Getting set for that long awaited trip overseas you’ve been looking forward to since you booked your plane ticket 8 months ago?! Well, I recently got back from my honeymoon overseas and wish I had of read this blog (not that it was possible) before I took off as it would have saved me hassle, time and quite a few phone calls back home!

It’s very easy to unlock your iPhone – see the blue box below for a step-by-step guide to getting this done!

As a Telstra customer (naturally) I knew I had access to a range of global roaming services but what I didn’t realise was that all iPhones purchased from Telstra are locked to the Telstra mobile phone network and as a default will only work with a Telstra SIM card.

What I needed as I landed in a foreign country was the freedom to use another SIM card while travelling – a SIM from said foreign country.

What I realised far too late was this:

Unlocking your phone service for all postpaid customers is free of charge but it can take up to 72 hours so make sure you give yourself enough time before travelling overseas to unlock your iPhone.

iPhone 5, 5S and 5C models are already unlocked with Telstra. You can insert another mobile provider’s SIM card. If you have any difficulty swapping your SIM, see Mobile Support or visit Apple Support Communities.

How to unlock an iPhone 4 and earlier models

First, you will need your IMEI number. To locate this, find the ‘Settings’ app which usually should be on your first page of apps (it may also be in a folder called – ‘Utilities’). Once in Settings, scroll down to find the ‘General’ option, and press the ‘About’ field.

iPhone Screenshot

From here you should be able to find the necessary details.

iPhone Screenshot

How to unlock your iPhone

Depending on whether you are a Pre-Paid, Post-Paid or Business Customer, there are different (but simple) things you must do:

  • Pre-Paid iPhone: Check and pay your Pre-Paid iPhone unlocking fee by calling 125 8880 or visiting a Telstra store. You will then be transferred to the iPhone Unlocking Centre who will submit the unlock request for your iPhone after verifying the unlocking fee has been paid. Once the request has been processed you will need to follow the above instructions for iTunes unlocking. Then wait 72 hours and follow the Apple unlock instructions below.
  • Post-Paid iPhone Personal and Business customers: You can simply unlock your iPhone online with our Post-Paid iPhone unlocking tool.Then wait 72 hours and follow the Apple unlock instructions below. You do not need to be a current Telstra customer to use this tool, however it can only unlock Post-Paid iPhone devices purchased from Telstra.

Apple Unlock Instructions – iPhone unlock via iTunes

After 72 hours, follow the Apple unlock instructions to complete the unlock process and update your carrier settings.

So before you jet off, follow these simple steps and you’ll be ready to use your phone as soon as you land.

Happy travels!

Editor’s note: We updated these instructions on 15 November and 12 December 2013 with the latest information on unlocking your iPhone.

Apple and iPhone are trade marks of Apple Inc. CrowdSupport is a registered trade mark of Telstra Corporation Limited.