Does T-Mobile Lock Their Phones? (All You Need To Know)

Are you thinking of switching to T-Mobile from another carrier or already have T-Mobile and have been wondering: does T-Mobile lock their phones?

Well, I have been researching this topic and have found the answer to that question and so much more, so keep reading to learn what I’ve discovered!

Does T-Mobile Lock Their Phones?

T-Mobile does lock their phones for a while so that you cannot switch carriers until you’ve met certain criteria to have your device unlocked. Any device purchased by T-Mobile will be locked without exception. Furthermore, T-Mobile specifically outlines the requirements for a device unlock, which includes paying your device off and keeping your account in good standing.

Do you want to know the specifics about how long T-Mobile locks your phone and what the steps are to get your device unlocked? If so, continue reading below to find out all of the details!

Are T-Mobile Phones Locked Or Unlocked?

T-Mobile will lock all devices that are sold by T-Mobile which is done to prevent you from switching carriers and is also a way to prevent unauthorized use of a device.

Furthermore, T-Mobile will automatically unlock devices once you’ve met the criteria for a device unlock so most of the time there is nothing you have to do to get your device unlocked.

However, some devices cannot be remotely unlocked, which means you’ll receive a notification that you’re eligible and then have to manually unlock the device.

How Long Does T-Mobile Lock Your Phone?

T-Mobile will lock your phone for 40 days if you’re on a postpaid plan, and if you’ve met all of the other eligibility requirements your phone will be unlocked within two business days.

In contrast, if you have a prepaid T-Mobile plan then you’ll have to wait 365 days for your device to be unlocked or must have spent $100 on refills and have the device active for 14 days.

Can I Unlock My T-Mobile Phone Myself?

You will not be able to unlock your T-Mobile phone yourself unless your device is one of the ones that cannot be remotely unlocked.

Therefore, once you’ve met the criteria for a device unlock, you’ll receive a notification within two business days that your phone is eligible with the steps to take to unlock your device.

Why Can’t I Unlock My T-Mobile Phone?

Why Can’t I Unlock My T-Mobile Phone?

T-Mobile will keep your device locked until you’ve become eligible for a device unlock, which includes the following general unlock requirements:

  • Your device was sold by T-Mobile
  • The device meets the postpaid or prepaid eligibility requirements
  • Your account is in good standing
  • The device has not been reported stolen, blocked, or lost

Additionally, if you’re on a postpaid T-Mobile plan, you cannot unlock your T-Mobile phone until you’ve met the following criteria:

  • Your device must be on the T-Mobile network for 40 days
  • You will need to have a zero balance on the account if it was canceled
  • Your device must be paid off in full if the device had been financed through T-Mobile

Also, there are specific requirements for a device unlock on Prepaid T-Mobile plans such as:

  • The device must be active on the T-Mobile network for 365 days or your device has been activated for 14 days and you’ve spent $100 on refills.

How Much Is a T-Mobile Device Unlock?

T-Mobile does not charge to unlock your device once you’ve met all of the eligibility requirements, so it’s free of charge for customers.

Are Best Buy T-Mobile iPhones Unlocked?

Since Best Buy is an authorized Apple retailer your T-Mobile iPhone will come unlocked if you’ve purchased it from Best Buy.

Does T-Mobile Unlock Phones Early?

There are some exceptions to getting T-Mobile to unlock your device early, but those exceptions are mostly for military personnel.

For example, if you’re being deployed and have an account in good standing, you can contact T-Mobile and get a device unlocked early, but you’ll need to send in your deployment papers first.

What Number Do I Call To Unlock My T-Mobile Phone?

While your T-Mobile phone should be unlocked automatically if you’re having issues with manually unlocking your device then call 1-877-746-0909 to speak with a representative.

Also, you can call this number to see if your device is eligible to be unlocked or find out what requirements you still have yet to meet to get the phone unlocked.

To learn more, you can also read our posts on whether or not T-Mobile works in Mexico, is T-Mobile CDMA or GSM, and can T-Mobile change my phone number.


T-Mobile does lock their phones and for postpaid plans, the phone will be locked for 40 days and you must meet other eligibility criteria such as the device being paid off in full.

Additionally, T-Mobile will lock phones that have been sold by T-Mobile and will remotely unlock most devices within two business days after the device is eligible for an unlock.

However, T-Mobile will lock prepaid phones for 365 days unless you’ve spent $100 on refills and the phone has been active on the network for 14 days.

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Marques Thomas

Marques Thomas graduated with a MBA in 2011. Since then, Marques has worked in the retail and consumer service industry as a manager, advisor, and marketer. Marques is also the head writer and founder of

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