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.


  • Hello,
    My name is Brook around Christmas time I bought an iPhone 12 Pro still wrapped in the box and plastic. I used the phone for about a month and suddenly network use was blocked. I had to replace by going to get another one. And now my 18month old broke the one I’m using now and it actually cut his little finger. 😓 on top of that it keeps cutting on and off then saying cellular update failed and not letting me use phone. I have to connect to computer. I have a brand new phone I could use if it wasn’t blacklisted. I’m a single mom and absolutely cannot afford another phone. It’s basically essential for my baby when I’m busy. He drives me up a wall when he’s bored and can’t play on phone. PLEASE HELP!!!! CHOOSE ME! I would forever appreciate you!

    • Hey,

      You’re the lucky dog of the May. Please offer us the IMEI number.

      We’d unlock it for you for free.

  • Hi Darren!
    Choose me! I desperately need to be a lucky dog! 🙂
    I have an iPhone XS Max, Asurion blacklisted my phone several months after claim was completed. They had sent me a replacement after I sent mine in for repair, my device was experiencing connection problems, initially they attempted to repair it but when I got it back nothing was repaired, I contacted them, they sent a replacement but the replacement had worse problems than the original, it would not hold charge more than an hour, so I returned the replacement rather than returning my device, which seems to have set off the problem because they blacklisted my phone! I contacted my carrier at&t and the representative said he removed my device from the blacklist, said something about 12 hours and problem resolved, but each day after that I wake up to the device suspended and I have to call them and have them restore service everyday. I do not understand what the problem is, they never seem to know either but it’s apparent they are not able to completely resolve the blacklisted phone problem 🙁
    Please help!

    • Hey Jen,

      Sorry to hear that!

      In this case, open a case for complaint on AT&T. I met the same problem 2 years ago, and they finally got the problem fixed after I did that.

      Hope this helps 🙂

  • Hello, I have received a locked iPhone 11 and I have been told by a unlocking store that it cannot be done because it was blacklisted- reported lost or stolen. I will repeat- do not go under anyone’s account for a cellphone unless you have authorized use… yea, ex-boyfriend…. Needless to say lesson learned, but I am excited to try this method out. Thank you.

  • Hello,
    My daughter turned in her iphone 7 plus and paid over $500.00 at AT&T under her boyfriends account. They broke up and he called her iphone in stolen took her mobile number I gave her when she was 12 (now she is 25) she found out he kept her phone number and called her iphone 11 max pro in stolen. She had to get a new iphone and a new telephone number! I was mad because she paid a lot of money and I gave her that mobile number (it was my number for years!) She has always had the phone but it is now a “stolen” phone. My iphone 7 plus is full of glitches and want to use her 11 max pro. If you guys are still doing 3 free every month, please choose us for 1 of the three. I really do not trust just anyone with my account number online I have had too much fraud.
    Thank you!

  • I would love to be chosen to have my phone unlocked!!!! Thanks

  • HI Darren,

    I bought an iPhone XR from a private owner through Craiglist, and I have confirmed it is a factory unlocked one. It is my fault to believe in people’s words so easily. Eventually, I found it is blacklisted by Bell Canada. and that person provided me wrong contact information and I can not find him.

    It is a lesson though, I learned a lot, especially in communication with people later on.
    My questions are, 1) if I unlock the iPhone, can the carrier lock it again? 2) can the iPhone be used in the US & Canada after it is unlocked or it can only be used in other countries?

    Thanks for your assistance.

    • Hey Crossing,

      Sorry to hear that. But you’re lucky to read this post. Here are the answers to your questions:

      1. The introduced methods here are permanent.
      2. It can be used worldwide

      Hope this helps.

  • How does the lucky dog program work. I’d sure love to be lucky for once!

  • Hi Darren,
    If the phone is blacklisted but not locket to ant carrier? How do i remove it from been blacklisted without choosing carrier

  • I bought an iPhone 11on letgo. The seller had told me it was unlocked but I discovered that it was locked to T-mobile and it was blacklisted after a while. I want to remove the blacklist and unlock the phone for another carrier. However, the two services did not show the option for blacklist removal on their sites.
    Can you guide me on this? I am willing to pay for the service

  • My moms iPhone (just bought it to her) is blacklisted by ATT Mexico due a payment situation, I want to be a Lucky Dog ! So pls could you chose me ? 😀

  • My brother in law got my son to be 15 year old an iPhone 11, but it turns out he was scammed and the phone is blacklisted. I am hoping to be a “lucky dog” and get the phone unlocked for my son’s birthday.

  • i’m here for the lucky dog, this is my only chance to use the iphone that i bought, i’ve tried many things. thank you

  • Hi so I bought a iPhone XR on letgo and it is AT&T’s carrier locked due to fraud I hope it can be unlocked and then used for my sprint sim I wanna be a lucky dog diggidy

  • The iPhone I was sold has two IMEI’s and is blacklisted. Which IMEI do I give them to remove the blacklist? Also totally down for the lucky dog thing!

  • I got my phone off eBay and the seller won’t refund without a hefty restocking fee so I’m stuck with it. It’s a great phone but listed as lost/stolen which the seller would never admit. Hope I get the lucky dog so I can finally afford to use it. As a teacher apple products are generally more helpful than any others for me.

  • Hello,
    So my father has an iPhone XS Max and I believe he got it cheap because of it being reported stolen and hence blacklisted. I kinda need a new phone now cause my iPhone 7 is slowly becoming a potato. I believe it is originally from sprint. Is it posible to clear it and use it for cricket? Thanks for the help!

    • Hi Julio,

      You need to confirm the blacklist status and the carrier your iPhone is locked to. Here is a tool for you:

      Best regards,

    • Greetings!
      This is a whole new world to me!
      This experience (trading for a blacklisted iPhone 8+) has taught me something that has created true inspiration. Almost glad it happened to have this opportunity to learn something new.

      This article has been truly helpful and I believe it will lead me to unblocking my phone.

      Thank you!

  • Hey, I recently got tricked in buying a blacklisted phone. Please help me!

    I want to be the LUCKY DOG!!!

  • Here for lucky dog. I need to use other sim I have.

  • I want to be a lucky dog. My husband found 2 brand new iphone7plus in the dumpster behind his job. I kept one of them but it is blacklisted…can you help.? I’d really like to get service on it. Its just to pretty to just let sit in the box. Janna.☺

  • I just hope I can get my phone unlocked. Got it as a gift from my sister but unfortunately the seller later reported the phone stolen after selling the phone.

  • Happy I found this and hoping I can get my new phone unblacklisted and the icloud gone for good! Thanks for the tips, I’m hoping this works!

  • i know i would be lucky.
    from Ghana and would want to be the first luckiest person from here

  • Jorge Luis Guerra April 6, 2020 at 9:22 pm

    Just purchased an iPhone XR on eBay from a seller in Italy with excellent reputation (99.8%). The description says it was locked only to AT&T US, anyway i checked the IMEI number in two of the free imei check websites and it came out clean on both. I made the purchase and the seller posted it to me, I thought I could get it unlocked while on the way to me with on the services available on eBay from US, after contacting them they tell me the phone is blacklisted 🙁 I am trying to contact the seller and no reply. I paid 400 euro for the phone which I think is a fair price for this model on this day and age.

    I know this story relates to nearly every one else’s but I really hope you can help me!

  • My phone was stolen, so I purchased a replacement on Letgo app. Everything seemed fine the phone had not even ever been activated on apple servers yet. I go and put my Sim in and find out BL for stolen. Must have been a fraud on insurance or something. So I’m and definitely not a lucky dog, more like an idiot who got robbed on the street and then robbed on social market place.

  • this really helps! thank you!

  • I wanna be a lucky dog 😅

  • I brought my sister a IPhone XS Max for her birthday from a guy Craigslist. She was really happy for 3 days, then the phone was reported stolen by the guy who sold it to me. Hopefully I can unblacklist the phone so I can give her present back to her!

  • I’m glad there are people in the world like you who can assist in solving issues such as this that seem hopeless! I already paid for the activation and everything before finding out it had been blacklisted. Praying this works! Thanks for all your helpful information!

  • This is EXACTLY the article I needed to find today! A guy completely scammed me and when I told him I wanted my money back he threatened me, AT&T nor the police seem to care so now I’m out a lot of money and stuck with a blacklisted phone ? the bad guys found a lop hole in the system. Hopefully one of these unlock services work, or maybe even I’ll win a free one ?

  • Nice read and quite informative. I do like to benefit from the free unlock give away for my iPhone XR which is blacklisted.

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