How To SIM Unlock Samsung Galaxy S8/S8+

The Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ released to much fanfare globally and it has already taken over people’s news feeds in all manner of ways. From people having strong opinions about the virtual assistant Bixby to its rather unique screen aspect ratio. It is in such massive demand that people are purchasing carrier locked phones just to be able to experience the device first hand. However, that does present a challenge for long-term users. They cannot use the S8/S8+ with any cellular provider other than the one the device is locked to. If you follow these steps exactly, you will be able to SIM unlock Samsung Galaxy S8 or S8+ and use it with any cellular service provider around the world.

This guide presumes you still have a working SIM from the carrier, otherwise you will need to get a working original carrier SIM for this to take effect (you’ll need to contact the carrier using their service).

Find Your IMEI Number

The IMEI number is the first and most important step to the process. The IMEI number will prominently be mentioned on paperwork accompanying the box in which your Samsung Galaxy S8/S8+ was shipped. However, in case you have purchased a second-hand/pre-owned device then you run the risk of either not having a box or having one with a missing or mismatching IMEI number. To counter that, we check with the phone itself.

To do that, go to the Dialpad and dial *#06# and it will automatically launch a screen with your IMEI numbers as well as a serial number (in case you ever want to contact Samsung about your phone for some reason).

Since you cannot copy these numbers as you could any text on a device, you can either take a screenshot (Power + Volume Down) or physically write it down.

Step 2: Contact the Carrier

One would think that actual unlocking would require some hacking skills, but it doesn’t. It is as simple as making a phone call to the carrier with whom your device is currently locked. The customer service number will either be on your monthly statement, or you can check from their website. Most providers even leave their number in your contacts under [Provider Name] Helpline. Get in touch with the service provider’s customer service and ask them to give you a ‘Carrier Unlock Code.’

The representative will ask a series of questions to verify that you are indeed the rightful owner of the device in question (varies from provider to provider). After that, they will also ask for your IMEI number. The IMEI number is required because the unlock code will only work on your device and it is mathematically generated. This process is time consuming and can take up to 5 business days to respond. If it takes longer, contact them again to get an update on your unlock code.

The code usually arrives via email unless you specifically ask for a different medium. In case you lose the email, you can ask for the code again.

Step 3: Unlocking your Samsung Galaxy S8/S8+

Your phone does not need to be powered off for this step, but it is prudent if it is. Once it is powered off, you can eject the SIM tray using the pin that comes in your box (or any needle will do) and replace the carrier SIM with your new SIM from a different carrier.

Power on the device and it will inform you that the device is carrier locked and that you should provide an unlock code. This is where you put in the code from your old service provider. The device will take a few minutes to unlock. It might even restart (depends on the carrier) but at the end of this process, you will have a fully unlocked Samsung Galaxy S8/S8+. You can use it exactly the same way as a Factory Unlocked device and switch out your SIM as many times as you want. You can even use your original SIM and it won’t automatically lock.

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About Kelli Smith

Kelli Smith
Kelli runs customer support and creates content for Skillcrush, a digital skills training and education platform with friendly instructors, an active student community, and laser focus on helping you achieve your career goals with technology. She has an MBA and successfully ran an international company and her own freelancing business before pursuing her passion for tech by taking advanced web development classes. Kelli loves listening to tech podcasts at 2x speed, looking for cute Corgi photos online and teaching and performing country line dancing—as a true Texan living in Finland would do. Say hi on Twitter.

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