MSL or Master Subsidy Lock is a numeric code that bars access to certain technical setting of a phone or tablet. The device manufacturer uses this code to make sure that its customers cannot wipe their phone number and reprogram their device to work with another different carrier, which most customers want to do.
In brief, MSL locks a device; a device with carrier that cannot be changed is called a locked one.
What is the function of MSL?
Device manufacturers often cooperate with certain carriers like Sprint when they introduce new models. Customers who buy their device thus not only get the device, but also a permanent phone number that cannot be changed. If they want to change it, they have to unlock their device. To unlock it, they need to know its MSL.
Why do device manufacturers use MSL to lock their device? As a part of their promotional campaign, they try to lower the price of their products by encouraging certain carriers to subsidize them, hence the term subsidy in MSL. To compensate for the loss caused by their subsidy, the subsidizing carriers require buyers to use their service permanently, hoping that they can eventually cover their loss and start gaining profit if their customers keep using their periodical service plan.
Locked version of a phone is always around when the phone is released to the market. Therefore, when Samsung finally releases its illustrious Galaxy S6 model, its locked version, which is obviously cheaper, also emerges in the market. People are eager to buy a cheaper Samsung Galaxy S6 device although it is locked and it forces them to be stuck with one carrier forever. Those who are aware of this locking system may prefer to spend more money to make sure that the model they buy is the unlocked one. Locked Galaxy S6 buyers, however, can actually switch to another carrier if they can access the MSL code of their device.
How to retrieve MSL code on Samsung Galaxy S6
If you want to unlock your locked Galaxy S6, you can retrieve its MSL code through the following ways.
1. You can try to call your phone carrier and expect them to give you the MSL code.
You can get MSL code by calling Sprint customer service and make some alibi like slow connection. Some carriers are willing to inform you about the code, although some may not.
2. Use any apps that allow you to view your Android device logs.
An app called aLogcat is a good example. To use this app, take the following steps:
- Download aLogcat from Google Play Store and then install it.
- Use your phone dialer to call ##DATA# or ##3282#
- From the menu that appears, choose “View Mode”
- You will see a screen with 3 selections, from here either press and hold the “Home” key and select aLogcat if you ran it before, go to your tray and run Logcat.
- Open the aLogcat app, this app will start building your device logs, once it finishes press “Menu” and “Pause” the log.
- Search your MSL by press “Menu” and Filter “MSL”.
3. Root your device and use the latest Galaxy S6 tools to unlock your device.
Although not all of the aforementioned ways are guaranteed to success, their success rate is high and many people have confirmed their effectiveness. After you get your device’s MSL code, you can proceed to unlocking your device and switching to a new carrier.