IMEI number is blocked

What Happens When IMEI Number Is Blocked Or Blacklisted?

If your device has got stolen and you are thinking of blocking its IMEI, then you are at the right place. In this guide, I will tell you why you should block your IMEI? And What Happens when IMEI Number is blocked?

when IMEI number is blocked

IMEI or International Mobile Equipment Number is an identification serial number that can be used to identify the device.

It’s a unique number just like your Social Security Number (SSN), and there is no chance that two devices have some IMEI Numbers.

Here is an article on my website that you must read, its about How To Know If IMEI Is Blacklisted, Unlocked, Or Fake?

So, when you block your IMEI Number, it stops the device from accessing the network of your carrier.

You can do it by submitting the application to your carrier, and they will block it within few hours.

Why Should You Block Your IMEI Number?

Why should you Block your IMEI Number

IMEI Blocking is a very handy way of protecting your device from being used illegally. It won’t block your device, but it will block your device from accessing the mobile network and which will ultimately protect you.

Let me explain. Let’s suppose that you have lost your device, and now the thief has it. Now there are chances that the thief might sell it in the black market, but there are also chances that thief might pass it to the criminals, and they use it for illegal activity. It could be drug trafficking or even worse. So, when you block your IMEI, the mobile won’t be able to connect with the network.

So, blocking the IMEI of your stolen Device will protect you from getting into any legal trouble, and you can get the relief that it won’t be used for any illegal purpose.

Here is a guide that I have written on How to Block Stolen iPhone with IMEI Number?

How to Unlock a Blacklisted or Blocked IMEI?

Purchasing a used phone to save your money may not be that useful after all. Chances are good to own mobile with blacklisted IMEI. And your purchase becomes useless without making calls, sending texts, and having no connectivity.

However, you may take the following methods into account to unlock the features.

Third-Party Services

There are many online as well as offline third-party services to unlock IMEI. It’s more like a universal solution to any kind of phone. You can check for premium apps from the App Store first. It only requires ESN (Equipment Serial Number) to remove the IMEI from the blacklist.

Contacting Carrier

Also, you can immediately contact the carrier to whitelist the phone’s IMEI. Carrier service should unlock the phone using private codes. But you may have to deliver the phone to relevant authority/personnel to justify the action.

Switching Carriers

Another less-usable method concerns switching the carrier. Changing the carrier should unlock IMEI to make things work. However, it’s not exactly legal without the permission of the current carrier. So, you shouldn’t seek the solution unless it’s absolutely necessary.

Connecting to Wi-Fi may enable internet-based functions only. You can still manage to make online calls, texts, and other activities.

What Happens When IMEI Number Is Blocked?

What Happens when IMEI Number is blocked

In this section, I will explain what happens when the IMEI number is blocked. When you put forward your application to the carrier for blocking the IMEI, they initiate the process of blacklisting. Most Carriers have a list where they can put this IMEI Number, and this lists blocks the blacklisted devices from accessing the services of the carriers.

When the IMEI gets blacklisted, the lists updates and this information propagates across all the carriers in the US. So, even if the thief tries to unlock the access to the network, then he/she won’t be able to do it unless the carrier, which blacklisted the number, does it.

If you have blacklisted the stolen device in the US, then the device won’t be able to access networks in the US. However, if the device is taken to other countries such as the UK, France, or any other country, then it will work there. Why? Because there is no global directory available at the time of writing this article, but there are chances that countries might introduce it in the future.

You can also proceed further and report your Smartphone stolen to your local police department. They will also ask you to provide the IMEI or Serial Number, and you can formally launch your complaint. Some carriers might ask you to submit the police complaint along with the request to initiate the process of blocking IMEI.

Also, check out this guide that I have written if you want to learn if the IMEI Number can be changed? and how to do it in 2023?

What To Do If Phone Gets Stolen?

If your Smartphone has got stolen or lost, then you can take the following steps to ensure that your data is safe.

  • Start with launching your complaint to the local law enforcement agency.
  • Then proceed with blocking your IMEI Number so that it doesn’t get used for any illegal purpose
  • If your device is lost, then instead of filing a report or blocking IMEI Number, you can call on that number and see if someone picks it.
  • If your device has stolen and then make sure to launch a complaint and block IMEI.
  • On the iPhone, enable the “Lost Mode” and try to track your device. If there are no chances of recovery, then you can move to erase your device, which will erase all of your data.
  • On Android, you can use the “Find my Device” feature. You can use “Secure Device” that allows you to display your custom message and contact number on the lock screen. If you think that you won’t get your device, then you can use the “Erase Device” feature, which will remove all the data from the device.

Can A Stolen Phone Be Reset?

Yes, there are ways that can be used to reset the stolen phone. However, if they reset the stolen phone, they will be asked to enter the details of the account. On iPhone, you get the Activation Lock that gets enabled when you enable “Lost Mode” for your iPhone.

On Android, you get to enter the details of the previously used Google Account to proceed further.

Can A Phone Be Tracked If Turned Off?

When the device is turned off, it cuts off its communication with the nearby cell towers and GPS, which means you can’t track it.

Why Is The IMEI Of My Device Blacklisted?

If you have bought a second-hand smartphone and its IMEI number is blacklisted, then it means that it was either reported stolen or lost. In this case, if you use your number on this device, your carrier can suspend its services for you.

In a worst-case scenario, you can get reported to local law enforcement agencies. So, before buying the device, you can check the IMEI of the Device in IMEI Check services to ensure that it is not reported stolen or lost.

Frequently Asked Questions [ FAQs ]

Can The IMEI Blacklist Be Unblocked?

Answer: Yes, it’s possible to unblock the blacklisted IMEI number. Getting a third-party service is a universal option to unblock any IMEI.

Can I Use A Blocked IMEI Phone?

Answer: No, you can’t use a blacklisted IMEI. Blocked IMEI phones can no longer receive or make calls, texts, or even utilize mobile data.

How Do I Know If My IMEI Is Blocked?

Answer: The simplest way to know about IMEI blacklisting is to make a call. Your call will immediately become a voicemail after ringing once.


Blacklisting your stolen or lost IMEI is one of the first things you should do, and this guide explains why you should do it and what happens when you do it.

If you want to learn how to Block the Stolen iPhone with an IMEI number, then you can check my guide where I have explained the process in detail.

If you have any questions, please let me know in the comment section below. Also, if you are interested in learning about iPhone and other useful guides, then you can visit the website.