When it comes to understanding your device better, knowing how to find IMEI numbers is crucial. The International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number is a unique identifier for your phone, allowing you to track it if lost or stolen. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the various methods to locate your IMEI number, whether you have an Android, iPhone, or any other type of mobile device. By the end of this document, you will be equipped with the knowledge to effortlessly find your IMEI number whenever you need it. Let’s delve into the world of IMEI identification together to demystify this essential aspect of your phone.

Understanding IMEI Numbers

What is an IMEI Number?

An IMEI number is a 15-digit code that uniquely identifies a mobile device. It’s a bit like a fingerprint for your phone, distinguishing it from millions of other devices. When a phone is manufactured, this number is embedded into its hardware, making it a permanent feature of the device. In the event of theft or loss, the IMEI number can be used by network providers to block the device, rendering it unusable on their networks regardless of a SIM card change. For consumers, the IMEI is valuable for warranty purposes, insurance claims, and for certain legal situations where proof of ownership is required. Knowing how to find your IMEI number is a practical skill that enhances your security and provides peace of mind in managing your mobile device.

Importance of IMEI Numbers

The significance of an IMEI number extends beyond mere identification. It acts as a deterrent against mobile phone theft, as stolen devices can be blocked from accessing network services once the IMEI is reported. This makes the phone less valuable on the black market. Furthermore, in the unfortunate scenario where you lose your phone, the IMEI number is instrumental in tracking and potentially recovering the device.


For network operators, the IMEI number helps in monitoring and preventing fraudulent activities. It also aids in diagnosing network issues linked to specific devices. From a consumer perspective, the IMEI number is essential when buying a second-hand phone to ensure the device hasn’t been blacklisted. Lastly, knowing your IMEI number speeds up the process of getting support from your mobile carrier or insurance company, as it is often the first piece of information they request.

How to Find Your IMEI Number

Finding IMEI on Android Devices

For Android users, finding your IMEI number can be done in a few simple steps. The most common method is to open the phone dialler and enter *#06#. This will prompt the device to display the IMEI number on the screen. Take note or screenshot this information for your records.

Alternatively, you can locate the IMEI number in the device’s settings. Navigate to ‘Settings’, scroll down to ‘About Phone’, and tap on ‘Status’. Here, you should see the IMEI information listed. Some devices may have the IMEI number under ‘Hardware Information’ or a similar subsection within the settings.

If your device has a removable battery, you might also find the IMEI number printed inside the phone, beneath the battery compartment. Remember that these methods are straightforward and do not require any technical expertise, keeping the process accessible to all users.

Finding IMEI on iOS Devices

Locating the IMEI number on an iOS device is a straightforward process. One quick method is to open the ‘Phone’ app and dial *#06#, which will cause the IMEI number to appear on your screen. You can jot it down or take a screenshot for your records.

Should you prefer not to use the dialler, you can also find the IMEI in the ‘Settings’ app. Go to ‘General’ and then ‘About’, and scroll down until you see the IMEI number. It’s a good idea to keep a record of this number; you can easily copy it by long-pressing the number.

For those with an iPhone 6s and older, the IMEI number can often be found on the SIM tray or, in some cases, on the back of the device itself. When using the physical method, make sure to have good lighting and possibly a magnifying glass as the print can be quite small.

Using IMEI Numbers for Device Identification

How IMEI Helps in Device Tracking

IMEI numbers play a pivotal role in the tracking and recovery of lost or stolen mobile devices. When a phone is reported as missing, the IMEI number can be used by network operators to locate the device. They can trace the last used location by identifying the network cell that the phone last communicated with.

Moreover, once an IMEI number is blacklisted by an operator, the phone becomes unusable with any SIM card, which can deter theft. Even if a thief tries to reset the phone, the IMEI remains unchanged and can continue to aid authorities and network providers in tracking the device.

It is important to note that while network operators can track the location of a phone through its IMEI number, this capability is typically only used in coordination with law enforcement when a phone is reported stolen. Personal privacy is still upheld in these circumstances.

Utilising IMEI in Lost or Stolen Cases

In the event that your device is lost or stolen, the IMEI number becomes a powerful tool in your arsenal. Reporting the IMEI to your network provider immediately can ensure that the device is added to a shared database of blacklisted phones. This makes it inoperable on most networks worldwide, significantly reducing its value and utility for the thief.

Beyond blacklisting, law enforcement agencies can also use the IMEI number in their investigation to track the phone’s location or last known activity. It’s crucial to provide them with the IMEI as soon as possible to improve the chances of recovery.

When filing a claim with your insurance company for a lost or stolen phone, the IMEI number is usually a required detail. It serves as proof of ownership and is the identifier that insurers use to validate your claim. Keeping a record of your IMEI number in a secure place can thus expedite the claims process and help in such stressful situations.

IMEI and Network Providers

Role of IMEI in Network Authentication

The IMEI number has a critical function in network authentication processes. Network providers use the IMEI to verify the legitimacy of devices connecting to their services. Each time a mobile phone attempts to join a network, the network checks the device’s IMEI against a database of valid numbers. If the IMEI is recognised and not blacklisted, the network authenticates the device and grants access.

This system of checks helps prevent fraudulent activity, such as cloning, where a phone’s identity is copied onto another device. By ensuring that each IMEI is unique to a device, network providers can keep their networks secure and reliable for users.

For consumers, this means that ensuring you have a legitimate IMEI is critical when purchasing a phone, especially if buying second-hand. It guarantees that you will be able to access network services without any issues, as long as the IMEI is clean and valid.

IMEI and Network Blacklisting

Network blacklisting is a security measure used by network providers to block access to networks for stolen or lost devices. When a phone is reported missing, the provider can disable all services to that phone using its IMEI number. This renders the device practically useless as a communications tool, even if the SIM card is changed.

Blacklisting is effective because the IMEI is unchangeable and unique to each device. When a blacklisted phone tries to connect to any network, the IMEI is checked against the blacklist database. If there’s a match, service is denied. This not only protects the original owner’s data and prevents unauthorised use but also discourages phone theft on a broader scale.

For consumers, it’s important to understand that a blacklisted phone can be a significant issue if purchasing second-hand devices. Always check the device’s IMEI against databases that record blacklisted phones before completing any purchase.

Safeguarding Your IMEI Number

Risks of Sharing Your IMEI

Sharing your IMEI number can expose you to a number of risks. While the IMEI itself doesn’t hold personal data, if it falls into the wrong hands, it could be used for nefarious activities. For instance, fraudsters could clone your IMEI to mask illegal activities, making it appear as though they are coming from your device. This could lead to your phone being wrongfully blacklisted or you being associated with criminal activities.

Moreover, scammers might use your IMEI to create counterfeit devices that seem legitimate, which can be sold to unsuspecting buyers. If you sell your device, it’s wise to ensure you’re dealing with a reputable buyer before sharing the IMEI.

It’s important to treat your IMEI like personal information. Share it only with trusted entities such as your network provider, law enforcement, or legitimate resale services when necessary. Being cautious with your IMEI can prevent potential headaches down the road.

Measures to Protect Your IMEI

Protecting your IMEI number is akin to safeguarding any other sensitive personal information. One basic measure is to avoid displaying the number in public spaces or online forums where it can be copied. When disposing of or selling your device, make sure to erase the IMEI number from any visible locations, such as the back of the phone or the battery compartment.

It’s also wise to keep a private record of your IMEI number, such as writing it down and storing it in a secure place or saving it in an encrypted file. This will help you easily access the IMEI if your phone is lost or stolen without having to share it unnecessarily with others.

Additionally, use caution when downloading apps and giving permissions. Some malicious apps could attempt to access your IMEI for unauthorised purposes. Stick to downloading apps from the official store for your device and review permissions you grant carefully.