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Apple Stores won't repair iPhones that are marked as missing anymore

Green iPhone 13 and Alpine Green iPhone 13 Pro compared with Sierra Blue
Green iPhone 13 and Alpine Green iPhone 13 Pro compared with Sierra Blue (Image credit: Christine Romero-Chan / iMore)

What you need to know

  • Apple will no longer repair iPhones that have been marked as missing.
  • Devices marked on the GSMA Device Registry as missing will not be repaired by Apple Stores and Authorized Service Providers. -.

Apple and Authorized Service Providers will reportedly refuse to repair an iPhone that has been reported as missing in a change to the previous policy. Any device that has been reported as missing and placed on the GSMA Device Registry will no longer be eligible for service if required.

The move, reported by MacRumors which cites an internal memo, will require that devices have been marked as missing with that registry. The theory is that stolen iPhones will not be brought into Apple Stores for repair anymore.

If an Apple technician sees a message in their internal MobileGenius or GSX systems indicating that the device has been reported as missing, they are instructed to decline the repair, according to Apple's memo shared on Monday. The new policy should help to reduce the amount of stolen iPhones brought to Apple for repair.

The GSMA Device Registry is one that is global, hopefully preventing thieves from shipping stolen devices out of the country to have them repaired elsewhere.

Stolen iPhones are hot property among thieves given their high price and usually strong used market. However, with Find My being so important to Apple and its users it does add a layer of complication for thieves. Devices that cannot have their Find My connection disabled already posed problems for Apple repair technicians and it is often a good sign that an iPhone has been stolen, too.

Oliver Haslam
Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.

1 Comment
  • I don’t agree with this at all. Because of health issues, I put some restrictions on my last iPhone before there was even anything called screen time. I wrote my password down even though it was 4 numbers! and I knew it by heart. During the 1st and biggest update Apple put out something glitched and not just with mine. In trying to find a solution as to why my password suddenly no longer worked I read about so many other people having the same problem. Over the course of 2 extremely stressful years contacting Apple Geniuses nothing was ever done except they finally told me to wipe it and start over. So, I had a iPhone that worked except for the things I restricted- anyone being able to see my location was one of them, FaceTime another, camera & microphone usage, etc… and I had guessed my password 49 times (I was told it would shutdown after 10). I didn’t want to lose everything but was finally done and ready to wipe it clean. I did all of this with the help of a Apple genius over the phone. They had me try to sign out- nope; try to change the restrictions code- nope; and when I went to wipe the phone it asks for the **** restrictions code in order to do it! My point in all this is that during their “help” to wipe it they eventually had me turn off my location services, and now the battery is in need of replacing… I got another iPhone fyi and gave this one to my mother but for some reason, even though I followed every step they walked me through and it took about 8 hours, that phone still shows as being mine sometimes. Not all location off or being unable to turn it on/off, or it showing as missing fits under the one hat explanation of “it’s probably stolen”. Almighty Apple does make mistakes, cause errors and I think they are just looking for another way to sell more iPhones.