AT&T Lumia 900 users now able to unlock their phones. Kind of.

"I am not a number! I'm a free phone!"

Word on the street is that starting yesterday (October 8th), those of you who are on AT&T or at least have an AT&T Nokia Lumia 900 can now call with your International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number and get your unlock code. That would allow you toss in a T-Mobile SIM (or anyone else’s) and use the phone freely on any network.

We called and emailed AT&T on the matter and we can confirm that they are unlocking phones but…this is AT&T we’re dealing with and our experience was far from smooth...

All right AT&T, let me have it...

Our George Ponder emailed them about it and he was told that unless you are out of contract or paid the ETF, they won’t give you the code. The conversation ended there for him. I called AT&T, which is the recommended method. However, I spent 33 minutes on the phone, half of which was the customer service agent looking through his manual to figure what I actually wanted.

In the end, I gave him my IMEI only to be told that they can't find the unlock code. In turn, they created a case for me and they should have it resolved by the 17th.  Needless to say that was a painful, near time wasting experience.

Having said that we have seen people in our forums and elsewhere have success in getting their unlock code, so if this is important to you then we recommend you call AT&T and get started with the process.

To obtain your IMEI before the call and to make your life easier, simply open up your dial pad and type *#06#. Write that down and grab a cup of coffee before you enter the AT&T train wreck of unlocking your device.

Good luck and let us know in comments if you were successful. Thanks to all who sent this in!

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been here covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics and ran the projectors at movie theaters, which has done absolutely nothing for his career.

  • You can also find your phone's IMEI in Settings > About > More Info.
  • i think it is disgusting that they have a dedeciated email process for unlocking iPhones, but not the same for other phones.
  • 60% to 70% of the smartphones they sell are iPhones, so for them if you want the most bang for the buck it makes sense.
  • That's one of the reasons everyone hates AT&T ..
  • Well, not EVERYONE.
  • Agree with Rebel_Yell. I dig em myself.  So far, they have done more for my account in 2 months than Sprint did in 2 years and I had to bust down the doors in the end to get out of there.  And they still owe me 22.61 and that was February when I left.
  • "Needless to say that was a painful, near time wasting experience."
    That was a bit generous, Daniel, LOL! I suppose that it wasn't a complete time-wasting experience because you were able to document it and add your experience to the blog. Regardless, that sounds PAINFUL.
  • It was and I mini-live blogged it in our writer's chat room. It was like going to your parents and asking for an unlock the same response, basically.  But yeah, at least my pain is your gain, lol.
  • LOL!
  • Anybody able to unlock their phones and still be on contract?
  • Yes, I switched to AT&T just before the Lumia came out and got the Lumia within a week of it's launch by returning my previous phone (long story). So I am well still under contract.  I chatted with AT&T technical support via web chat and obtained my code with no issues. The only issue I had was figuring out how to use it. The method recommended to me in the forums was to us a non at&t sim and it would prompt you for the code which it did and my code was accepted on the first try. So I have an unlocked Lumia 900 and I am still under contract but by having it unlocked it helps my resale value for when I upgrade to the 920 :)
  • Can u or any one give me the unlock code pretty plz
  • I had them unlock my phone (Samsung Focus) in December last year. I was 1 year 2 months into my contract at the time. It was a very smooth process for me.
  • Yes; I had had the phone for less than 100 days when I called.  The rep. told me the only restriction was that I had to have had the phone for at least 90 days, which I did.
    I think it also helped I told him I was travelling out of the country -- he repeated that that was my reason on the phone in a way that sounded as if I had said a different reason, he wouldn't have done it.  The phone call was lengthy because the rep. didn't know how to generate the code for the Lumia 900; however, I did get the code in an E-mail a couple days later after he figured out how to submit the request to "the right people".
    When I went to the UK, I got a giffgaff SIM, popped it in, entered the unlock code I got from AT&T, and all was well for the phone.  And when I got back the States and put my old SIM back in, it still works great!
  • Corporations are people.......*snickers*
  • I paid 120 6 weeks ago to get mine unlocked.... But still can not tether.
  • I hope that you mean $1.20 :)
  • Why did you have to pay? If you don't terminate your contract, you don't have to pay anything.
  • I was able to tether right away on a att lumia 900 on tmobile
  • Getting anything more than EDGE? Any issues with mms?
  • "That would allow you toss in a T-Mobile SIM (or anyone else’s) and use the phone freely on any network."
    freely on any network? does the radio within the 900 support verizon and/or sprint bands as well?  My HTC Trophy has a sim in it with Verizon, so could i theoretically buy an unlocked 900 and use it on Verizon?
  • We all know Verizon and Sprint are CDMA carriers, so of course he's only talking about tmo.
  • I wonder if this works on Rogers aren't they kinda grouped in with at&t?
  • It's more complicated if you want to take a Lumia to another carrier. Apparently while you can have Rogers unlock the device, you still can't get mms and might experience other problems because the Nokia Network Settings app isn't available in the Canadian marketplace :(
  • I got the network unlock code 3 months before from AT&T, As i was travelling to different country and to use different SIM , they have given the network unlock code, My question is , Is the unlock code you are discussing right now is same like network unlock code which i got ?
    please clarify
  • And by the bye it is for Nokia Lumia 900
  • COuld any technical guy reply to my question, thanks
  • Yes.  The Unlock Code being discussed is to allow the device to accept other carrier SIM cards, which is the whole point of GSM-based networks.
  • I would rather pay the $10 than go through the pain. You can buy the codes from many sites, with prices varying from $10 to $20. Not only AT&T, but any network for that matter.
  • I would at least try the pain as it was no pain at all for me.
  • I called AT&T last week to ask for unlock codes for one of my Lumia 900s that I purchased full price and the representative basically was an idiot, she told me that AT&T had exclusivity for the phone and won't be giving out unlock codes ever, this was after being told sometime in June that it will be available in October. So I gave up and just waited for the survey they usually sent right after you call their customer service department. I gave them the worst possible ratings and in the comment part where they ask for your reason, I basically called them Liars. What do you know, yesterday morning, I got a call from AT&T and they basically said because of the review they wanted to call back and see if they could fix my issues. Instead of giving me the unlock code for just the Lumia 900 I got for full price, I ended up asking for both and they gave it to me. Awesome.
  • I just called AT&T customer service this afternoon to unlock the Lumia 900 which I paid full price for but after 30mins on phone with two associates and a supervisor I was told that AT&T will never unlock those phone unless I use it on their network for 90 days.
  • You ended up asking for both what?
  • Took me 4 mins. A breeze. Very pleased with AT&T
  • Looks like you got lucky and your AT&T rep knew what an "unlock code" was ;)
  • what does an unlocked at&t phone buy a user?
  • The ability to take your phone to another carrier, on most situations.
  • So is this the equivalent of the term SIM UNLOCKED?
    What is an unbranded unlock?
    Does this free us from AT&T blocking updates because its unlocked/sim unlocked/unbranded unlock?
  • Unbranding allows you to bypass AT&T for updates.  Unlock the SIM allows you to use non AT&T SIMs.  This come in handy if you travel to Europe where they have networks that are supported by the Lumia.  You can just by a SIM and use the local networks vice paying AT&T for roaming
  • If you use a local sim in another country, you don't have to pay anything to ATT on an unlocked phone.
  • No, the Unlock Code does not remove the carrier branding in the OS, just unlocks the GSM radio and SIM reader to accept other SIM cards from other carriers.  You are still beholdent to AT&T and their stupid update cycles, or the lack there of.
  • What's the big deal of unlocking the phone ? If you want an unlocked it unlocked if you want ATT phones use ATT im sick of hearing people bash ATT...i had Verizon and hated them their customer service stinks and all they sell is Motorola driod version a-z while ATT doesn't have the fastest network...yet...unless you have lte service which ATT LTE is lightening fast especially in NYC... they have the best variety of phones in my opinion....i personally could care less if my Lumina 900 gets unlocked why cause all I use is ATT and don't plan on going anywhere else
  • Good for you, bro.
  • @rrsrv151 Some of us travel around the world and would rather throw in  a pre-paid SIM on a foreign carrier than use AT&T international data. Have you not thought of that? And sick of hearing people bash AT&T? I just spent 33 minutes on the phone to get an unlock code which is my right and they couldn't help. It's once case but it wasn't a good experience. And neither was George's.
  • Lol. Daniel, it was really painful. Now I see it in your tone
  • Cant take u seriously. U called it a lumina.
  • Hmm...last I checked, that was a Chevrolet lol
  • @rrsrv151: I am sorry but you seem to have less knowledge than even me. I thought I was the most technically challenged person on this website.
  • Will this allow tethering or not? Someone posted they still can't. Any other experiences? What other advantages are there to unlocking?
  • If you go overseas on vacation or business with an unlocked phone, you can rent a sim from a carrier in that country and that way not be charged international roaming.
  • Tethering is up to the carrier. I recently went travelling and bought SIM's in different places, all with unlimited daily data plans. I tried to tether with my laptop - all but one carrier worked immediately without any extra effort.
  • Just unlocked my phone.  I am in the u.s and the phone is currently being used on a contract, but i didnt purchase the phone with a contract.
    Anyway, took me about 5 minutes of live chatting to get my code and the pin was accepted.
    Go to, go to support, you will need to log in to do a live chat.  pick international live chat, say you want to unlock for international use.  Verify account, give IMEI, they will provide you with a pin. 
    I am all set, it should be pretty easy.  Dont answer more than you need.  that always help. 
  • I did it the way you suggested, as I actually prefer Chat over calling as people on the phone tend to not listen and comprehend at times...and then i get aggrivated lol. 
    Everything went smoothly. 1st code I was given didnt work (tried twice). 2nd code work and said "Pin Accepted". Took all of 5-7 min. 
    Good tip for everyone man. 
  • Daniel,
    I called last night and got my unlock code.  The support rep gave me the Samsung procedure to enter the unlock code.  After a few minutes, he realized that I have a Lumia 900.  So he pasted somthing from a manul with the sequence of codes to get prompted.  I finally got frustrated and told him that I would figure it out.  So if you have a non authorized SIM, it will prompt you for the unlock code.  However, I didn't have an non authorized SIM.  But I found a key sequece that will prompt you for the unlock code and you don't have to remove your SIM at all.  ##782#
  • i used the same sequence to unlock a few minutes ago.  it works!
  • To get any response from AT&T, try this: AT&T CEO, Randall Stephenson |
    phone: 210.351.5401 (direct to his secretary)
    alternate phone: 210.821.4105 (headquarters, press 3, ask for Mr. Stephenson's office).
    When they were dragging their feet over NoDo, they called me in response to my email complaint in which I questioned their "doesn't work on Samsung" excuse. Got me a month's free service.
    sepatown is right. Give them a negative review, and they actually wake up.
  • My Experience with customer service was a F**** joke what idiots. I had to hang up on two people who claim AT&T was not giving out the code when I already called and got the code earlier yesterday morning & i was only calling to get instructions on how to properly do it. The last person i hung up on before i called back and actually got a lot of help from a great rep told me to press #*** wait for a P then press **** wait for a W then ** enter code & press **1# Dumb ass.
    All I had to do was put in a T-Mo SIM and enter code, now its unlocked and I gave it to my son but all he gets is Edge on T-Mo.
    He's happy thats all that matters to me.
  • use ##782# press call and it will ask for the code and press enter and it will work.
    I got the same answer from AT&T, the customer service people are bunch of st*pids, they don't know what they are doing. I even called nokia for support, no help from them either.
    I called the local at&t store, they told me that they are not suppose to help in this case.
  • This was super helpful, thank you so much. Used ##782# and pressed call as you mentioned, and the phone asked me for the unlock code.  Also confirm that it was super easy to get unlock code from AT&T. Just called them at 611 and asked, and they gave it to me in 10min.
    Thanks guys!
  • I took a trip from the US to the UK with three of my brothers this summer and we had no trouble getting our unlock codes by calling AT&T customer service. 1 Quantum and 2 Focuses (Foci?) out-of-contract and 1 Samsung Galaxy something still-on-contract. Guess it depends on which person you get...
    ...I do remember that there was something slightly wrong with their unlocking instructions for the Focus, but a quick web search helped us figure that out.
  • uh you just have to give them a good reason to unlock your phone. Earlier this year I went to Thailand for a 2 weeks vacation...but I told them I am going there for business for 3+ months. They gave me an unlock code right away. The whole process took no more than 5 minutes.
  • That just might be the key. Carriers surely have some feelings about their phones (and maybe customers) just walking over to another network. I think that I do like the PAYG method and wish that it was more widely available here in the US.
  • Lumia* sorry auto correct works....if your an international traveler I see how it makes sense...but bashing ATT because of their methods? Go to Tmobile they use the same network type that ATT uses if you dont like ATT... I just think too many people bash ATT because they need something to moan and groan about....
  • I went through a painful experience last night trying to get instructions on how to enter the unlock code.  Getting the code iself was quite easy for me (I don't have AT&T service of any kind).  I finally managed to get someone on the line that had a clue, at which point I was told to put in another carrier's SIM, then enter the code.
    So, I went to T-Mobile today, did just that, and entered the code.  The method that they seem to be telling everyone is for Symbian phones, not Lumias.
  • Is it the same process for HTC Surround?
  • I was able to unlock 2 our phones today early morning. Got 2 unlock codes over the phone.
  • I got my unlock code from them but having trouble with it.  I dont have a T-Mobile SIM and the bizzarre #***P****W**+... just does not work on the 900...
    Couple of minutes to get the code - now I need to hunt down a micro-sim ...
  • Someone above said dial ##782# and it should prompt you.  I tried it and it did nothing but I already unlocked with a vzw sim (from an iPhone 4s).
  • I tried the ##782# method as well as the pw+ method and got nothing as well.  A T-Mobile SIM worked perfectly for me, popped the prompt right up upon booting.
  • Yeah if your phone is already unlocked, the ##782# won't do anything.
  • I called Att and they gave me the code no questions asked. It's for my two year old Focus though =) which is now a Nokia lumia 800 windows 7.8 ;-)
  • I'm gonna call today to see how painful of a process this is like some say
  • Finally, it was actually painless for me to get the code, but the painful part was I couldn't remember how to enter it and the att rep couldn't figure it out, but I got it. Last time I called for this, they insisted nokia has the codes and they can't get them until end of the year. Thanks for the heads up on this!