It’s sometimes necessary for us to know how to check an iPhone’s network status, especially while purchasing a second hand or used iPhone from someone else. Apple iphones produce two different kinds of cellphone which are locked and unlocked. An unlocked phone can be used on any phone network, while a locked phone can only be used on the network the phone is locked to.

An unlocked iphone means that you can use it on any network. If you buy (paying full-price) an iphone from the Apple Store, it is definetly unlocked by default. But if you buy an iPhone from a network shop as the part of an on-going network plan, it is usually locked to a specific network. This genereally includes a certain time of period like 18 or 24 months, and of course, the network you contracted covers some part of the cost of the iPhone cellphone.

Now, how can we understand if an iPhone is locked or unlocked? There are two simple ways. The first one is having a quick look into the Settings of our phone. It will be better to try this firstly.

First of all, you power up the iphone and access the Settings. Follow these steps to check if an iPhone is unlocked:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Tap Cellular (if the device is set to British English it will appear as “Mobile” instead).
  3. Check for the option named Cellular Data Network (or Mobile Data Network).

If you see  the option of Cellular Data Network, so your iphone is in all possibilty unlocked. This option should not appear on locked iPhones. But this method doesn’t give 100 percent conclusion.

The second way, also more effective, is to check with a SIM card, of course a different from one in the cellphone. Follow these steps to check if the iPhone is unlocked:

  1. Make a phone call using the current SIM card. Make sure it is ok.
  2. Power off the iPhone and insert your own SIM card.
  3. Make a phone call. Check if the iphone can connect a call using your own SIM card. If the phone call does not connect with the new SIM card, then the iPhone is locked.