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

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How to unlock iPhone 6s or iPhone 6s Plus

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

80 COMMENTS

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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?

  4. 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?

  5. 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?

  6. 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?

  7. 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?

    • 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.

  8. 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?

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

    • 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?

  16. 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 ?

  17. 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! ?

  18. 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?

  19. 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?

  20. 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.

    • 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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