How to Unlock a Stolen iPhone with IMEI Number [2024 Guide]

If you bought a stolen iPhone and a specific carrier locks it, this article walks you through how to unlock it with the IMEI number.

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Updated on Feb 27, 2024

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If you're trying to save money and decide to buy a second-hand iPhone, you might run into an unexpected problem – the iPhone turns out to be stolen. Even after reporting it to the police, they can't track down the original owner. When you insert your SIM card into the stolen iPhone, you realize it's locked to a specific carrier. To make this iPhone usable, you'll need to unlock your iPhone using the IMEI number, allowing it to work with various network carriers.

In this article, we'll guide you through the step-by-step process of unlocking a stolen iPhone using its IMEI number.

Can a Stolen iPhone be Unlocked with the IMEI Number?

Thieves can employ specialized iPhone network unlocking software to bypass a stolen iPhone's SIM lock. These iPhone network unlockers are designed to help legitimate iPhone owners switch to different carriers. Unfortunately, these tools can also be misused to remove the carrier lock from stolen devices. 

If thieves are unwilling to invest in a premium iPhone SIM lock remover, unlocking a stolen iPhone through the IMEI number can be quite challenging. This method requires a wealth of information about the iPhone and its registered owner, including details like their name, address, billing information, and more. In reality, it's highly unlikely that thieves will have access to all this necessary information.

However, it is crucial to emphasize that unlocking an iPhone that isn't rightfully yours is both unethical and often illegal. Under no circumstances should you consider using any tools designed to remove SIM locks from stolen iPhones, even if you have access to the device's IMEI number.

How to Unlock a Stolen iPhone with the IMEI Number?

If you believe it's justified to unlock a stolen iPhone and you possess the necessary information, you can proceed by following the steps below.

Step 1. Find the IMEI number of the stolen iPhone

Before you can unlock a device for use on any network, it's essential to have the accurate IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) number. Locating the IMEI number can be done through various methods, but when dealing with a stolen and locked iPhone, your options are limited. If the stolen iPhone 6S or later has a SIM card tray, one straightforward approach is to pop it out, as the IMEI number is often printed on the tray.

📝Write the IMEI number down for preparation. 

find the imei number of an iphone

Step 2. Prepare necessary information

Start by identifying the carrier to which the stolen iPhone is locked. Then, visit the carrier's website to understand their specific guidelines and steps for unlocking. Different carriers have their unique requirements and information needs for unlocking a phone.

🖼️Typically, the necessary requirements for bypassing the network lock on an iPhone include:

  • The iPhone has completed contract terms
  • The iPhone has been paid off
  • There are no outstanding bills associated with this iPhone
  • The iPhone's IMEI number
  • The individual's name, email, and phone number registered to this iPhone
  • Other relevant information

Step 3. Request for unlocking from the carrier

Now it's time to get in touch with the carrier or network provider to which the stolen iPhone is currently locked. When speaking with a customer support agent, there's no need to mention that you have a stolen iPhone. Simply request the removal of the network lock from the iPhone.

unlock an iphone with imei number via carrier

Once your request is approved, you'll receive a network unlock code and comprehensive instructions in your email. You can then follow these steps to bypass the network lock on the stolen iPhone and switch to your preferred network carrier. 

If you still cannot find the IMEI number, you can try to unlock your iPhone free with the IMEI number. Read the following post to see how to do it:

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How to Unlock iPhone Free with IMEI Number [100% Working]

If the IMEI number is unavailable, you can use a third-party tool to unlock your iPhone. Let's get started!

unlock an iphone free with imei number

Bonus Tip: Unlock iPhone Screen Passcode/Apple ID

 If you want to get access to an iPhone, but you don't know the correct screen passcode, you can use professional iPhone screen unlocking software. EaseUS MobiUnlok can help you bypass any type of screen lock and regain access to an iPhone or iPad instantly.

✨Main features:

EaseUS MobiUnlock is designed for legal and ethical use only. Please use it responsibly and refrain from unlocking stolen phones or any illegal activities. EaseUS MobiUnlock is not liable for any consequences resulting from misuse.

🔓📱How to use EaseUS MobiUnlock to unlock an iPhone

This iPhone screen lock remover app by EaseUS is very simple to use, requiring no technical knowledge. You only need to connect your iPhone to your computer, choose an unlocking option, and you'll be able to reset your iPhone's screen passcode shortly.

Step 1. Launch EaseUS MobiUnlock, connect the iPhone to the computer, and then select "Unlock Screen Passcode" from the home page of EaseUS MobiUnlock.

Click Remove Apple ID

Step 2. Once your device is detected, click "Start" to proceed. 

connect your device to computer

Step 3. Check your device model and click "Next" to download the latest version of firmware for your device. If the firmware has been downloaded already, select the package manually.

Download or select firmware

Step 4. Once the firmware is ready, click "Unlock Now." In the warning window, enter the information required and click "Unlock" again to unlock iPhone without password.

Unlock the device

Step 5. Wait for the process to finish. When it has done, set up your device and you can use it again.

Wait for the process to complete


If you have the necessary information about the iPhone and the carrier agrees to the unlock, you may be able to unlock a stolen iPhone with the IMEI number.

If you come across a locked, lost iPhone and you can't contact the owner, EaseUS MobiUnlock can be used to bypass the screen passcode. 


 You may also take a look at the questions below about unlocking a stolen iPhone with an IMEI number. 

1. Can Apple lock an iPhone with an IMEI number?

No, Apple doesn't lock an iPhone with an IMEI number. It is usually your wireless carrier that locks your iPhone with an IMEI number, preventing you from using a different carrier. 

2. What to do if I find a stolen iPhone?

If the previous owner activates Lost Mode, you might find their contact information on the screen. Or you can turn the stolen iPhone into your local police department and let them handle the situation. Don't attempt to unlock or use it to avoid any trouble. 

3. Can a stolen iPhone be used with a new SIM card?

Stolen iPhones are often reported as lost or stolen to the carrier, and they can be locked or blacklisted. A stolen iPhone cannot be used with a new SIM card unless the original carrier has officially unlocked it.

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Updated by Gorilla

Gorilla joined EaseUS in 2022. As a smartphone lover, she stays on top of Android unlocking skills and iOS troubleshooting tips. In addition, she also devotes herself to data recovery and transfer issues.

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