iOS Tips
How to unlock iPhone 6s or iPhone 6s Plus
September 25, 2015

How to unlock iPhone 6s or 6s Plus if you paid in full

If you bought your iPhone 6s or iPhone 6s Plus outright, here's how to unlock it right now!

If you paid in full for your iPhone 6s or iPhone 6s Plus, you can unlock it right now. It does not matter what carrier you chose or what model you purchased. Just follow these steps:

  1. Turn ON your new iPhone 6s or 6s Plus.
  2. Plug it into your computer and launch iTunes.
  3. Follow the carrier activation prompts with the SIM that came with the new iPhone installed.
  4. You will see an unlocked message confirming that your device is unlocked.

How to unlock iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus

Once you see the unlocked message, you can either continue with a restore via iTunes or you can unplug and restore via iCloud as you normally would.

This has not been the case in previous years in my experience. I always had to request an unlock from AT&T, even if I paid outright. This year, it was a pleasant surprise to plug into iTunes and see an unlocked message right away.

Remember that you must meet these two requirements:

  • You must have paid for the device outright, and in full
  • You must have purchased it directly from Apple, not a carrier store (if anyone can verify it works on carrier store purchases, we’ll update, but I can’t confirm this)

If you are on the iPhone Upgrade Plan through Apple, your iPhone comes unlocked but you are bound by Apple to fulfill the terms, regardless of carrier. If you signed a two year contract or decided to go with a payment plan via your carrier, your iPhone will not be eligible to be unlocked until you fulfill that commitment. The steps above will only work if you chose the Pay in full option when purchasing your iPhone 6s or 6s Plus.

This iTunes message could just be confirmation and in reality, iPhone 6s’ and 6s Plus models that were paid in full are coming factory unlocked from Apple. I couldn’t verify this before activating. If anyone else has confirmation either way, let me know.

And if any of you experience anything different, please let me know in the comments. I’ve been able to verify this on two different iPhone 6s’ that were purchased outright so far. Let me know how this works for you in the comments!

Updates:

  • Sebastien Page of iDownloadblog has confirmed it works as well with AT&T
  • James Bailey on Twitter has confirmed paid in full iPhone 6s from T-Mobile is unlocked and working on Cricket
  • Commenter has confirmed the steps above worked with his paid in full Sprint iPhone 6s

About this author

Allyson Kazmucha

Co-Founder of The App Factor, coffee drinker, world traveler, picture taker, and occasional shibe wrangler.

78 Comments - View all

Allyson Kazmucha 1:26pm on October 30, 2015

In rare cases, some SIMs may not be. What carrier SIM are you trying to use and in what model phone? Also, did you pay full retail price directly from Apple? This only works if you purchased from Apple and bought the phone outright, meaning no installment plans or contracts could have been used.

78 CommentsX
James Bailey 12:04pm on September 25, 2015

I didn’t have to do anything except plug in my Cricket SIM and do an iTunes Restore during the normal initial process with a new iPhone. I did have a problem getting verification from iCloud but that is a completely separate issue.

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Fernando 12:12pm on September 25, 2015

Is it the same unlock process for the phones paid in full from the apple store but from T-Mobiles carrier? Im from Mexico and Im willing to buy the phone, but if it is going to ask for the Social Security Number and the last 4 digits then I wont be able to go through the process.

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Allyson Kazmucha 12:17pm on September 25, 2015

It did ask for that information.

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Joao 1:06pm on September 25, 2015

Did the guys from Apple ask for SSN number?

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Allyson Kazmucha 1:29pm on September 25, 2015

The process asks for account info and last 4 of SSN when activating, yes. But that shouldn’t matter. If you paid outright it’s unlocked. I’m willing to bet putting a different SIM in even without iTunes and activation will still work.

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Joao 3:52pm on September 25, 2015

I asked that because I dont have SSN. I’m not American. Thanks

Allyson Kazmucha 3:53pm on September 25, 2015

Just try putting a different Sim card in it

Fernando 4:13pm on September 25, 2015

There is some people saying that the T-Mobile version is not asking for the SSN, they just remove the tmobile preintalled sim card from the before before turning it on and put theirs and thats all, I would like someone to confirm this so I can go to apple.com and buy the iPhone, thanks

Allyson Kazmucha 4:17pm on September 25, 2015

The article was updated a few hours ago to confirm that. T-Mobile phone was swapped with cricket sim and worked.

Raul 5:43pm on September 25, 2015

Can anyone confirm that T-mobile iPhone 6s is unlocked out of the box? Without launching iTunes, SSD number etc ?
Do I have to take the T-Mobile sim card off before turning the phone on?

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Nupur Saraf 7:59am on September 26, 2015

hi i have bought iPhone 6s 64 gb and paid in full. The apple people told me it is unlocked but i came across certain posts that say we have to unlock the phone through iTunes. I live in india and have no SSN number and zip code. I bought at&tt version. Can u pls confirm how do i do it?

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Allyson Kazmucha 8:48am on September 26, 2015

Try using a different SIM without iTunes. It will most likely work. The unlocked message in iTunes may just be a confirmation.

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Akhil 4:12pm on September 30, 2015

Nupur Saraf can you please tell me. indian carrier service working in your iphone 6s.

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Nupur saraf 10:51pm on September 30, 2015

I’ll be able to tell u tomorrow morning.. Will reach india tomorrow

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Nupur saraf 11:07pm on October 1, 2015

iPhone 6s paid in full and bought from Apple store( AT&T) is unlocked. I plugged in my Indian sim card and it worked.. Connecting it to iTunes is a confirmation that the phone is unlocked. Make sure u remove the SIM card that came with the phone before turning it on. Cheers!!

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Allyson Kazmucha 11:09pm on October 1, 2015

Don’t have to do that either. Doesn’t matter what SIM is in it

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Akhil 5:25pm on October 5, 2015

Thanks for the reply mate. I appreciate it.

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Jonathan 9:29am on September 26, 2015

I followed your instructions for my paid in full AT&T iPhone 6s purchased directly from Apple and it worked!

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Henz 12:19pm on September 26, 2015

Did you buy the AT&T phone in store? Did you have to give any confirmation of having an AT&T account and/or social security number?

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Allyson Kazmucha 12:20pm on September 26, 2015

No. I purchased mine from Apple online and it was shipped. iTunes asked for my AT&T account information yes, but as soon as it activates you get an unlock message, but ONLY if you paid in full.

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Henz 12:26pm on September 26, 2015

Ok, I can’t used the online store to buy an AT&T phone since I don’t have an AT&T account. Some people have been saying that you can buy the AT&T phone in an Apple store, and just claim (without proof) that you have an AT&T account. If anyone can confirm that I would be grateful πŸ™‚

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Allyson Kazmucha 12:38pm on September 26, 2015

I’m sure you can walk in and buy un-activated outright. I did it back with the 5c/5s and a 6.

Allyson Kazmucha 12:38pm on September 26, 2015

You could always confirm by just visiting an Apple Store too πŸ˜‰

Allyson Kazmucha 12:38pm on September 26, 2015

In my experience each Apple Store may be slightly different. Shouldn’t be but its reality. One store may sell them and one may not. Just go to the one you want to buy from and ask.

Dragoslav 7:47pm on October 9, 2015

You said that iTunes asked you for your AT&T account info, what is that info because I do not use AT&T and I am from Serbia? Will I be able to answer that. Friend bought iP6S in Apple store payed in full AT&T waiting to be brought to me. πŸ™‚

Thanks!

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Allyson Kazmucha 7:50pm on October 9, 2015

You should just be able to put your own SIM and activate.

Dragoslav 7:53pm on October 9, 2015

Thanks alot! πŸ˜‰

Pao 4:46pm on September 26, 2015

Hi I just wanted to confirm. I bought an Iphone 6s in Apple App using the AT&T carrier and paid in full price. I haven’t activated my phone yet because I’m not sure if it is going to be unlocked or not. Will it be unlocked even if I activate my phone using the sim that is included?

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Allyson Kazmucha 4:57pm on September 26, 2015

Yep! Exactly what I did. Plugged into iTunes, answered the carrier questions, got an unlock message. If you paid in full via apple your phone will be unlocked regardless of carrier or SIM card.

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Pao 5:04pm on September 26, 2015

Thank you so much! If I plug it in to itunes, should I use the sim card that is included or can I use my preferred sim card? I’m new with this knd of stuff. Sorry for having to much questions ☺️

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wlee 12:46am on September 27, 2015

How about Sprint iphone 6s paid in full price. Is it also unlocked and use oversea

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Evgeni 10:50am on September 27, 2015

Hello. The iPhone 6S purchased from apple.com from web site with T-Mobile Sim. Uncle will bring it to me to Israel.
Before 1st turn on i need remove sim T-Mobile and replace for my Israeli sim and than turn on or take it out of the box and immediately connected to iTunes with original sim inside?

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Allyson Kazmucha 11:22am on September 27, 2015

SIM does not matter. If it’s paid for outright, activate it with whatever SIM you want.

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Evgeni 11:34am on September 27, 2015

Connect to the computer and to iTunes and only then turn on the phone and activate?

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Allyson Kazmucha 12:26pm on September 27, 2015

Just follow the steps in the article. They are listed in exact order.

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Evgeni 6:12pm on September 27, 2015

Thank you very much. I’ll try!

Evgeni 11:06am on September 27, 2015

Why you delete my message?

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Allyson Kazmucha 11:21am on September 27, 2015

No one deleted your message. All comments just have to be approved to avoid spam.

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Javier Gamboa 9:54pm on September 27, 2015

I am planning to buy a T-Mobile 6s plus so that I can use it with MetroPCS. What would I have to do? Just swap out the tumble SIM card and pop in a PCS one, or do I have to plug in and sync into iTunes?

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Allyson Kazmucha 10:04pm on September 27, 2015

The only way I have verified this to work is by activating via iTunes first, but others have claimed they just stuck a different SIM in and it worked fine. It won’t hurt to try that first. Let us know what the results are if you do. Someone in the comments has already confirmed they put a Cricket SIM into a T-Mobile version and it worked just fine, no activation needed before-hand.

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Javier Gamboa 9:00am on September 30, 2015

ok, thank you. Quick question though: would I turn the phone on with the SIM card it came with and go through all the steps and then swap out the SIM cards, or swap the SIM cards before turning it on? This is the part where I am slightly confused

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Allyson Kazmucha 9:05am on September 30, 2015

SIM card does not matter, use whatever SIM you want.

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Jose Escobar 5:34pm on September 28, 2015

I live in Nicaragua, I want to buy the iPhone 6S online and be delivered to an address in Florida. If I buy an iPhone 6s plus from T-Mobile do I need an SSN number and a T-Mobile account to activate it? Or do I just put my nicaraguan sim card and expect it to be unlocked?

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Randy 3:32pm on September 29, 2015

Just unlocked my iPhone 6s using these steps (sprint ). Gl to everyone.

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junjie 10:36pm on September 29, 2015

Hi,
I just bought a new phone 6s plus with T-Mobile in Apple store with full price, and i just remove the t-mobile sim card, and put my china CMCC card in, the iphone shows AT-T network as expected. Because I am still in US so my local ISP roam to AT-T. I already received text message from China.

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Allyson Kazmucha 10:43pm on September 29, 2015

Just be careful with the T-Mobile version as it is missing band 30 for LTE in China.

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junjie 8:49am on September 30, 2015

Hi Allyson,

I think you are wrong about this. LTE in China doesn’t have band 30.
Please refer to http://www.apple.com/iphone/LTE/

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Allyson Kazmucha 9:04am on September 30, 2015

Hm, Apple changed that document in the past few days. It shows a different model for China completely. And my mistake on band 30, that seems to be something AT&T will be using in the future.

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junjie 9:05am on September 30, 2015

And LTE band 30 is currently only used by AT&T, this a fresh new spectrum AT&T has got.
You can refer to this http://www.rvmobileinternet.com/atts-summer-lte-expansions-plans-2-3-ghz-wcs-lte-band-30-is-coming/

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Allyson Kazmucha 9:06am on September 30, 2015

Refer to my last comment…

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junjie 9:11am on September 30, 2015

Yes, so the T-Mobile version paid full price in apple store will not have problem when used with LTE band in China. Actually that’s what I am really concerned.
Thank you very much for your valuable information!

Ajay 3:26pm on September 30, 2015

Hi Allyson,

I’m from India and i’m planning to buy the T-mobile 6s from USA. Can i follow the above mentioned steps in India and expect the phone to get unlocked or does the process have to be done in the States?. I do not have a SSN and i would not be able to answer any of the carrier related Qu

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Ajay 3:36pm on September 30, 2015

I stay in India and I’m planning to buy the t-mobile 6s from USA. Do i need to carry out the above mentioned steps in the USA or can i do it in India. I do not have a ssn neither will i be able to answer any carrier related questions if i’m prompted to during the procedure.

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Tiff 1:35am on October 3, 2015

Super confused. What if I buy a Sprint iPhone 6S 64GB paid in full at the Apple store? When using the phone for the first time, can I put in my T-Mobile or AT&T SIM card in to activate and unlock or do I have to first activate on Sprint? I don’t have a Sprint account nor an SSN.

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Allyson Kazmucha 12:54pm on October 5, 2015

Yep! Seems like you can just open the box, pull out the enclosed SIM and put in whatever SIM you’d like to activate.

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Ektor 11:36pm on October 6, 2015

Just to confirm: the sprint iPhone paid in full will work on T-Mobile, AT&T as well as Verizon?

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Pollob 2:50am on October 3, 2015

If i buy T-Mobile iPhone 6S with Pay in Full from Apple Online Store, Will it work in my Country in Bangladesh with my local Mobile Operator GSM SIM? I talked to Apple Customer Care Person through Chat, they confirmed me that the T-Mobile Version is unlocked, just Need iPhone Compatible Network.

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Yumi 8:50am on October 30, 2015

T-Mobile is right if your phone is unlocked it can be used on any GSM network worldwide. If’t locked as main was you need to use third party unlocking service if your carrier refuse to unlock your phone. I have used http://www.mobileunlocked.com very good service.

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Nagarjuna 3:04pm on October 4, 2015

Hello all.
Please help me
My friend has brought one iPhone 6s full paid sprint version from Apple Store. Will that work with an Indian sim. Just confused as sprint version says it is a CDMA.
Apple Store people say it will work. Just wanted to know if anyone has already checked

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Nagarjuna 12:47pm on October 5, 2015

Thanks a lot for your reply. I appreciate it.

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Evgeni 12:43am on October 5, 2015

Hey ALL. I brought 6s Verizon iPhone at full price. Verizon sim pulled out and put my sim. He activated with ease. Everything works fine. It’s is unlocked. Verizon and t-mobile also.
From Israel.

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Javier Gamboa 1:21pm on October 8, 2015

Can anyone confirm to me if I will receive 4G LTE with MetroPCS if I purchase a T-Mobile iPhone straight from the apple store? The rep at the store told me that the best it could do was 3G, which I doubt since Tmobile and Metro use the same towers…. anyone?

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Dave 10:39am on October 6, 2015

Allyson, to confirm as there is a couple of solutions mentioned! If I buy a iPhone 6S paid in full , Verizon or T-Mobile. I can disregard the sim in the phone , input a foreign SIM and it will automatically unlock , i.e. the initial 4 step process need not be followed ?

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Allyson Kazmucha 4:30pm on October 6, 2015

It’s already unlocked out of the box. The steps above seem to just verify that. So yes put whatever SIM in you’d like. Just use iTunes instead to activate.

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PaoZ 9:34am on October 7, 2015

Thanks so much fir your article! I just bought an iphone 6s att paid in full from apple store, the girl whi took care of me confirmed that it was unlocked, i took the att sim card out befire turning it on and put in my family mobile (which uses tmobile line) and it worked with no problem! ?

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Allyson Kazmucha 9:42am on October 7, 2015

You’re very welcome and glad it worked for you!

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Ha 12:58pm on October 8, 2015

I bought iPhone 6s in Target store in full (contract free) but it is still locked (I can’t use a Vietnamese sim card).
One more thing is that I did not see any sim card within the phone when I first opened it.
What’s wrong with my case?

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Allyson Kazmucha 1:01pm on October 8, 2015

The only devices that are sold unlocked are those bought directly from Apple, not a third party like Target or a carrier store. Those will be locked.

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Dee 11:38pm on October 8, 2015

Ok. So i placed order online for iphone 6s plus paid in full for tmobile from apple.com. it still is not shipped but now apple has added option of sim-free iphones. What should i do. Will the tmobile version still be unlocked or should i cancel my order and place a new order with sim-free option?

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Allyson Kazmucha 6:41am on October 9, 2015

Up to you but yes it’ll still be unlocked

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Dee 9:44pm on October 15, 2015

Also does the tmobile(contract free from apple) version have cdma support?

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Mark Rose 1:24pm on October 30, 2015

This hasn’t worked for me. When I follow the instructions it says “the sim card inserted in this iphone does not appear to be supported”. I thought the idea was to unlock it so it IS supported.

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Allyson Kazmucha 1:26pm on October 30, 2015

In rare cases, some SIMs may not be. What carrier SIM are you trying to use and in what model phone? Also, did you pay full retail price directly from Apple? This only works if you purchased from Apple and bought the phone outright, meaning no installment plans or contracts could have been used.

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