Does T-Mobile Unlock Phones? (All You Need to Know)

If you have a T-Mobile phone, you may be wondering: does T-Mobile unlock phones? If so, do you want to know the details of the T-Mobile device unlock policy?

Well, I have been researching this topic and have found a lot of information about the T-Mobile device unlock policy, so keep reading to learn what I’ve discovered!

Does T-Mobile Unlock Phones?

T-Mobile automatically unlocks T-Mobile phones that have satisfied the requirements of the device unlock policy, which includes paying your phone bill on time and having an account in good standing. Furthermore, T-Mobile automatically unlocks the device in most situations. However, some devices need to be unlocked manually, though you’ll get a notification if this is the case in [currentyear].

Are you looking for additional details about how to get T-Mobile to unlock your phone? If so, continue reading below as I get into more specifics about the policy!

What Is the T-Mobile Device Unlock Policy?

Certain requirements have to be met, whether you’re on a postpaid or prepaid plan before T-Mobile will unlock your device, which includes the following factors:

  • The device has to be one that was sold by T-Mobile
  • Your account must be in good standing
  • You cannot have the device listed as being reported stolen or lost
  • The device cannot be blocked

Additionally, for T-Mobile devices on a postpaid plan, there are additional eligibility criteria that you have to meet first before T-Mobile will unlock your device, such as:

  • Your device must be paid off if it was leased through T-Mobile
  • Your device will need to be active on the network for more than 40 days
  • The account balance will need to be paid off if the device is on a canceled line or account

In addition, there are requirements that you will need to meet if you have a T-Mobile prepaid plan before T-Mobile will unlock your device, which include the following:

  • You must have the device active for 365 days on the T-Mobile network, or the device has had more than $100 in refills added to it, and it has to be more than 14 days since activation
  • You cannot have more than 2 device unlocks on each line per year

Does T-Mobile Automatically Unlock Phones?

Does T-Mobile Automatically Unlock Phones?

A majority of T-Mobile phones will be unlocked remotely, which means you won’t need to do anything to have your device unlocked, and it’ll be done as soon as you’re eligible.

However, some devices cannot be remotely unlocked, in which case you’ll receive a notification telling you how to complete the device unlock process manually. 

How Long Does It Take T-Mobile to Unlock a Phone?

T-Mobile will unlock a phone within 2 business days of the phone being eligible to be unlocked remotely, or you’ll receive the notification within 2 business days if it needs a manual unlock.

How Much Does T-Mobile Charge to Unlock?

T-Mobile doesn’t charge anything to unlock your device and has no plans of changing this policy, so it’s free of charge to all T-Mobile customers.

Will T-Mobile Unlock My Phone If I Still Owe Money?

T-Mobile typically doesn’t unlock a phone that hasn’t been paid off yet, with the main exception being military personnel who are being deployed and have an account in good standing.

However, if you’re being deployed and would like your device unlocked, your deployment papers will need to be shown and verified first, so contact T-Mobile to initiate that process.

Why Isn’t My T-Mobile Device Eligible for Unlock?

There are multiple reasons why your device isn’t eligible to be unlocked by T-Mobile, like if you purchased the device from a different retailer or you haven’t paid off your device.

Furthermore, if even one of the requirements for device unlocking isn’t met, your device won’t be eligible to be unlocked until those issues have been resolved.

For example, if the device was part of a canceled account, you must pay the balance from that account before you can get your device unlocked.

Therefore, if you’re having issues with your device not being eligible for unlocking, it’s best to call T-Mobile and ask what the issue is so that you can clear it up as soon as possible!

To learn more, you can also read our posts on whether or not T-Mobile work in Alaska, does T-Mobile work in Costa Rica, and does T-Mobile work in the Bahamas.


T-Mobile does unlock phones sold by T-Mobile automatically in most situations, and for postpaid plans, the unlocks can occur after 40 days of activation if your account is in good standing.

However, prepaid accounts will need to wait 365 days to have their device unlocked, unless they’ve added more than $100 in refills to their account. Note, though, that exceptions are made to this policy for active or deployed military members.

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Cara Suppa

Cara Suppa has been freelance writing for over a decade and holds a BA in English and an MS in Integrated Marketing Communications. Outside of work, she is an avid cook, gardener, and discount shopper.

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