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How long does it take to unlock a SIM card at AT&T?

September 10, 2023

You will get an email from AT&T. Within 24 hours, click the link in that email, and your unlock request will be handled. This step must be repeated if you don’t click it within a day.

If your request has been approved or denied, AT&T should inform you within two business days. If you were turned down, AT&T most likely still owes you money.

If AT&T approves your request, they will email you additional information on how to unlock your particular phone model. Depending on what phone you have, the procedures will change.

AT&T SIM unlock requirements

To unlock your phone, tablet, or mobile hotspot, make sure you comply with the conditions. After that, you can ask to have your smartphone unlocked.

is not currently active on another AT&T account and is an AT&T phone or device.

Consider a completed installment plan:

Payable monthly: Submit your unlock request at the beginning of the following billing cycle.

Paid off early: The device’s wireless number must have been in use for at least 60 days. You should submit your unlock request 48 hours after making your last payment.

It wasn’t acquired on an installment plan; it was paid in full at the time of purchase. To request an unlock, you must wait 60 days from the purchase date.

hasn’t been reported as stolen, lost, or a scam victim.

has no unpaid account balance that is past due. Pay your account current by making a payment. (The posting may take up to 24 hours.)

consists of an AT&T Prepaid phone, a prepaid SIM card, and six months of AT&T network service. The most recent version of the AT&T Device Unlock app must be used to submit your unlock request.

How to unlock your SIM card at AT&T

How to unlock your SIM card at AT&T

To unlock your AT&T phone or tablet, you must make a request. Your request will be granted if your gadget satisfies the criteria. You’ll get an email or text message with unlocking instructions after your request has been granted. Possess an SIM card at AT&T Prepaid? Check the Unlock app on your AT&T Prepaid device. Use the app to unlock your smartphone if you have it. 

Att.com/deviceunlockstatus allows you to check the status. To check the status, you may also click the link we provided you via SMS or email.

Only devices locked to the AT&T network are capable of being unlocked. 

• If you forget your unlock code, you can make a fresh request. The number of times you can attempt to input the code to unlock your smartphone is limited. The precise figure is determined by the model and maker of your gadget.

• For iPhones, you must submit an unlock request; however, you won’t require an unlock code to finish the procedure. Aside from that, you don’t need to file an unlock request for iPads and Apple Watch devices because they are already unlocked.

• Pay close attention to directions. When unlocking, proceed with the utmost caution. During the device’s lifespan, if you enter an unlock code incorrectly or too frequently, the unlock feature will be permanently disabled. 

How long does it take for AT&T to unlock your SIM card?

Processing of your request might take up to 7 business days. Your request’s status may be checked by:

  1. via our Status Portal.
  2. Type in your IMEI and request numbers.
  3. Observe the directions.

Your unlock request is still being reviewed to see if your status is still pending or in process. In the meantime, confirm that the prerequisites are fulfilled and that this may affect your request. 

  • The gadget has to be built for AT&T’s wireless network and locked to it. 
  • It is not possible to report it as stolen or lost.
  • It’s not connected to illegal conduct.
  • All service agreements, payment arrangements, and early termination penalties related to the device have been fully satisfied.
  • The gadget is not currently in use on the account of another AT&T customer.
  • The 14-day buyer’s remorse period must pass after an early upgrade before you may ask to have your old device unlocked.
  • For a complete list of requirements, see our Unlock Support page. 

What to do if your AT&T SIM unlock request is denied

It is suggested to ensure the vendor fulfills the unlock request before you finalize the purchase when buying a phone from a non-AT&T authorized dealer.

In certain cases, you’ll need to get in touch with the vendor to fulfill the request. Visit the AT&T Device Unlock Help: Solutions & FAQs page to get these details under eBay & Non-AT&T Purchases.

We also won’t be able to unlock your smartphone if it is not an AT&T product. Only AT&T smartphones may be unlocked by us. To unlock the phone, get in touch with the original wireless provider.


Requests to unlock AT&T SIM cards are handled within 24 hours, and approval is often received within two business days. If it is declined, AT&T will still be owed money. You must be eligible to unlock your AT&T phone or tablet, which includes not being active on another AT&T account, having a paid-off installment plan, being paid through your monthly bill, having been paid in full at the time of purchase, not having been reported as lost, stolen, or connected to fraud, and not having a past-due account balance.

Use the Unlock app on your AT&T Prepaid device to make a request to unlock your AT&T SIM card. If you misplace your unlock code, you can resubmit your request, provided your device is eligible. During the unlocking procedure, carefully follow the directions and use the highest safety.

Processing of your request might take up to 7 business days. By visiting the Status Portal and inputting your IMEI number and request number, you may find out the status of your request. Contact the seller to seek an unlock if your request is rejected. You must get in touch with the original wireless carrier of your mobile device if your handset is not an AT&T brand in order to unlock it.


How long do you have to wait to unlock an AT&T phone? 

Depending on your specific situation, there may be a waiting time before you can unlock an AT&T phone. For postpaid (contract) and prepaid (GoPhone) users of AT&T, there are distinct rules:

  • Postpaid (contract) Phones: In order to seek an unlock for an AT&T postpaid phone, the device normally has to have been connected to the network and in good standing for at least 60 days. Your phone must also be free of any overdue bills or outstanding debts.
  • Prepaid (GoPhone) Phones: In general, prepaid phones can’t be unlocked until they’ve been in use for at least six months. Once more, there should be no outstanding debts related to the phone.

Why does AT&T take so long to unlock my phone? 

To guarantee that phones are safely unlocked and to prevent unauthorized unlocking, AT&T has put in place specified regulations. In order to ensure that the phone is being used in accordance with their terms of service and that there are no unresolved financial difficulties, the waiting period and eligibility requirements are in place. This procedure aids in preventing phone fraud and theft.

Does AT&T charge to unlock a SIM? 

Normally, AT&T doesn’t charge anything to unlock a SIM card. The techniques for unlocking a SIM card and the phone itself, however, are distinct. You can use your phone with a SIM card from a different carrier after unlocking the SIM card. On the other side, after you unlock the phone, you may use any SIM card from any network. Unlocking the phone from AT&T could cost money; however, unlocking the SIM card is often a no-cost process.

Does AT&T unlock phones automatically?

No, AT&T does not automatically unlock phones. Before they will handle your unlock request, you must submit your request and satisfy their eligibility requirements. Typically, you may submit the unlock request using AT&T’s website or by getting in touch with their customer service.