How to find the IMEI number?

You often come across situations when you have to find some details of your mobile phone that you didn’t know about. One such detail can be the IMEI number. If your phone is locked to a specific mobile network e.g. Vodafone, and you want to use this phone on another network e.g. EE, then you will need to get your phone unlocked. Your phone can be unlocked by the mobile operator whose network your phone is locked to. So for example, if your phone is locked to the Vodafone network, you will need to send them your IMEI number (together with some other details) so that they can unlock your phone.

The easiest way to find the IMEI number of your mobile phone is to type  *#06# on the dial pad of your phone. As soon as you type this code, you will see a screen displaying this number.

What is IMEI and why your phone has it?

IMEI stands for International Mobile Equipment Identity and is a unique number assigned to every mobile device including mobile phones, mobile broadband dongles, MiFi devices, and tablets with SIMs, etc. It is a 15 digit number programmed into the mobile device by the manufacturers. This number stays with the device over its lifetime and must not be altered. Only the manufacturers of the mobile device are allowed to assign this number. The act of changing this number is called “unblocking” the phone, and it is a criminal offence under UK laws. There are multiple ways of locating your IMEI number. IMEI number is unique to the mobile device, and it can be used to protect the phone from being misused if stolen. In case a mobile phone is lost or stolen, the customer should immediately contact their mobile service provider. If the phone is lost (and not stolen), the mobile service provider might only block the SIM, but if the phone is stolen, they can use the IMEI number to block the phone which will “blacklist” the phone from being used on any network. You can learn more about other identification codes for your mobile phone here.

What is the best way to find the IMEI number?

  • The quickest way to find your IMEI number is by typing *#06# on the dial pad of your phone. As soon as you type this code, you will see a screen displaying this number.
  • Usually, in smartphones, the IMEI number can be found under “About phone” or “About”. To do this, you first need to go into “Settings” and, depending on whether it is an Android or iOS device, you may need to go into “Systems” before finding the “About” or “About phone” option. You can do the same for any tablets that can connect to a mobile network (i.e. tablets which can take a SIM card).
  • In mobile phones where the battery is easily removable, this number can be found at the back of the phone behind the battery area. 
  • If you have a mobile broadband dongle, the IMEI number may be printed on it somewhere. If you have a Mi-Fi device, you may find this number in the battery area of the device.
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