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How to Unlock Your Phone for Free in Canada

How to Unlock Your Phone for Free in Canada

By Simon Hung

Starting today, all cell phones sold in Canada must be unlocked, thanks to a CRTC ruling from June that updated the Wireless Code to ban the sale of locked cell phones and unlocking fees.

Prior to the ruling, most major Canadian carriers locked phones to their own network, which meant that you couldn’t use your phone on other networks in Canada or abroad without paying an unlocking fee, a practice that generated a whopping $37.7 million in revenue for Canadian telecoms in 2016.

Now, wireless customers with a locked phone can unlock their devices for free! To start, you'll need to have your phone's IMEI number -- this can be found in settings on most Android or iOS phones. The unlocking process will vary depending on your carrier and most require your account to be in good standing. We’ve listed resource pages for several Canadian carriers along with methods on how to unlock below.

Carrier
How to Unlock
• In-store - visit a Bell store
• Online - log in and request an unlock via your MyBell account page
• Phone - call 1-800-667-0123
• In-store - visit a Bell MTS store
• Online - log in and request an unlock via your MyAccount page
• Phone - call 204-225-5687 (residential) or 204-225-4249 (business)
• In-store - visit a Chatr Mobile store
• Phone - call 1-800-485-9745
• In-store - visit a Fido store
• Phone - call 1-888-481-3436
• In-store - visit a Freedom Mobile store
• Phone - call 1-877-946-3184
• In-store - visit a Koodo Mobile store
• Phone - call 1-866-995-6636
• Online - visit the Public Mobile Community page
• Phone - call 1-855-478-2542
• In-store - visit a Rogers Wireless store
• Online - live chat with Rogers support
• Phone - call 1-855-381-7835
• In-store - visit a SaskTel store
• Online - live chat with SaskTel support
• Phone - call 1-800-727-5835
• In-store - visit a TELUS store
• Online - live chat with TELUS support
• Phone - call 1-866-558-2273
• In-store - visit a Vidéotron store
• Online - request an unlock via their self-serve tool
• Phone - call 1-877-380-2611
• In-store - visit a Virgin Mobile store
• Online - log in and unlock via your Virgin My Account page
• Phone - call 1-888-999-2321

The biggest benefit of unlocking is the flexibility to use your phone with multiple carriers. If you ever decide to switch networks or travel, you won't have to buy another device or pay an additional fee in order to get service. Unlocked phones also carry a higher resale value on the used market, since buyers don't have to worry about compatibility issues.

Visit the CRTC mobile phones page for more information or to learn more about the Wireless Code.

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    • @WilliamGilles this thread is outdated, kind of pointless to revive a necro thread. There is at least one thread discussing the aftermath of free unlocks, one of them link here. Feel free to further discuss in a newer thread.

      Locking thread.
    • Report Post
    • The prices debate is all b's. I've had a phone since 1989 when they coat 4k retail and were discounted on a plan. In the end they still got 6 k out of you, not to mention they never pay th3 retail price of a phone they pay the direct from mfg cost. Sonic a phone is retail 900 they pay 350-400 for 100,000 or more units.

      They raise prices to screw the consumer because they have a monopoly. Not because of carrier lock and unlocking fees. Last 10 years you could get unlocking from carrier for $50 after 2 or 3 months into contract. Therefore unlocking has nothing to do with loyalty or keeping you tied to them. The pay as you go and prepaid phones where garbage mfg cost $60-100 phones we were asked to pay $80-200

      It's all nonsense, I bought a used bell phone and Samsung themselves sent me th3 code on d3c 22 2017 over the oh. As for apple idk2as they have stores and sometimes they defer you tonth3 carrier .

      If you guys think these carriers are losing money and will raise the rates to 30 million subscribers due to a loss of 40 million . 1) do your math. 2) you're wrong

      They raise rates because the comapnies shareholders and the drug dealers and hookers that supply them want more lol. 38 million is nothing to these people and nothing when divided over entire robellus subscriber base.
    • Report Post
    • Your forgetting:

      A) Get it unlocked right away on December 1st so you don't have to wait hours on hold or in a chat queue
      or
      B) Don't get it unlocked on December 1, and wait until the holidays when the phone companies release their holiday promotions and are very busy and understaffed and then call to get the phone unlocked
      or
      C) pay some $$ and get it unlocked

      You could have easily avoided all of this if u unlocked it right away instead of waiting around for no reason.
      ...not everyone is eager or would think of unlocking their phone on Dec 1st...Most wouldn't bother unless they had a specific plan to switch carriers.

      It may come as a surprise but unlocking a phone isn't a thought on the forefront of everyone's mind.

      But congrats on railing on @msaf and telling what he/she should've done in hindsight to save themselves $6.
    • Report Post
    • Sooo many samsung pages. Could you share a link?

      Thanks,
      Cal.
      I went here Your text to link here... and clicked the blue contact us button with the headset on it and selected chat.
    • Report Post
    • Minutes after I posted I was finally able to get through on chat and 2 minutes later my phone was unlocked. Thanks a lot for the tip
      Sooo many samsung pages. Could you share a link?

      Thanks,
      Cal.
    • Report Post
    • Reminder that if you have a Samsung phone, don't bother with your carrier, just use the chat on Samsung's support page. Was helping a friend on Rogers with a locked Note 5, at the time he was still an active customer, took a few days and got bounced back and forth between departments only to be told the unlock system was "down". Gave up and chatted with Samsung and got the code immediately.
      Is this the chat on the Canadian or US page? I've checked for days and the chat on the Cdn site always has the message that no one is available.
      Minutes after I posted I was finally able to get through on chat and 2 minutes later my phone was unlocked. Thanks a lot for the tip
    • Report Post
    • Reminder that if you have a Samsung phone, don't bother with your carrier, just use the chat on Samsung's support page. Was helping a friend on Rogers with a locked Note 5, at the time he was still an active customer, took a few days and got bounced back and forth between departments only to be told the unlock system was "down". Gave up and chatted with Samsung and got the code immediately.
      Is this the chat on the Canadian or US page? I've checked for days and the chat on the Cdn site always has the message that no one is available.
    • Report Post
    • so the mfgrs are giving out the codes too? interesting. let me try calling them up
      So far only Samsung seems to be doing this.
    • Report Post
    • Your forgetting:

      A) Get it unlocked right away on December 1st so you don't have to wait hours on hold or in a chat queue
      or
      B) Don't get it unlocked on December 1, and wait until the holidays when the phone companies release their holiday promotions and are very busy and understaffed and then call to get the phone unlocked
      or
      C) pay some $$ and get it unlocked

      You could have easily avoided all of this if u unlocked it right away instead of waiting around for no reason.
    • Report Post
    • you got ripped of its FREE now.

      This was during the 60$/10Gb promo's

      My options were:
      1) To sit in chat all day without a working phone.
      2) Stay on hold for 4-5 hours to try to get it unlocked.
      3) Pay 3$ and get it right away.

      So yea, if your time isnt valuable, then I guess I got ripped off... getting a phone unlocked in 30min was definitely worth it for me.

      P.S I would of paid even more during that time period. My time & phone are worth more than 3-4 hours on the phone during xmass :)
    • Report Post
    • Fido turned me away for unlocking, even though the Rep wasnt busy. This was at UpperCanada Mall. She told me "Just call it in..., they'll do it for you"

      I told them I'm still a Fido customer, I still have 2 account with them.. she didnt care...

      I ended up paying 3$ on ebay and getting an unlock within 30min.

      That Fido rep should get fired. She only cares about new sign-ups.
      you got ripped of its FREE now.
    • Report Post
    • so the mfgrs are giving out the codes too? interesting. let me try calling them up
    • Report Post
    • Reminder that if you have a Samsung phone, don't bother with your carrier, just use the chat on Samsung's support page. Was helping a friend on Rogers with a locked Note 5, at the time he was still an active customer, took a few days and got bounced back and forth between departments only to be told the unlock system was "down". Gave up and chatted with Samsung and got the code immediately.
    • Report Post
    • Doubt you'd get much help here. Any friend you may have would have to go in self-serve, indicate that they're using a different phone, and input the IMEI. Won't be much use as the carrier can see the IMEI registered on the network to the sim card.

      You'd have to send out the phone to a friend to use for a day, then request the unlock code.
      With Bell, you just need to enter the imei. You'll get the unlock code right away.

      It was a pain for me to get to that unlocked page in MyBell acct. Finally, Googled Bell unlocked, click on the link and voila.
    • Report Post
    • Or mobifree if he's still doing unlocking.
    • Report Post
    • Can't, I'm not a Fido customer. I gave up and paid $5 on eBay for an unlock... just waiting for it to take effect.
      Probably your best option. $5 vs. many hours on the phone.
    • Report Post
    • Retail cannot assist with unlocking. Try Fido Live Chat.
      Can't, I'm not a Fido customer. I gave up and paid $5 on eBay for an unlock... just waiting for it to take effect.
    • Report Post
    • I've been trying to get through to a CSR at Fido for days. The wait time is always over 2 hours. Beyond ridiculous. I'll try in store.
      Retail cannot assist with unlocking. Try Fido Live Chat.
    • Report Post
    • I've been trying to get through to a CSR at Fido for days. The wait time is always over 2 hours. Beyond ridiculous. I'll try in store.
    • Report Post
    • You could have done it via Fido's online chat, while you browsed RFD.
    • Report Post
    • Fido turned me away for unlocking, even though the Rep wasnt busy. This was at UpperCanada Mall. She told me "Just call it in..., they'll do it for you"

      I told them I'm still a Fido customer, I still have 2 account with them.. she didnt care...

      I ended up paying 3$ on ebay and getting an unlock within 30min.

      That Fido rep should get fired. She only cares about new sign-ups.
    • Report Post
    • Got a Fido-locked phone unlocked at a Fido store near me super easy. No charges. I was surprised, since I thought no fees only applied to phones sold after December 1, 2017.
    • Report Post
    • Guys, I bought an iphone x from bell on December 4th. Was delivered around the 8th. Is it already unlocked? Entering the IMEI on the unlocking page on their website just leads to an error message, and I don't have any nano sim cards handy with me right now.
    • Report Post
    • Anybody want to help a fella out i have 2 iPhone 4s and their brand new but locked to bell because i not a customer so they wont help me. All my family and friends are with other carrier`s mostly rogers. thanks in advance
      Might get easier in the next few days as Bell gets bad PR. "Bell says CRTC promise of free phone unlocking doesn't apply to everyone." http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/bell-cr ... -1.4446825
    • Report Post
    • Doubt you'd get much help here. Any friend you may have would have to go in self-serve, indicate that they're using a different phone, and input the IMEI. Won't be much use as the carrier can see the IMEI registered on the network to the sim card.

      You'd have to send out the phone to a friend to use for a day, then request the unlock code.
      My wife spent many hours on hold with bell and she was told as long as someone has an account with bell you can get any phone unlocked as long as the phone isn't stolen or icloud locked.
      thanks
    • Report Post
    • Anybody want to help a fella out i have 2 iPhone 4s and their brand new but locked to bell because i not a customer so they wont help me. All my family and friends are with other carrier`s mostly rogers. thanks in advance
      Doubt you'd get much help here. Any friend you may have would have to go in self-serve, indicate that they're using a different phone, and input the IMEI. Won't be much use as the carrier can see the IMEI registered on the network to the sim card.

      You'd have to send out the phone to a friend to use for a day, then request the unlock code.
    • Report Post
    • Anybody want to help a fella out i have 2 iPhone 4s and their brand new but locked to bell because i not a customer so they wont help me. All my family and friends are with other carrier`s mostly rogers. thanks in advance
    • Report Post
    • Help! I'm new to this unlocking thing.

      My mom is with Vidéotron and I'm with Virgin, can we swap our sim cards and unlock each others phones? Then switch back the sim the way they were and continue on as usual?

      I just want to unlock it so when I sell it later on it will be good to go. Thanx
      You need the unlock code for both phones. Then swap the sim's and you will get a message to enter the unlock code (unless it's an iPhone where they can unlock it OTA). Enter the code and the phone is unlocked. Put back your original sim and you're back to where you were before.
    • Report Post
    • I bought an iPhone 4S a year ago on Kijiji for my daughter to use as an iPod. Called Virgin to get it unlocked and was told I can't unless I had an account with them. Launched a complaint with the CCTS but was told that I'm SOL because I bought it from a "third party seller". What a joke. Looks like I'm going to have to resort to eBay.
    • Report Post
    • Freedom Mobile you can easily do it online. Just login press unlock and enter IMEI.
    • Report Post
    • They won't unlock unless you are a client. Question is , can one be a client for 1 day and call in for unlock?
    • Report Post
    • You can call for the unlock or unlock code. The 2nd sim just verifies or completes the unlock. Borrow the sim from a family member, friend or co-worker.
    • Report Post
    • In the past when I wanted to unlock a phone, I first needed an active SIM card from another carrier. Is that still the case? If so, is there any advantage it calling up for the unlock code before you have this?
    • Report Post
    • They'll just recoup the cost by increasing monthly rates, same way they did when contracts changed from 3 to 2 years. So to save that $50 unlock fee (that only a small percentage of customers ended up paying), EVERYBODY will pay more.
      You don't honestly believe they wouldn't raise rates if not for this, do you?
      It's the same as back then - an excuse. They still would raise their prices, because they can. It has absolutely nothing to do with them "losing" $50 and everything to do with them wanting $600 more by raising rates $5 a month.
      It just sounds better than raising rates "because we want more money".
      There's zero reason they could not have simply changed to 2 year contracts and offer that you pay more up front for the hardware (the exact cost difference) and exact same monthly fee.
      Instead they said they "had to" raise prices because of the contract term changes - pure BS.
    • Report Post
    • Finally, Canada has this unlock rule came out after so many. Other civilized countries has this decade ago. Carriers no longer can tie up customers and charge the unlock fee. Bravo.
      They'll just recoup the cost by increasing monthly rates, same way they did when contracts changed from 3 to 2 years. So to save that $50 unlock fee (that only a small percentage of customers ended up paying), EVERYBODY will pay more.
    • Report Post
    • Finally, Canada has this unlock rule came out after so many. Other civilized countries has this decade ago. Carriers no longer can tie up customers and charge the unlock fee. Bravo.
    • Report Post
    • Help! I'm new to this unlocking thing.

      My mom is with Vidéotron and I'm with Virgin, can we swap our sim cards and unlock each others phones? Then switch back the sim the way they were and continue on as usual?

      I just want to unlock it so when I sell it later on it will be good to go. Thanx
    • Report Post
    • Yes, you can call Rogers.
      Thanks, confirmed. Called Rogers CS and just said I needed to unlock a tablet. They didnt ask me if i was a customer, just provided unlock super quick.

      PS. After the phone was unlocked, I had to set (Bell my case) APN manually for data to start working.
    • Report Post
    • Got bell the unlock an iPhone 6s relatively easy.

      Used to be a prepaid cusomter 2 years ago(really just to unlock another phone then)

      Called them up, asked for my information and found me in the system and proceeded to unlock the phone. 2 hours later I got an email with the steps to unlock it. Just popped in a different sim and it worked.

      Will probably try the same method again next week to unlock a family member phone.
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