How to Check and Unlock A Blacklisted iPhone

Last Updated: June 29th, 2023By Categories: Carrier Unlock, Unlock Apple Device

If you just buy or reset an iPhone and cannot use it normally, you should consider it being blacklisted especially when you see any of the following signs on the iPhone screen:

  • Activation Lock;
  • No Service;
  • Sim Invalid (unavailable or Not Supported);

When one of them appears on your iPhone screen and stops you from enjoying this iPhone, surely, you need solutions to get rid of it.

I know you have many questions about the iPhone blacklist and why your iPhone is blacklisted. In this post, all details will be uncovered. Stay tuned.

How to Unlock A Blacklisted iPhone

Part 1: What Is A Blacklisted iPhone

Under specific situations, Apple Inc or the carrier (if this is an iPhone with a contract) can blacklist this iPhone.

iPhone on Carrier Blacklist

When this iPhone is on the carrier blacklist, no cellular networks on this iPhone. The current Sim card or another Sim card from other carriers will not be effective at all. The only network that you can use on this iPhone is the Wifi connection.

You can easily tell if this iPhone is blacklisted by the pop-up notifications on the iPhone:

  • There is a problem with your iPhone;
  • SIM Not Supported;
  • Invalid Sim
  • No service
  • Etc.

As long as you see a warning with text like “Contact your carrier provider” or “Sim”, it’s considered as a sign of a blacklisted iPhone.

iPhone Blacklist Status

iPhone Blacklisted by Apple Inc

On the other hand, if Apple makes your iPhone blacklisted, you will see this Activation Lock or iPhone is Locked to Owner screen.

  • Activation Lock: This iPhone has been force reset with Find My iPhone still functioning. The security system of the iPhone detects this abnormal reset and will activate this lock just in case this device is not in the wrong hand.
  • iPhone Is Locked to Owner: The owner of this iPhone activate the Lost Mode on this iPhone and has conducted a factory reset remotely.

To get into this iPhone, Apple credentials are the key. Otherwise, this iPhone will be blacklisted and you can never use it.

Activation Lock

Part 2: Why Is My iPhone Blacklisted

Both Apple and the carrier will not blacklist your iPhone for no reason.

Why Your iPhone Is Blacklisted by The Carrier

For instance, the network provider will blacklist this iPhone when there’re some unsettled bills on the associated phone number. This happens mostly on iPhones that are installed with carrier locks. For others, check below:

  • Inserting a Sim card from another carrier,
  • Removing the current Sim,
  • An overdue bill,
  • Canceling the Sim or package

You must use the associated Sim card on this iPhone and pay the bill on time.

Why Apple Blacklists Your iPhone

When you or the previous owner of this iPhone fails to pay off the monthly or annual fees as promised, the carrier will send a message first. They will finally blacklist this iPhone when the warning is ignored and the fee is in arrears for months.

Apple will blacklist an iPhone when the previous owner has enabled the Lost Mode. If you just buy this secondhand iPhone from someone, well, either the seller steals this iPhone or picks it up somewhere else. Then, the Activation lock or Lost Mode screen will be turned on once the owner chooses to erase this iPhone remotely.

4MeKey Activation Lock Remover

4MeKey iCloud Unlocker

A wise choice to handle the Activation Lock on iPhone/iPad

  • Bypass iCloud Activation Lock up to iOS 16.5
  • Remove the iCloud account without Apple ID & password
  • App Store services are still available after removal

*Works on both Mac & Windows computers, removes for iPhone & iPad

Part 3: How to Check if My iPhone Is Blacklisted by Carrier

Though the warnings of No Service and Sim Invalid are the signs of a blacklisted iPhone, we can’t just make a conclusion so recklessly. There’re other reasons that will trigger the same warnings like bad signal or damage on the Sim card.

To confirm the status of the iPhone so that we can further unlock the blacklisted iPhone, let’s check if the iPhone is on the list on not.

iPhone Blacklist Check: Contact the Carrier

If the cellular network is no longer available on your iPhone, try to contact the carrier directly and see if they have blacklisted your Apple device or not.

Dial them and provide them with the IMEL code of this iPhone.

You can find it on your iPhone’s Settings app. Follow this:

  • Settings – General – About. On the About screen, scroll down and find the IMEI code. Mark the digits down.

If this is a secondhand iPhone and you have no idea which carrier you should consult, you will find which carrier this iPhone is locked to on this page as well. Check the Carrier Lock option there, you will get the name of the carrier.

Check iPhone Locked or Unlocked

Note: Online iPhone Blacklist Check

According to some posts, there’re online tools to help customers check the blacklist status of an iPhone. Well, that’s not necessary since you can contact the carrier directly without paying a penny.

Part 4: How to Remove iPhone Blacklist Status

If your iPhone is on the blacklist, getting it off the record is definitely the to-go mission. Otherwise, we can’t use this iPhone properly and we’re wasting money. So, to make this iPhone function and enjoy its full features, let’s unlock this blacklisted iPhone.

Method 1: Pay Off The Bill When Your iPhone Is Blacklisted by A Carrier

Consult your carrier and ask them for the details of the bills. Pay off every buck that you owe them and also, remember to cover the monthly or annual plan if the contract is not over.

They will remove your iPhone from the blacklist after that.

Method 2: Apply to Third-party iPhone Blacklist Removal

When you purchase an iPhone from a private seller who refuses to refund for this blacklisted iPhone, we will have to make this iPhone work. Otherwise, our money goes into the wind.

To get your blacklisted iPhone off the record, we need to deal with the Activation Lock or Lost mode which is associated with the previous Apple account logged on this iPhone.

To achieve that, we will have to jailbreak your iPhone and then bypass the Activation lock. For more details, you can check out the article below:

4MeKey Activation Lock Remover

4MeKey iCloud Unlocker

A wise choice to handle the Activation Lock on iPhone/iPad

  • Bypass iCloud Activation Lock up to iOS 16.5
  • Remove the iCloud account without Apple ID & password
  • App Store services are still available after removal

*Works on both Mac & Windows computers, removes for iPhone & iPad


There’re posts teaching iPhone/iPad users to bypass the Activation Lock by changing the DNS settings.

Unfortunately, that doesn’t work in most cases. And we haven’t found any solid proof or case for this method. But of course, as a free method, it is worth a try.

Nope, the Activation lock on iPhone or iPad will not be removed when you jailbreak it. Jailbreak itself is incapable of doing so. You need to apply extra tools to remove the lock.

A factory reset for iPhone varies based on the tool that we use to reset the iPhone.

If we do a factory reset to iPhone with Find My iPhone’s Erase This iPhone feature, yes, the factory reset will be disabled. This is the same when we reset iPhones with the Settings app.

But if we connect the iPhone to iTunes with Recovery mode and do a factory reset there, the Activation lock will be turned on.

I‘m afraid not. You need either the password of the target Apple account or the solid proof of purchase like a receipt. Otherwise, you can’t prove yourself as the legit owner of this iPhone. When this is a secondhand iPhone, ask the previous owner for the exact proof of evidence.

No, only the carrier that your iPhone is locked to can unlock your iPhone. Individuals cannot unlock an iPhone.

However, there’re some online IMEI unlock services boasting that they can unlock a locked iPhone with an IMEI code. And surely, they will charge for the unlock. We have no idea whether this kind of service is trustworthy or not. Think twice before you pay for their service.

To find out which carrier your iPhone is locked to, you can go to the Settings app on your iPhone.

Then, tap on General – About. On the About page, scroll down and find the Carrier Lock option. When your iPhone is locked, it will be labeled as “Sim locked”. Tap on it and you can find the carrier that your iPhone is locked to.

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