What Is A PUK Code & How To Find Your PUK Code

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what is puk code

PUK stands for Personal Unblocking Key/Unlock Key in SIM cards, 3GPP cards, and Mobile phones. Sometimes it is also called personal Unblocking Code (PUC). It is used to reset the PIN (personal identification number) if the user has forgotten it. PUK code is also required if you want to switch your network provider without changing your number (sim portability).

In this blog, we’ll discuss the PUK meaning, how a PUK code works and how to unlock your PUK code, depending on your network provider.

What Is A PUK Code?

Nowadays almost all phones have a feature of PIN protection. PUK is for your SIM card’s protection and each SIM card has a unique PUK which is mostly 8 digits long. PUK/ PUK code shouldn’t be hard to find, as usual, the code is kept by the network provider. It might be difficult to retrieve it depending on who your network provider is as some service providers limit the length of time the PUK will be active.

To avoid getting in a situation like that you should write or type it somewhere for future reference, once you get it. Along with PUK, the PIN is also provided by the mobile service provider but you can change it later on.

How Does A PUK Code Work?

The PIN security function is activated as soon as you switch on your phone. You will be required to enter a 4-to-8-digit PIN to activate your phone's non-emergency calling functions. If you enter the wrong PIN more than three times the GSM SIM card will be blocked or the device might get locked or worse, both.

PUK is provided by the mobile service provider to unlock the SIM/phone/both in such situations after the verification of the user. If you enter the wrong PUK code more than 10 times in a row, your SIM card will permanently be blocked/disabled and won’t recover. In that case, the only solution is to purchase a new SIM card. Hence, it is very important to keep your PUK code written in a place that you will remember and will be able to retrieve anytime if required.

When Do You Need To Use A PUK Code?

Ideally, you will need your PUK only in cases where your phone/SIM is blocked. Simultaneously, if the PIN number is written on your SIM card, then you will need to type in that as a security measure whenever you switch on your phone. In case you type in the wrong pin too many times, you will get a message on the screen saying your PUK is locked. Then you’ll have to use the correct PUK code to unlock the phone or else the functions will be disabled. As soon as you use PUK to unlock your SIM/phone you will be asked to reset a new pin.

Different mobiles might have different functions, but usually the message will prompt on your device to indicate the PUK in an above-mentioned way.

How To Find Your PUK Code

If you have purchased a new SIM card then your PUK code will most likely be printed on the packaging of the SIM. You can also check the box in which the card was packed. PUK could also be printed on the label stuck on the package/box. If you can’t find the code in these places, you can contact the retailer you purchased the sim/phone from and they will be able to guide you further.

You can also contact the customer care of your mobile network as PUK is unique to each sim, the network provider will definitely have the information. They can also assist you with generating a new code after asking some questions for verification. They might also require Identity proof/address proof, birth details and some might ask for the sim card code (also mentioned on the packaging). All these details are required to prove that you are the owner of the SIM and phone.

Below we have listed how to access PUK codes of Specific network providers:

Getting Airtel’s PUK code:

Through call: Call the customer care (121) through another Airtel number, and select the PUK option. Request for the PUK code for your SIM/mobile number. Basic verification questions will be asked like the name of the cardholder, address proof, 15-digit SIM number (which is printed on the backside of the SIM) after verification you will be given the PUK code. Enter the code in your mobile to unlock it.

Through SMS:Through another Airtel number, type your (locked) mobile number and send it to 785. Type PUK-Space-15-digit SIM and send it to 121. You will receive an SMS with an 8- digit unlocking code. Enter the code in your mobile to unlock it.

Getting Vodafone Idea’s PUK cod

You can dial 199 IVR toll-free from your registered mobile number or browse through the website or app for the PUK code access option.

Getting Reliance Jio’s PUK code

You can enter your mobile number in the Jio website (go to lost SIM log in) and follow the instructions to receive the PUK code.

Getting BSNL’s PUK code

Type PUK -19 Digit SIM Number- (given on the back of the sim) and send it to 53733

You can request a PUK code through any other mobile number. Charges might be applied as per the SMS tariff of the said operator. If it's a BSNL number, it is free.

Note: In some phones, it is important to “05” before entering the PUK code. For example, Nexus One users have to type “05” -PUK number-the new PIN number-the new PIN number again-#, to unlock the phone.

How To Get PUK Code Online

You can try to get the PUK from your network provider through an online portal. You need to have an online account i.e, register on your network provider’s online portal through some basic verification process. You can download the official app and log in. You can check for a PUK section on the page. Some prepaid phones provide the code online if you have the details of the account holder like the D.O.B. name and mobile number.


Now that you know how to unlock your phone, when you see the ‘Enter PUK Code’ message, don’t stress and simply follow the steps given above to ensure your SIM card is not permanently blocked.

For more tips and tricks related to your SIM card or network provider, keep reading Selectra!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the PUK code?

The PUK (Personal Unblocking Key) code is an eight-digit number. It's used to unblock your SIM card after you've input the incorrect PIN code three times. A card that has been blocked by the PUK code cannot be unblocked; it can no longer be used and must be replaced.

How many wrong PIN codes are allowed before I get automatically locked out?

You may be given up to three wrong tries, or up to 10, depending on the network to which you've subscribed. In any case, you'll need a PUK to unlock a phone that has been locked by the network in these circumstances before you can use it again.

Getting a message "Enter PUK code", what should be done?

The notice "Enter PUK code" indicates that the SIM card has been blocked. You need to enter the PUK code by either calling your customer care number or by finding it on your SIM card packet.

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