Free SIM unlock discovered for Galaxy Note II and Galaxy S III devices running Jelly Bean

Daniel Bader

December 8, 2012 11:50am


An enterprising XDA Developer named owl74 has discovered a loophole inside the Jelly Bean software on Galaxy Note II and Galaxy S III devices that unlocks the SIM slot for free.

The hack is quite simple to pull off and doesn’t require the phone to be rooted or running custom software. It does, however, involve some precise timing and a bit of luck — not all users are finding success with the process, and it won’t work if your Galaxy S III is still running Android 4.0.4.

While we can’t guarantee the safety of this little hack, nor can we verify the efficacy of its claims, we’ve received reports that Canadian users on both devices have successfully unlocked their Note II’s and S3’s without issue.

Head to XDA-Developers for all the gory details, and warm up those fingers — you’ll need to be fast.

(Thanks to everyone who sent this in!)

  • Parsa

    Yes, it works… Unlocked a WIND Galaxy S III and used Rogers and Fido SIM, and it’s working :D

  • adam

    I paid for it to be unlocked, I wish I had waited:-(

  • Jon

    If i’m with telus and plan to stay with them…… does it make any sense to unlock it?

    • deltatux

      If you’re planning to travel anytime soon, yes, it makes total sense especially when you’re going abroad. That’s mainly the reason why I unlock my devices.

    • David

      Yes, it does. For instance, if you go anywhere in Europe, where roaming fees are ridiculously high(for data, count 5$ / Mb (Telus Corporate)), you could just enter any orange shop, buy a prepaid sim card, and Enjoy a 5 Euro deal : 1 GB / 1 Week mobile data. While mobile networks there are not what they are here (a smaller bandwith per user, for sure), it’s still very useful to check email and other stuff. Cheap, working WiFi is not really easy to find there.

  • David

    Edit from my previous post : orange is just for France. But i’m sure other operators have similar prepaid deals.

  • vengefulspirit99

    i bet this is going to get patched so fast lol…

  • An Art

    Sh*t. I just bricked my phone doing this… :( :( :(

    • nick

      how did you manage that…? no part of this would cause brick if you followed instructions and did it on a note II of S3 with JB 4.1

    • GN2Tom

      Same here… restarted my phone after following the steps, and it wouldn’t turn on anymore. Pulled the battery – nothing. Tried charging it up – nothing. Thank you, Internet…

  • steven

    works !!!

  • demon

    Just did it with my WIND GN2 and it works!!!

  • Bumbles

    worked on my wifes telus galaxy s3 first try!!

  • thisismysmartphone.tumblr.com

    Wanted to mention that this all began with the Galaxy Note II getting software unlocked. They created a thread on XDA for the SGSIII and discussed software unlocking when a user mentioned that the Note II had just been software unlocked and posted the method. People tested it and had success

  • STY

    Some people are just geniuses. Owl74 must be one of them.

    • STY

      Hmmm, someone gave my comment a thumbs down? really. Obviously Robelus employee trying to protect their exorbitant unlock fees.

    • STY

      Probably the same poster who claims it hurt their phone. Because that’s the best lie, to get people to not unlock this free way.

  • Rick

    Did this last week! and have been sharing it with everyone and their brother on Facebook! :)

    Works like a charm btw..

  • screamer

    The phone should be always unlocked because we paid for it. There should be a law. Same thing with all the bloodware on our phones. Should ask if we want the apps from telus rogers or bell. But not gonna happened because to many politics are work for them!

    • Bean

      Unless you paid the outright price, no you did not pay for it. The reason they’re locked is because most people pay a subsidized price for their phone.

    • bob

      You pay for it. Just like you pay for your car by the month.

    • pacalis

      Bean,
      Try cancelling your subsidy and see if they take the phone back. In the contract – the phone is yours, the money isn’t. It should be unlocked.

  • John Edwards

    Did it with my Bell/Virgin GS3, tried a Rogers SIM and it works! Thanks! :D

  • Zeshan C

    Amazing job. easy to do. I got the Bell S3.
    did it in the first try and it worked perfectly with a Rogers sim card. Calling/Texting/Data

    One question… ? Will this keep my phone permanently unlocked ?
    Jus asking cuz it is a hack…so say if i reset my phone or update the software.

    if anyone knows..plz let me know !

    • fnair

      In the forum, some people have reset their phone and the unlock stayed, as it should since the network lock isn’t in the rom partition.

  • Vic

    Where do I find the link for this unlock, pls someone help. I want to unlock my virgin S3 now pls

    • Captain Obvious

      If you read the article, you can clearly see where you have to go… Its even highlighted in blue for you to just click it.

    • Vic

      Loool found it and done it !! :), so does carrier unlock makes you also get updates earlier from samsung ?? Compared to sim locked ones.

  • Kid.Canada

    Worked my Rogers S3, tried an MTS sim card and it worked. Now my wifi is slow, anyone else having this issue. Ive seen a few people mention this in that XDA thread but wasnt sure if it was the unlock that caused that.

  • Matt

    Worked on my TELUS SGH-I747M Galaxy S3. Tested with ROGERS SIM card.

  • Zenawi Gebrehiywot

    is contests world for wide or only for canada ?

  • Jeve Stobs

    should have gotten an iphone. all of them come unlocked.

    • NJH

      Actually they no longer do unless you purchase them directly from Apple. For the first time, the phones subsidised by a carrier are locked.

  • m

    Does anyone know the Consequnces of a unlocked phone on the telus network? Like will it stop giving u updates or slow network or anything

  • Alex

    Hey, Bean. I purchased both my Mobilicity Note II and T-Mobile S III outright, and they both were locked. I paid to unlock the Note II, but did not use the code.
    I unlocked the Note II and S III using this method. Hopefully, none of future updated will return the phones to the locked state.

  • Josh

    Hello guys I tried this on my Bell S3 but I’m not sure how to check or know whether the unlock is successful or not. Any suggestion?

  • Dylan K

    Quick Tip: If you unlock the SIM lock, you can go under Settings -> More Settings -> Mobile Networks and you should see more than just your current provider. I don’t have a SIM to test but I can see all 3 major providers under that setting now when I couldn’t before.

    Awesome hack/exploit, good slip up Sammy, now we all have unlocked S3s/Note 2s/Almost any other Samsung phone.

  • Stanislav

    It works. Just unlocked my Galaxy Note II.

  • Richard

    AWESOME JOB MOBILESYRUP. YOU JUST MADE MY NEXT TRIP TO HAWAII EVEN BETTER NOW THAT I DON’T HAVE TO PAY TO UNLOCK MY PHONE!

  • Jocelyn

    I’m with TELUS. I haven’t unlock my S3 yet but i already see TELUS,ROGERS and Bell in Settings -> More Settings -> Mobile Networks . So i guess i will have to test with a real SIM to find out.

  • Vic Singh

    Thank You,

    Worked with Rogers S3.

    did not work on Bell S3(custom rom – task650&ktoonsez)
    It could be the custom rom why it didnt work

  • Ahmed

    Amazing man. Thanks a lot. It’s working with every network. I haven’t tried it with mobilicity or wind but other than that all major networks are working.

  • Libu

    Worked with Virgin S3. Tested with a Rogers Sim.

  • Ninja.Baller.11

    It worked on a Rogers Note 2 (gray). Tested with Bell LTE SIM.

  • anthony

    Worked for me on note 2 that was locked to bell using fido sim on it now

  • Gisela

    Uh… well i just bought the note 2 from telus. And I put my koodo sim card in and it worked… didnt have to do anything fancy at all. Pretty bawlin.

    • mahad omar

      Telus and Koodo are the same company. This is why the Koodo sim works on a Telus phone. Your phone may not be unlocked. Check with a sim card of Rogers or Fido or Bell.

  • Pat Simeon

    Will my Galaxy Note II still receive OTA (over the air) updates if I do this? I’m so tempted to do so but I still want my OTA updates.

  • dustin lowell

    Hi, tried unlocking this method but didn’t work anymore, so give up and try with unlock codes and simply unlocked my phone in just few steps. however i used codes2unlock. com to get my code.