If you’re hoping to use your Samsung phone with a carrier other than the one you bought it from, you’ll need to make sure it’s unlocked first – it might already be, but if it’s not, you’ll need to unlock it. before SIM cards of other operators will work in it.
Below we explain exactly how to check and how to unlock it if necessary. Oh, and the process to do this is pretty much the same for any phone – Samsung or otherwise – so you can use this guide for future non-Samsung phones as well.
But if you opened this article hoping for advice on how to unlock a Samsung phone with a pattern – or what to do if you forget your pattern – then skip to the end because we’ve covered that too.
How to check if your Samsung phone is locked
Before unlocking your phone, it’s worth checking whether you need it at all, as many phones are either sold unlocked or will automatically unlock after a certain period of time.
The easiest way to check is to insert a SIM card from another network and see if you have a signal. Just to be absolutely sure, it’s worth sending or receiving a text or making or receiving a call.
You can often get free or very cheap SIM cards from carriers, either online or in store, to try it out. Or you can always borrow one from a friend or family member. Just make sure it’s really a different network because some carriers in some countries use the same basic network as others.
For example, in the UK Giffgaff (among others) uses the O2 network. So if you want to check if your phone is locked to O2, inserting a Giffgaff SIM won’t help – it will work both ways.
Another method is to call your carrier and ask – or go to a network store (whether yours or another network) and ask if they can check. In many cases they will be able to.
What you will need to unlock your Samsung phone
So you found your Samsung phone is locked, now what? The good news is that it’s usually not too much of a chore to unlock.
However, before you try to unlock your phone, make sure you have its IMEI number, as in most cases your carrier will need it. You can find out by opening the phone app and typing *#06# on the dial pad.
Alternatively, you should find it under Settings > About phone.
In addition, you may need account details such as your name, phone number, account number and password.
How to unlock a Samsung phone through your carrier
The exact criteria for unlocking your phone varies from network to network, so call your network if in doubt. However, in general, your contract must be paid up and your account must be in good standing.
If that’s out of the way, in most cases you can request an unlock by calling your current carrier (not the one you want to switch to). So if you are not sure if your phone is locked or how to unlock it, you can solve everything with one phone call.
However, some carriers have other ways to unlock, for example on T-Mobile you can use the company’s Device Unlock app with some phones.
Note that in some cases your carrier may charge you to unlock your Samsung phone – although the fee will be relatively low – and that the time it takes to unlock will vary from network to network, but could be up to several weeks.
How to unlock a Samsung phone without contacting the carrier
We always recommend that you contact your carrier first to unlock your Samsung phone, but if for whatever reason they won’t or you can’t, there are other ways.
Various online companies such as Doctor SIM (opens in new tab) offer phone unlocking services for a fee, and some independent shops will do this too.
However, their fees are often higher and there’s a chance they’ll fail, so this should be a last resort – and you should only use one of these services if you trust them, so check reviews first to see if they offer replacements for failed ones attempts.
How to set up and unlock a Samsung phone using a pattern
Now that we’ve covered unlocking Samsung phones for use on alternative networks, here’s a look at using a gesture to secure and unlock your Samsung phone – or what to do if you forget your gesture, as this is another topic that many users are interested in. in.
To set up a pattern lock first, go to Settings > Screen lock > Screen lock type. If you already have some security (such as a PIN), you will be prompted to enter it to access this screen.
Once there, select “Pattern” as your screen lock type. You will then be prompted to enter a gesture that you will need to enter whenever you want to unlock your phone in the future. So it should be long enough not to be guessed, but also something you will remember.
Note that this is less secure than using a PIN or password, so think twice before opting for it.
What to do if you forget your pattern
If you forget the gesture on your Samsung phone, you can still potentially unlock the device. First, if you also have a fingerprint sensor or face unlock set up, you can use those instead, though be aware that you can’t use them to remove the gesture from your device. So you will be able to unlock the phone but not change the security type.
Also, you can’t use them the first time you unlock your phone after restarting it, so you’re still at risk of being locked out.
If you want to be able to reset your security settings or unlock your Samsung phone after restarting (or you don’t have fingerprint or face unlock set up), you can use the Find My Mobile feature.
First, make sure it’s set, go to Settings > Biometrics & security, then tap on ‘Find my mobile.’ Make sure the switch is on, and also enable the switch next to ‘Remote unlock’.
When you do this, if you ever lock your Samsung phone, you can go to the Find My Mobile website (opens in a new tab) from another device, sign in to your Samsung account, and then you should see your phone’s location on the map. If you have multiple registered devices, click the one you want to unlock.
Once selected, click on the “unlock” option. After that, you will need to enter the password again and then your Samsung phone will be unlocked remotely. This will remove all your security information so you’ll have to set it up again to secure your phone, but at least you’ll have full access and be able to do it.
This will allow you to re-secure your Samsung Galaxy S22, Galaxy Z Fold 3 or any other model you have – just try to remember your pattern this time.