I bought an unlock code because my phone was asking for it (Enter PIN Code). I got the code and it does not work. It actually only allows me to enter 4 digits.

Now, these guys are telling me that the code is for the phone's "Network unlock" not the "SIM unlock", and if I don't remember the PIN, I will need the PUK code from my network provider, so I feel that I paid for something I don't need.

This is the first time I try to do this and I feel frustrated. I would really appreciate any help.

  • Welcome to Android Enthusiasts! This has nothing to do with Android, but rather with the way SIM cards work. You could ask your provider for assistance. And yes, you're correct: You've bought something you don't need. PINs and PUKs (there are two of each) usually come with your SIM card/contract.
    – Izzy
    Jul 3, 2014 at 9:20
  • Yes, I've made that connection, too. Please don't consider my comment a harsh "go away", it was not meant such. It's rather that our site covers a specific area as outlined in our help center, and you certainly understand where it would lead to if we didn't keep to that :)
    – Izzy
    Jul 3, 2014 at 10:52
  • And glad to read 1) your issue solved, and 2) you didn't buy that unlock code in vain. Enjoy your new phone – and be welcome here anytime you've got yourself in "Android trouble" or have any other Android related questions :)
    – Izzy
    Jul 3, 2014 at 13:37

2 Answers 2


If your SIM card is PIN locked, the network unlock code is useless. The network unlock code allows a phone that is restricted to a single carrier to be unlocked for use in other carrier's networks.

The SIM PIN is a personal identification number that is used to unlock the SIM card in order to register it to the network. This means that the phone will not connect to the network before a SIM is unlocked. Usually (at least around here) a new SIM has a simple PIN, like 0000 or 1234, and the user can change this. However, the carrier doesn't know your PIN, so if you forget it it can't be reset from the carrier directly.

If you happen to forget your PIN, the only way to unlock the SIM is to enter a wrong PIN enough many times (3 or 5 usually), and after this the SIM asks for the PUK (Personal Unlock Key) code, which is sometimes referred to as PUK1.

The PUK code can be obtained from the carrier, after they verify you are the rightful owner of the SIM and contract. If the SIM is a prepaid, the PUK code is sometimes printed in the card holder. After you get the PUK, enter it into your phone and enter a new PIN. After this, you can unlock the SIM with the new PIN you specified.

Note: DO NOT try to guess the PUK code yourself, if you enter it wrong three times, the SIM will be permanently locked and you'll have to get a new SIM from your carrier.


As @onik has rightly said there's difference between a Sim lock and Network Lock.

  1. SIM lock-In order to provide security to stolen Phones there's a SIM lock in-built by the manufacturer. In the event the phone is stolen the phone would ask a SIM lock(mostly the digit pin) to register/verify the user. Once the user Is registered the phone would function normally.
  2. Network Lock-This is the manufacture built in feature to prevent any subscriber to switch to Another Telecom operator other then the one the manufacturer has contract with the Operator(Basically these contract phones are cheaper then the Factory Unlock Phones). So what you have done is that you have purchased the Network Lock only to unlock the phone to use with other Telecom operators but not to use the phone.

In order to use the phone you need the SIM lock which would be available with your service provider.

In case you entered the SIM lock wrong 3 consecutive times then your phone wout get locked and would ask for a PUK code which will also be available by the operator but would require a lengthy process. So I suggest you to contact your service provider regarding the SIM lock key and don't un-necessarily enter the Pin if you don't know to avoid the PUK code