How to check an IMEI number and why you should – Smart Fone Video Blog

Smartphones and other cellular-enabled mobile devices feature a slew of identifiers that separate a specific unit from the rest, and consumers largely don’t ever need to interact with these identifiers. Things like serial numbers are occasionally used when it’s time to service your device, but other than that, most users probably haven’t even looked at these numbers since their original purchase. Of these identifiers, a mobile device’s IMEI number is probably the most important of the lot. It stands for International Mobile Equipment Identity, and it’s a number that all cellular devices have and give it a unique identity. This includes cellular tablets and great smartwatches. Finding and checking an IMEI number can be extremely useful in certain situations, so it’s nice to know how to do it.

Why do you need to check an IMEI number?

In simple terms, an IMEI number is like a driver’s license or passport for your mobile device. The unique identifier carries a lot of information about your phone, including the model name, carrier lock status, and activation lock status. There is an IMEI number for each SIM profile your phone can store, so phones with dual SIM or eSIM capabilities may have more than one IMEI number. Every phone has an IMEI number, so it’s not limited to just the best phones. But aside from relatively trivial functions, an IMEI number can reveal if a mobile device is blacklisted or locked. When a mobile phone is reported lost or stolen, the device’s IMEI number is blacklisted, which means it will no longer connect to any cellular network with any SIM. As such, it’s important to check the IMEI number of secondhand devices to avoid being stuck with a blacklisted lost or stolen device.

How to find the IMEI number of an iPhone

There are a few different ways to check the IMEI number of an iPhone. It can be found on the device’s original packaging, the SIM card tray, or the back of the smartphone. On the iPhone 6S series and newer, the IMEI number is printed on the SIM card tray. This is also true for the iPhone 3G, 3GS, 4, and 4S. Apple briefly printed the IMEI number on the back of iPhones in between the iPhone 4S and the iPhone 6S. For all models, you can check the IMEI number in the Settings app via the steps below.

  1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap the General tab in the list.
  3. Select the About tab.
  4. Scroll down until you find IMEI or IMEI2 in the list.

How to find the IMEI number of an Android phone

The exact location of your IMEI number on an Android phone will vary based on your OEM, but it should be printed on your device’s original box. Otherwise, you can check the SIM card tray or the legal text on the back of your phone. You can also check your IMEI number in settings via the steps below.

  1. Open the Settings app on your Android phone.
  2. Tap the About phone tab at the bottom of the list.
  3. Look for IMEI or IMEI2 in the list.

How to find the IMEI number of most smartphones through the dial screen

Most smartphones can automatically show their IMEI number after a code is entered through the dial screen. It’s arguably the quickest method to find your IMEI number, and it works on iOS and Android. You may even see more information through this method, like your device’s serial number.

  1. Open the Phone app on your smartphone.
  2. Type the code *#06# into the dialpad.
  3. Your IMEI number will appear on the screen alongside other information.

How to check if an IMEI number is blacklisted

You probably won’t need to check your own IMEI number very often, but it can be useful to check the number of a used device. This will let you know if it’s been reported lost or stolen. There are some free options available, like or, with varying feature sets. There are also more advanced services, like CheckMEND, which are available with a fee. All these services simply require you to enter the IMEI number for a device and will present a report signaling whether the device is blacklisted or locked.

Be wary of paid services that claim to unlock a smartphone or remove Apple’s activation lock, though. This is not possible, and to put it bluntly, a scam. The only way to remove activation lock from an Apple device is for the original device owner to remove the device from their iCloud account. Checking an IMEI number is a great preventative tool to make sure a device hasn’t been lost or stolen before you buy a secondhand product. Unfortunately, it isn’t a solution for after you’ve already gotten stuck with a lost or stolen device. Though you won’t have to do it often, checking an IMEI number is a great tool that can help when buying used products.

** (Disclaimer: This video content is intended for educational and informational purposes only) **

By puertoblack2003