Solved: How to Unlock a Blacklisted iPhone 8/X/XR/XS/11/12/13/14?

Bought a second-hand iPhone but could not use it as normal when you put your new sim card into it? If it tells you that your sim card is not supported or invalid, then there is a chance that your iPhone is blacklisted.

The best way to solve this issue is to contact the previous owner. But the truth is that most of the sellers just ignore your emails or calls. That’s why we make this post.

This guide will show you exactly how to unlock a blacklisted iPhone. Including:

So, if you want to get your iPhone work again, this guide is for you.

Let’s get started.

Part 1. What Is a Blacklisted iPhone?

A blacklisted iPhone is one that has been blocked, i.e. reported as stolen or lost, or which have unpaid bills, for obvious reasons. When it is blacklisted, it prevents you from using any wireless carriers until it is removed from the list.

The blacklist is a shared carrier database which was made to solve the iPhone theft problem and help users identify if a second-hand iPhone has previously been reported as lost or stolen.

It is based on the IMEI number, which is uniquely connected to that device. This makes it easier for carriers to track lost or stolen iPhones and lock them out from networks. What’s more, it also helps customers to check if a used iPhone is worth purchasing.

Part 2. How to Check If Your iPhone Is Blacklisted?

As discussed above, it’s easy for you to check the status of your iPhone with the proper tools. Here we recommend WipeLock iPhone Blacklist Checker.

Differing from other iPhone Blacklist checkers, WipeLock checks your IMEI manually to ensure a 100% accurate result for you.

It’s quite straightforward to check if your iPhone is blacklisted with this tool.

You just need to visit the website and enter your IMEI, then you’ll get your answer as following:

imei check blacklisted
Kim’s iPhone 6 (Before unlocking)

Don’t know how to find the IMEI number? Just check the official guide from here:

Part 3. How to Unlock or Activate a Blacklisted iPhone?

Find that the IMEI of your iPhone has been blacklisted, don’t worry, you can still unlock it for any carriers.

There’re four ways to activate your blacklisted iPhone. We’ll introduce them one by one. If you have any questions, just feel free to leave a comment or contact us.

Method 1. The Only Free IMEI Blacklist Removal – Contacting Carrier

This way is the first choice for most of us to unlock a blacklisted iPhone since it’s totally free. You will need to contact the original carrier to find out the reason why they blacklisted it.

contact att support
Contact AT&T

If it is blacklisted due to outstanding bills, you just need to pay for it. And the carrier will remove the IMEI of your iPhone from the blacklist.

What to do if your iPhone is reported as stolen or lost? You’ll find the carrier will refuse to do IMEI blacklist removal for you.

But don’t worry, read on to learn the solution to this situation.

Method 2. Unlock Blacklisted iPhone When Marked as Lost or Stolen

iPhone IMEI blacklist removal is also possible with third-party services, they enable you to use any other carriers after removal.

directunlocks iphone unlock

Here are what an IMEI blacklist removal service can do for you:

  • Unlock blacklisted iPhone remotely, you just need to offer the IMEI
  • Permanently & legally unlock, your device won’t be locked again
  • Support all models of iPhone

Note that these services are not free, including Directunlocks, ExpressUnlocks. But don’t worry, all of them have money back guarantee, they will refund the money if unlock failed.

Steps to Unlock Blacklisted iPhone AT&T

Here, we’ll take DirectUnlocks as an example. We used this service to unlock a blacklisted iPhone 6 successfully from AT&T.

Here’re the steps for iPhone 6 blacklist removal:

Step 1. Go to IMEI blacklist removal service page.

Step 2. Select the network and country your iPhone locked to.

order iphone 6 att unlock

Step 3. Enter your IMEI number and select the model of your iPhone. Then click on “Continue”.

After the payment, the provider will start to work on your order. The average delivery time is 1-24 hours. What you need to do is wait for it. That’s all!

Attached is the proof of successful IMEI blacklist removal for one of my readers – Kim.

imei check clean
Tim’s iPhone 6 (After unlocking)

Do you know that we have a “Lucky Dog” plan? – We’ll help three readers each month to unlock their devices by affording the required payment, including blacklisted iPhone, iCloud/FRP locked devices.

If you want to be a lucky dog as Kim, just leave a comment, we’ll contact you via email if you’re chosen at the end of each month. Good luck:)

Method 3. Replacing the IMEI Chip of the Blacklisted iPhone

Replacing the IMEI chip to another can also activate a blacklisted iPhone. But this way is no longer work for the latest iPhones. This is an obsolete and complicated way that only works for earlier models of iPhone (iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4).

iphone 4 chip

This is not a universal way as Method 2. What’s more, finding a “clean” IMEI chip will also be difficult for most of us.

Method 4. Contact the Seller

Last but not least, contacting the previous owner should always be the most efficient way. However, it may be difficult to contact them because these types of sellers probably won’t entertain your calls at all.

If you purchased the blacklisted iPhone from eBay, just following the refund procedures set by eBay to get your money back.

Bonus: What to Do If My iPhone Locked to iCloud?

You must be disappointed when you find your device is locked by iCloud activation lock after the IMEI blacklist removal. This is a very common issue among most users.

But don’t worry! We’re sure that you can unlock your iPhone successfully with the following method.

Remember the AppleiPhoneUnlock we mentioned above? Yes, this is the key to solve the problem. This provider can not only unlock a blacklisted iPhone but also remove the iCloud activation lock!

appleiphoneunlock icloud unlock

Just as the IMEI blacklist removal service, the steps to unlock iCloud is quite easy.

Step 1. Visit the iCloud removal service page.

Step 2. Select the model of your iPhone and enter the IMEI number.

Step 3. Click the “Unlock now” button to make a payment.

That’s it! The delivery time (24-72 hours) is a little longer when compared to IMEI blacklist removal.

Now you get to know about the blacklisted iPhone. If you have any queries related to this post, feel free to leave a comment below.

About the Author

Darren is an Apple Certified Independent Technician with a passion for researching all aspects of phone locks, including Activation Lock, carrier lock, screen lock, FRP lock, and more. With years of experience in the mobile phone industry, Darren has become a leading authority in his field and has been a sought-after consultant for individuals and businesses seeking to unlock their devices.


  • My iPhone SE 2020 has been sitting, blacklisted, because I found it after I reported it stolen. Apple will not help me, nor will att. It’s been here with me, but useless for a couple of years. Please help me. I don’t know what to do.

    • Hi Justin,

      Please offer more details such as how you blacklist it, and any info you used to blacklist it.

      Kind regards,

  • Good idea, I’ll try it and see if it works

  • Hi! I need help unlocking my phone! I have an iPhone 13 pro max and a 12 pro max that are both blacklisted by ATT. Can you help?

    • Hi Beth,

      We don’t offer any service to unlock a blacklisted device. But you can use the methods mentioned in this article.

      Kind regards,

  • Will this method work for a 13 pro max?

  • For method 2, can you also remove for iphone 13 Pro?

  • I bought an iPhone XR from a seller, in a flee market, in a friend’s High School, and after trying to activate it, I found, that was blacklisted, and, since I can not use it, I feel frustrated, but this kind of articles, help us to understand and find possibles solutions, for getting the blacklist’s phones, actives again. Thank you very much…!!

  • I was sold a phone privately, and the seller now called the company and reported it stolen, so sure enough my iPhone had been blacklisted. The seller isn’t answering my calls, and the carrier is not being very helpful. This was a very informative article on what I need to do to reactivate my phone, which as of now, is a very expensive paperweight.

  • Wow how i wish it was this easy for me!, spent so much time searching for this 1year old problem and her is the solution!…unfortunately i dont have the funds to get it done at the moment.. guess il just have to stick to using this crappy andriod phone for now🙄… but thanks for the info!!

  • Very informative, thank you!

  • I must admire the way you’ve shared an in-depth review of how to unlock the blacklisted iPhone with each detail having a screenshot to better provide insights on its specs. I’m a frequent Google user and just came across your blog as I’m an Apple Fan and keep searching everything about it. Just loved the way you’ve written every minute detail about it. Keep up the Good Work, Mate!

  • Hi there I have a iPhone 11 which I bough on line however I found out is blocked. The seller hasn’t been in contact with me I have paid a lot for this phone. I live in the uk and I would like to use my EE sim. Can you please help.
    Thank Levi

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