The Samsung Galaxy S10 is one of Samsung’s flagship smartphone models. If you want to use your S10 on a different carrier than the one you originally purchased it from, you’ll need to unlock it. Unlocking allows you to use any SIM card in your phone rather than being restricted to your original carrier. Here is a guide on how to unlock a Samsung Galaxy S10.
Checking Your Lock Status
Before beginning the unlock process, you’ll want to check what kind of lock is currently placed on your S10.
Understanding Lock Types
There are a few different kinds of locks that may be on your device:
- SIM lock: The most common type of lock, done by carriers to restrict use on other networks. This is the lock that will be removed by the unlocking process.
- Region lock: Less common, restricts the use of the phone to specific regions or countries.
- Network lock: Locks the phone to the original carrier network. This will also be removed when you unlock your phone.
- Factory lock: A lock that is sometimes placed on resold devices. This protects personal data.
Check Current Lock Status
To check your lock status:
- Go to Settings > About Phone.
- Scroll down and look for “SIM card status.”
- If it says “SIM card is locked,” then you have a SIM lock. This is the lock the following unlock instructions address.
If you see anything other than “SIM card is locked,” you may have a different kind of lock on your device. The following unlock instructions will work only for SIM locks.
Unlocking By Carrier
The easiest way to unlock a Samsung Galaxy S10 is by contacting your carrier and requesting an unlock.
Most carriers have basic requirements in order to unlock a device:
- The account associated with the device must be in good standing. This means it has no past due balance.
- The device must be fully paid off. Most carriers will not unlock a phone that is still being paid for through device payment plans.
- The device must have been active on the carrier network for a set length of time, usually between 40-180 days. This prevents circumventing early upgrade programs.
Contact your carrier to ask about specific eligibility requirements for an unlock. Provide them with the IMEI number of your device when you make the request.
Getting Unlock Codes
If you meet eligibility, the carrier will provide you with a SIM unlock code. Keep this code safe, as you’ll need it to complete the unlock process. The typical unlock code format for Samsung devices is an 8 digit number.
Unlocking Through Third Party Services
If you don’t meet your carrier’s unlock requirements, there are many reliable third party unlock services available:
These services work by accessing databases of unlock codes or by generating calculated unlock codes. Quality can vary, so be sure to read reviews carefully before selecting a service. Expect to pay $15-$30 USD or more depending on your specific phone model. You’ll need to provide your phone’s IMEI number.
Third party unlocks usually take 1-2 business days to receive your custom unlock code, but be sure to confirm expected timelines. Rush options are sometimes available for an additional fee. Exercise caution providing any personal information to ensure they follow secure processes.
Also Read: Unlock Verizon Cell Phones: A Ultimate Guide
Performing the Unlock
Once you have your network supplied or third party unlock codes, you are ready to finalize the unlock process on your device.
Take the following precautions before proceeding:
- Make sure your S10 is running the latest firmware. Check for updates in Settings.
- Backup any data. The unlock should not affect data, but it’s better to be safe.
- Have the unlock code handy.
- Make sure your device has at least 50% battery power. You don’t want it to die mid-process.
- If your device was secondhand, perform a factory reset. This will wipe any previous owner data for privacy.
Follow these steps:
- Insert a non-accepted SIM card from a different carrier into your S10. For example, if your S10 is currently on AT&T, use a Verizon or T-Mobile SIM. The device will prompt that the SIM card is from another carrier.
- A network lock pop-up will appear, asking you to enter the network unlock code.
- Carefully enter the unlock code you received from your carrier or third party service. double check the code before submitting.
- You should receive a “Network unlock successful” message. If you receive an error, make sure you correctly entered the unlock code.
- Power down your device completely and remove the non-accepted SIM.
- Insert your regular SIM card or a SIM from your preferred carrier.
- Power the device back on. It should now be unlocked and accept any eligible SIM worldwide!
In some cases you might need to do a manual network search to reconnect to your carrier after the unlock. Just go to network settings and select “Search networks.”
Using Your Unlocked Samsung Galaxy S10
Now that the network lock is removed from your device, you have extensive options for using your unlocked S10!
Domestic and International Use
The primary benefit of unlocking your S10 is being able use it freely while traveling internationally. Swap out SIMs to get service from local carriers as you move between countries. Unlocked phones essentially become “world phones.”
An unlocked device can also make it easier to switch between mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) networks domestically without purchasing a new phone. MVNO networks like Straight Talk, Boost Mobile, and Cricket piggyback on the major domestic networks.
Switching Carriers at Any Time
You can switch freely between major carrier networks in the United States including Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint. Your unlocked status allows you to take advantage of carrier switching incentives more easily.
Impact on Updates
Unlocking your phone should not impact future over-the-air software updates. You’ll still be able to upgrade to newer Android OS versions as they are released. Security patches will still come through as normal.
The only difference is that updates can now be dictated by whatever SIM card you have inserted rather than relying solely on your original carrier to push updates. This customization can be positive or negative. Do thorough research to understand the update process for whichever carrier SIM you are using.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can a locked Samsung be unlocked?
Yes, most modern Samsung phones can be unlocked either through your carrier after meeting unlock requirements or through a third-party unlocking service.
How do I reset my Galaxy S10 without password?
You can factory reset the device by booting into Recovery mode (Volume Up + Bixby + Power buttons) and wiping data from there.
What is the code for Samsung phone unlock?
Samsung unlock codes are typically 8-digit numbers provided by your carrier or third party service.
How do I factory reset my Galaxy S10?
Backup data, boot into Recovery mode, wipe data and cache partitions. Also can reset from Settings.
What if I forgot my PIN to unlock my phone?
You’ll need to do a factory reset to regain access. Connect to a computer to backup data first if possible.
Can I unlock my Samsung phone with IMEI number?
Yes, most services only need the IMEI and sometimes serial number to generate an unlock code. No passwords needed.
Can we unlock Samsung phone without losing data?
Yes, the unlock process does not wipe data. Be sure to backup anyway as a precaution.
Can my stolen Samsung phone be unlocked?
No, you’ll need the original account holder to contact the carrier for any unlock request. Stolen phones typically can’t be unlocked.
How to hard reset Samsung?
Volume Up + Bixby + Power buttons together until recovery menu appears. Wipe data and cache.
How do I reset my s10 without the screen?
Use ADB debugging connected to a computer to reboot into recovery and factory reset if display is damaged.
Why Unlock Your Samsung Galaxy S10
Here are some of the key benefits to unlocking your S10:
- Use your device internationally without roaming charges
- Switch freely between compatible domestic carriers
- Increased customization of software updates
- Boost resale value significantly for secondhand sales
- Greater sense of full ownership over expensive smartphone hardware
Overall, unlocking frees you and your S10 from restrictions imposed by mobile carriers. Enjoy full freedom to use your device on almost any network worldwide without limitations. Just take care to use safe and validated unlock methods to ensure success. An unlocked Samsung Galaxy S10 is a very flexible device offering expanded functionality to owners.