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How To: Unlocking your Samsung Galaxy S5

How To:  Unlocking your Samsung Galaxy S5


Why do I need to unlock my phone?

If you are traveling to another country from the US or elsewhere, you need to unlock your device so you can use the phone with a carrier in the country you are visiting.  This usually involves replacing the SIM card with the foreign carrier.  If the phone is not unlocked, the phone will not function when you insert the foreign SIM Card and it will just show a screen saying the phone is locked, prompting for an unlock code.

Why do carriers force you to unlock your phone?

Carriers such as AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile, rely on keeping your phone locked with them because it’s much better for business.  If you had to buy a new phone every time you switched phones, you would be more likely to stay with your existing carrier.  Congress recently passed a law called the  Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act which reverses a decision made a few years ago to making unlocking your cellphone illegal without permission from the carrier.

The large carriers found a loophole in the law by creating plans that include the payment of your phone along with carrier charges.  This way, you do not fully own your phone, the carrier does.  Therefore, the carrier does not need to unlock your phone if you ask because you are not the true owner of your phone until the device is paid off.  Of course if you fully pay off the phone, then you own the phone and the carrier must comply.

Unlocking the Phone

The first line of defense is to attempt to contact your carrier and ask if they will unlock the phone. There is a good chance, however, you may get a letter such as the following:


Thank you for contacting AT&T about unlocking your mobile device.Unfortunately, your unlock request was denied because:

You have not fulfilled your service commitment, or you have not completed all the payments for your device according to your AT&T Next service agreement.

You can submit a new request once you complete all your device payments.

Questions? Please call 800.331.0500, or dial 611 from your AT&T wireless phone.

AT&T Business Customer Care


Nasty as this letter sounds, AT&T is in full compliance with the law, although, admittedly they fail miserably in customer satisfaction.  If AT&T or another carrier sends you this outright rejection, there is another avenue you can try and that requires contacting a 3rd party service to unlock the phone.



Unlocking the Phone

To unlock the phone, first you need to get your IMEI number.  The IMEI number stands for International Mobile Equipment Identity and is a unique 15-digit number for your device.  You can get this number by dialing the following number on your phone:


The Samsung S5 will out put something like:


You’ll need this number to provide to an unlocking service along with the model of your phone.

What unlocking service should I use?

The following sites got the most number of good reviews.  I would start by looking at those:





When you get to any of the sites, they will ask for the manufacturer carrier and may ask for the model.  Also they will ask for the first 15 digits of the IMEI number.  Be careful about phone unlocking scams.  There are some sites out there that may be trying to collect IMEI numbers so they can use them on blacklisted stolen phones.  It is also possible that the phone unlocking site may just be trying to collect information about you for the black market.

The typical cost for unlocking an S5 is around $20.00.

Unlocking the Phone

Once you receive your unlocking code from the unlocking service, you can enter it directly with your existing SIM card.  If you dial the following


into your Samsung Galaxy S5,  it will bring up the SIM screen for unlocking your phone.  Simply type the unlocking code you received from the unlocking service and click okay.  If the unlocking code is valid, then your phone will now be unlocked for use with other carriers!







Mike is a software engineer with a love for tinkering with smart phone devices. He spends a lot of time moving pictures to his SD card, because the Android keeps running out of memory. In his spare time, he travels to different parts of the world and takes one of his Android devices with him.


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5 Responses to “How To: Unlocking your Samsung Galaxy S5”

  1. admin says:

    I recently used Doctor SIM to unlock my Galaxy S5 as well as my wife’s iPhone 6. They came through with unlocking instructions in less than a week. I highly recommend this service because it was fast and reliable.

    • Georgina S. says:

      Thank you for the lovely article! If anyone is having a problem with the instructions here, their code or is looking for a place to get a code to unlock their phone, I would suggest giving http://www.unlockyoursim.com a go. It doesn’t cost at all, you just need to complete a short survey (I know, one of those!) but it worked for me so.. it’s worth trying out. It really helped! Best of luck 🙂

  2. Keto says:

    If anyone needs my service for unlocking your samsung devices my service takes around 5-10 minutes and cost $15 no BS interested clients only please “Admin” feel free to check me out would possibly love to have my site added to your list of trusted site thanks.

  3. Luke says:

    This is great article I have used http://www.mobileunlocked.com which is not listed above. Maybe admin should consider to list them because they are great phone unlocking company.

    This was the third time I’d used Mobile Unlocked on behalf of my Customers after their current providers either failed to provide or provided incomplete or incorrect unlocking instructions. Once again, Mobile Unlocked came to my rescue, providing clear and concise instructions along with correct unfreeze and unlock codes. ‘Unlock successful’ every time with Mobile Unlocked – it’s such a relief when that happens when you’re doing it on behalf of a customer!

  4. Anna says:

    I used Doctor Sim to unlock my mobile phone a couple of weeks ago and I couldn’t be happier! I got fed up waiting for an answer from my carrier. Took less than 5 minutes to make the request and received my instructions and unlocking code in less an hour. I was nervous pressing the send button because I’ve heard there are a lot of scams out there but was worth it at that price. I gambled and it paid off!! I would definitely use Doctor SIM again.

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