In this guide we’ll show you how to SIM unlock the Galaxy S9 so you can use it on different carrier networks. That way if you bought the Galaxy S9+ from AT&T, you can still take it to T-Mobile if you want. We’ll explain the different ways to unlock it, and why you might want to.
Samsung’s Galaxy S9 and S9+ are readily available from all major US carriers. Additionally, Samsung offers unlocked models that work everywhere. If you didn’t buy the unlocked model, you’ll have to manually unlock it.
Carriers lock phones so that they don’t work on other networks, that way you’ll never leave for the competition. It’s a common tactic used so you don’t take your phone and number elsewhere. Thankfully SIM unlocking the Galaxy S9 is an easy task. Here’s how to get an unlock code, and how to use it.
Once unlocked, you can use your Galaxy S9 on almost any carrier, or different regions around the globe. This is great for families making the switch to a cheaper carrier plan, or someone who is traveling for work or going on vacation. See the benefits? It gives you the freedom to do what you want with your device.
Keep in mind that the Galaxy S9 is relatively new and you’re probably making monthly payments on it. Carriers will not unlock a phone unless it’s paid off or bought outright. This means you’ll need to use a 3rd party website like Unlockunit.com and follow our steps below. Either way, it’s extremely easy and only takes a few minutes.
How to SIM Unlock the Galaxy S9
To start, we’ll go over the initial instructions for those that already have a SIM unlock code. If you already have a code, here’s how to unlock your phone. Just follow the easy steps below and you’ll be done in minutes. If you need a code too, keep reading for how to get one.
- Dial #06# from your phone and find the IMEI number (or check on the box, in settings)
- Use the IMEI number to request a SIM unlock code from your carrier, or on a 3rd party website
- Turn off the Galaxy S9
- Remove SIM card tray (near the top of the phone) and insert a SIM card from a different carrier (put a T-Mobile SIM into an AT&T device, etc)
- Reboot your phone
- In the pop-up box asking for your code, enter the provided SIM unlock code, then click Unlock
When you start a phone with a SIM card from an unsupported carrier you’ll see something like our image below. This pops up because the phone recognizes you’re using a T-Mobile SIM in an AT&T phone, or similar. This window looks the same on the Galaxy S9.
Once you enter the code and tap on unlock, everything will happen automatically.
- Next, the phone will say Network successfully unlocked
- Occasionally the first code doesn’t work, if so, request another one and try again
- Once successful, you’re free to use the Galaxy S9 on any compatible network.
The entire process is extremely simple and only takes a few minutes. You can do this right at home. That said, the hardest part of this process is getting the unlock code in the first place, which is what we’ll explain next.
Pay to Unlock the Galaxy S9 (SIM Unlock Code)
Considering the Galaxy S9 is still fairly new, you’ll likely need to buy an unlock code. That’s because carriers won’t give you a free code anytime soon.
Honestly, buying a code is the fastest and easiest route. If the phone was a gift, bought used online, or doesn’t meet carrier requirements you can STILL unlock it. You simply get an unlock code from a trusted website online, then follow the instructions detailed below. We recommend websites like Unlockunit, Androidsimunlock, or Unlockriver. Follow their steps to get a code as described below.
- Dial #06# from your phone and find the IMEI number (write it down)
- Use the IMEI to request a SIM unlock code from a 3rd party website as mentioned above
- Turn off your Galaxy S9
- Remove SIM card tray and insert a SIM card from a different carrier (put a T-Mobile SIM into an AT&T device, etc)
- Reboot your phone
- When prompted, enter the provided SIM unlock code in the pop-up box and click Unlock
- Use the Galaxy S9 on any compatible network
The entire process is pretty simple. Supply your IMEI number, carrier model, pay a small fee, then get a SIM unlock code in your email. Once you get the code, follow our instructions and you’re all set.
You may notice these sites offer more than one code with the purchase. This is usually in case the first one doesn’t work. Each site has specific instructions or codes they send, so follow their instructions as well. If one doesn’t work try the second one, or request another set and they’ll usually comply. Buy a code with confidence, and enjoy your SIM unlocked Galaxy S9.
If you don’t want to pay for a code, here are the various ways to get one for free.
How to Get a Galaxy S9 SIM Unlock Code for Free
Obviously, getting an unlock code for free is the best route, but that’s not always possible. There are two ways to get a code. One is to pay (around $20-$25) to a website for a code, and the second is getting it for free from your carrier.
Read: 15 Best Galaxy S9+ Cases
Before we begin, take note that Verizon doesn’t SIM lock devices anymore. If you have a Verizon Galaxy S9, try putting a T-Mobile SIM card in and using it. It should work just fine, although you might need to manually configure the APN settings, which tells the phone which network to connect to.
If you have AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, or other carriers, you can ask for a code by following these steps.
AT&T SIM Unlock Code for Galaxy S9
All carriers require your phone be paid in full or bought outright before they’ll give you an unlock code. If you meet all of their requirements, they’ll email you a code for free. You can’t have early termination fees, any monthly installment payments remaining, and the device can’t be tied to another AT&T account. Also, if the device gets reported lost or stolen they will not unlock it. This happens sometimes from devices found on Craigslist.
If you meet all those requirements, follow these instructions and get a code from AT&T.
- Dial #06# from your phone and find the IMEI number
- Head to AT&T’s device unlock website portal
- Fill out the form with your name, number, IMEI and other steps
- Once complete hit next and request a SIM unlock code
- After you get the code, remove the SIM card and replace it with a SIM from a different carrier
- Reboot phone and enter the code and hit Unlock. (or follow our original instructions at the top of this page)
If you meet all of the requirements, AT&T will complete your request and send a code within 24-48 hours. They provide instructions in the email with the code, but they’re the same as what we just explained above. Unlock your phone and enjoy it.
Sprint Galaxy S9 SIM Unlock Code
Sprint does things similarly to AT&T, but they have some weird limits on the entire process. With Sprint you will get an international unlock code, or a domestic (US) unlock. It’s one or the other, not both. You can unlock a phone to take it to another country, but it will still be tied to Sprint in the US. Or, you can request a U.S. unlock code so you can use it on other carriers stateside.
Your Sprint Galaxy S9 must meet a bunch of requirements before they give you a code, just like AT&T. The account is in good standing, no remaining balance on the phone, and the device hasn’t been reported as stolen or used for fraudulent activities. Additionally, you must use the S9 on their network for 50 days before requesting a code. So if you just bought the Galaxy S9, you need to wait a few months.
- Dial #06# from your phone and find the IMEI number
- Call Sprint customer service by dialing 1-866-866-7509
- Request a Galaxy S9 SIM Unlock code
- Select either domestic or international SIM unlocking. If you request international, the phone will not work on other US carriers. Choose wisely
- If you pass all the requirements you’ll get a code within 24-48 hours
Once you get the code from Sprint, simply follow the same instructions at the top of the page. Enter a non-Sprint SIM, reboot, enter the code and hit unlock.
T-Mobile Galaxy S9 SIM Unlock App
T-Mobile makes this entire process even easier, and they provide an app that does everything for you. As long as you qualify, the T-Mobile Unlock App will do all the work. Again, you can’t have a balance on the phone, be active for over 40 days on T-Mobile, and it can’t be reported lost or stolen. If you have any late fees on your account, this won’t work. If you’re eligible, start the unlock process.
- Find and open the T-Mobile Device Unlock App on your Galaxy S9 (or download it)
- If you pass all requirements hit Continue, then select Permanent Unlock
- The phone will unlock itself and reboot
Basically, T-Mobile’s app finds your IMEI for you, makes sure you’re account and device are eligible, then proceeds. As long as you qualify, you’ll be done in a matter of minutes. Otherwise, the app will let you know the device isn’t eligible for an unlock.
Remember, you need to completely pay off the Galaxy S9 first, or this won’t work. If you have MetroPCS, they use an identical app and system to unlock devices.
SIM unlocking the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ isn’t nearly as hard as you thought. All you need is a code and a spare SIM card and you’re all set. Then just follow our steps and you’ll be done in a matter of minutes.
Keep in mind that you’ll still get software and security updates if you unlock the Galaxy S9. All this process does is allow it to work on other carriers. You’ll still get an update to Android P in late 2018, and security updates every few months. So, don’t worry about any of that and free your Galaxy S9 today.