Are you an iOS user currently facing a bad ESN iPhone (Electronic serial number)? If that’s your case, we will go deep into this topic. Explain the main causes and tell you how to unlock it using multiple tools. Be sure to read this article carefully as we will show you the best way to unlock it.
What is the electronic serial number?
An electronic serial number is a unique number that it’s assigned to your device before it can be sold on the market. This code contains all information about the device, from the manufacturer data, data of registration, original carrier, and so on. The ESN has been an effective tool to prevent the unwanted use of devices and keep track of all devices that are active.
ESN or IMEI: Is it the same?
In practice, both numbers serve the same purpose and are almost identical. Despite their small differences, carriers as well as law enforcement are able to block your IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) in case a report is made.
Why is this a big problem?
The main issue with this problem is that once your device is blacklisted, you won’t have access to any network services in your country and many others. It might not sound as bad as the activation lock or other issues related to iOS, but it can be a really difficult issue to deal with.
How are they able to lock your phone?
Thanks to an agreement reached in the early 2000s, most carriers in the western world and Latin America can access an open database where they can automatically detect if an iPhone has been blacklisted by any entity.
Even if this technology is capable to detect and block unwanted devices using the CDMA network, not all carriers use this technology. This is a big loophole in the system, as blacklisted devices can be used in other latitudes without any restrictions.
What causes having a bad ESN?
There are many causes that can result in having a bad ESN or blacklisted IMEI, we will go over the main issues that users have reported and talk about them briefly.
Being reported stolen or lost
This is the most common and the reason this technology was introduced in the first place. As a way to prevent the reselling of stolen or lost devices, carriers will blacklist your device and restrict the usage or the network, this reduces the value of the devices and help authorities deal with this in a more effective way.
In case you have a device that has been blacklisted, for this reason, we suggest you contact your local entity and report the case. We do not condone the unlocking of stolen property or devices obtained in a fraudulent way.
Locked by the previous account holder
As we briefly explained before, your phone’s ESN or IMEI number contains certain information about your device. For this particular case, all devices must be registered under someone’s name. This usually happens in the background and users are not aware of this as companies use your account data to register it.
There are cases, where second-hand devices obtained legally have been blacklisted, this is a difficult situation as the only party able to unlock your iPhone is the original owner. Cases like this are very rare, but there have been reports that old owners simply block the phones.
Carriers can lock your device if you have any outstanding balance on your cellular contract. Most phones in the USA are sold under this scheme and as a way to prevent the reselling of unpaid phones, carriers can simply block it.
Locked by mistake
This is the rarest case, there are cases where unwanted users can obtain some data and fill out the report under your name without you even noticing. Also, there are cases where network providers block your device by mistake as this process is subjected to human error.
Can you fix a bad ESN number?
Our main goal is for your to have the different options and know which type of unlocking works better for your device. Please read carefully the following two methods so you can decide which one works for you.
Directly with carrier
If you are the original owner and wish you unlock your device, there is a big chance that you can get an unlock by your carrier. This is the best way to remove the blacklist as it will be removed directly from the entity that locked it in the first place. To be able to unlock your device, you must first provide the following information:
- Proof of ownership
- Be in good standing with the company
- Letter explaining the issue
Be aware that you might be asked for some extra information. We have collected this data based on the biggest carriers in the USA (Verizon, T-mobile, Sprint, and others). These are the minimum requirements you must present to the company, this doesn’t mean you won’t be asked to provide further proof.
Online unlocking method
If you don’t qualify for a direct unlock by your carrier, there is an Online method you can use to unlock your blacklisted phone. This method does not involve any complicated steps and it can be done fully online.
To start your unlock you will need to use the official ESNDoctor tool. Don’t panic! simply click on the button below to access the official tool.
At this point, all you need it’s to fill out the form and activate your order, please have the following information ready:
- Device Model
- IMEI number (Dial *#06# to obtain it)
Double-check all your data and submit your request. You will likely be asked to complete a verification process, a video tutorial will be available if so. After activating your order, the server will do everything for you and in a matter of minutes, you will be able to enjoy your fully unlocked device.
Is it safe to clean ESN?
It is, both methods are safe to use, please check your options before deciding which method to use. Overall the Online method is easier if you don’t want to deal with lots of paperwork or spend a lot of time trying to dispute the unlocking.
How to prevent it?
If you suspect that the phone that is being sold to you might be a stolen phone, we recommend you to use an Online app that will tell you if the iPhone has any report into it, another way and the easiest as your carrier directly.
Another way to have a bad experience if you buy your device Online on platforms like eBay or Amazon, it’s to check if they have any money-back guarantee if this happens to your device.
Can I remove the bad ESN by resetting the device?
No, even if you flash the device, the IMEI authority as well as the CDMA networks will be capable of finding out if the device was blacklisted. Please be aware that the only way to unlock your iPhone is by using any of the methods we talked about previously.