If you’ve lost your iPhone, you’ll need its unique IMEI number to file a crime report and for insurance purposes. This is how you do it
Every single mobile phone in creation has a unique, 15 digit IMEI number. IMEI stands for The International Mobile station Equation Identity number, and is used to ID any device – phone, tablet, PC or laptop – that uses terrestrial (on earth) mobile networks. Basically, if your gizmo has 3G/4G connectivity and can make calls it will have an IMEI number.
Apple’s iPhone, for once, is no exception to this global standard.
Why IMEI Is Important
If some scumbag nicks your phone, you – in conjunction with the authorities – can use the IMEI number to track and, fingers crossed, locate your beloved. The moron that stole your phone can change the SIM card, alter the wallpaper, send texts and take pictures, providing it’s unlocked and free of passcodes, but they will not be able to alter the IMEI number. That is hardcoded into to the device.
Special government agencies apparently use IMEI-less handsets and tablets to avoid being traced by counter-intelligence black ops.
IMEI is a means of tracking, locating and blacklisting a handset. For instance, not so long ago my phone was stolen in Barcelona – surprise, surprise! After I’d realized it was gone, I called my network and explained what had happened. They asked me some security questions and for my IMEI number. A few minutes later my phone, now in the possession of some Spanish pickpocket, was bricked, rendering it entirely useless.
I then used my IMEI number at the police station to file a crime report (note: you’ll need one of these for insurance claims). So, if you’re going traveling it is definitely worth scribbling down the IMEI number somewhere and keeping it safe (especially if you’re going to Barcelona).
How To Locate Your iPhone IMEI Number
With iPhone, there are a number of ways to find out your IMEI number. All of which are detailed below (please note: you’ll need your iPhone for the first three):
Method One: IMEI In Settings
If your iPhone hasn’t been stolen or lost, this is perhaps the easiest method of finding out what your IMEI number is. Once you’ve located it be sure to note it down somewhere.
Settings > General > About > Scroll down until you see IMEI number
Method Two: Find IMEI Using Dialer
Open the dialer application > type the following: *#06# > Hit Call, wait a second, and your IMEI number should display.
Method Three: Back Of iPhone & SIM Tray
Your iPhone’s IMEI number is also engraved on the back of your iPhone, near the bottom just above all those bizarre, Hermetic-looking symbols.
You will also find the IMEI number etched onto the iPhone’s SIM-card tray.
How To Find IMEI Number Without iPhone
You’ve lost your iPhone. Unlucky. Thankfully you can still find out what its IMEI number by following the steps below:
Got the box your iPhone came in? Great – that’s got the IMEI number written on it. You’ll find it printed on the barcode label. Not got the box? No worries – you can still get hold of your IMEI using the following trick (you will need a PC though):
Head over to iTunes > Hold down the Control key and on the menu bar of the Mac click iTunes > About iTunes
For Windows click Help > About iTunes
When your iPhone serial number (S/N) and IMEI will appear in the dialog box