How to Unlock a GSM Tracfone

By Roseanne Omalacy

Tracfone is a cellular service provider that offers service with no contracts, deposits or credit checks. Tracfone Wireless supplies service to millions of customers, according to the Tracfone website. If you purchase a GSM Tracfone from a low-cost retailer, the phone may be locked electronically to prevent use on other cellular networks. GSM Tracfones use SIM cards, an electronic card that can be unlocked for use on multiple networks by following a few important steps.

Step 1

Remove the back cover and battery from your GSM Tracfone. Write down the serial number printed on the back of the phone. Depending on the model, the serial number may be called an IMEI number and located on a sticker underneath the battery.

Step 2

Locate the SIM card and write down the card number printed on the front of the SIM card. GSM Tracfones operate by using unique Subscriber Identity Module cards, or SIM cards, so make sure you write this number down correctly. Your phone cannot be unlocked if you provide an incorrect SIM number.

Step 3

Call the Tracfone customer service hotline and ask to speak with a technical support professional. Technical support representatives are more familiar with the protocol for unlocking GMS Tracfones and can finish the process faster. To unlock your phone, the technician will need all of the information you wrote down and the make and model of the Tracfone.

Step 4

Fill out a request to obtain a GSM unlocking code for your cellular Tracfone. According to GSM Security, an IMEI is a unique numerical code that identifies a specific phone being used on a mobile network. The technician will fill out the necessary paperwork and submit it for approval with an off-line group that monitors the IMEI numbers used on mobile networks.

Step 5

Contact Tracfone customer service approximately 48 hours after your initial call and ask to speak to a technical support technician for faster service. The technical support representative will give you the unlocking code that was approved for your account by the off-line IMEI group. If your request was denied, ask the representative why your request was denied and obtain information on repealing the denial.

Step 6

Turn the GSM Tracfone on by pushing the power button and a screen will immediately appear, requesting you enter the unlocking code in a box directly below the request code prompt. If the code is accepted, your GSM Tracfone is unlocked and ready for use on multiple cellular networks. Contact the Tracfone customer service hotline again if you have any problems unlocking your phone for service.

Tips & Warnings

  • You must have an active Tracfone account to request an unlocking code for your phone.
  • File a repeal immediately if your request for a passcode is denied. Cellular companies often enforce a time limit for filing repeals.