How to Unflash a Flashed Phone

By Robert Schrader

There are two main types of cell phone technology as of November 2010: CDMA and GSM. If you use a GSM device, you can change carriers by simply inserting a new, plastic SIM card into your phone. CDMA phones, on the other hand, require a "flash"--in other words, a reconfiguration of their internal programming--to be used on multiple wireless networks. Keeping this in mind, the process of "unflashing" a CDMA phone is more straightforward than you might think.

Step 1

Discontinue any service you've established with the carrier from which you wish to unflash. While you will not be able to use a phone with, say, Verizon if it's not flashed to that carrier, Verizon (or whichever carrier you use) can still bill you for service that is connected.

Step 2

Flash your phone to the new carrier of your choice. As CDMA phones must be programmed specifically to work on any network, the only means of unflashing a CDMA phone from a given network is to flash it to another. If you want to use carrier MetroPCS or Cricket, you may take them to a respective retail store in order to flash them. Otherwise, contact a cell phone or computer repair specialist in your area to complete the process.

Step 3

Establish a new line of service with your desire carrier. You won't be able to use your "reflashed" phone with your new carrier until you have established an account with them.