Find your iPhone IMEI Number

Apr 13, 2011 - 21 Comments

IMEI stands for International Mobile Equipment Identity, you can think of IMEI like a serial number in that every iPhone, or other mobile phone for that matter, has a unique IMEI number used to identify it with carriers, manufacturers, and providers. There are several reasons you’d want to know your IMEI, and we’ll get into those in a moment, but before that let’s find the number. We’ll show you four different ways to get this info, either directly on the device itself, or with iTunes.


1: Dial *#06# to get any IMEI

Before trying anything else, you can try simply dialing *#06# on your iPhone (or any mobile phone), this should retrieve the IMEI number. If that doesn’t work for whatever reason, or if the phone is turned off, you can use one of these methods to retrieve the IMEI.

2: Get iPhone IMEI from the iPhone

This is the same on any iPhone and any iOS version:

  • Tap Settings
  • Scroll down to and tap on “General”
  • Tap on “About”
  • Scroll down and look for “IMEI”
  • These numbers are your IMEI, on the iPhone they are usually listed like: xx xxxxxx xxxxxx x

You can also find IMEI from iTunes:

3: Get an iPhone IMEI Number from iTunes

If your iPhone is connected to iTunes you can grab the IMEI number from the app:

  • Select your iPhone from the iTunes menu
  • In the “Summary” tab click on your phone number to reveal the IMEI number

4: Get the IMEI number from the iPhone back or SIM card holder

All iPhone models will include the IMEI number on the actual device itself. For iPhone 5 and newer, you will find the IMEI printed on the back of the phone in small print. With iPhone 4S and older, the IMEI is printed on the actual SIM card slot, so just eject the card holder and read the printed numbers.

Why would you need the IMEI number?

There are plenty of reasons, ranging from theft protection and insuring a device, to setting up an iPhone as a pay-go phone but here’s a few of the most common reasons people need a devices identity number:

  • If your phone ever gets stolen: your cellular provider can typically ban a phone from accessing the network via it’s IMEI, this is nice because the IMEI is attached to the phone itself and not the SIM card, meaning the entire phone can be blacklisted from a network which renders a stolen phone mostly useless.
  • iPhone Pay-As-You-Go: You’ll need the IMEI when you call AT&T for setting up an iPhone 4 as a pay-go phone on their network, this is how they identify the phone
  • Permanent iPhone unlock services: these require the use of your iPhone IMEI number, which is then added to an unlock database at a carrier. These services are sometimes questionable, so be cautious with signing up for them
  • Unlock with AT&T: If you request an official unlock through AT&T’s web unlocking service, you will need to have an IMEI number so that they can reference the device and complete the request

Enjoy this tip? Subscribe to the OSXDaily newsletter to get more of our great Apple tips, tricks, and important news delivered to your inbox! Enter your email address below:

Related articles:

Posted by: Matt Chan in iPhone

21 Comments

» Comments RSS Feed

  1. [...] would this be possible? The $169 service apparently whitelists your iPhone IMEI number by manually adding them to Apple’s databases. How exactly they are doing that is in [...]

  2. Ian says:

    Just a thought, but if providers blacklist phones by IMEI, chances are that is exactly what is going to happen to anyone who uses the IMEI unlock services. Unlocked or not, the iPhone will be blocked from accessing any network with any SIM.

  3. sault says:

    Type *#06# in ANY pone for IMEI.

  4. sault says:

    .. i didn´t know that.

  5. [...] You might be looking at a prototype iPhone 5 running on the worlds largest cellular carrier, China Mobile. The iPhone pictured looks very similar to the iPhone 4, but clearly shows an unreleased baseband version 06.10.01, and like other Apple prototype iPhones, there is no IMEI number. [...]

  6. Jahirul Islam says:

    Dear Sir.

    I am in deeply trouble with my stolen iphone. here i need to know how i can get the IMEI no of Iphone which i have lost. Please let me know the process how i can get the IMEI no without iphone.Please find the necessary information of my iphone cellular.

    Model : NOA1241
    FCC – IDBCCA1241
    SCC-0682
    Storage : 8GB
    Buy : From Spain (Bercelona)

    Waiting for prompt reply.

    Thanking you
    Jahirul Islam

    • Sonny says:

      Hi, the best way to find your I phone IMEI; look at the box from outside. If you do not have try contacting the dealer you purchased from, They should have it.
      Good Luck!
      Sonny

  7. Abror Gadaev says:

    Dear Sir/Madam,

    My iPhone 3G is stolen and I have no IMEI number so, I am in deeply trouble with my stolen iphone. Please let me know how i can get the IMEI no of Iphone? Is it possible to get it from picture information which is taken by my stolen phone. Please let me know the process how i can get the IMEI no without iphone.Please find the necessary information of my iphone cellular.

    Model : MB046LL

    Storage : 7.1GB
    Buy : From US

    Waiting for prompt reply and will be gateful for any help in my situation.

    Thanking you
    Abror

    • Benjamin Johnson says:

      If you don’t know your IMEI and your phone is already stolen you are out of luck –

      UNLESS you ever connected that phone to your computer through itunes. In this case, you’re in luck.

      Your IMEI number will be found in an XML file on your computer in one of the two places:

      c:\Documents and Settings\ \Local Settings\Application Data\Apple Computer\iTunes\iPodDevices

      c:\Users\ \Local Settings\Application Data\Apple Computer\iTunes\iPodDevices

      In that file, look for

      IMEI
      blah blah

      your number will appear instead of ” blah blah “.

      Careful though – if more than one iphone was EVER connected, you’lll have multiple. Make sure you identify the right phone and report the correct number.

  8. [...] directly to walk through the unlock process with a representative. Typically this requires the IMEI number of the iPhone in question, which can be easily found on the iPhone itself or through iTunes. The phone number for [...]

  9. mafuhua says:

    Good morning! I would like to officially open my iPhone 4. My name is Fuhua Ma. My friend bought this phone in store Apple, as a gift this iphone for me. I am not a resident of the U.S., so I can not use it with local operators.

    My IMEI is:012418008959132
    I really appreciate your help in my problem.Please send me an email when my requirements will be accepted.

  10. [...] unlock your phone, you first need to find the IMEI number of your phone. This can be done by typing *#06# on your dial pad. You can also browse through your phone’s settings or remove the battery [...]

  11. Oluwadare says:

    Hello sir/ma I,m texting you from Nigeria i got an Iphone from a friend of mine and it has been giving me issues daily . I need to get the ime for the phone Model A1387, Emc 2430,ID Bcg-E2430A IC 579C.Pls i need to get it activated. And the IME. Thanks

  12. [...] The iPhone IMEI number found in Settings > General > About [...]

  13. [...] Find the iPhone IMEI number by dialing *#06# on the phone – you do not need cell service to dial that number, the iPhone just has to be turned on. If the *#06# trick doesn’t work, you can also find the IMEI from iTunes, on the back of iPhone 5, on the devices SIM card slot, or through the iPhone itself as described here [...]

  14. [...] the phones IMEI number beforehand, there are a few ways to find it on the iPhone itself or in iTunes, or just dial *#06# to retrieve it [...]

Leave a Reply

 

Shop for Apple & Mac Deals on Amazon.com

Subscribe to OSXDaily

Subscribe to RSS Subscribe to Twitter Feed Follow on Facebook Subscribe to eMail Updates