How to Fix Bad ESN or Blacklisted IMEI on Samsung S20

This is the most comprehensive guide to fix bad IMEI on your Samsung Galaxy S20.

I’m going to show you all possible solutions for your blacklisted IMEI that are working right now (in 2020).

In short: if you want to use the phone again, you’ll love this guide.

Let’s get started.

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Don’t have time to read the whole blog right now?

No worries. If you need to go straight to the solution just click the button to get started:


What Does It Mean When You Have Blacklisted IMEI or Bad ESN?

In this section we’ll cover the basics.

First, you’ll learn exactly what a bad IMEI is.

I’ll also explain why bad IMEI are not illegal when you own them.

What Is Bad IMEI?

Bad ESN (also known as bad IMEI) is a phone that cannot be activated on the carrier that the phone was manufactured due to various reasons.

One of the reasons is when the phone was reported stolen, lost or if the phone was used to carry on faulty transactions. The phone can as well be blacklisted if the initial owner didn’t clear all his dues.

Prior to 2012, phone theft was also growing an alarming rate around the world because stolen smartphones can be re-used again simply by changing the SIM card.

Thieves were able to get away with it and constantly making money by stealing and reselling these devices.

However, that was addressed in a way that carriers now can block devices that are reported lost or stolen from connecting to the network.

IMEI Blocked is a method to block use of a mobile handset that has been reported as lost or stolen by its owner. An IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) number is a unique code assigned to your mobile handset.

This is typically what happens after you’ve purchased an used smartphone, used it for a while and then suddenly you’re getting a “no service” message on the phone.

Smartphones don’t only get lost & stolen, but some people take advantage by filing insurance claims. All of these contribute to smartphones being blacklisted.

That’s why just because a phone is blacklisted, on a lost or stolen status, or has a blocked IMEI, it doesn’t mean that the phone was stolen or that it’s illegal to buy it back from someone… Ask from where you bought how they got the phone in a polite way if you find it on a blocked IMEI list before buying it back.


How Do I Know If My IMEI is Clean?

There are multiple resources to properly check an ESN, but some of them do not work with 100 percent accuracy.

(And there are even pages that can show false results)

In this section I’ll show you how to check your IMEI in the most effective way.

Most carriers will never tell you if the phone was reported as stolen or not. They will just go silent on it and hence you are left to use other mechanisms to know if the phone was reported stolen or lost. For this reason, most sellers out there do not intentionally sell phones which have been reported as stolen or lost because you cannot determine what it is.

The good thing is that we are here to help in this case. All you need is the ESN which you can get from the back cover of the phone. Or you can simply do this:

Open the Phone Dial, dial *#06# to see the IMEI number on the screen.

How to check if your AT&T Samsung Galaxy has a clean ESN/IMEI:

  1. Go to this site
  2. Select your device type and type in your IMEI number
  3. Wait for the next page to load – it will tell you if your device is compatible.

How to check if a T-Mobile Samsung Galaxy has a clean ESN/IMEI:

  1. Go to this site
  2. Type your IMEI number into where it says “IMEI status check”
  3. Wait for the next page to load – it will tell you if your device is compatible.

How to check if a Sprint Samsung Galaxy has a clean ESN/IMEI:

  1. Go to this site
  2. Type your IMEI number into where it says “Enter your phones IMEI number”
  3. Wait for the next page to load – it will tell you if your device is compatible.

NOTE: Ting is phone carrier that is powered by the Sprint network. The reason it is best to check the IMEI on their website is because Sprint does not offer their own online IMEI checking service.

How to check if a Verizon Samsung Galaxy has a clean ESN/IMEI:

  1. Go to this site
  2. Select I’m not with Verizon.
  3. Select Device Type – Phone and choose “Android” and press Next
  4. Type in your IMEI number into where it says “Device ID”.
  5. Wait for the next page to load – it will tell you if your device is compatible.

If your device is not used on any of these carriers, or you don’t know what’s the original carrier of the device, the best resource to use for checking your IMEI number is

How to check Samsung Galaxy ESN/IMEI on Swappa:

  1. Go to this site
  2. Type your IMEI number into where it says “ESN/IMEI/MEID”
  3. Click on “Blacklist Check?”
  4. Press CHeck ESN and wait for the next page to load – it will tell you if your device is compatible.


Can a blacklisted phone be used again?

If you wondered if a blacklisted phone can be used again, well it depends.

In this section I will cover, what could be useful when you have in-hand a blacklisted Samsung phone.

You are probably upset with yourself right now for buying a bad ESN or blacklisted IMEI Samsung Galaxy because no one has ever advised you anything about what to do before buying a used smartphone on the internet or from a stranger.

You probably found this article because you realized that you bought a blacklisted Samsung Galaxy, which you may think a bit too late now.

A blacklisted phone will still work with Wi-Fi, but will not be able to make calls, send texts, or use mobile data. Only the person who reported a phone stolen can have it removed from the blacklist.

Depend on what you need the phone for, you can still use the phone as a gaming devices. Samsung Galaxy S20 is an awesome device with heavy benchmark, crystal clear OLED display, and you can enjoy the whole VR experiences.

How about using it as a reminder? Or an alarm when you wake up?

Maybe you probably just want to watch some Youtube videos or Netflix shows on Wi-Fi.

Interested in desktop-like workstation? Use your phone with Samsung DEX.

But if you want to use the phone more than just that then keep scrolling!


What You Can Do If You Have a Samsung Galaxy With Bad ESN

To use the phone again, you need a trust-worthy third-party service.


In fact, that’s why I dedicated Section 4 of this guide to creating all possible solution.

And in this section, I’ll show you 4 proven solution that you can use to figure out what you can do with it.

If you bought the device with the bad ESN newly from a retailer or online shop, you might be in luck as they can provide you with a refund or at least a replacement, depending on their policy. For example, Amazon have refund policies. Unfortunately, if you got the phone from someone you found on the street, or from a seller over sources like Craigslist or eBay, this might not be possible.

And I bet that you tried to contact the person who sold the phone and they just vanished. That’s very common.

Here are some ideas you can do with your Samsung Galaxy.

Get it Unlocked

If you managed to confirm that the ESN is bad, then consider getting it unlocked.

Normally, if the Samsung Galaxy has a bad ESN, blocked or blacklisted due to unpaid bills, unlocking it still allows you to use the phone outside of USA or internationally.

Unlocking a Samsung Galaxy sound like a great solution. But is it easy? You might have read somewhere that you need to buy an unlock code in order to unlock the phone. And let me tell you that it’s completely bulls**t.


Because not all the phones are asking for unlock codes.

Only phone originally comes from AT&T, Cricket, Xfinity, Spectrum are asking for codes.

And some of you might tried to buy the unlock codes before, but with Samsung update their new algorithm on the system, the old unlock code database server cannot give you accurate code numbers. So you wasted money on the blacklisted phone, plus an unlock code that doesn’t work.

When it comes to T-mobile, their phone don’t even ask for code. They implement new security call Device Unlock App, which is an Android app that allows you to request and apply a mobile device unlock directly from the device. But it can only provide permanent unlock for you if you paid off the phone and if you have the phone that is blacklisted, there is no chances you can get it unlocked.

How about Sprint? Sprint phone also don’t ask for code. If you ever owned a Sprint phones, you can tell right away that if you put non-Sprint SIM card onto the devices, all you get back is the notifications “Invalid SIM Card”.

But there is a great way to unlock your phone without any hassle that’s called Remote Unlock – exclusively at

If you want your phone to be unlocked permanently, remote unlock is the best solution to unlock the phone since the support will modify the system of the phone directly – which contains the unlock data partition and it’s 100% guarantees method that can get your phone unlocked. The solution for all the carriers are the same! Because no matter what carrier it is, it’s still a same Samsung Galaxy S20.

Get the bad ESN Fixed or Cleared

This is one of the most interesting and unique solutions available for your blacklisted Samsung Galaxy. Another term used for this service is unbarring. Some people refer it to ESN cleaning service, or IMEI Repair Service.

Did you know that it’s possible to get the ESN fixed or cleared remotely? It’s done by removing the blacklist remotely on the actual carrier database through a third-party service.

What’s the catch?

A lot of people confused between IMEI cleaning service and IMEI Repair service.

IMEI cleaning service is the service that only ask you to provide the IMEI, pay for the funds of the services, then wait for a few days to get it cleaned.

When you submit your IMEI to the server, it runs through an automated system to the central registry and some individual who have access at the other end change the status from blacklisted to being clean again.

But IMEI cleaning is only a temporary fix, there are thousands of cases where you get your phone working around weeks of using, and then it gets blacklisted again.

The reason is because the IMEI of your phone which had blacklisted status – still remain old numbers on your device as well as the carrier database and each week when the crawler working, it scanned system throughout and detected that same IMEI numbers, and revert back the original status of the bad IMEI.

Can I unblock the phone myself?

If you are reading through this, you must have tried to find some solution to unblock/repair the IMEI by yourself. There are so many articles out there that show you how to do but be honest, none of them is working.

What you found probably has been years ago, which applied to some older Galaxy phones like S4 or Note 3 models, or even some generic Android phones that you can’t even find the options corresponding to your current model number. You also take the risk of downloading some claimed “free IMEI repair software” and turned out you downloaded some malware or virus to your computer.

Worst of all, you might take risks of following some tutorials somewhere to root your latest Samsung Galaxy phone and then tripped the KNOX warranty of the phone, maybe even wipe the whole IMEI of the phone and now looking for a way to fix the nulled IMEI problems, which I don’t recommend you doing that.

Why You Should use IMEI Repair Service instead

With IMEI repair service, you have a permanent solution for your phone. The process only required you having a stable Internet, a Windows PC to connect the phone remotely. Since the solution modify the system files, it is 100% permanent. You will get new IMEI numbers for your phone in just a small amount of time – without waiting forever! The proven method has helped over thousands of people to get their phone back up and running. Because the new IMEI are unique to each phone, you will never have any trouble on the phone getting blacklisted again. Unless – you report the phone as lost/stolen by yourself! (Seriously, don’t do that.)

Due to the complicated process of repair IMEI, your Samsung Galaxy devices also get Free unlocked during the process. After the service, you will not only have a working phone with a clean IMEI but also unlocked for you to use with any carrier of your choice.

Comparing to IMEI cleaning service, there is no limitations on what IMEI repair service can support.

How to fix bad IMEI on your Samsung Galaxy

  1. Go to and select your model number
  2. Read carefully all the requirements before making a purchase
  3. Once purchases completed, contact the agent directly via LIVE CHAT to get instant support.
  4. During the connection, the agent will troubleshoot the device.
  5. When it’s done, the agent will give you the new IMEI numbers as reference and you can check if matched by pressing *#06#.
  6. Simply insert your SIM card in and use the phone right away.

Unblacklist your Samsung Galaxy S20

Sell Your Samsung Galaxy S20

If you have tried all the possible solutions above but none is suitable for your need, then perhaps the best way is to sell it.

Selling it locally within the US won’t get you a good price so you should consider selling it internationally via eBay or similar. Target tourists and other people in the country if you cannot get directly to the eBay. They can be able to connect the iPhone to another carrier in their local area. Try to reach them personally but if the process is impossible, sell it on eBay. This is a good way of getting your phone to the market.

The other thing is that you should try to place a satisfactory price for your device. If possible try to make it more worthwhile. Getting it unlocked first will bring up the value even more so do consider unlocking it as well before selling it.

Or you can dismember the logic board, screen, dock connector and back casing, and sell them separately.

I know it’s a tough situation to be getting a bad ESN Samsung Galaxy. No one wants to buy a device that’s blacklisted. The good thing is that there are very many people out there with varying needs for it. They can purchase it to replace parts or even to destroy and send the video to YouTube.

However, with all possible solutions above, I hope that you can enjoy your Samsung Galaxy again, and it doesn’t matter if you have the S3, S4, S5, S6, S7, S8 and S9. Even Galaxy Notes are supported too.


The advice above are applicable for all Samsung models.

There are several other things you can do with your smartphone but the above are among the best and the most actionable methods of getting rid of it.

Make up your mind and decide on what you think you can do with this device. Wait no more, go ahead and get your Samsung Galaxy fixed now!




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