- IMEI stands for International Mobile Equipment Identity Number and is a 15-digit number assigned to all devices.
- It is unique for each device, and no two devices can have the same number. Therefore, IMEI can be used to identify an original and a fake smartphone.
- This article will help you find out the IMEI number of your device and also inform you how to use the IMEI number to check whether your device is original or fake.
The IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) number is a 15-digit unique identifier for all cell phones. It is used to identify the phone and the manufacturer and whether it is original or counterfeit, and it also helps track a stolen device. It can be used to obtain important information about the phone and the user and also prevents fraud and theft.
IMEI numbers can blacklist devices, making them inoperable and unusable in the event of theft. Even if you don’t want to share your IMEI number, it can be helpful to know it and where to find it.
In this article, we will guide you on how to check IMEI on iPhone as well as Android devices using multiple methods. But let’s start with the basics first.
Table of Contents
What is IMEI Number?
IMEI number is associated with the sim card slot of your smartphone, so if you have a dual sim smartphone, your device will have two IMEI numbers. Additionally, other devices like tablets with GSM modems also have an IMEI number associated with them.
No two smartphones can have the same IMEI number, so it’s a helpful tool for detecting a fake or stolen smartphone. If your smartphone gets stolen, the IMEI number can be used to block the device and make it useless. Additionally, it can be used to detect the location of your device.
Check IMEI Number on Any Smartphone
It is easy to find out the IMEI number of your mobile phone. However, the procedure may vary depending on the type of phone, its brand and operating system, and its availability.
To help you find your IMEI number, we will cover this topic in two sections:
- How to check your smartphone’s IMEI number if you have it with you
- How to check your smartphone’s IMEI number if you do not have it or if it is stolen
How to Check IMEI Number of Your Smartphone When You Have It?
If you have your smartphone with you and are looking for the IMEI number, then follow the methods given below.
Method 1: Using a Dial Code: *#06#
This is a universal method to find the IMEI number of any device, whether it is an Android device or an iPhone. Follow the steps described below.
- Open the phone app on your smartphone.
- Open the dial pad.
- Dial the USSD code: *#06#
- Your IMEI number will now pop up on the screen.
- Take a screenshot to save it or write it down on paper.
This method works for almost all devices. However, if it does not work for you, try the next method.
Method 2: From Settings – Android
For Android smartphones, you can use the About Phone settings to find out the IMEI and other important details about your smartphone.
Follow the steps described below.
- Open the Settings app
- Scroll down and go to About Phone. You can also search for About Phone in the Settings search bar.
- Scroll down, and you will find the IMEI numbers associated with your device.
Method 3: Check IMEI iPhone
On iOS, you can check IMEI number of iPhone from the settings. Follow the steps outlined below.
- Open the Settings app
- Go to General
- Now go to About
- Scroll down, and you will find the IMEI number of your iPhone.
The other option is to use finder or iTunes. First, connect your iPhone to your Mac (Catalina 10.15 or later) and launch the Finder. If you are on an older version of macOS, then open iTunes. Under the Summary tab, you will find your iPhone IMEI number listed at the bottom.
The procedure to check iPad IMEI is pretty similar to iPhone IMEI check we explained above.
Method 4: From the Sim Tray/Back Panel
Some smartphones have the IMEI number engraved on the SIM tray. Redmi and Xiaomi smartphones have it printed on a sticker on the back. If you own an iPhone 5 or 6s, you will also find the IMEI on the back.
How can you check the IMEI number of your smartphone if you don’t have it or if it’s stolen or lost?
If you lose your smartphone or it’s stolen, the police will ask for the IMEI number to lock the phone and find its location. In this case, the methods below will help you find out the IMEI number of your stolen account.
Method 1: From the Retail Bill
If you have the invoice for your smartphone, you will find the IMEI of the device printed/noted on the invoice. Invoices from e-commerce platforms also have it.
Method 2: From the Packaging
You should always keep the smartphone packaging instead of throwing it away, as it contains some important information about the device. The IMEI numbers and the serial numbers of the device are printed on the box. So always keep your original packaging/box handy.
Method 3: Check IMEI Android Using Google Find My Device
If you are an Android user and you lost your device and did not keep the bill or the box, there’s still a way out by using Google’s Find My Device. Follow the steps below to find out the IMEI number of your Android phone.
- Go to Google Find My Device
- Sign in with the Google account associated with your Android device
- You will find the name of your device and its last location on your screen.
- Now tap on the info icon next to your Android device, and you will find the IMEI number.
How to Check if Your Device Is Original or Fake Using IMEI?
If you are looking to buy a reused or refurbished phone, you can check the status and authenticity of the device by its IMEI number. In this way, you can protect yourself from fraud and determine whether your device is original or fake.
There are some services and websites that you can use to check the authenticity of the device by its IMEI number. Below are some services/websites that you can use to check the status of your device.
Method 1: Manufacturer’s Website
The easiest way to get legal information about your device is to visit the manufacturer’s website. Follow the given steps to find out the status of your smartphone by its IMEI and serial number.
- Go to the website of the manufacturer of your device. (You can find it below)
- Enter the IMEI or serial number of your device.
- Perform human verification.
You will find the most important details, such as the phone’s model number, remaining warranty, activation date, and other information.
- Apple IMEI check
- Xiaomi IMEI info
- Realme IMEI number check
- Oppo IMEI info
- Vivo IMEI check
- Huawei IMEI number check
- Asus IMEI info
- Motorola IMEI check
Interestingly, there is no dedicated page to check IMEI or warranty information on Samsung devices on the Samsung website.
If you buy a new phone, its status on the website should not be active, and the warranty must also be checked. For a reused and refurbished device, you can check the purchase date and the remaining warranty.
Method 2: IMEI.info
IMEI.info website is one of the most trusted third-party websites that allows you to check and verify an original or fake device. Follow the given steps to verify the authenticity of the phone with the help of this website.
- Go to IMEI.info on your browser.
- Enter the IMEI number of your device.
- Finish the human verification and click Check.
- You will get the details of your device, such as the model number, specifications, and release date.
- You can also check if your device is blacklisted by using the paid service.
If you buy a refurbished phone, it is very important that you match the technical data of the phone (which you can find in the settings under “About Phone“) with the data on IMEI.info by using the IMEI number of the device. If you find an anomaly, the device is either a fake or an imitation. You should also check if the device is blacklisted to make sure you are not buying a stolen device.
How to Check if Your iPhone is Refurbished
When buying an Apple iPhone, it’s important to check whether the device is new or refurbished/used. You can check this in your iPhone’s settings.
Open the Settings app on your iPhone. Go to General and click on Info. Now check the model number of the device. The first letter of the model number represents the status of the device.
- M: The device was purchased new from Apple.
- F: Remanufactured from Apple or a vendor.
- P: Personalized (engraved) device.
- N: A replacement device for a defective iPhone.
IMEI vs MEID
MEID is what you get on CDMA phones (like those using the Verizon or Sprint network), just like IMEI on GSM phones (like AT&T, T-Mobile, etc.) Mobile Equipment Identifier (MEID) is also commonly known as an Electric Serial Number (ESN). While IMEI is a unique 15-digit number, MEID is a unique 14-digit number used for the same purpose.
The procedure to find MEID number of your iPhone or Android device is exactly the same as finding the IMEI number, as we have explained above.
IMEI Check Made Easy for Any Phone
That’s it! So you can check your device’s IMEI number and use it to locate and lock your stolen device, as well as to verify the authenticity of your device when you buy it. Finally, you can’t rely solely on your device’s IMEI number alone to verify its authenticity because it can be cloned.
Therefore, we recommend you analyze your device, packaging, specs, software, and features carefully before buying. Always buy cell phones from reputable stores and websites. Also, keep the packaging and the invoice safe, as they can be of great use if the device is stolen or if you want to resell it.
FAQs about How to Check the IMEI Number on Your Smartphone and Its Uses
How can I find the IMEI of my device if the device is stolen or lost?
You can find your device's IMEI number on the sales invoice or the device's packaging. You can also use Google Find My Device or Apple's Find My device and the manufacturer's website to get more information.
How do the police find devices from IMEI numbers?
The IMEI is a unique identity of each device and can be used to track the device and its use. If the device is stolen or lost, the police will share your device's IMEI number with your carrier and may lock the device. The device remains locked even if the SIM card is changed. If the SIM card is on, its location can be determined by the service provider. When a new SIM card is activated, the previous service provider can still determine the device's location.
How can I protect my data if my phone is stolen?
If you have lost your phone or it has been stolen, always report it to the police. The police will help you lock the device based on its IMEI number and can protect your sensitive data. They can also help you locate your device.
I got my phone repaired, and now its IMEI number is changed. What does this mean?
If you have recently repaired your smartphone and find that the IMEI number has changed, it means that:
- Maybe the device has been replaced (for the same model)
- Maybe the motherboard of the device was replaced during the repair
My iPhone does not have an IMEI number engraved on its back. Is that normal?
Yes, this is completely normal. On newer iPhones, the IMEI number is not on the back. However, you can check your device's IMEI number in Settings. Go to Settings > General > About. You can find your device's IMEI number in the About section.
Can I check IMEI number by mobile number?
No, you cannot check an IMEI number against a phone number. The IMEI number is a unique identifier for any cell phone, GSM modem, or device with a built-in phone/modem. It is not based on the mobile number but on the device's hardware components. It is used to track the device if it is lost or stolen and can also be used to blacklist devices that have been stolen.
Can you check IMEI number online?
Yes, you can check the IMEI number online. You can use websites such as IMEI.info, ImeiCheck.com, and Swappa's IMEI Checker to check your phone's IMEI number for free. To do this, you can either type *#06# into the dialer to get the IMEI number or search for it in your phone's settings. Once you have the IMEI number, you can use these websites to search for the device with the manufacturer and carriers worldwide and get access to warranty dates, carrier information, lock list status, purchase date, and more.
How do I check if my IMEI number is correct?
To verify that your IMEI number is correct, first dial *#06# on your phone to get your device's IMEI number. Once you have the number, enter it into the field on the IMEI.info website. After clicking "Check IMEI," you can access a report that contains information about your device, including model specifications, warranty status, and blacklist status.
Can I use IMEI to track my phone if it is lost or stolen?
Yes, you can use an IMEI to track your phone if it is lost or stolen. The IMEI is a unique number assigned to your phone that can be used to identify it. Law enforcement and service providers can use the IMEI to lock the device and render it unusable until it is unlocked. Also, buyers can use the IMEI to ensure the device has not been stolen before buying it. It is important to make a note of your phone's IMEI number in case it is ever lost or stolen.
Why is it saying my IMEI number is invalid?
Your smartphone's display may display "invalid IMEI" for a variety of reasons. For example, using a device after a factory reset, flashing your Android with a SIM card left in, etc. Occasionally, your Android's MTK setup might be the culprit.