Is my iPhone blacklisted? This is a question that we get a lot here at IMEI-Index. And once someone realizes that their iPhone is blacklisted, the next question is: How can I unlock my blacklisted iPhone?
In this post, we are going to:
- explain the reasons why an iPhone gets blacklisted or blocked
- what the restrictions of an iPhone blacklist are
- what you can do to get a blacklisted iPhone unlocked & use it with any SIM card
The most common situation where people end up with a blacklisted iPhone is when they bought it online from an unknown seller, usually eBay or Craigslist. Returning the blacklisted iPhone to the seller through Craigslist is almost impossible, which means that the only solution is to try and unlock or unblacklist the iPhone.
What’s an iPhone Blacklist?
When an iPhone gets stolen or is reported as lost, institutions usually report it to the GSMA which is the GSM Association. Since 1987, various mobile networks have created this database to allow police, insurance, and other organizations to report the IMEI of a phone.
The iPhone Blacklist basically prevents stolen phones from being sold and used. When your iPhone lands in the database of blacklisted iPhones, other networks will be informed and will block your phone.
If you want to check if your iPhone is entered into the GSMA iPhone Blacklist database, you can perform an IMEI Blacklist status check.
How iPhones get blacklisted
An iPhone Blacklist is a database where lost, stolen or otherwise flagged iPhones are reported.
When your iPhone gets blacklisted, the IMEI number (which is like your serial number) will be tagged accordingly. Usually, iPhones get blacklisted for one of the following reasons: lost, stolen, fraud, chimaera, and a few more.
Mobile networks can flag iPhones, but it’s also iPhone’s original owner who can report it to the police who will then flag it accordingly. Also, Apple is allowed to report the iPhone and flag it as blacklisted (aka worldwide blacklist or chimaera lock policy).
So there are multiple reasons for an iPhone blacklist:
- iPhone was lost
- iPhone was stolen
- iPhone was involved in fraud activities
Special cases of blacklisted iPhones:
The Chimaera blacklist is a very unique case, and only Apple has the right to place this tag against an IMEI number. This means that the device was either lost/stolen before it was sold, has an invalid purchase date, or that its IMEI/Serial number was replaced through a non-official Apple partner.
What are the restrictions of an iPhone Blacklist?
A blacklisted iPhone has the following restrictions:
- You cannot use your iPhone to make phone calls
- Your iPhone won’t connect to any mobile network
- You can’t operate the iPhone inside the country in which it was blacklisted
- You even can’t use it in other nearby countries since neighboring countries also have access to the same iPhone Blacklist
If you are unsure about the status of your iPhone or if you want to find out WHY your iPhone was blacklisted, you can check its IMEI Blacklist Status. It is also highly recommended if you are currently in the process of buying a second-hand iPhone and want to make sure that it has no flaws. Even trusted sellers aren’t aware that they are selling a blacklisted iPhone.
If you have already bought an iPhone and it turned out to be locked or blacklisted, do not worry, the iPhone is not useless.
There are ways to unlock a blacklisted iPhone or unblacklist it, to start using it with other Mobile Networks.
What can you do to a Blacklisted iPhone?
Fortunately, having a blacklisted iPhone is not the end of the world.
Below we have listed five solutions that will either help you to start using your blacklisted iPhone or at least get your money (or a portion of it) back:
- Return the iPhone to its seller and claim your money back
- Try to locate the original owner and ask to remove the iPhone from the blacklist
- Find a service that can Unlock the blacklisted iPhone
- Remove the blacklist status from it
- Combine steps two and three, to start using it with any network you want worldwide
- Sell it for spare parts
Have in mind, that your first step should be to return the blacklisted iPhone to its seller. Unlocking and Unblacklisting a blacklisted iPhone can be complex. It is much better to return the iPhone, get your money back, and buy an iPhone that is not blacklisted. To prevent the purchase of a blacklisted iPhone, be sure to check its blacklist status here.
Very often people try to sell stolen and lost iPhones online, so it is almost impossible to find the original owner of that iPhone.
Selling your iPhone for spare parts might seem like a desperate action, but it is not! Many of our users, sold their iPhones for spare parts, and got a very nice profit!
Unlocking a Blacklisted iPhone vs Unblacklisting an iPhone
It is common to confuse these two services as both of them are meant for blacklisted iPhones.
However, they offer two different solutions and you should pick the one that best meets your needs.
Unlocking a blacklisted iPhone is the process of removing the SIM-Lock from an iPhone that is reported as blacklisted. This service focuses ONLY on the SIM-Lock issue of an iPhone, not its blacklist status.
Example #1: If you unlock a blacklisted AT&T iPhone, you will be able to use any network you want. However, since it will stay blacklisted, you will not be able to use networks from the USA, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, and Puerto Rico.
Unblacklisting an iPhone is the process of removing the blacklist status from it. It will remove the lost, or stolen status and change it to clean. The unblacklist will not interfere with the SIM-Lock status of an iPhone, only the blacklist.
Example #2: If you unblacklist an AT&T blacklisted iPhone, you will be able to use it only with the AT&T network, since it is locked there. It will become an AT&T USA-locked iPhone with a clean status.
Unlock Blacklisted iPhone – What service should I use?
Picking the right Unlocking service for a blacklisted iPhone requires you to know a few things about it, such as:
- Which network is locking your iPhone
- Which network blacklisted it
- What is the blacklist reason
The services that can unlock a blacklisted iPhone are called Premium IMEI Unlocks. These services are not always online and they have a very limited lifespan and capacity. It is crucial to “get” them as soon as they get online. The longer those services stay online, the lower their success rate drops. Eventually, after a few weeks, the service will become very unstable and stop.
Unfortunately, many companies have outdated Premium IMEI unlock services, that will not be able to unlock your device. The good news is that you can check if a service is available for your blacklisted iPhone in real-time with an IMEI Blacklist status check.
Remove iPhone Blacklist – Unblacklist / Cleaning services
The Unblacklist services can remove the iPhone blacklist status. They will change the lost, or stolen status to Clean, so you can at least start using your iPhone with the network that is locking it (if it is already unlocked, you will be able to use it with any network you want!).
Unblacklist & Cleaning services also have a very limited lifespan and capacity, which means that the same procedure as above should be followed (find available unblacklist services).
If your iPhone is locked and blacklisted, then a combination of the above two services is required.
What Mobile Networks can I use after unlocking my Blacklisted iPhone?
I will give you some examples to understand completely which networks you can use, but generally, you will be able to use all mobile networks, except the ones that operate in the same country in which your iPhone has been blacklisted.
For example, if your iPhone has been blacklisted by Softbank Japan, you can use a Softbank Japan IMEI Premium Unlock service, and use your iPhone on any mobile network you want, except all Japanese carriers (KDDI, AU, and others).
How to order an IMEI Unlock or Unblacklist Service for blacklisted iPhones?
Before buying an IMEI Unlock or Unblacklist service, consider the following steps before ordering an Unlock Blacklisted iPhone service:
- Try to return the blacklisted iPhone to its seller
- Try to locate the original owner to unlock and unblacklist the iPhone for free
To sum up the iPhone Unblacklisting process, here is what you need to do to get the right IMEI Unlock and Unblacklist service for your Blacklisted iPhone:
- Get an iPhone IMEI Blacklist status check – the right Unlock & Unblacklist services, specifically for your iPhone, will be suggested to you
- Only your IMEI number is required once you locate the right Unlock or Unblacklist service
- Just wait for the completion of the unlock or unblacklist procedure