The Samsung Galaxy S7 is an excellent Android smartphone, featuring a gorgeous Quad HD display, blazing fast processor, and stellar camera. However, most Galaxy S7 devices are locked to a specific carrier. This means if you purchase an AT&T Galaxy S7, you can only use it on AT&T’s network.
Unlocking your Galaxy S7 allows you to use it on other GSM networks, both domestically and internationally. There are a few different unlocking options, each with their own pros and cons. In this guide, I’ll cover the major methods available and provide step-by-step instructions on how to unlock your Galaxy S7.
Benefits of Unlocking Your Galaxy S7
Here are some of the key benefits of unlocking your Galaxy S7:
- Use your phone internationally by inserting a foreign SIM card
- Switch between domestic carriers for better deals and coverage
- Avoid carrier bloatware by using an unlocked phone
- Increase resale value if you choose to sell the device later
Overall, unlocking frees you from restrictions imposed by wireless providers. With an unlocked S7, you get more freedom in how you use your device.
Requirements to Unlock a Galaxy S7
Before unlocking, make sure your device meets these requirements:
- The device must be paid off in full or out of contract
- It must have a clean IMEI with no pending installments or blocks
- The phone should be updated with the latest firmware
- Have your Galaxy S7 15-digit IMEI number ready
You can find your S7 IMEI number by dialing *#06# on the phone dialpad. I recommend confirming the number on the original box as well.
Once confirmed, write this IMEI number down as you will need it during the unlocking process.
Unlock a Galaxy S7 Through Carrier
The official, carrier-approved method is to request an unlock directly from your wireless provider. Here’s an overview of how it works:
- Contact customer support. Reach out to your carrier’s tech support team via phone, chat, email, or their official unlock request form.
- Provide required information. Supply your name, wireless account details, device IMEI number, reason for unlocking, and any other requested info.
- Wait for approval. The carrier will review your request and determine if your S7 qualifies based on their policy. The process typically takes 1-3 business days.
- Obtain unlock code. After approval, the carrier will either automatically push the Galaxy S7 unlock code to your device remotely or provide the code to enter manually.
- Enter unlock code. Turn off your phone, insert a non-active SIM card, turn on your device and enter the provided network unlock code when prompted. This could take a few attempts.
Once entered successfully, your S7 will now accept SIMs from any GSM carrier worldwide!
The main benefits of going through official carrier channels are: no fees, no risk of damage, assurance it unlocks properly. The downside is waiting for approval and some domestic carriers have tight restrictions.
Professional Unlock Services
Cell phone unlocking companies offer unlocks for a fee, but without restrictions or long wait times imposed by carriers. They can be faster and provide unlocks for devices even when the carrier refuses.
There are countless unlocking sites to choose from, but I recommend DirectUnlocks for unlocking Samsung devices. Here’s an overview of using their service:
- Select device and carrier. Input your Galaxy S7 model number, original carrier, and current carrier if switched. This ensures proper unlock compatibility.
- Check price and place order. View quoted cost for S7 unlock code from DirectUnlocks and complete secure online checkout. Unlocks generally range $30-$60 USD depending on original carrier.
- Provide IMEI number. Email your device’s IMEI number to firstname.lastname@example.org along with order details for confirmation.
- Get unlock code. In 1-2 business days (often same-day), you’ll receive your factory Samsung unlock code from DirectUnlocks via email.
- Enter unlock code. Follow same steps covered earlier to turn off device, insert new SIM, power on and enter the unlock code. Enjoy unlocked freedom!
Going through a trusted site like DirectUnlocks provides fast, guaranteed official unlocks without carrier hassles. The small unlock fee brings convenience and assurance.
Free Unlocking Methods
If paying for an unlock doesn’t fit your budget, you can attempt to get your Galaxy S7 unlocked for free. A few options to explore:
SIM Unlock Apps
Several apps like UnlockBase claim to provide free unlocks. However, many fail to properly unlock devices or worse – damage the operating system making phones unusable.
I don’t recommend any unlock apps due to poor reliability and safety risks. The few that do work likely exploit carrier loopholes that eventually close. But if wishing to attempt this method, research carefully and use at your own risk!
Online Unlock Code Generators
Similar to unlock apps, many shady websites promise free unlock codes generated from IMEI numbers. The reality is carriers have complex unlock servers that can’t easily calculate codes.
Any website offering instant, free Samsung unlock codes will not work and risk malware infections. Avoid these at all costs to keep your Galaxy S7’s data safe!
Ask Friends or Family
Do you know someone who has carrier connections or access to phone unlocking tools? Some people receive unlock codes from friends working for wireless providers.
Ask politely if anyone you know – friends, family, co-workers – has the ability to assist with unlocking your device for free. If lucky, they’ll hook you up with a code or internal unlock method. However, this is rare…I wouldn’t bet on finding free help from personal contacts.
Unlocking Services to Avoid
To recap, exercise extreme caution with the following unlock options:
- Sketchy online unlock code generators
- Free Samsung unlock apps
- Random eBay/Craigslist sellers
- Inexperienced local phone repair shops
These can permanently brick devices, steal personal data, or simply waste your money on solutions that never work. Always vet any third-party unlock services thoroughly before entrusting your expensive Galaxy S7!
Unlocking Law Controversy
Before wrapping up this guide, it’s worth mentioning the ongoing controversy around smartphone unlocking regulations in the United States.
Originally, section 1201 of 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act made cell phone unlocking illegal in America without the carrier’s permission. This was despite White House legislation in 2013 attempting to reverse this law.
However, as of August 2022 changes, unlocking cell phones in the USA without carrier approval is totally legal once again. This means all the unlock methods covered in this guide can safely be used by owners of Galaxy S7 devices.
But the complex legal history explains the ongoing confusion around legit free unlocking techniques compared to professional paid services. Suffice to say – unlock laws continue evolving, but are currently on the consumer friendly side once more!
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the unlock code for Samsung Galaxy S7?
There’s no universal unlock code. It’s a unique code generated based on your phone’s IMEI number and carrier. To obtain the code, you’ll need to contact your carrier directly or use a reputable third-party unlocking service.
Can a locked Samsung be unlocked?
Yes, in most cases, locked Samsung phones can be unlocked. However, the method depends on the type of lock:
- Network Lock: Requires an unlock code from the carrier.
- SIM Lock: May require a PIN code or PUK code from the carrier.
- Security Lock (PIN, Pattern, Password): Can be reset using Samsung’s Find My Mobile service or a factory reset.
How do you reset a locked Samsung S7?
If you’ve forgotten your security lock:
- Use Find My Mobile (https://findmymobile.samsung.com/) to remotely unlock it.
- If not possible, perform a factory reset:
- Power off the phone.
- Press and hold Volume Up, Home, and Power buttons simultaneously.
- Release buttons when the Samsung logo appears.
- Use Volume keys to navigate to “Wipe data/factory reset” and press Power to select.
- Confirm with Volume Down and Power.
What is the code to unlock Samsung Galaxy?
The unlock code is specific to your phone’s IMEI and carrier. Refer to question 1 for how to obtain it.
What is the 8 digit unlock code for Samsung?
This typically refers to the network unlock code, which is 8-16 digits long.
What is a phone unlock code?
It’s a code that removes restrictions on a phone, allowing it to be used on different networks (network unlock code) or resetting security features (PIN, pattern, password reset codes).
Enjoy Freedom of Unlocked Galaxy S7
As you can see, successfully unlocking your S7 is very feasible following these best practices.
With an unlocked Galaxy S7 that accepts any GSM SIM worldwide, you gain flexibility if travelling internationally or pursuing cheaper cell phone plans from emerging carriers like Mint Mobile. Overall the freedom to switch networks easily makes unlocking worthwhile for most smartphone owners.
Check that your device meets the necessary requirements, research reputable unlock services catering to Samsung Galaxy phones, and carefully follow the step-by-step unlock code entry procedures outlined in this guide. Feel free to reach out with any questions on properly unlocking your S7!