How to Find Your Phone's IMEI or MEID Number

What your IMEI or MEID number represent, and how to find it on iPhone or Android

Your phone or tablet has a unique IMEI or MEID number, one that distinguishes it from other mobile devices. You may need this number to unlock your cell phone or tablet, to track or detect a lost or stolen cell phone, or to see if your phone will work on another carrier's network (as with T-Mobile's IMEI check). Here's how to find the IMEI or MEID on most mobile phones and cellular-enabled tablets.

~ August 11, 2014

About the IMEI and MEID Numbers

The IMEI number stands for "'International Mobile Equipment Identity"--it's a unique 15-digit number assigned to all cellular devices.

The 14-digit MEID number stands for "Mobile Equipment Identifier" and is similarly meant to identify a mobile device. You can translate the IMEI code to a MEID one by just ignoring the last digit.

CDMA (e.g., Sprint and Verizon) mobile phones and tablets get a MEID number (also known as an Electronic Serial Number or ESN), while GSM networks like AT&T and T-Mobile use IMEI numbers. (Related: CDMA vs. GSM on About.com's Mobile Devices site).

Where to Find Your IMEI and MEID Numbers

There are a few ways to go about this, actually. Try the one each of these until you find the one that works for you.

Dial a special number. On many phones, all you need to do is open the phone dialing app and enter * # 0 6 # (star, pound sign, zero, six, pound sign, without the spaces).

Even before you hit the call or send button your phone should pop up the IMEI or MEID number for you to write down or take a screenshot of.

Check the back of your phone. Alternatively, the IMEI or MEID code could be imprinted or engraved on the back of your phone, particularly for iPhones (near the bottom).

 

If your phone has a removable battery, the IMEI or MEID number could be printed on a sticker on the back of the phone, behind the removable battery. Power down the phone, then take off the battery cover and remove the battery to find the IMEI/MEID number. (It's starting to feel like a treasure hunt, isn't it?) 

Look in your phone's settings. 

On iPhone (or iPad or iPod), go to the Settings app on your home screen, then tap General, and go to "About." Tap IMEI/MEID to display the IMEI number, which you can copy to your clipboard for pasting elsewhere by pressing and holding the IMEI/MEID button in the About menu for a few seconds.

  • Alternatively, if you plug your iPhone or another iOS device to your computer and open up iTunes, you should see the IMEI/MEID number when you go to the Device in iTunes and then Summary tab. Click the "Phone Number" next to the image of your device to find the number and copy it.

On Android, go to your device's Settings (usually by dragging down from the top navigation menu and tapping the profile icon, then the Settings gear icon). From there, scroll down until you see "About Phone" (all the way at the bottom) and then tap it and tap "Status." Scroll down to find your IMEI or MEID number.

  • Alternatively, if, say, your Android phone or tablet isn't near you, you could still look up the IMEI or MEID number from Google Dashboard. Head to www.google.com/settings/dashboard and sign into your Google account. Then scroll down to the Android section and click on the arrow button to expand it. There, you'll find a list of all your devices and the IMEI or MEID numbers for each. Again, just ignore the last digit if you're looking for the MEID number.
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