Every single mobile phone on the planet has at least one thing in common: an International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number, unique to its unit, that can be used to identify it. If your phone is ever lost or stolen, your network provider can blacklist the device via its IMEI number, which renders it useless to anyone else, even if they swap out the SIM card.
Mobile phone 15-digit IMEI numbers are used to check items like country of origin, manufacturer, and model number. You can also use IMEI to check the history of a device and find out if it has ever been reported stolen via services like CheckMend. One item that may be obvious, but is worth repeating: Do not share your IMEI number or you risk falling prey to cloning and other IMEI-based scams.
Finding your IMEI number is easy, so let’s get started.
Check IMEI on an Android phone
On an Android phone, you can find the IMEI in the Settings menu. It can usually be found in one of the following locations:
- Settings > About phone > Status
- Settings > General > About device > Status
- Settings > System > About phone > Status
- Settings > About Device > Status
From there, write down the number or take a screenshot.
Check IMEI on an iPhone
You can find these numbers in several places, including Settings, on the physical device, in Finder or iTunes, and on the original packaging.
- Settings > General > About
Scroll down to find the IMEI entry in the list. You can also touch and hold the number to copy it to the clipboard and then paste it somewhere else, like in Notes or a text.
Finding your iPhone’s IMEI number through your Apple account
- Go to appleid.apple.com in Safari on the Mac.
- Sign in with your Apple ID.
- Scroll down to Devices section until you see the serial and IMEI/MEID number, select the device.
- If you have a different device with iOS 10.3 or later signed in to your account (like an iPad) go to Settings > Your name.
- Scroll to see any devices signed in with your Apple ID, and tap the device name to view the serial and IMEI/MEID number.
You can also find the serial number for your device in the Finder or iTunes.
- Connect your device to your computer.
- On a Mac with MacOS Catalina 10.15 or later, launch the Finder. On a Mac with MacOS Mojave 10.14 or earlier, or on a PC, open iTunes. Now find your device.
- Click the Summary tab to see the information.
- Click Phone Number under your device name or the device model to find the IMEI/MEID and ICCID numbers.
You can also find it in the Preferences > Apple ID > iPhone.
Some devices display the IMEI number on the SIM tray. Apple says that you can view the IMEI numbers on the SIM tray in every generation of iPhone from the 6s through iPhone 11, excluding the SE. Some phones, such as the Samsung Galaxy S10, and other Samsung Galaxy phones, show the IMEI number on the back of the case, embedded in tiny, almost translucent type — you will need a magnifying glass to read it and even then it will be difficult to see. Older phones with removable batteries also may list the IMEI under the battery, or on top of the SIM slot.
Check the IMEI on the box
If your iPhone or Android phone has been stolen and you forgot to check and write down the IMEI number, it’s still possible to locate it. If you kept the box that your phone came in, there’s a good chance you’ll find a sticker somewhere on the outside that lists the IMEI number of your phone.
Check IMEI using a phone dialer
To get your IMEI number, dial *#06#
A box should pop up with your IMEI number inside, and you can copy the number down or take a screenshot of it before dismissing it.
This technique appears to be mostly deprecated, though it works sometimes. In the past, this universal method for checking your IMEI worked on most mobile phones, both iPhone and Android, and it’s a popular method that often comes up in a search. The problem is that it doesn’t work well anymore. In three out of four phones tested, only one (a 2016 Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Plus) gave the expected result. Neither the iPhones or LG V40 ThinQ we tested came up with the number after dialing the code. Apple’s instructions also do not include this method. So we cite it here as a historical artifact and last resort.