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How to Activate & Clean a Blacklisted iPhone for Free

Whether you’re in the market to buy a used iPhone or your phone suddenly stops working, it’s crucial to check if it’s on the blacklist.

Although inconvenient for well-meaning people, blacklists are essential because they make it more difficult for fraudsters to use stolen phones.

They also protect cell phone companies from customers who don’t pay their bills on time.

The good news is that it’s easy to activate blacklisted iPhones. In fact, you may even be able to do so for free.

Read on to learn about the quickest methods for getting your iPhone off the blacklist.

How to Activate a Blacklisted iPhone 5/6/7/8/X/11/12

There are several reasons why an iPhone becomes blacklisted.

Examples include that you forget to pay your phone bill, the phone company has your phone listed as insurance fraud, or you or someone else reported the phone as lost or stolen. Other times, your iPhone may get on the blacklist by mistake.

Regardless of the reason, we’ll share two blacklisted iPhone fixes with you. By following the instructions below, your iPhone will be up and running in no time.

1Free Method for iPhone Blacklist Removal – Contact Carrier

iPhones are expensive, so you understandably want the most cost-efficient way to activate your phone if it’s blacklisted. In that case, your first step should be to check with your cell phone carrier.

customer support

They’ll be able to inform you why your phone became blacklisted. Keep your fingers crossed that it’s an innocent error – in that case, your phone carrier can unlock it for you for free.

Alternatively, cell phone providers can unlock blacklisted iPhones if the reason for the blacklist is because you were behind on your payments.

Therefore, as soon as you settle the amount you owe them, they’ll re-activate your phone.

In either case, if your cell phone carrier ends up being able to take your iPhone off the blacklist, they won’t charge you for it.

You should keep a few items in mind to prevent cell phone provider-related issues with an iPhone blacklist. They include:

  1. Always pay your bills on time.
  2. Make sure your address, credit card, and any other personal information are up to date.
  3. Never report your iPhone as lost or stolen when that wasn’t the case. Otherwise, they could flag you for phone insurance fraud.

An unpaid bill on your iPhone isn’t always your fault. For example, if you own a used iPhone and the previous owner defaulted on their payments, your phone could be on the blacklist as a result.

Therefore, you’ll need to work with your phone provider to prove to them that you’re the new owner of that phone.

The whole process of asking your carrier for iPhone blacklist removal usually take up to 15 working days.

2Paid Method to Activate a Blacklisted iPhone

All hope isn’t lost if you own a used iPhone and find out it’s on a blacklist as lost or stolen. However, you’ll need to spend some money to get your phone working.

Several paid ways can activate blacklisted iPhones. The most effective one is to use an IMEI blacklist removal service.

To take your iPhone off the blacklist, these iPhone blacklist removal services will usually unlock your phone first. From there, they’ll be able to remove your iPhone from its blacklist status.

As a result, you’ll be free to choose any phone carrier that you’d like to work with.

In many cases, hiring a third-party iPhone activation company is a less time-consuming process than working with your phone carrier.

That’s because you can complete the entire process online instead of undergoing long holds on the phone.

Should you choose to solicit third-party support for your iPhone’s blacklist removal services, the process will look as follows:

  1. Provide them with your iPhone details. They’ll need to know your phone’s network that you want to unlock and the IMEI number.
  2. Make your online payment.
  3. They’ll work on taking your phone off the blacklist. You can expect them to finish the process within 24 hours.
  4. You’ll receive confirmation that the blacklist removal process is complete.
  5. Sign up for the phone service carrier of your choice and enjoy using your phone.

If you don’t know your iPhone’s IMEI number, simply type in the following characters on your phone: *#06#

dial code to find imei

The processes that a blacklist removal service uses to take your iPhone off a blacklist are legal and permanent.

Furthermore, they offer a money-back guarantee and will refund you in full if they’re not able to remove your phone from the blacklist.

FAQs About Blacklisted iPhones

We’ve rounded up answers to some of the most common questions people have about blacklisted iPhones.

What is a blacklisted iPhone?

A blacklisted iPhone doesn’t allow you to access wireless carriers until they remove it from the blacklist. Your iPhone will go to a shared provider database.

There, the carriers will use your iPhone’s IMEI number to track it and prevent it from joining other networks.

Reasons that an iPhone becomes blacklisted include:

  1. Reported as lost or stolen
  2. Phone insurance fraud
  3. Improper information
  4. Unpaid bills
  5. Blocked

If you plan on purchasing a used iPhone, you can check the IMEI number to ensure it wasn’t labeled as stolen or missing before you buy it.

How do you check if an iPhone is blacklisted?

You can easily determine if you have a blacklisted iPhone by using a tool such as the WipeLock iPhone Blacklist Checker.

wipelock imei checker

All you need to use this blacklist checker is your iPhone’s IMEI number. WipeLock will then give you an easy-to-read summary of your phone, including the phone model and whether it’s blacklisted.

If you’re unsure what your iPhone’s IMEI number is, check this guide to find it.

Can you unlock a blacklisted iPhone?

Yes, with the above two iPhone blacklist removal services, you can easily unlock it and remove it from the blacklist.

What to do if my iPhone is blacklisted by iCloud?

iCloud allows users to block their iPhone when it’s lost or stolen. If you got an iPhone that is reported as lost or stolen by the previous owner, the official way to activate it is to ask the previous owner for help.

If the previous owner is not willing to do that, you’ll have to use a third-party unlocking software (the most popular tool is Tenorshare 4MeKey) to activate your iCloud blacklisted iPhone.


We understand the panic that can arise when you discover that the iPhone you just purchased or the one you’ve had for years is suddenly on the blacklist. Luckily, the solution isn’t complicated.

A fee-free option is to check with your iPhone carrier to see if there’s a mistake or if they can help you with the reactivation process.

Otherwise, several online companies can activate blacklisted iPhones. They’ll charge a small fee for this, but you don’t have to take your phone to a store, and it’ll be usable within 24 hours.

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Eric is an Apple Certified Independent Technician after gaining AppleCare service certifications for both iOS and Mac. He is passionate about helping people to make the most of their iOS devices.

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