Last week I needed to find the IMEI number of my iPhone, to give to the insurance company. The IMEI – International mobile equipment identity – number is a unique number that every mobile phone has to identify itself when connected to a mobile network. Keeping a record of your phone’s IMEI number is important, as if your phone is stolen you can use it to have the handset blocked to stop thieves from using it, for example.
As it turns out, there are multiple ways of finding the IMEI number on your iPhone – Apple gives an overview on its support site but here’s my summary as well:
- The standard way. Pretty much every phone, regardless of model or manufacturer, will display its IMEI number if you dial *#06# on the keypad. On an iPhone, this means using the ‘Phone’ app. When entered (and you don’t need to press ‘Call’), the screen will dim and show you the number.
- The better way. The problem with the first way is that you can’t copy the number to paste into an email, for example. Thankfully, there’s a better way – open the Settings app, choose General, and then About. Scroll down, and your IMEI number is towards the bottom. To copy the number, just tap and hold, until the ‘Copy’ menu item appears – tap that, and then paste it where necessary.
- It’s on the back… If you have an original 2007 era iPhone, or the latest iPhone 5, the IMEI number is printed on the back, in small text towards the bottom. Find the words ‘Designed by Apple in California’ and keep reading.
- …or it’s inside. If you own an iPhone 3G, 3GS, 4 or 4S, the IMEI is written on the metal tray that the SIM card sits in. You’ll need to open the SIM card tray using the tool provided with your phone, and then probably get a magnifying glass to read it.
- It’s also in iTunes. Connect your iPhone to iTunes, either by USB or over Wi-fi. Select your phone from the list on the left, and then on the first tab, called ‘Summary’, click on your phone number. iTunes will cycle through the IMEI and ICCID number – you can then go to Edit and choose Copy to save this to the clipboard to paste into an email.
If you can’t connect your phone, or don’t have it with you, you can open Preferences (iTunes menu > Preferences on the Mac, Edit > Preferences on Windows), select the Devices tab, and then hover over it. However, this may not work if you back up your phone to iCloud rather than iTunes.]
- It’s on the box. There should be a label on the box that your phone came in with the number on as well.
There are probably other ways of finding it besides these. Either way, there are plenty of methods of finding your IMEI number – make sure you have a note of it somewhere.