How To: Finding Your Device’s IMEI Number

How To: Finding Your Device’s IMEI Number

What Is An IMEI?

Many of you are probably wondering what an IMEI number actually is.

IMEI stands for International Mobile Station Equipment Identity and it is simply a unique 15 digit number given to all mobile phones and tablets. Also sometimes referred to as an Electronic Serial Number or an MEID, an IMEI number allows us to identify one phone from another.  It’s a little bit like a serial number on a bank note or the VIN on a car.  

 

Why Do We Need It?

Apart from being able to tell the difference between your device and another, your IMEI will help you protect your mobile device if (heaven forbid!) it is ever stolen or lost.

If the worst has happened and you’ve dropped your mobile in a cab or you were pick-pocketed while travelling, your IMEI will help you blacklist the device so that potential thieves cannot use it.  Even if they replace the SIM card. It’s easy enough do, simply call your service provider, give them your IMEI and they will take care of the rest.

While this does not seem particularly helpful for phone owners in the short term, the introduction of IMEI blacklisting has helped reduce the incidents of mobile phone and tablet theft in several countries. Also, if you’re filing a police report, most will ask you to include your IMEI.  That way, if the device is found it can be identified and returned to you. So it’s extremely important that you keep a record of your IMEI number and file it somewhere safe! It could help you retrieve your AWOL mobile or tablet.

 

Where To Find It

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Dial *#06#

Finding IMEI number

There are a number of ways to find and locate your IMEI number but the easiest and most universal way is to open your dial pad and type: *#06#. The IMEI number of the device will automatically appear on the screen.

In ‘Settings’

Another easy method for locating the IMEI is looking through the “About” section of your phone or tablet’s Settings menu.  This works for iPhones, iPads and most Android, Windows and Blackberry devices.

 

iPhones and iPads

Settings > General > About

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iPhone screenshot settings IMEI number

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iPhone screenshot settings IMEI Number General

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iPhone screenshot settings IMEI number about

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Android

Menu > Settings > About Phone > Status

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Android Screen Shot Settings IMEI Number

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Android Screenshot staus IMEI Number

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Windows Phone

Settings>About>More information

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Windows Phone IMEI Number

Source: Telecom.co.nz

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Windows Phone IMEI Number

Source: Telecom.co.nz

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Windows Phone IMEI Number

Source: Telecom.co.nz

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Blackberry

Settings > About > Category/General > Hardware

Source: blackberryos.com

Source: blackberryos.com

Printed on the Device

iPad IMEI Number

Source: Apple Support iPad Forum

IMEI numbers are usually printed on the external or internal parts of the device.

iPhones and iPads will commonly have the IMEI on the back of the phone below the model number.

Android, Windows and Blackberry phones commonly have the IMEI printed in the battery compartment of the phone.  Open the phone up, pull out the battery and you should see it.

Some Nokia phones will also have the IMEI written on the SIM card tray.

On The Original Packaging

Nokia IMEI Number

Source: Wikipedia Nokia_2310_box.jpg

A good reason not to throw out your old electronics boxes! The IMEI number of your phone or tablet will be written on the original packaging of your device.  It will usually be on the box near the sale barcode but could also be on the back below the model number.

If Your Phone Came With Your Plan

Source: Flickr - Joseph Tremblay

Source: Flickr – Joseph Tremblay

If your phone or tablet was free with a mobile or data plan, the IMEI number of the device can be found on the mobile contract paperwork.  If you can’t find your contract paperwork, sometimes the service providers will keep a copy of it.  It never hurts to call and ask!

If All Else Fails

If your phone or tablet is lost or stolen and you don’t have the original packaging or contract paperwork, try contacting the store you purchased the device from.  If you paid with a credit card there’s a good chance the store will be able to find a record of your purchase and determine the IMEI of the device you bought. Also, if you’ve only used your SIM card in the one device, your mobile service provider can potentially find your IMEI in their records.  Call the customer care line and they might be able to help you out.

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