In this post, we’ll be covering everything you need to know on how to unlock a MetroPCS phone for free. Like almost everyone else, the mobile carrier usually offers devices that it has locked to its network. So, you can’t use other compatible wireless networks at the time.
Nonetheless, the network lock is usually temporary as you can request/ get the unlock key, provided you certify the requirements Metro demands.
Is a Locked MetroPCS Phone Really Worth it?
MetroPCS (or Metro by T-Mobile) is one of the prepaid carriers you can consider when looking for phone service with no contract. It also offers budget-friendly rate plans, starting from $30/ month to $50 and $60 for the two unlimited plans.
Similar to other carriers, Metro usually generates its revenue through the rate plans, activation fees, and the retail department. The retail department is basically a store where the operator sells phones, tablets, and accessories.
However, the phones and tablets from MetroPCS usually come locked to the carrier’s network. So, it can’t recognize SIM cards from other carriers until you have removed the network restriction.
Conversely, the locked Metro devices are usually slightly cheaper than the factory-unlocked catalog from the manufacturers. And the best part, the operator has plenty of free phone deals for new customers with no trade-in required.
So, you could take advantage of these promo deals to upgrade to a more decent LTE or 5G device. A few examples include:
|MetroPCS LTE & 5G Phones/ Tablets||Promo Savings||Cellular Technology||Built-in ROM/ RAM|
|Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G Graphite Phone||$500 (Partial discount)||4G LTE & 5G||128GB, 6GB|
|Apple iPhone SE (2020) Smartphone||$400 (full discount)||4G LTE||64GB, 3GB|
|Apple iPhone SE (2022) Smartphone||$350 (Partial discount)||4G LTE & 5G||64GB, 4GB|
|Motorola Moto G Stylus 5G-Capable Cell Phone||$260 (Full Discount)||4G LTE & 5G||128GB, 4GB|
|Samsung Galaxy A13 5G 64GB Memory Phone||$270 (Full Discount)||4G LTE & 5G||64GB, 4GB|
|OnePlus Nord N200 5G/ LTE Cell Phone||$230 (Full Discount)||4G LTE & 5G||64GB, 4GB|
|Apple iPhone 11 A13 Bionic Mobile Phone||$450 (Partial Discount)||4G LTE||64GB, 4GB|
|Motorola Moto G Power LTE Phone||$190 (Full Discount)||4G LTE Only||64GB, 4GB|
|Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite 8.7” Android Tablet||$100 (Partial Discount)||4G LTE||32GB, 3GB|
|T-Mobile® REVVL V+ 5G/ LTE Android Phone||$200 (Full Discount)||4G LTE & 5G||64GB, 4GB|
|Alcatel GO FLIP4 Basic Flip Phone||$100 (Full Discount)||4G LTE Only||4GB, 0.5GB|
MetroPCS has No Contract with You
Indeed, MetroPCS, as a prepaid service, doesn’t perform a credit check or require a contract to join. So, you can not only apply with bad credit or no credit at all but also leave anytime you wanted.
You can even leave after receiving your free phone. But considering the devices will be locked to the network, you should wait until you’ve unlocked them for other networks.
It’s also worth noting that Metro doesn’t support domestic or international roaming services. So, you can either use WiFi to connect with your family while outside its coverage areas. Or else get a pay-as-you-go phone service in your current location, provided your Metro phone or tablet is unlocked.
A DIY Guide on How to Unlock a MetroPCS Phone For Free
Overall, the process to unlock a MetroPCS phone is free if you’re using the carrier. It doesn’t matter whether you just want to keep your device open for other networks, switch to another operator, or sell it at a profit on eBay.
Secondly, unlocking your Metro phone or tablet is pretty straightforward and quick for even the non-geeks. You just have to meet the crucial requirements, which include:
- Device Purchase
Similar to other carriers, MetroPCS can only unlock devices purchased from them. And that can be either from its official website, in-store dealers, or retail partners like Walmart.
- Customer vs non-customer
If you’re a Metro subscriber, either current or former, Metro will unlock your eligible phone and tablet free of charge. But for the non-customer, CTIA, the association that represents the wireless communication here in the U.S., says the carrier reserves the right to charge you.
- Device Lock Period
Usually, the device unlocking period varies from carrier to carrier. For instance, Verizon and Spectrum Mobile both unlock your device after sixty days, whereas Mint is twelve months and US Mobile or Pure Talk at purchase.
On its end, Metro used to unlock their devices after ninety days since activation. But while adopting the new name- Metro by T-Mobile, the company revised its “Terms & Conditions”. And that includes the device unlock policy, where you’re now eligible for the feature after one hundred eighty (180) days.
- Device Red Flagging
Sadly, MetroPCS doesn’t unlock devices that it has blacklisted. The blacklist largely comprises the devices that the previous owners have reported as lost or stolen.
But carriers will also blacklist your phone if you have an outstanding balance on your account past the agreed due date. Of course, this would apply to postpaid carriers like Xfinity Mobile or T Mobile. But SmartPay does support device financing directly from MetroPCS.
So, you could also have your device blacklisted if SmartPay raises issues of non-payment with MetroPCS. And that means the phone or tablet in question will also be ineligible for free unlocking.
#4 Easy Ways to Unlock a MetroPCS Phone for Free
If your MetroPCS phone has passed all the four requirements above, you can now go ahead and unlock it. The carrier will even send an alert when your device becomes eligible, plus a message on how to proceed with the process.
- Unlock a Metro Phone for Free with the Preinstalled App
Well, this is the easiest way to unlock a Metro Android phone or tablet for free. It usually involves the use of the preinstalled unlock app or setting in the device and rarely fails if you’re already eligible.
To unlock a Metro phone for free with the preinstalled app:
- Connect the locked metro phone to its own data or home WiFi
- Locate the Device Unlock app (in either the main apps menu or Metro folder). If you have a newer device, chances are that it won’t have the preinstalled unlock app. You’ll have to go to Settings >> Connections >> More Connection Settings to get the “Network Unlock” option
- Once you have found the Device Unlock app or the Network Unlock setting, tap it to reveal the “Permanent Unlock” button. You might get popup prompts asking for permission to access certain settings, and you should “Allow” to proceed
- Now select that “Permanent Unlock” button to initiate the unlocking process. It should take like 8-18 seconds to complete, depending on how fast the phone processes commands
- After completing Step (4), the app will display an “Unlocked Approved” message and your mobile device will be permanently unlocked. However, the settings won’t apply until you restart the device.
So, tap the “Restart Now” option or use the usual power button. And once your device is back on, you should be able to use it with other compatible SIM cards.
- Unlock a Metro Phone for Free with a Unique Code
The use of a unique code is a great alternative to unlock your Metro device without the “Device Unlock” app or “Network Unlock” setting. However, different phones and tablets will require a different code in most cases.
So, to proceed:
- Make sure your phone is eligible for unlock
- Call the Metro Customer service number 1-888-863-8768 and request the agent to give you the unlock code compatible with your phone model.
- Provide the Metro agent with your additional information, including the Name on the account, PIN, and email address. You’ll also need to provide the phone number linked to the Metro phone you’d want to unlock
- Go back to your email provided in Step (3) and confirm you’ve received the unlock code, plus the instructions on how to use them.
- Finally, use the instructions from your confirmation email in Step (4) to complete unlocking your device.
It’s worth noting that Metro might send you two unlock codes to use on your device: Service provider code Lock (SPCK) and a network control key (NCK). So, you can use either that works or even both, as per the model of your phone.
Another thing, this method to unlock your Metro phone isn’t as fast as Option (a) above. Why? The confirmation email with the codes and instructions can take up to two or even three business days to arrive.
- Unlock a Metro Phone for Free Automatically
YES, indeed, Metro does unlock some of their devices automatically and remotely after you have become eligible. However, the rule only applies to Apple phones.
Even though Metro will authorize and initiate unlock for your iPhone remotely, you’ll still have to complete the setup manually. And to do that:
- Connect your iPhone to WiFi
- Confirm the device model’s eligible for unlocking
- Power off the phone and insert a non-Metro SIM card
- Complete the first-use setup with the new SIM card
- Once you complete the setup, sign in to your Apple ID, then test your phone can call, text, and browse.
In case your iPhone still read no SIM in Step (4) or doesn’t get the setup prompt, you might need to factory reset it. But before you erase everything, make sure you backup your iPhone so you can easily restore them.
- Unlock a MetroPCS Phone through the Local Dealer
If either of the above methods to unlock your phone has failed, you can visit the nearest Metro by T-Mobile local store for assistance. You’ll only need to carry your service account details and the phone number linked to the device you’d want to unlock.
Key Takeaway: Networks Compatible with an Unlocked MetroPCS Phone
Once you’ve unlocked your Metro phone, it should be able to work with other network operators. But remember different phone carriers usually operate at varying channels (or frequencies).
So, your newly-unlocked Metro phone should support at least one of the main bands of the other network for it to work. Otherwise, the device might accept the non-Metro SIM card but it fails to record any signal.
Regardless, the eight best carriers compatible with an unlocked MetroPCS/ Metro by T-Mobile phone include:
- Mint Mobile
- Red Pocket
- Ultra Mobile
- Google Fi
- Cricket Wireless
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I unlock my phone myself for free?
Yes, of course, you can unlock your Metro phone yourself for free. But the device will need to have the preinstalled “Device Unlock” app or setting. Otherwise, you’ll have to use the Unlock code approach, which might delay returning the confirmation email.
How do I unlock my MetroPCS phone to any carrier?
Basically, Metro unlocks Apple iPhone devices automatically and remotely after becoming eligible for unlocking.
Meanwhile, you can unlock your MetroPCS Android phone to other carriers by either using the preinstalled app, unlock code, or at the local dealer store.
What is the unlock app for MetroPCS?
The unlock app for MetroPCS usually comes preinstalled on various Samsung and other Android devices. It’s very easy to use from the on-screen instructions, and you can have your device unlocked in less than two minutes.
Is there a way to unlock a phone from a carrier?
In my opinion, the best way to unlock a phone from a carrier will be using the provider who has locked it. However, there are online services like Direct Unlocks that claim can help unlock your device even before the 180 days. But as you opt for them, do know it’ll cost you and also violates the warranty and terms of service with your carrier.
Carrier-locked devices are usually cheaper and you even enjoy amazing offers with even full discounts. On the other hand, an unlocked phone is usually more flexible and has more freedom to operate than the branded ones.
In our guide, we’ve looked at four different ways you can unlock a MetroPCS phone for free. Nonetheless, the use of the preinstalled “Device Unlock” app is the most convenient for Android users as it’s more of a self-service and instant.