What does "PUK" mean on your SIM card when you lock your phone?

Answer

With mobile phones, PUK stands for "personal unlocking key." This code is used to open a SIM card that has been locked after using the wrong personal identification number (PIN) a certain number of times.

Most SIM cards allow only up to three tries before being locked. A locked SIM card then requires a PUK. This usually comes with the SIM card, or the mobile carrier can be contacted to inquire how to procure this code. If the wrong PUK is entered a set number of times, the SIM card is then permanently locked. This can happen if a person continues to enter the PIN when the SIM card is already asking for the PUK.

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