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Direct Unlocks review: Is it reliable or a scam?

As an expert in device security, I’ve been asked how to bypass the Apple’s iCloud Activation Lock on behalf of many clients. This led me to explore DirectUnlocks’ Activation Lock removal service.

They offer a solution for those locked out of their Apple device due to not knowing the Apple ID and password of the previous owner.

My experience of many years has provided me with a unique perspective on the effectiveness and reliability of this type of service.

In this review, I delve into my first hand interaction with their processes, critically analyzing it from a consumer standpoint.

As someone deeply familiar with the complexities of Apple’s security features, I assess DirectUnlocks’ claims of a smooth and effective unlocking process and rate each element of their service.

Through this review, I aim to offer an informed and authoritative evaluation of DirectUnlocks claims of being able to bypass the Activation Lock on Apple devices.

direct unlocks logo


Key takeaways for DirectUnlocks

After our extensive testing, DirectUnlocks emerged as our top service for iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch and Mac unlocking.

In our pursuit of finding the best unlocking service, we’ve tried numerous options over the years. Among them, DirectUnlocks has truly stood out. Even surpassing the likes of IMEInow, IMEIdoctor, DirectUnlocks, and AppleiPhoneUnlock, DirectUnlocks has proven to be a leading player in the field.

However, it’s worth noting that DirectUnlocks, like other companies in this market segment, adopts a slightly unconventional payment structure, which may not be ideal for everyone. Additionally, while they excel in quality, they may not offer the most competitive pricing in comparison to the top performer, making them an excellent choice but not the absolute best value.

Having said that, we wholeheartedly recommend DirectUnlocks and firmly believe that choosing their services will leave you satisfied and pleased with the results.

Overall Score: 9/10

Direct Unlocks website


  • Easy to use
  • Works on all types of Apple product
  • High-quality customer support
  • 1-3 day turnaround
  • Good choice of payment methods, including bitcoin
  • Money-back guarantee
  • Very high success rate 


  • Odd payment structure for non-English speaking teritories– deposit followed by finalization fee
  • Deposit is slightly higher than competitors
  • The refund process can be slow
  • Does not work for every device, every time – but has a higher success rate than competitors

With its recent entry into the market, DirectUnlocks has already made a significant impact by delivering a high-quality service that surpasses more established brands like IMEIdoctor and AppleiPhoneUnlock. Its user-friendly approach has quickly propelled it to the top.

While DirectUnlocks currently holds the title as our top performer, only time will tell if they can continue to enhance their offerings and maintain their position as the best in the industry.

DirectUnlocks Review


DirectUnlocks website
Above: Easy-to-use website

DirectUnlocks is a simple and efficient service designed to make it easy to unlock almost any Apple product. The idea is that you request your device is unlocked via the DirectUnlocks website, pay the fee, and wait for your request to be processed. 

In addition to unlocking Apple products, DirectUnlocks also allows owners of Android phones to unlock their devices too. This includes all popular brands including Samsung, LG, Sony, and more. The process used is identical to the one used on Apple devices, which we found very straightforward.

They also offer a free, fast, and efficient IMEI check which instantly shows your product model, serial number, purchase date, and more. This is useful to double-check the status of your device before your purchase an unlock. We found this useful as it meant we could our device would be suitable for unlocking before paying.

We also noticed a clause in the Terms and Conditions saying that if we hadn’t verified the suitability of our device and it turned out it was locked due to being flagged as unsuitable, they would not refund the fee. This makes it important to do this check so you can get a refund in case it doesn’t work.

DirectUnlocks also offers carrier unlocking that allows owners of cellular devices to use any SIM in their device. This works well for any carrier anywhere in the world. This is a perfect service if you can’t get your device unlocked by your carrier due to outstanding payments being owed. This service is suitable for any brand of product, not just Apple. We tried this service too and found it worked well.

Overall, we believe the best feature of DirectUnlocks is that it is simple to use and it just works. At least it works most of the time. On occasion, the unlocking process fails for example when the device you are attempting to bypass has been reported missing. Although we didn’t have this issue with our own devices, this guarentee is handy as it means you get your money-back if they fail to bypass the Activation Lock on your device. 

Score: 9/10

Services offered

Activation Lock bypass and removal

We found the website easy to navigate and the information they required to do the bypass was explained well. 

Novice and experienced users alike should find it easy to fill in the on screen order form. Everything is explained simply and if you have ever used the internet to order things before, it should be very easy for you.

DirectUnlocks Activation Lock removal page
Above: iCloud Activation Lock removal screen

Selecting the Apple product that you want to iCloud unlock is simple using the dropdown list of models.

If the product is capable of being Activation locked they are able to unlock it. This includes all models of iPhone, iPad, Mac computer, and Apple Watch. In our tests we found that they lived up to their claims and were able to unlock every device we had.

Normally you provide the device IMEI which is checked and verified with Apple and shows the full product details. If your device does not have an IMEI, such as WiFi iPad or Mac, then you can provide the serial number. This means all Apple product types can be unlocked using their system.

Score: 9/10

SIM unlocking

DirectUnlocks SIM unlock
Above: SIM unlocking screen

Carrier or SIM unlocking can also be performed via the DirectUnlocks website. This process allows the device to use any carrier, anywhere in the world. So you can insert a SIM into your device and it will connect to the cellular network and allow you to make calls.

We simply supplied the IMEI number for our cellular devices via the IMEnow website. It was easy to do and the simple layout of the website pages made it easy to understand what to do.

SIM unlocking on DirectUnlocks works for all models of cellular phones or tablets but DirectUnlocks specialize in Apple and Samsung products. Although we didn’t try any Samsung products ourselves, we found the Apple SIM unlock process was completed quickly and worked 100% of the time.

Score: 10/10

Pricing, payment, and refunds

DirectUnlocks checkout page
Above: Payment screen

We found DirectUnlocks slightly more expensive than other iCloud Activation Lock removal services found online such as IMEIdoctor and AppleiPhoneUnlock.

The price charged when you request an unlock is normally £29.99 GBP. This equates to approximately $35 USD. This fee is consistent across iCloud unlocks and carrier unlocks for both Apple and Samsung devices in English speaking countries such as USA, UK, Canada, and Australia.

What isn’t made clear is that if you are in a non-English speaking country the fee is lower. However, this fee is only a pre-order payment and a second fee is charged to finalize the unlock making the overall price the same. The final fee is dependent on your device model, the carrier used, and the country you live in. This makes it hard to gauge the exact fee before you commit to buying it, which we found disappointing. 

We feel this payment structure is a little murky, even a little deceptive. It would be much better to get an indication of the entire fee payable at the beginning of the process so buyers can decide if it is value for money before committing to buying. Having said this, it appears that this payment method is standard across the industry so they are not unique in this.

Although DirectUnlocks offers a money-back guarantee, this is not for the full amount. They say the pre-order payment is used to do a “variety of checks, including checking for lost/stolen status, correct network, phone history as well as Activation Lock status”. They say this means “Pre-orders are not covered by the money-back guarantee”. Of course, you can reclaim the full refund if you make a claim via your credit card, but this is an awkward and time-consuming process. 

We felt that this payment structure and refund issue made us feel a little uneasy. It felt scammy, but when we actually used the service we found thatit worked well and our fears were unfounded.

Score: 7/10


To try out the service we enlisted help from the iChimp community. We picked a wide sample of iPhone models located worldwide to test each service and get ‘real’ feedback from real people.

We sourced 12 community members with a wide variety of Apple products ranging from the iPhone 7 to the iPhone 13. Each individual emailed their iPhone model and IMEI code so we could place orders with DirectUnlocks.

DirectUnlocks manage to unlock all the devices we sent them within 48 hours. A 100% success rate which was a fantastic result.

However, we have heard from some members of our community that didn’t get the devices unlocked, so DirectUnlocks don’t always manage to unlock every device. After these failures, customers informed us that they managed to claim a refund using the money-back policy.

This was an excellent result for us, and our community and meant we would be happy to recommend DirectUnlocks.

Score: 9/10


We found the process easy to do.

To remove the iCloud Activation Lock on Apple products using DirecUnlocks, do the following:

  1. If you have an iPhone or cellular iPad, find out the IMEI code. You need it later. For help finding the IMEI, see find the IMEI on your device.
  2. For a WiFi-only iPad, iPod Touch, or Apple Watch, find out the serial number. You need it later. For help finding the serial number, see the preceding link.
  3. Go to the DirectUnlocks website.
    DirectUnlocks website
  4. If you have an iPhone or cellular iPad, enter the IMEI in the box. For a Mac, WiFi-only iPad, iPod Touch, or Apple Watch, enter the serial number in the box.
  5. In the device model dropdown, select your product. 
  6. To continue, press the Unlock iCloud! button. The order details and price will be shown on the order summary page that opens.
    DirectUnlocks checkout page
  7. Where it says I agree to the terms and conditions, tick the box.
  8. Choose the payment method you prefer to use and pay securely. DirectUnlocks gets your contact details from the payment screen.
    DirectUnlocks payment
  9. In your email, you will receive a confirmation of your order.

Customer support

If you are confused or simply want some clarification on the process we found the support to be fast, efficient, and helpful.

DirectUnlocks customer support was great with replies coming back from queries in a couple of hours. They were friendly and helpful with replies written by people that actually knew what they were talking about. We didn’t experience the frustration of cut and paste canned responses that often plague online customer support.

Indeed, talking to customer support gave us confidence in spending money with DirectUnlocks.

It was a good experience for this market segment compared to most other suppliers.

Score: 8/10

Client reviews

Direct Unlocks has been receiving reviews on Trustpilot since its launch in 2012. At the time of writing there are over 14,500 reviews of their service resulting in a score of 4 out 5.

directunlocks trustpilot reviews

However, there are some negative reviews. On examination of these they are mainly due to the payment structure, or because owners were frustrated when trying to illegally unlock phones that were marked as stolen by Apple.

If you look at the Trustpilot reviews carefully – and filter out owners who had stolen phones, or that complain about the payment structure – most have a positive experience. We certainly found the experience a delight using our own devices and those of our community members.

Positive reviews said things like:

unlock the phone. The lock was removed without a problem, unfortunately it is a pity that they did not inform about the double cost. but what is it about unlocking the simlock it went without any complications

Negative reviews say things such as:

After having to pay a fee of 23.99 and then another fee of 30.00, I was greeted with a screen that said I will have my code in 4 days and 5 hours, rather than the 6 hours advertised.

The positive reviews on Trustpilot show that Direct Unlocks is a reliable and trustworthy unlocking service. Customers are satisfied with their unlocking services and also with the customer service provided. People have written that they would highly recommend the company and that they would use it again in the future.

DirectUnlocks alternatives

If you want to use an alternative iCloud unlock service you can try the following:

ServiceSuccess RateSpeedDepositCost
IMEIdoctorHigh3 daysYes$$$


High1-3 daysYes$$$
AppleiPhoneUnlockLow7 daysYes$$

Wrap up

Overall Score: 9/10

The carrier and iCloud unlocking industry are full of scammers, so it is good to find a service like DirectUnlocks that stands by its claims with a money-back guarantee. 

DirectUnlocks are not the cheapest, but we found them to be value for money. Even with their slightly higher fees, we believe they are the top performer and worth using.

Based on our in-depth experience with Activation Lock bypassing, we believe DirectUnlocks is the best SIM and iCloud unlock company online at this time. They are highly recommended.

Affiliate statement

If you click a link to go through to a provider, we may get paid. This only happens if you buy a service. This is what funds us, and keeps us free to use. For a more detailed explanation see our affiliate disclosure.

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