15 Oct 2010
By Kristen Boschma

Telstra removes unlock fee for Apple iPhone for jet-setting Aussies

UPDATE, 2 September, 2013: These instructions are now out of date. Please read our updated post, “How to use your iPhone overseas“.

Pre-Paid iPhone unlocking instructions:

Check and pay your iPhone unlocking fee by either calling 13 22 00 and saying ‘Prepaid’ or visiting a Telstra store.

To unlock your Post-Paid Apple iPhone from Telstra:

Step 1: Provide your Apple iPhone details to Telstra

A. When you call through it’s also best to have your phone’s IMEI number handy. This is normally on the box that your phone came in however if you’ve thrown it away or don’t have it, the easiest way to get it is by keying * # 0 6 # and then pressing the “call” button on your phone. This should then display a 15 digit number which is your IMEI.

B. Calling 13 22 00 and say ‘Prepaid’ or visit a Telstra store.

C. The Telstra consultant will take your details and pass them to Apple to complete the unlock.  This process can take up to 72 hours.

Step 2: After 72 hours, connect your Apple iPhone to iTunes to finalise the unlock process

  • Ensure you have the latest version of iTunes, you can find this within iTunes underiPhone > Summary tab
  • Insert a non- Telstra SIM in your iPhone handset.  If you do not insert a non-Telstra SIM, the unlock process will not work
  • Back up your iPhone and ensure you check that all your applications and iTunes data are listed in the relevant sections in iTunes
  • After you have backed up all your data, click on restore to factory settings which is also found within iTunes under iPhone > Summary tab
  • On your iPhone download the latest version of iOS by going into Settings > General > Software update
  • On iTunes within devices > iPhone, depending on the carrier you are switching to, you will see a message stating ”Your iPhone has been unlocked” signalling your unlock is complete. Some carriers may not display this message.
  • Reconnect your iPhone and sync with iTunes


Posts: 56


  1. maximuff13 says:

    can some body help me?
    my 3gs have a telstra simlock, can i unlock it from germany ?
    and how can i unlock it from germany… ?

    Thank you

  2. Stephan says:

    Is there any chances to get IPhone unlocked if you are not an first owner? I got my IPhone few months back, from a friend from Aus. He bought IPhone on free market, all I know is that it was on contract who had expire…

  3. bernardo says:

    hello, i want to know if i could unlock my iphone, its from telstra, i`m living in Argentina now, and i need the phone, how can i do it? thanks a lot!

    • Gigi [Telstra Staff] says:

      Hi Bernardo,

      Have a chat to our 24x7 Live Chat customer service team online via this link: they’ll be able to help you with this.
      Please be aware that your phone may not be compatible with the Argentinian phone network so I would recommend Googling the spectrum frequency that your phone operates on (or ask the customer service team) and making sure that it is the same as the ones in Argentina (850 and 1900, which can be found on this website: )

      I hope that all makes sense!

  4. Greg says:

    I have contacted Telstra regarding unlocking an IPHONE 3GS

    The telephone line was really bad and I am not sure what I need to do next and how I will know its been unlocked.?

    I don’t have a sim card in the phone at the moment.
    The lady got me to reset the phone back to factory settings She took all the details of the phone.



    • Gigi [Telstra Staff] says:

      Hi Greg,

      If the line was good enough for our customer operative to hear the request then it should be unlocked as it happens automatically. But just to be sure, if you have a spare five minutes today I recommend you jump online with our 24x7 Live Chat customer service team and ask them. You can find them here:

  5. MattyMatt says:

    Just called to have my iphone 4S unlocked, which was needed for a work sim card on another network. The call was very pleasant with no problems at all, I just gave the reason and provided the IMEI number. No charge, and I was advised it would take 5 hours. Tried 5 minutes after the call and it was already unlocked. No connecting to itunes, no backup, nothing. All I did was power off and on, put in another SIM card and it asked for Activation at the unlock screen and all I did was swipe and started using the phone and off I go. I called at 7:30pm on a saturday night not expecting to get anyone at all. Awesome service from Telstra, very impressed!

  6. Luke says:

    Hi, I’ve just cancelled my contract with Vodafail and have a telstra sim. My Iphone is locked to Voda’s network. Can I get you guys to unlock it? Or do I have to go back to them?

    • Gigi [Telstra Staff] says:

      Welcome Luke! Glad to have you on board :)
      You’ll have to get them to unlock it from their network.

  7. Meg Galbraith says:

    I have just bought a second hand Iphone4 which is locked to the Telstra network even though the contract has now expired. The instructions above indicate that I would need to know the previous owner’s mobile number and type of contract, which I don’t have. Can you help me to unlock the phone please?

  8. Sally says:

    I am no longer a telstra customer but my phone is still locked to Telstra. I called them up and they tell me you have to be a customer to have it unlocked!

    • Gigi [Telstra Staff] says:

      Hi Sally,

      Not sure who you spoke to, that’s incorrect :( if the phone is locked to Telstra we can unlock it whether you’re a customer or not. I recommend re-calling them or speaking to our dedicated 24x7 Customer Service team via Live Chat (links above) who will be able to help you out.

  9. Jenny Wu says:

    I m from Malaysia and just got iPhone 4 from. Australia from a relative. How to unlock and what phone no should I call or website so that I could talk to them how to unlock my phone. Than you

  10. lylw says:

    hi i need help unlocking my telstra iphone 4s in south africaa

  11. Phan says:

    Hi, i recently called Telstra to unlock my iphone 4, the consultant i spoke to asked for my imei number and said that she will put the request through and i was advised to sync my iphone on itunes which i did, how can i check if it is really unlocked as i tried placing another networks sim into my iphone and it says sos only.

  12. Bill Yong says:

    My friend from Australia got a iPhones 4s given by her daughter. She brought the phone to Malaysia and will staying here for period of time, she can’t use the phone here because it is locked by Telstra, can I unlock it from Malaysia by calling Telstra? What is the contact number should I call? Thanks.

  13. Steven B says:

    just used the telstra chat thing:

    the chick unlocked my iphone 4s in about 5 minutes, she said 5-72 hours but it worked instantly, all i did was give her the IMEI and she goes “wait a few minutes whle i sort it out” and bam done, soooo yeh it works that easily to all who are wondering

  14. Linda P says:

    Can I unlock my iPhone if its still under contract with Telstra ?

  15. Emma. c says:

    Hi, my mum has finished her contract with a iphone 4s and has started a new contract. i am currently trying to use her old iphone that has been completely paid for but due to being on a different network, it does not register. do i need to pay an unlock fee, even though it has been brought completely?

  16. Pj says:

    Guys so easy. its 10pm in QLD bought a locked phone,
    called the telstra number told them i bought a iphone locked and gave them the imei number. put a virgin sim in turned it off and back on, plugged into the pc and it was unlocked!
    that easy and they were super nice took 3 mins max all up from calling to now

    • WD says:

      Tried the 24x7 link to unlock a phone that I bought. Was told I had to be a Telstra customer, and the original owner to unlock. The complete opposite to what it says above.

  17. Liz says:

    Can you take the phone into a bricks and mortar store and get them to do it?

    • Ian [Telstra Community Manager] says:

      Hi Liz,
      If it’s a pre-paid phone you can take it to a Telstra store, otherwise if its a post-paid phone you’re best to call 13 22 00 and say “unlock” when asked the reason for the call – the Telstra consultant will then take down the details (see above steps) and submit the request to Apple to unlock the phone.

  18. Kel says:

    Hi All, Can I get my phone unlocked if I am on a plan with Telstra. I am going over to Europe and really want to use my I-phone without the all the charges as I received a $2k phone bill last year when I was over there!!Plus I use my phone as my camera so it’s just handy…
    Cheers :)

    • Ian [Telstra Community Manager] says:

      Hi Kel,
      Yes you can. You will need to follow the “To unlock your Post-Paid Apple iPhone from Telstra:” steps mentioned in the post above. Have a great trip :)

  19. Helen says:

    How come when trying to unlock my IPhone 4 on ringing Telstra they have said it costs $150 but the site clearly states it is free

    • Ian [Telstra Community Manager] says:

      Hi Helen,
      Thanks for the comment – this is standard with Telstra’s pre-paid unlocking policy. The unlocking fee is only for pre-paid customers who are less than six months into their contract. If the contract is more than six months old then the unlocking fee is waived.

  20. Miguel says:

    You are awesome :) one of your agents help me so much :) to unlock my iPhone

  21. Geo says:

    Hello, I have an iPhone 4 encoded Telstra Australia, I can help you decode it? thank you

    • Az [Telstra Community Manager] says:

      Hi Geo,
      You should follow the instructions in the blog post to unlock your phone. There are different instructions for both Pre-Paid and Post Paid phones.

  22. Marni says:

    Hey, my boyfriend recently gave me his old Iphone 4. It is locked to Telstra and I can’t unlock it. What can I do?

    • Az [Telstra Community Manager] says:

      Hi Marni,
      Have you tried following the instructions in this blog post to unlock your phone? Give it a try and let us know how you go!

  23. Shaun says:


    I have 2 iPhone 4 I purchased from aust post outright. Can I unlock the for free as I am moving overseas?

    • Az [Telstra Community Manager] says:

      Hi Shaun,
      Yes you can. Please follow up the steps in the blog post above and we can sort this out for you.

  24. Mick.w says:

    hello, i want to know if i could unlock my iphone, its from America and is locked to sprint, i’m an aussie, and i need the phone to be unlocked so I can use it with telstra, how can i do it? thanks a lot!

  25. Mick.w says:

    and it is an iphone5

  26. Ash B says:

    I bought an iPhone 4 from ebay that is locked to Telstra. I only have an Optus sim and so I’m hoping to get it unlocked. I don’t know the phone number of the original owner or if they were on a prepaid network or a plan. I’m not sure how to find the iPhone’s serial number without a sim installed (can’t unlock the phone) but I do have the IMEI number. Will I be able to get the phone unlocked? I tried the 24x7 chat thing but the operator asked for the phone number so I exited.

    • Az [Telstra Community Manager] says:

      Hi Ash,
      If we sold the phone initially, we should be able to unlock it for you.

      Try the 24×7 Live Chat:×7-service. Explain the situation as to why you don’t have a phone number and they’ll be able to help you out with getting your iPhone unlocked.

  27. Neil says:

    I am being told I have to pay $27.50 to have my phone unlocked; it allegedly being a pre-paid phone on a post-paid service. Neither of these terms are mentioned in my contract nor can I find any information on this on the Telstra web pages. When I enter my IMEI number I’m told it is a “Pre-Paid iPhone service” and given a number to call (125 8880). I ring that number and am told they can’t help me and to ring 1800 816 655. I ring this number and am told I need to pay $27.50 to have my phone unlocked. Everything I read on the Telstra site is about ‘free’ unlocking. Is there any information on the Telstra site on fees for unlocking (the call centre couldn’t / wouldn’t help).

    • Az [Telstra Community Manager] says:

      Hi Neil,
      That all sounds a little confusing, doesn’t it? Please get in touch with our Live Chat team at and they will be able to advise how we can get your phone unlocked and why there is a cost, if any, associated with it.


  28. Neil says:

    An update on my previous post. I was eventually pointed to an undated web page ( but the information on this page appears to be out-of-date and many of the links from that page either give a 404 or include the following message “The selected web content no longer exists.” Apart from varying oral advice, I still do have information on how much the unlock fee.

    • Jamie [Editor] says:

      Hi Neil, That’s not good to hear -- I’ll forward the details about the broken link to our digital team. In the meantime, lease get in touch with our Live Chat team and they will be able to advise how we can get your phone unlocked and why there is a cost, if any, associated with it. Thanks, Jamie.

  29. Lisa Mac says:

    I am going overseas in August and need to use my iphone 4s. I will buy a local sim card once there. If I unlock now, i cant follow the process as above as I dont yet have the sim. When i have a sim i wont have my laptop or the ability to log into itunes to finish the process. Can you advise? thanks

  30. Neil says:

    I spoke to the LiveChat number and received yet another set of advice (which at least was closer to reality). However the information is NOT on the Telstra web site -- or at least none of the 4 people I spoke (online, on the phone, at your T-shops) to were able to give me a URL. Providing some information on the distinction between a:
    * pre-paid phone
    * post-paid phone and
    * BYOP on a post-paid contract,
    would have made it easier for me and might just help your staff understand the differences.

    • Az [Telstra Community Manager] says:

      Hi Neil,
      Thanks so much for your follow up and providing us with this feedback. I’ve passed it onto the Communications team.

  31. Steph says:

    my friends gave me her old iphone 4s which is locked to telstra. i tried to put in my optus simcard, but it seems it still needs to be set up. is there a way i can do so?

  32. Peter W says:

    Going to Bali in a few days, and plan to buy a prepaid SIM there for my iphone4S. Have had the phone unlocked by the Telstra Live Chat lady. I expect the Balinese can configure the phone for a local carrier.

    But what happens when I get back to Oz? Do I just put the Telstra SIM back in the phone, and that’s it, or do I have to connect to iTunes, or even contact Telstra?

    • Az [Telstra Community Manager] says:

      Hi Peter,
      Since your phone is unlocked, you shouldn’t have any problems using a SIM card overseas and when you return home, you should be able to replace your Telstra SIM card without issue.

      Live Chat are available if you need assistance when you get back, but I don’t expect that you should have any problems.

  33. mary-jane says:

    Hi, I cancelled my telstra account in Australia before heading overseas. I thought it would automatically be unlocked when the service was cancelled. On 1st August followed online procedure to unlock my phone and was sent return email advising the unlock request had been received and that it could take 72 hrs to unlock, is now 4th August and still locked. Have purchased new sim card with local provider and phone gives message ‘no sim card installed’. Could you please advise/help with where I go to from here ? Thanks.

    • Jamie [Editor] says:

      Hi Mary, if you want to talk to someone from overseas, please call +61439125109 and they should be able to unlock it. You can also talk to our Live Chat guys online, meaning you won’t need a phone to contact them. I’m so sorry to say that Live Chat was down about an hour ago, but should be in working order soon. I hope this helps! Thanks, Jamie.

  34. Ross abraham says:

    I was assured my Telstra iPhone that was purchased outright was unlocked so that I could use different sims overseas. This was at the time of purchase from Telstra. Well I am overseas and the phone is locked to Telstra and I cannot use a local sim. Not happy at all.

    • Jamie (Editor) says:

      Hi Ross, so sorry to hear that! You should be able to unlock the phone online from overseas. If you have any troubles, please get in touch with our Live Chat team who will be able to talk you through the process online as you do it. I hope this helps!

    • Neil says:

      The response I posted to Ross last night has seemingly not made it past moderation. In 20 years use of bulletin boards and similar, this is the first time I’ve had a post removed. Can you please let me know what was wrong with my post.

  35. salim says:

    hi guys , im in South Afrika i have a iphone4 from aus sent by my brother but its locked , i have tried the links above to chat to support but those links don’t work. How would i get the imei number if the phone just shows the setup screen.
    these numbers at the back of the phone could that help.

  36. Chit chit says:

    I wanna unlock iPhone 4S that I found

  37. Chit chit says:

    I found this iPhone 4S and I wanna unlock it

    • Wayne says:

      If you found it don’t you think you should hand it into the police ? It could also have been stolen from the owner and they want it back…..Do the right thing, keeping it because you found it makes you a thief in many peoples eyes

  38. Shyju says:


    I recently bought an iphone 4s which is locked to telestra. So can I unlock the phone to use other sims in australia?


  39. Wayne says:

    I can not understand why so many people have so much trouble……
    The easy way is ….
    1) don’t get Apple Telstra does not lock any phones, only Apple locks theirs, Samsung etc are all unlocked if on a plan. Prepaid are locked which is fair.

    2) if you must have an Apple then at time of ordering the new phone on your plan request it to come unlocked and it will, The reason they will happily unlock it is because your on a plan and have to pay regardless if you use it or not.

  40. Anthony says:

    I purchased a second hand Iphone 5s, 32GB from a second hand store. Phone seemed to work but when sync with family computer to transfer data it refreshed and is now ‘locke’ because the seller (who provided ID to the store) did not unlock their Icloud account. The original seller cannot be contacted, I have made a legitimate purchase but seem to be diadvantaged in having Apple unlock, even with proof of purchase.What can I do, are there customer type common law rights to have it unlocked. It is not stolen, Find my Phone has not been activated, nor is IMEI listed as stolen. it appears someones lack of attention to detail has an adverse affect on our purchase.
    What can I do, what rights do I have as a consumer please

    • Jamie (Editor) says:

      Hi Anthony, You’ll have to take the phone into the store where you purchased it and ask what can be done, I’m afraid. Thanks, Jamie.

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