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How To Unlock iPhone 6 / 6S / 6 Plus / 6S Plus [Permanently]

locked iphone 6

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This article explains the easiest way to factory unlock iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6s, and 6s Plus, models. When unlocked you can then use any SIM, or use any carrier, anywhere in the world without restriction with your device.

Getting your Apple iPhone unlocked is a good idea because you can:

  • Swap to a cheaper supplier with lower call rates or more generous data plans for your phone
  • Pick a service provider that offers the best cell coverage for you
  • Select a supplier that offers the best overseas roaming
  • Select a network operator with the best customer support possible
  • Sell your device as ‘unlocked’ so you get the best possible price

Recommended unlocking method

Network unlocking is the best method to factory unlock iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6s, and 6s Plus because:

  • It doesn’t void your Apple warranty
  • You don’t have to open the device and fiddle around inside
  • You do it once and your phone is unlocked forever
  • It is reliable
  • It doesn’t cost much to do with prices starting at $30 USD (£25 GBP) per phone

iPhone 6 with SIM card

Step-by-step unlocking instructions

Now you know the easiest unlock method you just need to do the following:

  1. Ask your carrier if you can factory unlock your iPhone. If so, ask them to do it. If not, ask a reputable unlocker to do it
  2. Wait for it to be processed by your carrier or unlocker
  3. Once notified, finalize the unlock on your iPhone making sure you follow the instructions you are given
  4. Test it to make sure it worked
If you have a different model you can try reading our guides on how to open iPhone 11, 11 Pro, 11 Pro Max, XR, SE, X, XS, XS Max found here, iPhone 7 / 7 Plus over here, or iPhone 8 / 8 Plus just here.

Step 1: Contact your cellphone carrier

AT&T logo
Unlock your iPhone from AT&T or any other service provider

Contact your carrier or one of my recommended unlock service suppliers, and ask them if you could have your iPhone 6 unlocked.

The original contract for most suppliers was normally 24-36 months.

The iPhone 6 has been out since September 2014 so it is likely that you will be able to unlock your iPhone without a hitch as it will be out of contract.

Even though your iPhone 6 is out of contract, unfortunately, there will still be a fee for this service.

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However, you do have a choice of who you select to perform this task so you can keep your costs down whilst still getting the best possible service.

Your own carrier may not be the cheapest or fastest phone unlock service. Shop around.

Tip: I reviewed a huge number of tools, software, and websites to find the best option so feel free to use one of my recommendations with confidence.
All of them offer a quick and efficient service – regardless of what carriers you currently use.

Step 2: Request your devices is network unlocked

The codes used for unlocking your phone are actually stored on Apple’s servers.

When you ask for your phone to be unlocked your chosen supplier needs to talk to Apple to get it done. The time this takes varies from country to country but you should get an estimate when you place your order.

Unfortunately, you can’t go directly to Apple yourself, you have to go through your carrier or an approved agent (such as the ones I recommended in step 1).

You need to wait until your agent tells you that Apple has unlocked your iPhone 6.

Step 3. Finalize the unlocking process on your phone

In some cases, you will get a confirmation email with some instructions to explain what you need to do to finalize the process.

This can be a simple as rebooting your device, or sometimes it can be slightly more complex and require things such as a factory reset, and a restore your phone from a backup.

Step 4. Check your device was unlocked properly

Once you have followed the instructions supplied to finalize the unlocking of your phone you should try a SIM card from another network carrier to see if it works.

The SIM card should work if it has been done properly.

The best unlocking services

I have tried most of the services available online. Below you find reviews where I reveal the best carrier lock unlock service provider.

Using the winner will help you account for a large reduction in roaming fees and call costs.

1st place: iPhoneIMEI

iPhoneIMEI website

iPhoneIMEI is brilliant and managed to unlock iPhone 6 models quickly and easily in my tests.

They are competitively priced with prices strating from approx $25 USD (£19.99) for English-speaking countries such as UK, USA, Canada, Australia, and NZ. Non-English speaking countries tend to cost more. The exact price depends on where you are based and which network provider you are using. If you choose your country and network on their website it will provide you with an exact cost.

They were very efficient and managed to perform phone unlocks quicker than anyone else. On average it took a couple of days, which is very quick.

It was slower for some territories but this is clearer highlighted on the website when you buy so you are aware of this before you make your purchase.

Customer support was very responsive with most replies coming back within an hour. They also kept me up-to-date with the unlock process.

I felt very comfortable spending money with them.

If you want to unlock your iPhone 6, I suggest you go with iPhoneIMEI. They are a great supplier that has earned their top spot in my review.

Customer review

How to buy an unlock from iPhoneIMEI

Some visitors to this page said they were a bit confused about how to order a phone unlock so I have written this step-by-step tutorial to make it easy.

  1. When you place your order you will be asked for your device’s IMEI code. There are 4 ways of getting this code:
    • If you haven’t yet activated and set up your iPhone you will see a little “i” button on the screen. Click it and it will display the IMEI code
    • On your iPhones keypad dial *#06#
    • Look at the back of your iPhone and you should see your IMEI printed in really small text
    • Click Settings > General > About on your iPhone then scroll down and you will see the IMEI listed
  2. Go to iPhoneIMEI and enter your IMEI or device serial number (see below).
    Enter iPhone 6 Plus S IMEI
  3. The website will recognize the IMEI and ask you which cellular network your device is locked to. Then click Unlock now.
    iPhone 6 Choose cell network
  4. The checkout page will appear where you will be asked for your email address for updates. Once added choose the payment method.
    iPhone 6 iPhoneIMEI checkout
  5. Next, you will be asked to pay via secure checkout.
    iPhone 6 pay iPhoneIMEI
  6. Your iPhone will be unlocked in 1-3 working days.

 

2nd place: Direct unlocks

DirectUnlocks website

direct unlocks logo

Direct unlocks are the new boys on the block but they have already built a great reputation for quick and reliable service. They managed to unlock all of the iPhones 6 models I sent them without a hitch.

They are a truly international organization and have US, and UK-based sites with pricing given in the appropriate currency used – USD or GBP.

All of my devices were unlocked in a couple of days so it was pretty speedy.

Customer services were good, although not as warm and friendly as our winners (above).

Pricing is competitive although not quite as good as iPhoneIMEI. With Direct unlocks you pay a non-refundable pre-order fee The rest of the fee is due before they finish doing the unlocking. This gives the impression that their prices are lower than they really are when you take into account the second payment.

Direct unlocks are rather good and almost got my top spot. They failed to make it due to their lack of track record but they are one to watch. Your phone is in safe hands.

Dangerous unlocking methods

There are 3 other techniques for the iPhone 6 range of phones:

  1. Software unlocking
  2. Hardware unlocking
  3. Gevey SIM unlock

Of these, some work, some are very dangerous and are likely to damage your device, and others are scams.

I will detail the problems with these 3 options when trying to figure out how to unlock iPhone 6 but under no account should you perform these. In short, blacklist these 3 techniques and don’t use them.

Software unlocking

The issue with software unlocking is that in short – it doesn’t work on a modern phone.

Yes, you will probably find quite a number of websites writing about iPhone software unlocks where they claim to be able to generate an unlock code.

But these do not work on the iPhone 6.

Do not pay for any software that claims to be able to network unlock your iPhone 6 as it is a scam.

Software unlocks stopped working with the iPhone 4. They won’t work on newer models such as the iPhone 5.

Hardware unlocking

iphone 6 hardware unlockingHardware unlocking was the first type of unlocking that didn’t rely on hacking the SIM card. I definitely don’t recommend going down this route as it is invasive.

How does it work?

Technically speaking, the process involves opening up your phone and doing a testpoint on the A17 gate. This type of hack is a variation of the Fakeblank exploit.

To be blunt, the process is the type of hack you find performed in small corner shops in dodgy areas of town.

The hacker needs to open up your iPhone and install a piece of hardware that runs a special computer unlock code. The code will prevent your iPhone 6 from being locked to a single network.

Is it risky?

The downside is your iPhone is opened and altered by an unauthorized dealer which voids your warranty. So if you have a future issue with your iPhone, such as a broken lock screen, Apple is likely to refuse to fix it.

It is also a risky procedure with a high failure rate.

It can destroy your iPhone 6.

It is often quite expensive too – with fees of £100-£200 ($150-$300 USD) charged with no guarantee it will work.

This is more expensive than network unlocking and far riskier.

My advice – don’t do it! It is not wise on any device – even the iPhone 5.

Gevey SIM unlock

gevey sim hack

What is Gevey SIM lock?

The Gevey SIM lock requires you to buy a small computer chip that sits between the SIM tray and the SIM card on your iPhone 6. This chip is called an interposer.

The interposer needs to be installed and kept in situ all the time to make sure your iPhone remains unlocked.

How does Gevey SIM interposer work?

This is where it gets a little technical.

Your SIM card has a unique IMSI (International Mobile Subscriber Identity) number that matches your account with your carrier and your phone. When you turn your iPhone 6 it does an IMEI check with the carrier to see if the phone is network unlocked.

If fitted with an interposer, when you switch your iPhone 6 on the Gevey interposer toggles your iPhone into flight mode preventing a connection to the carriers network via the IMEI. It is forced to use the emergency 112 phone number to connect.

While establishing a connection the Gevey interposer cycles through IMSI codes to find a suitable combination.

Next, the flight mode is switched off and the fake ‘unlocked’ IMSI code is used instead of the real one on your device.

Disadvantages of using Gevey SIM to unlock your device

  1. It voids the Apple warranty on your phone.
  2. Your device will have a poorer signal causing call dropouts.
  3. Your iPhone is likely to get too hot and suffer from a reduction in battery life.
  4. If your iPhone 6 loses power or reception you have to perform the whole process again.
  5. If your iPhone validates the IMSI code on all incoming calls it doesn’t work.
  6. This hack only works on some cellphone networks. For example, T-Mobile does not have a 3G service using the Gevey hack. In this case, your device would still have a carrier lock.
  7. It only works if your iPhone 6 handles 112 calls properly from your location.
  8. Due to network issues, some features will not work properly on your phone such as Facetime & iMessenger – so you couldn’t send text messages.

Conclusion

There are 4 methods that allow you to unlock iPhone 6s, 6, 6 Plus, or 6s Plus devices quickly and easily. However, 3 of these methods are not recommended as they cause a variety of problems, some of them severe. This means the only solution I can recommend is to network unlock your phone. This is because network unlocking your iPhone 6 works, is safe, is simple to do, and can be done quickly.

We also have other how-to guides on other Apple-related topics as well as more details on how to unlock iPhone so you can use any SIM card.

If you want to remove or unlock iCloud Activation Lock, see iPhone Activation Lock removal.

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