If you have just got a new iPhone, you should see a 15-digit number printed on the phone’s box. You start to get curious and ask yourself some questions: “What is this number?” and “What is it used for?”
Every iPhone comes with a unique 15-digit code, known as an IMEI that remains the same for the lifetime of that model. With the outbreak of theft, getting to know the IMEI number of your iPhone is pretty useful.
Three years ago, I had my shiny iPhone 6 stolen when walking down the streets with my friends. Two hours later, I reported my lost phone to the police, and they asked me to provide the IMEI code of my phone. Baffled, I called AT&T only to get the IMEI code of my phone. Fortunately, three days later, I got my lovely phone back. That’s when I started looking for answers.
In this post, I will help you discover why you need an IMEI number and walk you through the basic methods that will enable you to find your IMEI number.
First, what’s an IMEI number?
IMEI stands for International Mobile Equipment Identity. It’s a number used to identify a mobile device on the market. Every iPhone sold has an IMEI number and it’s stored on Apple’s database along with other identifying features, including storage size, production date, and whether your phone is currently locked to a network.
So, why do you need to know the IMEI number of your phone?
IMEI number can be used to identify your iPhone, but it’s not all. You can also use IMEI number to remotely block your phone if you misplace it or have it stolen. One of the best things about the IMEI number is that it’s hard-coded in your iPhone’s hardware, making it unchangeable. If your iPhone is stolen or lost, you can contact your carrier, so they can blacklist the IMEI code and lock it out of the network.
If you are planning to buy a second-hand iPhone, you may need to know the IMEI number of the phone, so you can check if the phone is currently activation locked. You may be wondering how you can check your activation lock status.
The service I tried is expressunlock (It is completely free and pretty fast) and I got all the information I needed in a matter of minutes.
Back to my story
Three years ago, I bought a second-hand iPhone 5s from Amazon for $100. However, when I turned on my phone, to my surprise, the phone asked for the password from the previous owner. I quickly headed to Check Find My iPhone page only to learn that my iPhone was still linked to the previous owner’s account. Frustrated and let down, I contacted the previous owner of the phone and nothing worked.
How to find the IMEI number of your iPhone
There are several ways to find the IMEI number of an iPhone. I will show you how to find the IMEI number of your iPhone below.
- Dial *#06#
Before trying anything else, you simply need to dial *#06# on your iPhone. Once you do that, the IMEI code will be displayed on your iPhone’s screen. However, if your iPhone is now turned off or has dead battery, don’t freak out because I have another method for retrieving the IMEI code of your phone.
- SIM tray
Staring with the iPhone 6s, Apple has officially stopped printing the IMEI number on the back of the iPhone, so you need to check the SIM tray. All you need to do is to remove the SIM tray from your phone, turn the tray over and you should see the IMEI number of your phone.
- Phone Settings
Using Settings is the best option to locate the IMEI number of your phone because it allows you to copy and paste the number. To do this, open Settings > General > About > IMEI number.
If your iPhone is lost or stolen, and you don’t want to contact your carrier to get the IMEI number, you can use iTunes (Make sure that you have already backed up your phone in iTunes). What you need to do is to open iTunes, head to Preferences and select the Devices tab. From here, select your backup that relates to your lost iPhone and you will see the IMEI code.
Find a reputable IMEI checker
As mentioned above, I used expressunlock to check the activation lock status of my phone because they are fast and free. But, that’s not the only place where they stand out.
You can also check your iPhone information at expressunlock.com at no cost (You can head over to this link). If you are unlocking your phone, you can go to this link to find out what carrier your iPhone is locked to.
Being able to check the IMEI number is very important especially if you are unlocking your phone or buying a used iPhone. If you have not already made a note of your IMEI number, do it now.