Metro by T-Mobile Phone Unlock Policy

Unlocking your mobile wireless device

Most mobile devices are programmed to prevent the device from operating with other wireless carriers’ networks without first being unlocked. We're committed to providing you with clear information about unlocking your mobile device.  

If you purchased your device from Metro by T-Mobile or if you have a Metro by T-Mobile authorized device, please follow the steps outlined below to determine your eligibility for device unlocking. In order to unlock a mobile wireless device that is not sold or authorized by Metro by T-Mobile, you need to contact the mobile carrier or manufacturer that sold you the device.

Metro by T-Mobile’s approach to device unlocking

Once a device becomes eligible for unlocking (eligibility requirements are described below), Metro by T-Mobile will automatically and remotely unlock the device within two business days if the device supports remote unlock.

Some devices cannot be remotely unlocked by Metro by T-Mobile. In these cases, Metro by T-Mobile will send a notification to the device within two business days of it becoming eligible, with next steps to complete the unlock process.

If you received a notification that your device is eligible to be unlocked, and you need instructions for completing the unlocking process, click here.

Unlock eligibility requirements

We unlock mobile devices that meet the following eligibility criteria free of charge:

  • The device must be purchased from Metro by T-Mobile.
  • The device must not be reported as lost, stolen or blocked.
  • Three hundred sixty-five (365) days must have passed since the device’s activation date. 

About deploying military personnel

Military personnel who are pending deployment do not have to meet the 365-day requirement described in the previous section. To unlock their Metro by T-Mobile device, military personnel (or family members) must visit a Metro by T-Mobile Store with their deployment papers.

Instructions for unlocking your Metro by T-Mobile device

If you received a notification that your device is eligible to be unlocked, please review these instructions for completing the unlocking process.

  1. Make sure you are connected to the Metro by T-Mobile network or Wi-Fi.
  2. Swipe up on your Home screen to open the Apps tray and follow the steps below:
    • Newer Samsung Devices (2019 or newer): Settings > Connections > More Connection Settings > Select Network Unlock
    • Other Android Devices: Use the Device Unlock app or Unlock app pre-installed on your device and follow instructions on-screen. If you do not have this app, your device is unlocked or it is on a 2019 or newer OS.
  3. Select Permanent Unlock
    • If you receive an error, please see the table below with troubleshooting steps.
  4. Wait while the device completes the unlock.
  5. Restart the device.
  6. Contact us at 888-863-8768 if:
    • You do not see the apps or settings listed for your device. You may need a PIN code for unlock, which Metro’s Care team can provide.
    • You meet the eligibility requirements but cannot unlock your device.
    • You have a device not listed above.

If you have an Apple device, once it becomes eligible, Metro by T-Mobile will automatically authorize, and initiate unlock for your device remotely. To complete the unlock on your device, please follow these steps.

  1. Verify that your device is eligible to be unlocked.
  2. Make sure your device is on WiFi.
  3. Insert a non-T-Mobile SIM card into your Apple device and complete the first-time use.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What does my phone being ‘unlocked’ mean?
    A device unlock enables your Metro by T-Mobile device to use a non-Metro by T-Mobile SIM card to connect to a different international or domestic network. This may also be known as a SIM unlock, network unlock, or carrier unlock.

  2. When can I unlock my phone?
    Your phone can be unlocked when you are eligible for unlock. Please see Metro by T-Mobile’s policy for more details.

  3. What happens if I don’t unlock my device?
    Nothing! Your phone will continue to work just as it does today.

  4. Why do I have to wait?
    As a pay in advance service provider, this helps us reduce fraud and misuse of service. This is in line with industry standards for pay in advance services.

  5. When does the service requirement start?
    The service requirement begins from your phone’s activation date. The first day your phone is active with Metro by T-Mobile counts as day 1. Please note that your phone’s activation date is different from your account’s activation date.

    Note: For phones under warranty exchange, the activation date is the date you originally purchased the phone, not the activation date of your warranty exchange handset.

  6. Is there a fee for requesting a device unlock?
    No. We unlock mobile devices that meet eligibility criteria free of charge.

  7. What do I do if I received an error using the Device Unlock app?
    If you receive an error using the Device Unlock app, review the following table for troubleshooting:
Error Message  Information/Troubleshooting
Device not recognized by your service provider. Please call customer care. Rooting your device will disable the unlock application.
Download the latest Metro by T-Mobile software to continue.
Data corrupted during transfer. Please try again. Error during data transfer. Please try again. Ensure the device has stable mobile signal or connect to WiFi.
Restart the device and try again.
Server not responding. Please try again later. No response is received from the server.
Try using an alternate internet connection.
Failure in processing the request. Please reboot device and try again. Ensure that your device has sufficient memory.
Restart the device and try again.
No internet connection available. Please try again when internet connection is available. No internet connection is available:
Device is not connected to 3G/4G LTE/5G.
Please use WiFi or connect to cellular network.

Unable to connect to the server at this time. Please try back again later.

Unlock Failed: This mobile wireless device is not eligible for unlock. For Device Unlock eligibility details, please go online or contact Customer Care.

No response is received from the server.
Try using an alternate internet connection.

The device is not eligible for unlock.

Unlock Failed : System maintenance error, try again later. System Maintenance is currently underway wait and try again later.
Failure in applying the unlock settings. Please try again. The device must be connected to the mobile network (including domestic and international roaming).
Disconnect from Wi-Fi and try again.

December 9, 2020