Last updated April 12, 2019
If your cell gets stolen or you want to sell or recycle it, you’ll probably be asked for the device’s IMEI or MEID number. Here are 5 ways to locate them.
IMEI and MEID
So what’s the difference? Well, not much. Both of these numbers do the same thing: they’re used to identify mobile phones. Most likely you’ll need an IMEI or MEID number if you want to:
- sell or recycle your phone
- unlock it
- tell your carrier if it gets stolen or you lose it
- get it repaired
The reason we’ve written a blog about it is that you’ll have one of these numbers depending on what type of phone you have:
- if your phone is on the CDMA network you’ll have an MEID number
- if it’s on the GSM network then you’ll have an IMEI number
Luckily for you, and for us, both numbers are usually to be found in the same place. Let’s take a look at 5 easy ways to hunt them down.
1. Got an iPhone? Check the back
Depending on which model iPhone you have, the IMEI should be printed on the back of your device. Top tip: turn the IMEI number into a MEID number by taking off the last digit. Bingo.
It’ll be in small text though, so you might need to get your binoculars out. If you don’t have one of these models, then…
2. Dial-in *#06#
Some phones will give up their IMEI or MEID if you simply dial-in *#06# to the keypad. So here endeth this blog post? Sadly not – because this trick doesn’t always work (I just tried it on my HTC One and got an error message). So if this method fails…
3. Check your cell’s Settings menu
The IMEI or MEID should be findable from the Settings menu (or similar) on your device. Here’s a step-by-step using my HTC One to find the IMEI:
Go to SETTINGS then jump to the bottom and touch About:
Then touch Phone identity:
4. Check the battery
If steps 1 through 3 haven’t worked, check under your mobile phone’s battery. Pull it out, clear out all the dust and the IMEI or MEID number should be helpfully located on a sticker somewhere.
5. Kept your phone’s box? You’re in luck…
If you’re one of the few people to actually keep hold of packaging, well done. Dig it out, fish out whatever you’re storing in it and the IMEI or MEID number should be on the back.
Once you’ve found your cell’s IMEI or MEID number, jot it down and store it somewhere. It may well come in handy in future!
Looking to sell your phone and get a new one? Come to us – we’re the numero uno cell trade-in comparison site in the US!