I bought a bunch of Blink Mini cameras a few weeks ago from Facebook Marketplace.
Most of the cameras were still unused and in their boxes but one of them clearly had been used.
Lo and behold when I tried to add it in the app, I got an error message telling me that the “serial already registered.”
But before I discuss how a Blink Mini can be unregistered, I will explain how a camera is registered by Blink.
How is a Blink Mini registered?
A Blink Mini camera is registered when it is added to a Blink system.
Each camera has a unique serial number which can be found at the back of the Blink Mini below the QR code- and the QR code contains the serial number as well.
As a camera is added to a system, the camera’s serial number is linked to your Blink account- the one that you created after you downloaded the app.
There are only two ways to unregister a Blink Mini camera. It can be done by either deleting an individual device or by deleting a whole system.
Unregistering a Blink Mini by deleting an individual device
Unregistering only one Blink Mini is the same as deleting it. It is a simple process that will only take a few seconds.
What is interesting is that you can delete a camera that is online as well as deleting a camera which is offline.
The steps are exactly the same but the prompts are slightly different.
How to delete an offline Blink Mini
How to delete an online Blink Mini
On the homepage of the Blink app, tap on the device settings menu. This is the icon with three horizontal blue lines that can be found on top of the camera’s thumbnail on the right hand side.
Tap on the general settings option. A new screen appears and near the bottom is a red icon of a trash can with the words delete device.
When you tap in the option a prompt will appear asking if you want to delete the device. If you want to tap on the red button with DELETE DEVICE.
A spinning blue circle will appear before a “deleted successfully” message appears.
You will be returned to the homepage and the thumbnail of the Blink Mini which you have deleted will have disappeared.
Unregistering Blink Minis by deleting a whole system
A Blink system contains one or more Blink cameras.
One of the common uses of systems around rooms. Supposing that you have a set of three cameras that are all based in different places in your living room. A logical name for this system might be “living room”.
It might be that you might want to upgrade all of the cameras in this room and so you are thinking of reselling them.
A quicker way of unregistering individual devices is to unregister multiple devices in the same system by deleting the system.
Let’s check out how to do this.
From the homepage tap on the Settings menu (bottom right hand side.)
From the next screen tap on Device and System Settings. Under the system subheading, all of your systems will be listed. Select the system that you want to delete.
At the bottom of the new screen is a red button labelled with white writing as delete system. Tap on this button. You will be prompted with a message about how many cameras are in the system that you are just about to delete. Tap on the blue writing “OK”.
Having shown you the correct ways to unregister a Blink Mini, I want to discuss two methods that you might think would work, but don’t!
Resetting a camera doesn’t work
Unusually for a piece of technology, the above method is the only way that a Blink Mini can be unregistered.
There isn’t a different approach, another menu to access in the app which will unregister a camera.
I was very surprised that resetting my Blink Mini didn’t unregister it. I thought a reset wiped all settings.
Blink Technical Support can’t do it
Another option that I thought should work but doesn’t, is that if you contact technical support then they can’t or won’t unregister a device.
And I can see why they can’t do it from a security standpoint.
Blink are very clear on the support pages about what users should do if they want to sell their used Blink cameras.
The pros and cons of registration..
An advantage of requiring a camera to be registered is that it is a great deterrent to theft. If used cameras can’t easily be added to other Blink systems and Blink accounts it will make burglars think twice about stealing them.
On the flip side, Blink Mini’s are a popular camera and so there must be a lot of legitimate demand for used Blink Mini’s. When people sell them or give them away, how many will remember to delete their camera from their account?
A serial already registered Mini is no more useful than a house brick to anyone but the original owner!
Getting the owners to unregister these cameras, once they have been sold, could be a real pain. How many sellers will be bothered with the effort it requires or how many will have the confidence to do it in the app? And that’s even if you can get your hands on the contact details.
I was lucky, as I hadn’t deleted the messages that I’d had with the seller and so contacting them was simple.
Another bonus was that they responded positively within a couple of hours having unregistered the camera.
Some buyers won’t be so lucky.