Every phone including iPhones has a unique 15-digit number on it called an IMEI number or International Mobile Equipment Identity. The IMEI number is used to match your phone to cellular terrestrial networks so they can figure out who is calling. Every phone that can make calls and connect to the internet has a cellular terrestrial network.
It can also be used to maintain a list of blacklist phone numbers. Most of the time you’ll never need to know what your IMEI number is and you can happily ignore it. Essentially, your IMEI number is most important for your carrier.
You may also find that some counterfeit phones have bad IMEI numbers that don’t even exist in the global database. In this instance, it’s always a good idea to check your iPhone IMEI number when you buy a second-hand phone.
How to find your IMEI number on iPhone
The IMEI number only really becomes important when you need to unlock your iPhone or you need to find out your carrier information when you’re trying to sell your iPhone. The good news is, it’s easy to locate if you need it.
Here are two ways to find out what your IMEI number is;
1. Settings app
- open the ‘Settings’ app
- tab ‘General’ and then ‘About’
- hold down your finger on the IMEI number until you see ‘copy’ and then you can paste it where you need to.
2. Dial *#06#
Another very easy way to find out your IMEI number is to dial *#06#. Your IMEI number will be shown on your screen straight away.
What’s the difference between an IMEI number and a Serial number?
A serial number is used by the phone’s manufacturer. It can tell you where the phone was made, whether it’s in warranty and if you ever need to send it to repair, will help you get the same phone back when it’s returned. This can be found within your phone’s ‘About’ data, and on the back of the device in some models.
What is an IMEI number used for?
As mentioned, your IMEI number is used to identify your device. Your IMEI number is like a unique fingerprint that helps networks identify your device so they can block it if from their networks if it’s reported stolen, for example. The IMEI number is hardcoded into every iPhone and cannot be altered without doing damage to your phone. The IMEI number is added to a phone during the manufacturing process.
Think of your IMEI number as a social security number that only exists once. Just like your social security number, you shouldn’t give out your IMEI number, even to possible bidders looking to buy your phone.
Unfortunately, some hackers pose as bidders in an attempt to steal your personal information. Instead, you should only be thinking about giving out your IMEI number to a potential buyer after they have already put a deposit down for your phone.
If needed, your phone can also be tracked through your IMEI number. This is again helpful for phone networks or the government if someone steals your phone and commits crimes. However, this can only be done if personal information is tied to that IMEI number and it can be a very tedious task to do.
IMEI numbers are important because they protect you from theft and they can also tell you all the information about your iPhone should you lose any of your contact information. For example, if you’re not sure if you’re covered by Apple Care, you can use a third-party service to check your carrier information easily and for free.
Check Your EMEI Number Easily
The easiest way to check your carrier information is to use a third-party service that can give you all the information you need to know about your unique handset. You can check your IMEI number by hopping over to iphoneimei.net. All you need to do is have your IMEI number handy by using one of the methods we gave you above and pop it into the search field. Once you’re done, the IMEI checker will come back with instant results telling you a whole host of information about your carrier.
Once you have your result back you can then view lots of information, including;
Phone model (ie: iPhone 8 Space Gray 64GB)
- Serial Number (ie: F4GWCL7JJCXX)
- Country (ie: United State)
- Carrier/Network (ie: US T-Mobile Locked Activation Policy)
- SIM-Lock status: Locked/Unlocked
- Find My iPhone / Activation Lock status: ON/OFF
- Apple Care: Yes/No
- Loaner device: Yes/No
- Purchase date (ie: 2020-11-03)
- Is it a refurbished device? (Yes/No)
- Apple Telephone Technical Support (Active/Inactive)
- Apple repairs and service coverage (Active/Inactive)
- Repairs and service expires in (ie: 364 days)
- Telephone technical support expiration date (ie: 2021-02-01)
You can then copy this information down and keep it somewhere safe if you need it again in the future. Again, it’s important to check your IMEI number when buying a second-hand iPhone to protect yourself from counterfeit models being sold to you. It’s also important to check your IMMI number when you are selling an iPhone to someone so you can give them the correct information upfront about the phone they’re going to own.
You can also find out other important information like if your iPhone is locked or not and if your phone has been refurbished, not to mention when your phone was built.
Bottom line: Checking your IMEI number isn’t something we often think about but it’s an important thing to do to make sure your phone is in good standing.