How to Unlock a Samsung Sprint Cell Phone

By Paul Dohrman

If you want to switch your Samsung phone from Sprint to another carrier, you may have to contend with more than just contractual requirements. The phone itself may lock out other carriers. This software issue prevents incoming and outgoing calls when another provider’s chip is in the phone. To get your phone to accept another carrier’s chip, you’ll need an unlock code.

Things You'll Need

  • Unlock code

Step 1

Open the Samsung page at My Unlock Code, Unlocking, Mobile Unlocked or GSM Liberty. See Resources for the links. All four are pay sites. For My Unlock Code, you'll have to search on the model name to find it.

Step 2

Select your phone’s model number from the list of phone models.

Step 3

Take out the phone’s battery. Look for the International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number underneath. You will be prompted for it because they use it to generate the unlock code. The IMEI also allows the sites to verify the phone isn’t stolen.

Step 4

When you receive the unlock code by email, type it in exactly as it appears. For example, “A5046J Send” should be entered into your keypad while in phone mode as 250465. “Send” the code to be processed by your phone by pressing the "Call/Talk" button.

Step 5

Exchange the old carrier’s SIM chip in the battery compartment with the new service provider’s chip. If calls still won’t go through, repeat Step 4 a few more times and then contact the company that generated the code so it can resolve it for you.

Tips & Warnings

  • When you travel abroad, you can add a second carrier to avoid your domestic provider’s international roaming charges. Just put in the international carrier’s chip when abroad and put back in your domestic carrier’s chip when you return home.
  • Your current carrier’s customer service department may give you an unlock code for free. Go to a local Sprint store or call their customer service line. Use a landline so you that you program the Samsung and confirm it works before you get off the phone with them. If you’re unlocking the phone to travel abroad, mention this immediately; customer service will be freer with unlock codes to customers who aren’t bolting for the competition. The first representative you reach may know nothing about unlock codes. Don’t be impolite. Just thank them and call again. The second rep may know, and you don’t want notes made on your file by the first rep to discourage the second rep’s cooperation.