TracFone is one of the most popular prepaid phone service providers in the USA. Thanks to the fact that they operate on all three major networks, AT&T’s, T-Mobile’s, and Verizon’s, makes their coverage extremely good and reliable.
They also offer a wide range of phones, ranging from entry-level all the way to the latest top-notch devices. Since Samsung phones are the most popular choice these days among many TracFone users, we decided to prepare this special article that will provide you with all you need to know in order to unlock TracFone Samsung phones.
So, if you have a TracFone Samsung phone that you want to use with other SIM cards, you need to read this article carefully as it will provide you with all you need to know to make that transition as smooth as possible.
Are you ready to dig in and discover how to unlock TracFone Samsung phones? Let’s do this.
Are Samsung TracFone Phones Unlocked
As this article’s title suggests, we will be focusing on how to unlock TracFone Samsung phones, which wouldn’t make much sense if TracFone phones came unlocked. With that said, we must tell you that all TracFone phones come locked to their network.
However, since the 2016 (FCC ruling (details below)) there has been a so-called ‘Unlocking Policy’ set in place, which means that all TracFone devices, including Samsung phones, can be unlocked by the carrier. This process is known as the ‘carrier unlock’ and may be requested by all TracFone customers that have an unlock-eligible device.
Continue reading to learn all the details about the TracFone unlocking policy and to get step-by-step instructions on how to unlock TracFone Samsung phones.
FCC Ruling Details
Since 2016 all carriers are allowed to provide their customers only with an unlockable device (a device that can be unlocked and used with other wireless providers). In case the device is not unlockable, the customer is eligible for compensation (if all other conditions are met).
The most important point of the FFC ruling include the following:
- A carrier must offer to unlock handsets after one year of purchase
- A carrier must offer to unlock all previously purchased phones
- The carrier must give credit/refund for exchanging non-unlockable cell phones.
- A carrier must provide partial cash refunds for older models.
How to Know if My TracFone Samsung is Locked
Since all TracFone phones come locked, you can be quite confident that your TracFone Samsung is locked unless you have requested the unlocking yourself.
In addition, you may always use TracFone’s customer support to check your phone’s condition. You can reach them at 1-800-867-7183. Their support centers operate from 8 AM to 11:45 PM (EST) 7 days a week.
What Should I Prepare Before Unlocking Samsung TracFones
Before unlocking Samsung TracFones, you need to prepare your phone’s IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) number, especially if you plan on using a third party’s unlocking services. You can locate your device’s IMEI number in the phone’s menu or physically within the battery compartment (for models that enable you to open them). You may also locate the phone’s IMEI number on the original packaging of your phone. Keep in mind that IMEI is often marked as MEID (Mobile Equipment Identifier). You can also retrieve the IMEI by calling *#06# on your phone.
However, if you want to use your carrier unlock service, you do not need anything else than TracFone customer support’s phone number (of course, assuming that you have already confirmed that your device is eligible for the carrier to unlock). Make sure to call during their operating hours (as listed in the previous section).
To actually complete the unlocking process, you will also need another carrier’s SIM card. You are prompted to enter the unlocking code once you use your TracFone Samsung phone with another carrier.
Requirements for Unlocking a Samsung TracFones Device
In order to unlock Tracfone Samsung devices, you will need to meet a specific set of requirements. TracFone has a detailed Unlocking Policy set in place and is available on their website. To access it, visit their official website, scroll down to the footer, and click on the ‘UNLOCKING POLICY’, which is the second item in the footer menu.
Here are the requirements stated in TracFone’s unlocking policy:
- Customers must request handset unlocking.
- Customers must have had their locked device activated on TracFone service for no fewer than 12 months, redeemed air time cards in no fewer than 12 months, and not have had their telephone number recycled or ported.
- Therefore, Customers must request this interim unlocking solution while their service is active or within 60 days after their active service days expire. This 60-day grace period applies even if the customer’s telephone number was recycled or ported.
- Customers must currently own a TracFone branded handset model launched on TracFone’s service after February 11, 2014, or activated with TracFone’s service after February 11, 2015.
- Customers must possess a handset that is in working condition.
- Therefore, Customers must possess a handset that is not reported stolen, lost, or associated with fraudulent activity.
- Customers are eligible for unlocking only once every twelve months.
Special Military Personnel Unlocking Policy:
- If a customer requesting handset unlocking is deployed military personnel, upon provision of deployment papers, TracFone will honor that customer’s unlocking request by sending a refund for the Trade-in Value of the used, locked phone returned by the customer without regard for the 12 months of service activation and air card redemption eligibility requirements.
- All other eligibility criteria apply to TracFone’s customers who are deployed military personnel.
How to Unlock TracFone Samsung Cell Phones
There are several ways to unlock TracFone Samsung or any other phone. Since there are many options that provide poor results and can cause issues, we will not mention those methods herein. We will solely focus on the methods that are legit and provide great results.
In general, there are two best ways to unlock Samsung TracFone – either directly via TracFone (aka carrier unlock) or by using one of the reputable third-party unlocking services (we will cover some of them below).
Unlock TracFone Samsung by Carrier
If you want to use the official TracFone’s option to unlock your TracFone Samsung, you need to follow the steps provided in this subsection.
- Step #1: Make sure that you are eligible for unlocking. Check the ‘Requirements for Unlocking a Samsung TracFones Device’ section. You may also visit tfwunlockpolicy.com, where you get to enter your phone number or serial number at the bottom of the page and check eligibility. Another option for you to check eligibility is to call TracFone’s customer support.
- Step #2:Getting your unlock code. Once you’ve confirmed that your device is eligible for unlocking, you need to get a unlock code. To do so you need to call the TracFone customer support at 1-800-867-7183 during their service hours (8 AM – 11:45 PM EST every day). Once on the phone, tell them that you are calling to attain an unlock code for your phone. The code will be dictated to you (so have a pen and a piece of paper ready) or send to your email address.
- Step #3:Get another carrier’s SIM card. Unless you plan on using another carrier’s SIM card there is no purpose in unlocking your phone. As such, you get to enter the unlocking code when you have another carrier’s SIM card inside your device. These days you can buy any SIM card online (you often get it for free with plans).
- Step #4:Switch the SIM cards. Make sure to turn off your phone first. Then take out the TracFone SIM card and insert another carrier’s SIM card. Make sure to use the proper SIM card adaptor size to fit your phone’s SIM card slot. Once you’ve switched the SIM cards, turn your device back on. Make sure to enter your new SIM card’s PIN.
- Step #5: Entering the code. After entering the PIN code, you will be prompted to enter the unlocking code that was provided to you by the TracFone representative. Enter the code and press ‘OK’. Wait for the confirmation message. If the code was accepted, you should get a message confirming that.
- Step #6:Enjoy using your phone with other carriers.
Using Third-Party Services To Unlock TracFone Samsung
Since there are some limitations to the carrier unlocking option, you may be interested in exploring the third-party unlocking options. If so, you want to pay attention to this section. We will cover some of the most reputable unlocking services providers herein; however, feel free to choose any provider you want but make sure to do your own research first to avoid potential scams.
All reputable unlocking service providers operate in a very similar manner. You normally visit their official website, where you chose your phone model (in some cases also a carrier to which your phone is locked), enter your phone’s IMEI number, complete the payment, and receive the unlocking code in return.
So, these are the general step to take when using third-party unlocking services:
- Step #1: Visit the official website of the unlocking service provider.
- Step #2: Enter/select your phone model.
- Therefore, Step #3: Enter your phone’s IMEI number.
- Step #4: Complete the online payment.
- Step #5: Receive the unlocking code. Typically delivered via email.
- Step #6: Follow steps #3-#6 from the previous section.
Some Of The Most Reputable Third-Party Unlocking Providers
- AT&T Unlock Codes
- Canada Unlocking
- Online Unlocks
- Bonus (free unlocking): Unlocky.org
Some of the above unlocking providers have designated pages for unlocking specific TracFone Samsung phone models.
- For instance, DirectUnlocks offers a designated page for Samsung S7 (directunlocks.com). Once on the page, you select what network is the Samsung S7 lock to, enter your phone’s IMEI number, and click the ‘Unlock your TracFone Samsung S7’ button to initiate the process.
- Another example is AT&T Unlock Codes. It offers a designated page for the Samsung Galaxy A10e unlocking (attunlockcodes.com). Once on the page, you simply enter your phone’s IMEI and your contact number. Then click the ‘Add to cart’ button to complete the purchase.
- The last example we will take a closer look at is Online Unlocks. They have a designated webpage for Samsung Galaxy J3 Luna Pro unlocking (onlineunlocks.com). Once on the page, you only need to enter your phone’s IMEI number and click the ‘ADD TO CART’ button to complete the purchase.
FAQs – Frequently Ask Questions
Are There Any Risks In Unlocking Tracfone Phones?
If you unlock your TracFone device using the official TracFone unlocking process or reputable IMEI unlocking providers there are no risks. However, using some other unreputable unlocking methods can result in unwanted issues.
What’s the difference between a locked and unlocked Samsung TracFone?
A locked TracFone Samsung phone is a phone that is only able to operate using a TracFone SIM card. An unlocked TracFone Samsung phone is able to accept other SIM cards and operate on other carriers’ networks.
Why choose to unlock with IMEI over different methods?
Aside from the official TracFone unlocking process (which also uses the IMEI unlocking), the third-party unlocking based on IMEI offers a safe and seamless solution. IMEI unlocking is noninvasive and delivers permanent unlocking solutions.
Can I unlock my Samsung phone on TracFone if I am still under contract?
It depends on the type of contract you are under. As long as you meet the unlocking eligibility requirements (see the ‘Requirements for Unlocking a Samsung TracFones Device’ section) you are able to use the official TracFone unlocking.
Otherwise, you may always use any of the reputable third-party IMEI unlocking providers.
What to do when your Samsung doesn’t ask for the unlock code?
If your Samsung phone doesn’t ask for the unlocking code upon the reboot, simply proceed. If the phone is able to connect to the network and you can make and accept calls, it’s evidently been unlocked already.
In some cases, you will be prompted to enter the unlocking code after manually selecting to connect to the network or trying to make a call.
If your phone remains locked and you can’t locate a way to enter your unlocking code, make sure to get in touch with the company that provided the unlocking code and ask for assistance.
Why are phones locked?
This is partly due to safety and partly due to providers’ marketing strategy to keep you locked to their services and thus their plans.
Wrapping Things Up
At this point, you know a lot about the unlock TracFone Samsung phone process and all the information related to it. You know what steps to take to unlock TracFone Samsung phones. You also have a clear understanding of the terms and concepts related to phone unlocking in general. With that, you can get your TracFone Samsung phone unlocked ASAP and start enjoying using it with other carriers.