy S4 For Free (not EE)
The UK operator GiffGaff have produced a very helpful tutorial showing you how to unlock a Samsung Galaxy S4 for free – with just a few simple steps.
Unfortunately this won’t work for those of you on EE. If you’re trying to unlock a Samsung Galaxy phone with EE then please read on because we’ve included options that will apply to you below.
How to SIM unlock a Samsung Galaxy Note 2 and Note 3 on T-Mobile
This excellent tutorial shows you how to unlock a Samsung Galaxy phone using RegionLock Away, a free piece of software that you can download. The video is listed as being a Galaxy S4 fix but it’s also suitable for Note 2 and Note 3 phones.
This approach is primarily designed to remove the Region Lock (Samsung’s way of locking phones to a particular geographical region) but some Samsung users have found that it’s also removed the SIM lock on their Galaxy phone. It’s probably worth a try, particularly as you can download RegionLock Away for free.
How to SIM Unlock a Samsung Galaxy Phone Using a Code
This may or may not work but it might be worth a try. The article includes a step-by-step guide. If you’re trying to SIM unlock a Samsung Galaxy Note 2 or 3, Galaxy S3 or Galaxy S4 for free then this is worth a look. Alternatively you can always head on over to DoctorSIM, our approved SIM unlock code service, for a 20% Discount on SIM Unlocking.
How to SIM Unlock a Samsung Galaxy S5
As more and more people get their hands on the S5 we’ve had more and more requests for advice on how to SIM unlock a Samsung Galaxy S5. That’s not surprising; it’s an outstanding phone and you can now pick up a new or used version for a very reasonable price.
There are several ways to go about getting your Samsung Galaxy S5 unlocked, including those mentioned elsewhere in this article.
For our American readers, one of the best video tutorials is this one on YouTube from CellUnlocker. Unfortunately, they charge $29.99 to release your SIM Unlock Code, which isn’t free. However, we’ve looked around and there doesn’t appear to be any way to unlock your Samsung Galaxy S5 for free at the moment. However, we’ll keep looking and as soon as an option becomes available we’ll post it here. If you find a solution that works then please drop a comment below so that other users can benefit from your findings!
How to SIM Unlock a Samsung Galaxy Phone With an App from the Google Play Store
A great option for those of you wanting a cheap way to unlock your Samsung Galaxy phone is to download and install an app from the Google Play store.
GalaxSim Unlock is probably the most popular unlocking app for Samsung phones, with more than 1,000,000 downloads and an average user rating of 4.3/5. It’s just £2.59, which is pretty inexpensive compared with the potential cost of paying a network or unlocking service provider.
The only caution would be that it isn’t necessarily guaranteed to work with newer Samsung models – and there are 1,000 negative reviews to take into consideration. However, we’d say that this is a pretty safe bet if you’re looking for a simple and inexpensive way to SIM unlock your Samsung Galaxy phone.
How to SIM Unlock a Samsung Galaxy Phone on EE
We’ve had several of you asking about how to SIM unlock a Samsung Galaxy on EE. It would seem that this is the most difficult of all the unlocking options here in the UK. EE incorporated the Orange and T-Mobile networks and is a huge service provider for British customers.
We’ve found four ways to SIM unlock a Samsung Galaxy Phone on EE:
1. The first option is simply to contact EE directly and ask them to unlock your phone for you. Last time we checked this incurs an admin charge of
£20.42 £8.99 (updated April 2015). If you’re looking for a quick, simple and official way to unlock your phone then this might be the best option for you.
2. Our second option is to use a third party SIM unlocking service such as Dr Sim to unlock your Samsung Galaxy phone. This will be cheaper than going through EE directly – it’s currently $20.95/£13 – and gives you some of the reassurance of going through a recognised provider. You’ll be sent an unlocking code which will allow you to use your Samsung Galaxy phone with a new SIM card. Click here for our DoctorSIM Discount Code!
3. The third option is to download an unlocking app such as GalaxSim Unlock (see above) from the Google Play store. This is much cheaper than options 1 and 2 and again provides a relatively straightforward solution.
How to SIM Unlock a Samsung Galaxy Phone: Your Findings
We hope that this article has given you the tools to work out how to SIM unlock your Samsung Galaxy phone.
It goes without saying that the online Samsung community is one of the best sources of information and advice. If you’ve found a way to SIM unlock a Samsung Galaxy phone for free then please do leave a comment in the section below – you might just be helping hundreds of fellow Samsung users to unlock their phones.
We’ll be updating this page in the coming months with tips for SIM unlocking the Samsung Galaxy S5. The launch of the Samsung Galaxy S6 will mean that more people are getting their hands on an used Galaxy S5 and will be looking for ways to get it unlocked.