Fast-Action Guide: 6 Steps To Unlock A Blacklisted Phone

You’ve found a great deal and purchased a second-hand phone, only to discover that it’s blacklisted. Unable to return it, you consider your options – you could use it as a separate device and purchase another phone or attempt to return it. 

How to unlock a blacklisted phone/a blacklisted IMEI?

  1. Find out your IMEI number by dialing *#06# on the blacklisted phone.
  2. Phone your carrier and ask them to unlock it.
  3. Provide all the necessary details.
  4. After they confirm your information, you will get an unlock code.
  5. Always check your second-hand phone before buying it. If you can’t get an IMEI/ESN number, it’s best not to buy such a device. Use only reputable sellers or purchase directly through the carrier.

Failing all else, you could try one more thing – unlock the phone and find another network to use it on. Is it possible? Let’s look at what it takes. 

Can a Blacklisted Phone be Unlocked?

It’s important that the difference between unlocking and unblocking a phone is clear. 

  • A phone can be blocked, or blacklisted, from a carrier’s network in basically three situations – if it is reported stolen, if it is reported lost, or if the phone owner has not kept up with payments of the phone plan. A phone that is blocked, or blacklisted, means that it has been flagged and is barred from being able to utilize the carrier’s networks.
  • Unblocking a phone means removing the ban from usage on networks, returning it to regular function. By law, it is illegal to attempt to unblock your phone unless it’s done by the phone manufacturer. It cannot be overstated how important it is to be aware of this difference and avoid even the implication of wrongdoing. 

A phone, even a blacklisted phone, however, can be unlocked. Usually, a phone is designed to be used on a single carrier. This is called being locked to that carrier. 

Unlocking a phone means allowing it to be used on multiple carriers. Your phone carrier or company may even offer this service, but it usually comes with conditions, such as being an option that’s only available after a certain time.

The same goes for phones that are blacklisted for unpaid bills. The easiest way to take care of the situation is to settle the bills and have the company unlock the phone. 

Can You Unlock a Blacklisted IMEI? How To Do It?

In order to unlock a blacklisted IMEI, you’re going to first need to verify what your IMEI is, which you can do online or through the phone carrier itself. In order to unlock a blacklisted IMEI, you need to contact the phone company. If you are the one who reported the phone in the first place, it shouldn’t be a complicated issue. 

Tell them what happened in detail, how you were able to retrieve your phone and ask them to unlock your IMEI so that you can move the phone over to another carrier. 

Keep in mind that unlocking a blacklisted phone does not remove the phone from the blacklist. It simply allows you to use the device on a different network, which hopefully is not also blacklisted. 

How to Unlock a Blacklisted Phone?

A blacklisted phone can be similarly unlocked by contacting the carrier. This is something that the seller should do prior to the sale of the phone if you’re going through a third party rather than an official vendor since the carrier will likely want to confirm ownership of the phone.

1. Find out your IMEI number

This will be the first thing on our to-do list when it comes to unlocking your phone. Without this number, there isn’t much your carrier can do to help. It’s quite easy to do, simply dial *#06# from the blacklisted phone.

2. Phone your carrier

If you’re attempting to unlock a blacklisted phone that you used to own, you’re in luck. Since you’re the original owner and presumably the one who reported the phone missing in the first place, unlocking your phone is a simple matter of going to your original phone carrier and asking them to unlock it. You might have to pay a small administrative fee, but it shouldn’t be too much of a hassle. 

3. Provide all the necessary details

When approaching the carrier to unlock your phone, you should know that they have a legal obligation to confirm whether your story is accurate or not. Even if your phone is genuinely yours and you did, in fact, lose it, they will want to verify this before assisting you onwards.

In the event that you’re unable to clarify for them how you came about the phone, they may not only refuse to unlock the phone for you but instead confiscate the phone and contact authorities instead.

4. Eliminate the reasons for blacklisting

Another way is to ensure that the accounts are settled on the phone in question. A phone can be blacklisted because of unpaid bills. This can be problematic if the original seller refuses to pay, but you always have the option of paying it yourself. This can be one possible option if the outstanding balance is not too high.

5. Wait for the unlock code

Once your information is verified and all the issues that lead to the phone being locked are taken care of, you simply need to wait for your carrier to process your application and send you the unlock code. You may choose to visit your local phone carrier shop instead and settle all the issues there.

Follow the instructions that your carrier will tell you and your phone will be good to go.

6. Use the help of companies

Additionally, there are many websites that advertise IMEI cleaning or unlocking services. With the number available online today, you will find that their costs for services can be quite affordable. Look online for companies that offer to “unlock phones,” like doctorSIM. For a small fee, they will do it for you, and you won’t have to deal with the hassle of speaking to your phone carrier. 

Related Post:

2 Quick & Easy Ways To Check If Your Phone Is Blacklisted

What Is A Blacklisted Phone? Can You Still Buy/Sell It?

How to Unlock a Blacklisted iPhone?

If your iPhone is blacklisted, it might mean dealing with the lock activation screen. There is software to help you get past this, particularly if you do not have the Apple ID of the owner and therefore are unable to get into the system. 

While speaking to your carrier should always be your first choice, there are other options available to you as well. You could go through a service that allows you to go unlock your phone, at a price, after a wait time of a number of days. 

You will need to find your phone’s IMEI in order to order an unlock service, but after that, it’s simply a matter of paying for the service and waiting for the results. 


Although there are certain ways to unlock a blacklisted phone, none of them are cheap, easy, or good options. If you find yourself having to deal with a blacklisted phone, the best thing to do would be to get the phone company involved and legitimately have a conversation on how your phone came to be blacklisted and what can be done about it.

I’ve been working with technology in one way or the other all my life. After graduating from university, I worked as a sales consultant for Verizon for a few years. Now I am a technical support engineer by day and write articles on my own blog here in my spare time to help others if they have any issues with their devices.