Where can I find my IMEI number

How do I find out the IMEI number of my device?

Your Android mobile phone, iPhone or tablet can be clearly identified using the IMEI number. If the mobile device is lost or stolen, it is important to have this sequence of numbers on hand. We'll show you how to find out the IMEI.

IMEI is an abbreviation. She stands for I.nternational M.obile station E.quipment I.dentity. This 15-digit number is assigned by the device manufacturer and is used to uniquely identify devices with a cellular modem. Each IMEI is theoretically unique and comparable to the MAC address of computer hardware - the unique fingerprint of your mobile device, so to speak.

Meaning of the number combination

There is of course a certain meaning behind the IMEI number of your mobile phone. The sequence of numbers is divided into three blocks of numbers.

  • The first eight numbers contain the Type Allocation Code (TAC). The first two digits refer to the accreditation body. The following six digits correspond to the pass code.
  • The numbers 9 to 14 represent the serial number of the mobile device.
  • The last number is a check digit.
  • If your IMEI number has two more digits at the end, these are numbers generated by the device manufacturer that provide information about the installed software version.

What IMEI number do dual SIM cell phones have?

Dual SIM cell phones are a specialty. These devices have two IMEI numbers. Depending on the type, the numbers are identical in places. Cell phones with dual SIM standby mode are currently widespread. Although these have two SIM slots, they only have one transmitting and receiving unit. In this case, the first eight digits (TAC) of the IMEI numbers are identical. Dual SIM smartphones that have two transmitters have two completely different IMEI numbers.

Free emergency card for your wallet

In any case, you should write down the IMEI number of your smartphone while you are still holding it in your hands. This belongs best in the wallet. So that you are well prepared in an emergency, simply write down the IMEI number of your smartphone on the netzwelt emergency card and stow it in your wallet. You can download the emergency card from netzwelt.

Lock stolen cell phone with the IMEI number

Each end device transmits its IMEI when dialing into the cellular network, with which it can be clearly identified. If your cell phone is lost or stolen, you can have the IMEI blocked by your cell phone provider and thus prevent access to the network.

The number is placed on a blacklist in the Equipment Identity Register (EIR). When dialing into the mobile network, the IMEI is compared with the list and if they match, network access is to be blocked. Unfortunately this is only the theory. Not all mobile network operators support this service. In addition, the IMEI numbers are not forgery-proof. The IMEI can be changed with special programs. Deutsche Telekom gave netzwelt a clear refusal to block using the IMEI number:

Deutsche Telekom does not offer IMEI blocking. From our point of view, the IMEI block is not suitable for a number of reasons to put a stop to cell phone theft. On the one hand, it can happen that end devices have the same IMEI. Blocking could therefore hit the wrong customer. In addition, the IMEI can be manipulated relatively easily by criminals, which makes the blocking obsolete. And finally, such a block does not apply abroad - the stolen goods could therefore be brought there in order to bypass the block. So you need an international database that is valid across national borders.

Deutsche Telekom

However, if a cell phone is stolen, the police usually require the combination of numbers, but they cannot locate the IMEI number. You will also need it when you take out cell phone insurance. Numerous providers also require the IMEI when a device is sent in for repair. This is to avoid mix-ups during the process.

Inquire about the IMEI number: The packaging and contract contain the information

There are several ways you can query the IMEI. The simplest is to look at the box of the smartphone. Here you can usually find a sticker with information about the device - on this you can also find the IMEI info (see picture). If you have misplaced or thrown away the packaging of your smartphone or tablet, a look at or under the device's battery can also help. There is often a sticker here that contains the IMEI number. Since there are now only a few smartphones with exchangeable batteries, determining the IMEI in this way is no longer an option for most users.

It's good that there are other options that show you the IMEI number - for example using a USSD code. The IMEI number can be found on all GSM devices, whether Android or iPhone, with the combination * # 06 #. For this you have to enter the mentioned GSM code in the keypad and your IMEI number will be displayed.

You can also check the IMEI in the settings of your smartphone or tablet PC. You can find out how to do the Apple IMEI check on your iPhone and other iOS devices in the tutorials linked below. We also tell you how you can read out the IMEI number on Samsung and other Android devices.

Android mobile phone: read out IMEI

On your Android mobile phone or tablet, you can also read out the IMEI number via the settings. In our detailed instructions, we also show how the Samsung IMEI check works.

IMEI number iPhone: This is how you can find out the number combination on iOS devices

If you cannot find the box of your device, you can also check the IMEI on the iOS device using a key combination (MMI code). You can easily read out the iPad or iPhone IMEI in the iOS settings. In our instructions we will show you how to do the Apple iPhone IMEI check.

With some iPhone models you can find the IMEI on the back of the device or on the SIM card tray. Alternatively, the IMEI can also be displayed via iTunes. To do this, close the iPhone on the PC, select the device in iTunes and then click on "Telephone number".

Determine IMEI number in 4 steps for Windows Phone

The IMEI number can also be read out in the settings of the Windows mobile phone. In our step-by-step guide, we'll show you how to do this.

IMEI blacklist check: did I buy a stolen cell phone?

Have you bought a used cell phone or got a new one at a fabulous bargain price, it could of course be that it is stolen goods. This also applies the other way around, if you sell your smartphone yourself on Ebay, for example, and the buyer then wants to use the IMEI number to check whether everything has expired legally.

The IMEI query, also known as the IMEI backlist check, is offered by various websites, partly free of charge and partly subject to a charge. Here the number is compared with a database on which the IMEI numbers of stolen devices are stored. This service is offered, for example, by the IMEIpro or IMEI Tools websites. The portals operate internationally. However, it is not known how many German devices are in the database.

By the way: To keep the risk of being ripped off when shopping online, take into account the tips from our shopping guide "Online shopping: Safe buying and selling on classifieds portals".

Check the warranty claim and details about the device using the IMEI number

If you can no longer find your proof of purchase and you no longer know exactly whether your mobile phone is actually still under warranty, you can find out about this via your IMEI number. Websites like IMEI24 offer an extensive IMEI check. Here you will find information on color, storage capacity, date of purchase, warranty claim, serial number or the exact model name, among other things.

Find spare parts for mobile phones using the IMEI number

Your IMEI number has an additional practical use. If you need spare parts such as a display or a new battery, you can use the number to find out exactly which mobile phone you have. Because, especially under Android, there are sometimes different models that look the same, but have a different inner workings.

If you would like to repair your smartphone yourself, we will give you useful tips in the linked special, from the tools you need to step-by-step instructions for the most common repairs.