[TUTORIAL]: How to factory unlock Samsung Galaxy S III / Galaxy Note II


UPDATE (14-Nov-2013): This method is only compatible with devices running Android 4.1.1 and older. This unlock method is not included in 4.1.2 and newer firmwares. This ONLY works with International devices, i.e: GT-I9300 (Galaxy S III) and GT-N7100 (Galaxy Note II). This will not unlock a device specified for a certain country/carrier. 

So, you’ve bought yourself a Galaxy S3 or Note 2 from abroad or your thinking of travelling soon to international countries, but you haven’t in the least have a clue, if your device is compatible in those regions. A recognized developer on XDA, owl74, has concocted a facile method to factory unlock your Galaxy S3 or Galaxy Note 2.

This technique is useful for those who have bought a Galaxy S3 from the US or UK, imported into Pakistan, and are scouring to use it with a compatible network. (Works for any country.) Also, if your travelling and you need to use the same handset continuously, then use this method to use it worldwide on any carrier.

(This will only work on devices with the stock Samsung ROM.)

Follow the steps below to factory unlock your Samsung Galaxy S3 or Samsung Galaxy Note 2:

Disclaimer: Following these steps may lead to a bricked phone and/or result in voiding your warranty. This is rare, but PakDroid © will not be responsible for any harm done to your device.

  1. Open the phone app on your device and enter the following code in it:
  2. You will be presented with a menu. Go to ‘[1] UMTS’, then ‘[1] Debug Screen’, then ‘[8] Phone Control’, followed by ‘[6] Network Lock’, and finally, ‘Options’.
  3. In the Options menu, select ‘[3] Perso SHA256 OFF’.
  4. Now wait for about 30 seconds, and then press ‘Menu’ and select ‘Back’ to go back one step to the ‘[6] Network Lock’ screen.
  5. Once there, select ‘[4] NW Lock NV Data INITIALLIZE’.
  6. Wait for around one minute, and reboot your device.

(Courtesy of Addictive Tips)

After these steps have been completed, try inserting any foreign SIM into your phone and see if it detects signal or redirects you to another network.



211 thoughts on “[TUTORIAL]: How to factory unlock Samsung Galaxy S III / Galaxy Note II

  1. I have siii shv-e210l. but the network mode is not exist in mobile network screen. please help me how to add network mode acces?

      1. hi i just bought a samsung A7 from saudi arabia and sent it to the phils but now my husband cannot use it bec it is asking for a pin..i did not know i should use it first with a sim card fr KSA can you help me what to do? thanks!

      2. Hi, did you buy the phone from a normal retail store or from your network/carrier?
        If it’s from a network/carrier then it’s most probably Network Locked, which means it will only work with a SIM card from Saudi Arabia.
        Unlocking it costs around 20 – 30 US dollars and takes 5 minutes once you have the unlock code.

  2. i need help , i have sgh-t999 came from USA, its unlocked but i have signals issues, whenever i enter my home, the signals are gone, but signals are fine when im outside. I have tried flashing different modems , but the problem is still there.

  3. I have a sprint galaxy note 2 SPH-L900. When I put the code into the dialer, nothing happens. Even when I call it, it does nothing. What else can be done?

  4. Hey ,
    I have an Samsung Galaxy Note II N7100 , i was downgrade from 4.1.2 to 4.1.1 JB , and dosent work . It gave me “Current command 186” when i click on Network lock?.
    What can i do to resolve this problem ?

  5. just to update I have tried to install region lock away and even that apk did not help me it shows that its not region locked some other issue is there its at &t phone and was used in usa before it came to me.

  6. well I have done hard reset so many times but still same looks like sgh-i747 is region locked because even I try to dial any number from Skype or by phone dialpad prefix is +1 which means its picking usa from some where inside any one can explain how to unlock region lock


  7. I have S3 GT-I9300 4.1.1. I do not have the option 1)UMTS upon typing the code. I have :

    3) UMTS RF NV
    4) GSM RF NV
    5) AUDIO
    6) COMMON
    7) IPC LB TEST

    when i start to follow your instructions starting from DEBUG SCREEN, i get CURRENT COMMAND IS 186 after i press NETWORK LOCK.

    Please help! thank you!

      1. i have sgh-i747 running on 4.1.1 following the unlock procedure my phone is not asking for unlock code which means its unlocked . now the issue is I cannot make or receive calls. some times it display the carrier but most of the time carrier is not displayed. when I try to send sms or call message comes up saying network or sim card error but I have tried other sim but same result.
        if I go back to service mode in mm information is shows sim deregisterd or suspended any one have same issue please share ( is this problem related to region lock or some other setting to be done)

      2. Try performing a HARD RESET by the following steps:
        -Power off your device.
        -Boot into recovery mode, Press Volume Up + Home + Power Button simultaneously, once you see the ‘Galaxy S III’ logo, let go of the power button and continue holding the other two buttons until it shows ‘Android System Recovery ‘ at the top of the screen.
        -Use the volume buttons to navigate, meaning you have to press the Volume Down button to go to the option that says ‘Wipe Data/Factory Reset’ and press the Home Button (or Power Button, whichever works) to select it. Once you have selected, navigate to the ‘YES’ option and the RESET process will begin and the phone will restart. Try using it, if it shows the same problems, it is definitely a region lock.

  8. hey guys i flashed my samsung galaxy note 2 SGHT889 (tmobile USA ) to 4.1.1. from 4.1.2….. i still couldn unlock my phone as i still cannot see the NO 4 option in Network Lock screen… wil i ever be able to unlock my phone…. the unlock code provided by tmobile is also not working…. what do i do next? please reply me or mail me danielsajit@gmail.com….. any good advice and suggestion will be greatly appreciated….

  9. I have the samsung galaxy s3 and recently it showed a new lock screen now i cant take it off and i hate it i need help on how to turn it off so i can have my regular lock screen back

  10. hi i bought a samsung gallaxy s3 from some one, i can use my sim but when i dial phone add 041 code first then my dial number, and phone said its not correct number.

    could you let me what i can do now?

  11. hello link, I need your opinion on my question. I
    havw a T-Mobile galaxy s3 T999 which I have unlucked and using in another country. its still stock firmware & running 4.0.4 and I want to upgrade to 4.2.2
    1. is it posible to upgrade directly to 4.2.2
    2. will d phone not have problem after upgrade
    3. will it not return to tmobile lock.
    4. can I upgrade through T-Mobile OTA
    Am looking forward to your quick response through my email.

    1. Please mention how you unlocked your Galaxy S3 T999.
      Since official 4.2.2 is not announced for the Galaxy S3, you will have to flash a 4.2.2 Custom ROM.
      The phone will not have any problems after the upgrade.
      Android phones do not re-lock with Custom ROM’s.
      If you upgrade via T-Mobile OTA, your unlock will be lost and your phone will re-lock.

      1. Hi,
        Am not quite sure how the unlock was done because I gave it to an engineer in my office who did it. if I upgrade through Tmobile OTA and it relock can I unlock it again and use as before

  12. Im guessing my phone did get bricked. I saw this on several other sites, but no warnings. Does anyone know what I can do about this?

    1. Do a factory reset on your device.
      If that doesn’t solve your problem, you can always resort to flashing a stock firmware package through Odin.

    1. We are currently not sure if this method will work on your device.
      This method has been tested on the following devices:
      – Galaxy S III GT-I9300 (International)
      – Galaxy S III SGH-I747 (AT&T USA)
      – Galaxy S III SGH-T999 (T-Mobile USA)
      – Galaxy Note II GT-N7100 (International)

    1. If you have followed the steps correctly, insert any SIM card and if you get a cellular signal your phone is unlocked.

  13. The tutorial worked fine for me I’m using a Galaxy S3 SGH T 999 was runing on 4.1.1 went for the upgrade (4.1.2) and didn’t loose the network unlock option, tks for sharing the info on the web, unlockers at e-bay charging up to 50.00$ for the trick!

    1. Hey, I have an S3 I9300 with 4.1.1 and I get the same thing.. Current command 186.. What can I do?

      Btw, I’ve tried with several 4.1.1 firmwares..and still the same, can you provide me with a firmware or something?

  14. I used this method and it worked, can I upgrade my Galaxy S3 (T-Mobile) to 4.1.2 ? but the unlocked won’t be lost?

  15. This method worked great for me, I was wondering if I can upgrade my Galaxy S3 (T-Mobile) to 4.1.2 and the unlocked won’t be lost. Thanks

      1. This method doesn’t work with SGH-I317.

        Only works with Galaxy Note II (N7100) and Galaxy S3 (I9300) devices running Android firmware 4.1.1 and below.

  16. ok so I am trying to unlock my Samsung galaxy 3 and im on a service mode page and it has sha256_enable_flag [0] and sha256_off=> not change which one do I choose

    1. hello I was wondering if u ever got your phone unlocked cause I get the same thing and can’t figure out what to do now for the life of me.So could you help me please if you were able to figure out or get help with yours thanks

      1. What’s the model number of your smartphone?

        -This method is only compatible with GT-I9300 (Samsung Galaxy S III) and GT-N7100 (Samsung Galaxy Note II).
        -On the Galaxy S III smartphone, this method will only work with 4.0.4 and 4.1.1 firmwares. This is not compatible with 4.1.2 Jellybean.
        -On the Galaxy Note II, this method only works with 4.1.1 Jellybean.
        -This method will NOT work with SGH-I747, SPH-L710, SCH-R350U or any other variants of the mentioned smartphones, ONLY the International Versions.

        Thank You.

  17. have a note 2, what’s the 4.1.1 firmware that makes this work?
    have downgrade from 4.1.2 to 4.1.1 firmware of poland, and didnt show the options for the unlock, going to try another 4.1.1, cant find 4.0 for note 2 if that’s exist.

    1. The Note II was released with 4.1.1 so obviously 4.0.4 will not exist.

      Try an early build of the 4.1.1 to find the options.

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