How to Remove Motorola Subsidy Password Message

When trying to use a Motorola phone with a new SIM card many users receive the message "enter subsidy password". This message indicates that the phone is locked to the current provider, and cannot be used with a new cell network. This tutorial will tell you how to bypass this error message, allowing you to unlock your Motorola for use with any network.


Obtain a Subsidy Password, also know as an IMEI unlock code.

The Motorola subsidy password is an 8 or 16 digit code that unlocks your phone (Remove service provider lock) for use with other cellular providers. Search Google for Motorola Unlock Codes for a list of retailers. Codes are usually provided within 24 to 48 hours, and cost around $10 to $25 (Price will vary depending on Code seller).

Most providers will not issue the unlock code after your account has been inactive for more that 90 days.

They says it is because your account info goes into a “read only” status, and they cannot retrieve the number any longer.

Enter the subsidy code into the phone.

To enter the IMEI code into the phone, all you need to do is insert a SIM card from a different network to the one that your phone is locked to. This will prompt the phone to display “Enter subsidy password”. Just enter the 8 or 16 digit code, and your Motorola phone is unlocked.


  • If your phone displays “contact service provider” this is because you have tried to enter too many codes. If you just leave your phone in this state for a few hours, the message will be replaced with “enter subsidy password”. You can then enter the code and unlock your phone.
  • If your phone is asking for a 4 digit code, then you will need User code. This number is a security code designed to keep your phone data secure, and has nothing to do with the subsidy password. If you need the User Code you can obtain free software that will read the data off your phone, providing you can connect it to your computer. Otherwise, contact your service provider.
  • To generate your Subsidy Password, retailers will ask for your phones unique IMEI number. This is a 15 or 17 (last 2 digit usually represent software version) digit number, which can be found by entering *#06# on your phones handset.


  • Unlike other phones, Motorola’s cannot be permanently locked by entering too many codes. See Tips to see how to reset the phone.
  • This tutorial is only for GSM style phones (mainly US except AT&T/T-mobile) . CDMA phones cannot be unlocked in this manner, as they do not have SIM cards.

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