Nowadays, buying and selling a used phone is the order of the day. This is a really great solution when you don’t want to pay exorbitant prices for the new device. However, if you decide to buy a used phone, you should pay attention to several important aspects. If we are not careful, we can buy the device with the so-called bad IMEI. Use our article and find out what it means that the device has a bad IMEI.

Bad IMEI number means that the device to which this unique number is assigned has been reported to the operator or the police station as lost or stolen, and thus blacklisted, making it unusable.

Bad IMEI can also be caused by uploading non-original software that may violate certificates. If possible, we recommend that you restore the original software, of course, if it is possible. If it is not, we recommend that you go to a specialist who will be able to restore the original firmware of the device.
Remember not to upload suspicious software that is not recommended by the manufacturer, it may damage your IMEI. This procedure is illegal in some countries.

In this article, you also be able to get the answers to the below questions:

If you want to avoid buying a useless device, first ask the seller for the smartphone’s IMEI number. On the basis of this IMEI number, you will be able to check whether the device is on the blacklist or not. If you have already obtained an IMEI number for the device you are interested in, use the free IMEI number checkers available on the Internet, e.g. on our website or

What is the Blacklist?

It is a database with devices for which IMEI or ESN has been reported as lost or stolen. If you are in possession of a device with a bad IMEI number, it can have serious consequences. The operator will block the service, and in the worst case, the local authority has the right to phone.

What to do if I bought a device with bad IMEI?

If it turned out that the phone you bought has a bad IMEI and is on the blacklist, you have the right to return the phone to the mobile operator or the seller from which you bought the device. Only the owner has the right to remove the blockage, so contact him as soon as possible and inform him about the situation, it may take up to 24 hours to remove the blockage.

Is a phone with bad IMEI useful?

If for some reason you have a device with a bad IMEI, please note that you will not be able to use cellular services. However, you will still be able to listen to music, watch movies, or play games. The device will work in the same way as if you were using it in airplane mode. However, consider whether it would be better to have a fully functional device. Before buying, check the device with the assigned IMEI number to save yourself unnecessary trouble.