The Samsung Galaxy S9 is one of Samsung’s flagship smartphones, known for its beautiful design, vibrant display, and powerful performance. However, many Galaxy S9 devices sold by carriers come locked to that carrier’s network. Unlocking your Galaxy S9 can allow you to use it with other carriers, take advantage of cheaper prepaid plans, or use local SIM cards when traveling internationally.
Unlocking a phone means you are removing the carrier restrictions that prevent you from using your device on other carrier networks. Here is everything you need to know about how to unlock a Samsung Galaxy S9.
Determine Your Galaxy S9’s Lock Status
Before going through the unlock request process, you should check your Samsung Galaxy S9’s current unlock status. To do this on most models:
- Open the Phone app and dial
- A 15-digit code will appear. If the last 6 digits are
000000, your device is unlocked. Any other digits mean a carrier lock is currently applied.
If your device reads all zeros, you can simply insert a non-native SIM card to confirm. If it works properly, no further unlocking steps are needed.
Also Read: The 10 Best Refurbished Unlocked Cell Phones
Meet Unlock Requirements
Most carriers that sell smartphones with locks in place do allow those devices to be unlocked later on, but have specific requirements you must meet first. Common requirements include:
- Ownership – You must be the original owner of the device. If you purchased your Galaxy S9 secondhand, you may need to provide proof of ownership.
- Active Service – Your device must have been actively using the carrier’s service for a minimum period of time, usually around 40 days.
- Paid Off – If your S9 is being financed on a payment plan, you may need to finish paying it off first before the unlock can be processed.
- Account in Good Standing – Ensure you have paid all your bills and do not have any restrictions or suspensions on your cellular account.
Confirm with your carrier before submitting an unlock request to ensure you meet all their eligibility conditions. Failing to do so can result in the request being denied or significant delays.
Submit an Official Unlock Request
Once you’ve verified that your Galaxy S9 qualifies to be unlocked, you can submit an official request through your carrier’s official process.
Every major carrier has their own platform and procedures for customers to initiate unlock requests:
- AT&T – Log into your AT&T online account or call customer support to submit a request. Approvals usually take 24-72 hours.
- Verizon – Verizon allows almost all devices to be unlocked without any requirements. You can generate an unlock code online instantly.
- T-Mobile – T-Mobile provides an online device unlock portal where you can submit unlock requests. Approval is typically within two business days.
- Sprint – As of 2022, Sprint handles all unlocks through T-Mobile systems after the merger. Follow T-Mobile’s unlock request process.
Third-party phone unlocking services advertise unlocks for a fee without going through carriers. However, we recommend you first try the official unlock process before resorting to such services.
Make sure to save any unlock confirmation codes or info provided once approved. You will need these details later when actually performing the device unlock steps.
Check Compatibility Before Switching Carriers
While removing a carrier lock opens up your options for using other network SIMs in your Galaxy S9, do take a moment to verify functional compatibility before making a switch:
- Confirm the new carrier’s LTE bands are supported. S9 models have specific hardware differences across regions that may create coverage gaps if not properly matched.
- Verify expected data speeds match your needs. In some cases an unlocked device may only receive 3G service on specific networks.
- Make sure primary features like WiFi calling or visual voicemail are available if they are important to your usage. Support varies across carriers.
Consult your desired new carrier’s BYOD compatibility checker for the most accurate device support analysis when preparing to make an unlocked Galaxy S9 your full-time phone option on their network.
Backup Galaxy S9 Before Unlocking
Before making any major changes to your device, it’s crucial you fully back up your Samsung Galaxy S9 first. Unlocking a phone isn’t supposed to wipe data, but it can cause issues in rare cases.
Here are the key elements you must back up before unlocking your S9:
- Contacts – Save phone numbers, email addresses and other contact info off the device. Google accounts and Samsung Cloud are easy to sync with.
- Photos/Videos – Transfer all camera photos and videos to cloud storage or computer hard drive backups.
- Other Personal Files – Download important documents or other media no longer needed on the device locally.
You can back up data manually or use wireless cloud sync options. Just make sure critical phone contents are duplicated somewhere safe external to your Galaxy S9.
Also Read: How To Unlock A Tracfone Cell Phone Free
Unlock Samsung Galaxy S9 with Codes
Once given approval and unlock codes from your carrier (or third-party service), you can start the actual phone unlocking process through your Galaxy S9 device settings.
Here is how to enter unlock codes to finish removing network restrictions:
- From device home, open Settings.
- Select Connections > More Connection Settings.
- Choose Network Unlock.
- Tap Permanent Unlock and enter your unlock code(s) provided earlier.
- Exact steps vary slightly between Android OS versions.
- Accept any disclaimers and confirm to process the unlock.
That’s all there is to it! Once network unlocked successfully, you simply insert a new carrier SIM card and your Galaxy S9 will now fully activate service on other compatible GSM networks. Enjoy your unlocked freedom!
Troubleshoot Galaxy S9 Unlocking Problems
In some situations, you may run into errors or issues when trying to finish the unlock steps above on your Galaxy S9:
- Unlock rejected – Double check you entered the exact unlock code properly. Request a replacement code if problems persist.
- Cannot find Network Unlock – Update to the latest Android OS version available. Older builds may lack the unlocking functionality.
- Non-matching SIM still restricted – Give your device up to 24 hours before retesting with new SIM cards. System changes can take time and require a reboot.
If significant problems continue even after troubleshooting steps and your carrier shows your device order as unlocked, you may need to perform a Samsung Galaxy S9 factory data reset to clear restrictions. Of course, this will erase all mobile data in the process.
Professional Unlock Service as Last Resort
If no steps allow your Galaxy S9 to correctly finish the unlock process, then seeking out professional phone unlocking assistance can override stubborn network locks once and for all. We recommend CellUnlocker for safe Samsung unlocks with 24 hour guaranteed service.
While paid services do cost money, they essentially guarantee a working, permanent unlock for especially difficult carrier devices when all else fails. For most users however, the free carrier unlock methods above work perfectly fine when patience and proper troubleshooting is followed.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is unlocking my Galaxy S9 illegal?
Unlocks are legal as long as you own the device and use official carrier/third party services.
Will unlocking void my phone’s warranty?
No, Samsung allows for warranty repairs still on unlocked devices. Just avoid software modification.
Does phone data get wiped during unlock?
Unlocking alone won’t erase data, but subsequent factory resets sometimes required might. Always backup first.
What happens if I enter the wrong unlock code?
Entering incorrect network codes repeatedly can get your device blacklisted permanently by carriers. Double check unlock codes provided.
How much does it cost to unlock a Galaxy S9?
Fees vary drastically between free through Verizon or T-Mobile and $50+ when using third party unlock services instead.
Can I re-lock my Galaxy S9 later if needed?
Yes, you can contact your carrier to re-apply network locks to a Samsung device after already unlocking it previously.
Will my Galaxy S9 work fully on all carriers when unlocked?
Unlocked S9 phones support all GSM networks like AT&T or T-Mobile. Limited compatibility on CDMA networks like Sprint or Verizon even when unlocked.
Enjoy an Unlocked Samsung Galaxy S9
And that’s all it takes to fully unlock your SIM-restricted Galaxy S9 at long last. With network limitations disabled, you can finally use any GSM SIM worldwide or switch to cheaper cell plans hassle-free with your unlocked S9 freedom.