How to unlock your Galaxy Note II and some Galaxy S III versions for free (Jelly Bean req'd)

How to unlock your Galaxy Note II and some Galaxy S III versions for free (Jelly Bean req'd)
Samsung seems to have a hidden menu in its Galaxy line, which allows you to carrier unlock your device for free, and appeared on an XDA-Devs thread submitted by user owl74. 

It is confirmed working at least with the two most prominent members of the Galaxy family this year - the Galaxy S III (but only some versions), and the trendy Galaxy Note II.

Your phone has to be running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and above for the trick to work, though, and you can follow the steps below with the usual "do at your own risk" warning:

1. Enter the following into the dialler: *#197328640#
2. From the menu that appears choose 



Read the thread for which S III versions were successfully unlocked with this hidden menu function of Samsung, and try it out with a SIM card from another carrier to confirm. 

Users say the unlock is permanent and works even after full reset of your device, so you don't have to pony up for a carrier unlock, or use murky codes from eBay.

source: owl74 (XDA-Devs) via RedmondPie

Related phones

GALAXY Note II AT&T
  • Display 5.5" 720 x 1280 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP / 1.9 MP front
  • Processor Samsung Exynos 4 Quad, Quad-core, 1600 MHz
  • Storage 16 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3100 mAh
Galaxy S III T-Mobile
  • Display 4.8" 720 x 1280 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP / 1.9 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Plus, Dual-core, 1500 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 2100 mAh

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24 Comments

1. modyt

Posts: 30; Member since: Aug 23, 2012

I hope PA realises that they are jeopardizing the chance of people unlocking their phones by posting this in broad view. Samsung is not dumb enough to read this by chance and not act on it.

2. redmd

Posts: 1872; Member since: Oct 26, 2011

huh I don't get the jeopardy part. BTW this is old news.

7. aahmed215

Posts: 169; Member since: Jun 18, 2012

Keeping it a secret won't do any good either. At least, by sharing it to the masses, many people can get the information before Samsung or carriers put a stop to it.

22. ramacasu1

Posts: 4; Member since: Sep 13, 2013

itechunlimited.com/att-samsung . html fast and easy!!!

3. kicksetc

Posts: 9; Member since: Dec 06, 2012

It isn't working for me. My S3 is on Sprint and shows it is running 4.1.1. Any other way to do this?

6. htc_prep

Posts: 303; Member since: Oct 09, 2009

Sprint is cdma for voice and 3g the sim lte card is embedded on the motherboard. So its not gping to work on cdma variants

4. scsa852k

Posts: 331; Member since: Oct 16, 2012

It works fine on T-Mobile versions. Not sure about this, but it could lose your 1-year warranty though.

5. tremzee

Posts: 11; Member since: May 21, 2012

I just unlocked mine t-mobile Galaxy S 3 locked on t-mobile and its working fine i check it by using at&t sim card and its perfect. my phone s rooted and i am on custom rom build number XQZv45.T999UVDLJA

8. LiveFromMN

Posts: 20; Member since: Sep 05, 2012

Worked on my T889

9. rstrong2010

Posts: 1; Member since: Dec 17, 2012

I have a note 2 from Verizon, typed the # in dialer nonethin happen??

10. paulrubio

Posts: 2; Member since: Jan 25, 2013

hi im from mexico, ive got a sgs3 tmobile (t999), i did all the steps but when i put sha256_off it says this.... SHA256_OFF => NOT CHANGE ... and sim doesnt work... need help how can i make it change??

11. tremzee

Posts: 11; Member since: May 21, 2012

paulrubio did you make this sure that your phone is running jelly bean not ics

12. corleyman

Posts: 6; Member since: Nov 26, 2012

Wow, that's awesome! The Note 2 is already thoroughly amazing, and now that it can be used on a no-contract, unlimited-everything service plan for as little as $49/mo ... Wow! And this awesome service plan that I'm talking about can be explored at PenniesOverDollars.com ... :)

13. paulrubio

Posts: 2; Member since: Jan 25, 2013

Yea tremzee, its running latest jellybean. :( dont know how to unlock carrier and make simcard work, i tried and retried the steps and still says NOT CHANGE. Did wvery step right and running latest jellybean, anyone knows how to reset the wholw phone so i can try it again? Or what can i do? Im desperate i have my sgs3 as paperweight :'(

14. zahirkhan

Posts: 1; Member since: Feb 06, 2013

it works for sumsung galaxy s3 ............ but it doesnt work for sumsung galaxy note2 jellybean 4.1.2 is there any way to unlock it and when ever i put this into my note 2 it just says servicemode and nothing else with blank window ?????? how to unlock it please help me

18. Cyanne

Posts: 2; Member since: Sep 10, 2013

You need to downgrade to 4.1.1 . Search for downgrade instructions, there is a good tutorial on DroidViews. I\'ve done this with the Note II and the GS3.

15. 70700

Posts: 1; Member since: Feb 26, 2013

i just want to say a Big Thank you..it worked for me in Switzerland on an AT& T Samsung S3..unbelieveable ....this is 2013 :O

16. arod1949

Posts: 3; Member since: Aug 07, 2013

I try with my galaxy S III, everything went good until I got to the last step, after pressing the back to get back to (6) Network lock and then (4) NW lock NV Data Initializ. I don't see the Number 4 option. Can someone help me out.

17. Cyanne

Posts: 2; Member since: Sep 10, 2013

You will need to downgrade to 4.1.1 and then the option will appear. I am a cell phone reseller and have done this a few times already with a note ii and galaxy s iii. You can find instructions to downgrade at Droid Views (Google \'droid views how to downgrade\'). It\'s quite easy to do. Good luck

19. ramacasu1

Posts: 4; Member since: Sep 13, 2013

Unlock AT&T SAMSUNG Galaxy S2, S3, S4 ETC itechunlimited.com/at-t-samsung-galaxy-s2-s3-s4-et​c.html Popular Models: Samsung S2 i777, Samsung S2 i727 Skyrocket, Samsung S3 Galaxy, Samsung Galaxy S4, Galaxy Active & MORE

20. scooldesire

Posts: 3; Member since: Aug 16, 2013

Hi, brief description with step by step images on how to unlock samsung galaxy s3 easily.

21. arod1949

Posts: 3; Member since: Aug 07, 2013

Hey Cynne, thanks for answering. My phone is running the "Android Ver. 4.1.2, and I heard people talking about Yellybeen. Does it make any difference.

23. sammy123

Posts: 11; Member since: Aug 06, 2014

Just have a look at attiphoneunlockingshop.com if you intend to unlock AT&T stuff, we are able to unlock all model and firmware updated, including iphone 5

24. arod1949

Posts: 3; Member since: Aug 07, 2013

Mine is locked to a different network not ATT. Thanks.

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