If your phone is locked, it can only be used on Sprint’s network and won’t work with another carrier. With an unlocked phone, however, you have the option to switch carriers. This guide will walk you through the process of unlocking your Sprint phone.
Sprint Eligibility Requirements to Unlock a Phone
You need to meet specific requirements before Sprint will unlock your phone. If you have a prepaid device, there are three requirements:
- Your phone cannot be lost or stolen.
- Your phone must have been active for at least 12 months.
- Your account must be active at the time you send your unlock request.
If you have a postpaid phone, or if you’re on an installment plan, there are more eligibility requirements:
- Your phone is SIM Unlock capable (purchased after February 2015)
- Your phone must be (or have been) active on the Sprint network for a minimum of 50 days
- Your phone must be paid off in full
- Your account must be in good standing
- Your device isn’t lost or stolen
Sprint Unlock Requirements For Military Customers
Sprint will unlock phones for military customers upon request. However, there are a few eligibility requirements:
- Your phone must be capable of international SIM unlock
- You must be an active member of the military
- You have overseas deployment papers
- You must be a current Sprint customer
- Your account is in good standing
To have your phone unlocked for military deployment, visit Sprint.com/swwsupport.
Let’s Talk Tip: Upon request, each phone number on the military account can have up to two unlocked devices within one year.
Sprint Military Plan
Sprint Deployed Military Program
If you’re in the military and no longer want to use your Sprint service, you can defer your service until you return with the Sprint Deployed Military Program. This program allows you to suspend your service, for no cost, for the length of your deployment.
Unlock Your Phone
There are two different ways to unlock your Sprint phone: a SIM Unlock and an MSL unlock. SIM unlocking is the traditional method, whereas MSL unlocking involves inputting a code in your phone. This code only applies to phones launched before February 2015. Your phone will fall under one of these two categories depending on its launch date.
Have your account information on hand when you call Sprint Customer Care to unlock your Sprint phone
To unlock either type of phone, you need to contact Sprint Customer Care at 888-211-4727. When you call Customer Care, you’ll need to have a few things on hand:
- The account number associated with your phone.
- Your account password or your social security number.
- Your phone’s identification number (IMEI/MEID). You can find the number by dialing *#06# or looking on the device itself.
- Your phone number.
If you’re eligible, Sprint will unlock your phone within two business days.
Sprint Buyback Program
If you can’t unlock your Sprint phone, you can still participate in the Sprint Buyback program. All you need to do is send in your current phone, and then you will receive credit on your Sprint account. This credit can go towards the purchase of a new phone, or you can use it to pay for anything else on your account.
Benefits of Having An Unlocked Phone
Having an unlocked device offers some key benefits. One relates to traveling internationally. While traveling abroad, you can use a foreign carrier’s SIM card instead of paying Sprint for international usage. Doing this can give you more flexibility and save you money, depending on how long you’ll be overseas for.
Another benefit of an unlocked phone is the ability to take it to a variety of carriers for a new plan. Your unlocked Sprint phone will likely work on Verizon’s network just fine, and you might also be able to use it with AT&T and T-Mobile. The reason all phones aren’t compatible with each network is due to the technology they use. Verizon and Sprint use CDMA tech to run their service, while AT&T and T-Mobile use GSM.
Popular Sprint Cell Phone Plans
To see if your phone will work with other carriers, you can read some of our other guides: