Nexus & Pixel SIM Lock

by luke patrick


fixing "the sim card has locked" issues

Like a lot of people, I finally got my shiny new Pixel in the mail this week. It was everything I wanted and more: Smooth matte finish on the back, incredible camera with brilliant 4k video, superhero battery life, etc. If the phone were a human being, it’d definitely be my drinking buddy of choice.

But our friendship started with a small hiccup. I use Ting as my cellular provider, and as always the setup couldn’t be simpler. I plugged in my IMEI, punched in a dialer code, and boom – we were off to the races.

At least, I thought I was. After ten minutes, my phone locked up with this message:

The network did not respond in time. The sim card has locked, please power cycle the device

Well . . . bugger.

This has happened to me before, most noticeably with my Nexus 5X. However, I’ve slept a lot since that activation. The solution has been replaced with frittata recipes, shell code, and beer. Lots of beer.

Thankfully, the good folks at Ting had me sorted in no time at all. The solution should take only a minute, and by posting it here, I can likely save you some time in support calls.

If your Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P or Google Pixel is suffering from SIM lock, the quick way to fix it is simply to:

  1. Make sure you’ve entered a carrier reset dial code (may be different for your provider). Without this, your phone won’t know who to “talk to” on the airwaves.

  2. After that, see if the thing works. This might seem silly, but really. Just let it sit for 30 minutes. If there’s no error message, you’re good to go!

  3. If life still isn’t peachy (likely, since you’re here) then go to Settings, then click More.

  4. Find Cellular Networks and click it. Then find the Carrier Settings option and select it.

  5. Last step! From here, just click “Update PRL” and let the machine do its thing. If there are available updates for your device, they’ll be picked up on the airwaves. After a two minute wait period, your phone should tell you the update is finished.

  6. If the phone doesn’t power cycle automatically, do it yourself by holding down the power button and clicking “Reboot.”

And that’s it! Hopefully the problem is gone. If for some reason it isn’t, then you likely have deeper issues. Don’t be afraid to reach out to your cellular provider. Hopefully they’ll have some answers.

Did this fix your problem? Is that expensive-brick-with-a-screen finally a phone? Let us know on Twitter. We always like to hear when a quick-fix helps.

If you appreciated the help, you can also get a sick sticker and impress your friends.

Follow us (or ask questions) on Twitter & Facebook ! That's way better than a comments section, right?