Do you know about SIM-Lock and SIM-Free smartphones? If your phone is bought from a carrier in Japan, there is a good chance the smartphone may be locked to the carrier. If so, the phone cannot be used with other network carriers (in Japan and overseas). But fear not! We will show you how to SIM-unlock a smartphone from SoftBank!
Unlocking a SoftBank smartphone
1. Conditions for unlocking a smartphone
① Currently under a SoftBank contract
- Complete the process through My SoftBank (Free)
- Complete the process at a SoftBank Shop (3,000 JPY)
Complete the process through either of the above. It is recommended that you complete the process online through My SoftBank since it is free.
② If you are not under a contract (canceled contract, bought the phone used, someone gave it to you, etc.)
- Complete the process at a SoftBank Shop（3,000 JPY）ONLY
※ Since April and May of 2021, if you purchased a phone capable of being SIM-unlocked from a SoftBank shop, it will be given to you unlocked.
※ For customers who are transferring from SoftBank to Y!Mobile or LINEMO from August 18, 2021, when you are switching carriers to either of SoftBank’s carriers, the SIM unlock procedure will be performed at the same time. Therefore, the SIM unlock request procedure is not required.
SoftBank unlock procedure and additional information (Japanese)
If you purchased your phone from someone other than the SoftBank shop, it is not possible to unlock your smartphone on My SoftBank online.
In addition, 101 days or more need to have passed since the product was purchased and paid in full. If you do not know the purchase date of your phone or purchase method, you can check this information at a SoftBank shop.
2. Using the My SoftBank Unlock Method (Online)
Now that we have checked that we can unlock the phone, it is time to get to what you have been waiting for…unlocking your phone!
Follow the instructions below to get the IMEI and go through the online SoftBank website to unlock a smartphone.
① Get the IMEI (serial number) and make a note of it (This will be necessary later on!)
- For iPhone／iPad
You can get the IMEI on the “Information” screen
Settings -> General -> Information
Dial/Enter #06# in the phone app, and the IMEI will be displayed on the screen as a 15-digit number
- For Smartphone(Android, etc.)
Enter *#06# in the phone app, and the IMEI will be displayed on the screen as a 15-digit number
② Log in to your My SoftBank account
③In the top right of the main page, select Menu -> Contract/Option Management -> Option [メニュー => 契約・オプション管理 => オプション]
④ Go down and select SIM unlock procedure [SIMロック解除手続き]
⑤ Type in the IMEI 15-digit number that you looked up earlier and click Next [次へ]
⑥ Select the button Proceed with Unlocking [解除手続きする]
⑦ And.. the unlock procedure is complete!
*To check if the SIM lock was unlocked, you can dial  in the phone app
*You may receive the message “SIM unlock is not finished yet” [SIMロック解除はまだ完了しておりません], but rest assured that the SIM unlock procedure should be completed.
*For Android smartphones, an unlock code [解除コード] will be displayed after successfully completing the procedure. Write down this unlock code and keep it safe, as you will need this when inserting a SIM card from another carrier into your smartphone.
I hope that you found this article informative! Hopefully, you were able to unlock your SoftBank smartphone so that you can use it on another carrier.
We try to keep this page as up-to-date as possible. However, please note that the information on this page may become outdated or may differ depending on your situation. Please refer to the following website for the latest information regarding unlocking your SoftBank smartphone.
SoftBank SIM Lock Removal
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For other carriers
If you are looking to unlock a smartphone from another Japanese carrier, please check out the links below to find out how to unlock a smartphone from au and docomo.