The Samsung Galaxy S8 is one of the most popular Android smartphones on the market. Its beautiful curved display and powerful hardware make it an excellent device. However, many Galaxy S8 units sold directly from carriers come locked to that carrier’s network. This prevents you from using other SIM cards or services. Thankfully, unlocking your Galaxy S8 is usually a straightforward process.
Why Unlock Your Galaxy S8
Here are some of the key reasons for unlocking your S8:
- Use Different Carriers: An unlocked S8 lets you insert any compatible carrier’s SIM card. You can take the phone abroad and use local carrier services too. This gives you more flexibility when traveling.
- Better Resale Value: Unlocked S8s command higher prices on the secondhand market compared to locked devices. Unlocking before selling can increase your phone’s resale value.
- Fewer Carrier Restrictions: Carriers often limit certain smartphone features. Unlocking frees you from carrier-imposed restrictions on things like tethering limits or pre-installed apps.
Requirements for Unlocking
Before unlocking your Samsung S8, you’ll want to check a few requirements:
- Pay Off Device: If your S8 is still being paid off via a carrier installment plan, you’ll need to complete all payments first. Fully owning your device is usually mandatory prior to network unlocking.
- Active Service: Most carriers require an S8 to have had active cell service for 60-90 days before allowing unlocks. This ensures the device was not lost/stolen. Check with your provider’s exact policy.
- Meet Contract Terms: If your S8 came with a 1 or 2 year carrier contract, you’ll likely need to complete that contract term before unlocking. Early termination fees may otherwise apply.
As long as you meet the above requirements, you should be eligible to unlock. Keep reading to learn exactly how.
Samsung Galaxy S8 Free Unlocking Methods
There are several reliable methods for unlocking a Samsung Galaxy S8. The best option for you depends on your specific carrier, device variant, and location. Here are your main options:
Method 1: Request Unlock from Carrier
Getting your carrier to network-unlock the S8 is usually the simplest method. Here’s how it works:
- Contact Carrier: Get in touch with your phone’s carrier via phone, live chat, social media, or email. Request that they submit an unlock for your device.
- Provide Information: Your carrier will ask for basic information like full name, account number, phone IMEI number, etc. This verifies the device and account ownership.
- Wait for Approval: The carrier will process your request and notify you once (and if) the S8 unlock request has been officially approved. Approvals often take 24-48 hours but can occasionally take up to 5 business days.
- Receive Confirmation: After successful processing, the carrier will send a confirmation that your Samsung Galaxy S8’s network lock has been lifted. Your S8 is now unlocked!
This is usually the fastest, easiest route. However it only works if your specific carrier actually offers smartphone unlocking services. The major US networks AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon and Sprint all do offer a formal unlocking process.
Also Read: How To Unlock A Tracfone Cell Phone Free
Method 2: Use 3rd Party Unlock Services
If your carrier does not offer official unlocks, or you find their process overly difficult, a cheaper third party unlocking service is another option. Companies like DC-Unlocker or CellUnlocker specifically focus on reliably unlocking smartphones from any GSM carrier or country globally.
The process works like this:
- Select Service Type: Choose an unlock service option that matches your exact model number and carrier. Services range $10-$30 USD usually.
- Send Payment & Details: Provide your device details (make, model, IMEI, network etc) securely to place order.
- Receive Code: Shortly after payment, you’ll receive a unique unlock code via email and step-by-step unlocking instructions.
- Enter Code: Power off your Galaxy S8 fully and insert a non-approved carrier’s SIM card. Turn phone back on and enter the special unlock code when prompted. This lifts the carrier restriction from the device’s firmware.
Going through a highly-reviewed unlock service gives reliable, guaranteed unlocking results when the carrier method fails or isn’t available in your country. The unlock code process only takes a few minutes too.
Also Read: How To Unlock A TMobile Phone Free
Method 3: Use Device Developer Options
The final main method relies on accessing internal developer options to unlock your Galaxy S8 for free, no outside help needed. Here is how:
- Enable Developer Options: Open your S8’s main Settings menu and scroll down to find the “Build number” row under Software information. Tap it 7 times to activate hidden Developer options. Back out and open the newly visible “Developer options” main menu.
- Unlock OEM Protection: Scroll down and enable the setting called “OEM unlocking”. This disables carrier restrictions that block using other SIMs. However it also leaves your device open to tampering. Use cautiously and disable again after if desired.
- Restart Device: Shut down your Galaxy S8 completely, wait 5 seconds, then restart. OEM unlocking changes should now apply. Your phone is network unlocked! Insert any valid SIM card from other carriers/networks and enjoy.
This method uses internal tools so works on all S8 units. However unlock permanence depends device integrity. Use at your own risk. Doing a factory reset later may re-lock the carrier firmware for example. But it’s free to attempt.
Troubleshoot Common Unlock Issues
With any unlocking method, occasional hiccups can happen. Before panicking, check for these common quick fixes:
- Try cleaning the SIM card slot with compressed air to improve physical connectivity. Dust buildup can block signal.
- Confirm the SIM has a valid, active cell service plan. An expired or data-only SIM may not register properly even in an unlocked device. Test with another active voice/SMS SIM if unsure.
- Toggle Airplane mode on/off after inserting new non-native SIM cards. This prompts carriers to recheck card validity quicker.
- Check for carrier unlock status updates or a pending approval email if processing delays occur. Unlock requests can rarely take longer than stated by carriers.
These simple steps solve most Galaxy S8 unlock issues. For any deeper troubles beyond the above, you’ll want to directly contact your cell provider for next best troubleshooting steps. Their technical support can further investigate based on your device’s exact status and details.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the code to unlock Samsung S8?
There is no universal unlock code for the Galaxy S8. Unlock codes are unique codes provided by carriers or third party unlock services when successfully processing an unlock request for a specific device.
Can I unlock my Samsung myself?
Yes, you can unlock your Galaxy S8 yourself using the Developer Options OEM unlock method described in this guide. However success depends on your device’s firmware integrity. Doing a factory reset later may re-lock the device.
Can you factory reset a locked Samsung S8?
Yes, you can factory reset a locked S8 through the Settings menu. However this does not unlock the device – it will remain locked to the original carrier service after the reset completes.
How to reset Samsung Galaxy S8?
To factory reset an S8, go to Settings > General Management > Reset > Factory Data Reset. This will wipe the device back to default settings but again will not remove the carrier lock.
Can I unlock my Samsung phone with IMEI number?
Most third party unlock services and some carriers do require the IMEI number to check device identity before processing unlock requests. So yes, the IMEI is often needed, but is not itself the actual unlock code.
What is the code to unlock any Samsung?
There are no universal Samsung unlock codes that work across all models or carriers. Unlock codes are unique to individual devices, as generated by the unlock service providers after verifying eligibility.
Can I sell a locked Samsung phone?
You can sell a locked Samsung phone, but it will command lower resale values compared to the same unlocked device variant. Unlocking a Galaxy S8 before reselling is highly recommended to maximize resale price.
Enjoy Your Unlocked Samsung Galaxy S8!
And that’s it! With your S8 now unlocked, you’re free to insert any GSM SIM card from compatible domestic or international carriers. So take your Galaxy phone abroad and enjoy travel with easy local access. Switch freely between affordable prepaid plans. And sell or gift your Samsung phone once you’re ready to upgrade knowing its network freedom boosts resale values.
Unlocking your Galaxy S8 takes a bit of effort upfront, but brings long-term flexibility that pays off time and again down the road. Hopefully this guide gave all the steps needed to quickly and successfully free your S8 from carrier restrictions for good. You now have the freedom to use this flagship Samsung phone virtually anywhere worldwide. Enjoy!