How to Unlock a Sprint Phone that’s Not Paid Off

Sometimes, you get into a situation where it seems like there’s nothing you can do. This includes the time when you want to unlock your Sprint phone. You want to sell it, you want to change to another carrier, yet it seems like you can’t. Why is this? One of the reasons why is that your phone was not paid off, be it that you are aware of it or not. This brings up the actual question; how to unlock a sprint phone that’s not paid off?

First Thing You Need to Know About Unlocking Phones

Due to the new law passed in the US, starting from 2015, unlocking your phone isn’t such a simple ordeal anymore. Because of this new law, you cannot ask your current carrier, in this case, Sprint, to unlock your phone for you. They will not do it no matter what. The requirements that they have set about unlocking their phones are strict, and there is no leeway about it. What options do you have then?

On websites such as eBay, some services claim to be able to unlock your phone for a fee. Yet, they don’t seem to be trustworthy. Either way, parting ways with your phone for an uncertain period is not an option for some. The fees that are there as well are either too cheap to be valid or too expensive for you to consider it worthwhile.

how to unlock a sprint phone that's not paid off

In this article, we explain some ways for you to unlock your phone for free, by yourself. Gone are the days where you have to stay with your current carrier, be it Sprint or any other carriers. You can now, after reading this article, switch between carriers, even if your phone is not completely paid off.

Unlocking a Sprint Phone

At first, you will need to actually see the status of your phone. We know that Sprint has a few criteria before they will allow you to unlock their phone. Keep reading to find out!
How long has your phone been registered in the Sprint network?

The first criterion is that your phone has spent more than 50 days on the Sprint network. This means the day that you first activated your phone on the Sprint network was more than 50 days ago.

Have you paid off your phone?

The second eligibility requirement is that you have paid off your phone. This may seem a bit the opposite of what the article is going to say. But, consider this: if the outstanding payments required are only a little bit more money, spending an extra 20 USD can be worth the hassle. We understand however that sometimes this is not an option.

Have you paid all the bills?

The third requirement is that you’ve paid all of your phone bills and don’t have an outstanding balance. This is only applicable if you have a post-paid package, and so if you have a prepaid package, you don’t need to worry about this.

For prepaid Sprint contract or any phone without a contract, the only requirement is that your phone has been on the Sprint network for over a year. Other requirements don’t apply to this unless the phone has been reported as stolen. In this case, you will not be able to unlock that particular phone.

Does your phone have the “SIM unlocked” feature?

There is one last unofficial requirement that is there in general, not only from Sprint. Your phone must have the “SIM unlocked” feature. This means that Sprint will be able to program your phone to work with other SIM cards. If your phone was manufactured after 2015, you should not need to worry. This matter will only arise as a problem in older phones.

If you match all of these requirements, all you need to do is to call Sprint themselves and their Customer Care team will take care of everything for you.

How To Unlock A Sprint Phone That’s Not Paid Off

So, what if you don’t meet these requirements, in one way or another? It may seem like there is no option, and that you can’t unlock your phone. Worry not, as we have the solution: Wiping Your IMEI Number.

Sometimes, Sprint and other providers won’t give you any options when it comes to unlocking your phone. What you need to do now is to wipe your phone’s IMEI number, and change it to a new one. This may be a tad bit confusing to you, but this is the simplest and most effective way of how to unlock a Sprint phone that’s not paid off.

What is the IMEI Number?

IMEI number stands for International Mobile Equipment Identity number. It is a set of 15 digits that is assigned to your phone and are your phone’s identity. Why is IMEI important you may ask? IMEI is used by people like the government or your mobile operator to generally track your phone. You can block a number based on the IMEI and blacklist them so that they can’t get a mobile number going, as well as track the device and where it is at.

Wiping the IMEI Number

So, why do we need to wipe the IMEI number? As we have established, the IMEI number is used by mobile operators to track the phone. In simple terms, they have marked your phone’s IMEI number and locked it so that you can’t change carriers outside of Sprint. This means that to get out of this lock, you can completely remove yourself from the Sprint system. You can wipe your IMEI number, and either continue to not have one, or to replace it with a new one.

How to wipe your IMEI Number

Wiping your IMEI number is very simple. You only need to be well prepared to not lose any data. You don’t even need to install any special programs nor to root your phone or jailbreak it. This is the best answer to “how to unlock a Sprint phone that’s not paid off”.
Firstly, you want to check the IMEI number of your device. All you need to do is to dial *#06#. You will then be shown your IMEI number. Write this down, as it may be good to keep in mind your old IMEI number and to confirm whether or not it has changed after you’ve followed these steps.

Now, you’re ready to change your actual IMEI number. The first step is to dial *#7465625#. You will then be shown a few options. All you need to do is to click on the “Connectivity option”. From there, you must look for “CDS information”, and click on there. Now, you need to click “Radio information”, and enter that menu. From here, it may get a little complicated, so bear with us.

IMEI Options

If your device is a dual sim device, you will then get two options. “IMEI_1” and “IMEI_2”, for your SIM 1 and SIM 2 respectively. Click on which one you want to change. Remember that you can only change it one at a time, and so you must go back later to change the other SIM IMEI if you want to do it.

After reaching the screen, this is what you need to do. You need to input the words “AT +EGMR=1,7,”IMEI_1”. This is the code that you need to input to change your IMEI number. From here, you need to replace the section of “IMEI_1” with your 15 numbers of choices, and then click send. This will mean that the IMEI number of your SIM 1 has been changed. As for your SIM 2, you can follow the same steps, but change the input to “AT +EGMR=1,10,”IMEI_2”.

If you have followed these steps correctly, the next time you check out the IMEI number of your device, it would have changed. This means that you have successfully unlocked your Sprint phone.


After following this tutorial, hopefully, we have answered your question of how to unlock a Sprint phone that’s not paid off. Long story short, what you need to do is to change your IMEI number and all of your problems will be solved. You must remember that changing your IMEI number may not be legal. You can check more info on the Sprint website. Different states apply different policies regarding this. Consider yourself warned.

Earlier, we mentioned those people offering phone-unlocking services online for a fee. They are doing what we have just described, for a fee, of courses. If you feel like you don’t want to do this by yourself in fear of breaking something, we completely understand. In that case, you should send your phone over to those professionals. However, keep in mind that they will ask you to mail the phone to them to process it. This requires trust. If this doesn’t seem to be feasible and you are willing to do this yourself, we hope that you find our article useful.

In case all of these seem too complicated to even try, consider buying unlocked cell phones instead.

Leave a Comment