How to quickly find out if an iPhone is unlocked in iOS 14

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How to quickly find out if an iPhone is unlocked in iOS 14
No need to swap SIM cards.
Image: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

If you’re looking to pick up a used iPhone and you want to be sure that it’s unlocked before handing over your cash, you’ll be pleased to know that there’s a quick and easy way to find out in iOS 14.

There’s no need to call any carriers or swap out any SIM cards. Just take a quick dive into the Settings app and you’ll find all the information you need. We’ll show you how.

If you’re buying a used iPhone that’s running iOS 13 or earlier, the easiest way to check that it’s going to be compatible with your carrier is by putting your SIM card inside it and ensuring it connects.

Of course, that’s fiddly and time-consuming, and some stores and private sellers may not be happy with you doing that until you’ve actually paid for the device. Fortunately, it’s easier in iOS 14.

Check if an iPhone is unlocked in iOS 14

Apple now provides this information in the Settings app on both iPhone and iPad (those with cellular connections, at least). Follow these steps to find it:

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Tap General, then tap About.
  3. Scroll down until you see Carrier Lock or Network Provider Lock.
  4. Confirm that you see No SIM restrictions.

“No SIM restrictions” means that the iPhone or iPad you’re using is completely unlocked, and will accept any SIM card. If you see anything else in this box, it likely means the device is locked to a certain carrier.

Why you might unlock before selling

If you’re selling an iPhone or iPad, it might be worth getting your device unlocked first. This will make it easier to attract potential buyers, since you won’t have to market your device to those with certain carriers.

What’s more, in many markets such as the United Kingdom, carriers will unlock your device for free — especially if it’s no longer tied into a contract. All you have to do is ask!