Most likely, on more than one occasion you have heard of something called IMEI, related to the world of cell phones and their identity.
Knowing its meaning, what it does on your cell phone and what the MEI code can do for you is really important. With the IMEI you can avoid all kinds of problems related to theft and loss.
Every new phone that is manufactured in the world has a number that identifies it, this is the IMEI, a code associated with your mobile phone that will accompany it until it is recycled.
Due to the high rates of cell phone theft, today it is essential to know exactly how to use it and keep it safe.
What you will find here: What is the IMEI and what is it for, how to lock the phone with the IMEI, how to get this IMEI and many more interesting information!
If you want to know how to do all this, in this article you will learn all of it, and by the way you will learn more about technology, which will help you better manage the world around you.
What does IMEI mean?
It is likely that until now you have not realized how important the IMEI of your phone is. Yes. Each cell phone has an IMEI, a number that uniquely identifies it among the others. The IMEI is as important as the SIM card.
This number brings a multitude of advantages, and although it is not mentioned as an important feature of phones, it is. With the IMEI you can from blocking a phone to reporting it as stolen.
The acronym IMEI comes from the English “International Mobile Equipment Identity”, which translated into Spanish means “ International Mobile Equipment Identity ”. Its purpose is to provide the cell phone with a unique identity throughout the world.
This number can be easily seen at the checkout when you buy a new phone. Or in the case of used phones, the IMEI can be found in the battery compartment, below the battery .
Technically, an IMEI number consists of 14 digits plus an additional digit for verification purposes, called a “Verification Digit”. These numbers are divided into four parts:
- TAC (Type Allocation Code): Composed of the first 6 digits. They refer to the country where it is manufactured.
- Final Assembly Code (FAC): The next two digits and indicate the manufacturer of the equipment.
- Serial number: The next six digits
- Verifier code: The last digit, used to verify that the IMEI is correct. It should be noted that this is not always the case.
The purpose of implementing IMEI in cell phone equipment goes beyond simple identification. This IMEI can also be used to block access to the communication networks of equipment whose numbers are found in the so-called “Black Lists”.
We will talk about these IMEI blacklists below.
That is why if you have the misfortune that your cell phone has been stolen, the first thing you have to do is notify your operator, which will immediately block the device’s access to the network.
What is the IMEI for?
You are used to objects having serial numbers, or having a number that identifies you or your vehicle.
Why not transfer this idea to technology, more specifically to cell phones?
This is precisely what the IMEI is about. Every cell phone that exists on the planet has its own. This means that you will never find two phones with the same IMEI.
Now since IMEI is so important, is it necessary to remember it?
The truth is that no, but nevertheless it would not hurt to have it at hand.
Having your phone’s IMEI number handy can help. Most likely these days that your cell phone has ever been stolen, and you didn’t know what to do. With the theft, in addition to the cost of the phone, your privacy, your personal data and much more went away.
On the other hand, if you had had the IMEI at hand, you could have first blocked the cell phone to prevent it from being used, and later, report it as stolen. It can also help you in case the cell phone is recovered, or to manage procedures related to the guarantee.
If you want to know more about all this, keep reading.
Next, you can see in what other ways the IMEI of your cell phone can be useful to you.
- Lock and unlock your phone: One of the few things you can do when your phone is stolen is to lock it. To be able to block it, you just have to call the operator and provide them with the IMEI. With this you will already have the cell phone blocked. In the unlikely event that you get it back, you can always call the operator, give them your IMEI, and wait for them to unlock the phone. Notably, this can take up to two months.
- Unlocking the phone: In the event that you want to unlock the phone to be able to use it with another company, you can do it through the IMEI. You just have to access the company page, enter the IMEI code and after a certain time you will receive an unlock code. It should be noted that this method may not be available in all countries.
- Find a phone: There are several methods that allow you to find a lost or stolen cell phone through IMEI. One of the best is through apps. In this sense, one of the most popular is Cerberus, which although it is not free, will allow you to know exactly where your phone is.
- Test updates for your phone: Some manufacturers offer the possibility of becoming an app beta tester, and for this they need the IMEI.
Further down in this article, you will find those topics better explained.
How to know the IMEI of my cell phone?
Once you know what the IMEI is and how useful it can be, it remains to know what are the easiest ways to know this IMEI.
Fortunately, in most cases, finding the IMEI of a cell phone is a simple task. Generally this number is obtained by pressing * # 06 # on the device keyboard.
Today, and with the rise of smartphones, it is possible to find the IMEI in several ways, depending on the manufacturer and operating system of the smartphone.
At this point, you will not need any external app, since both Android and iPhone provide everything you need to know the IMEI of your phone.
It should be noted that you must bear in mind that the IMEI number of your phone is private information. Therefore, you should not share the IMEI with anyone, unless it is a trusted person. If this number is disclosed, you may have phone cloning problems later on.
Get IMEI on Android
- Method 1: The first option is the simplest of the three. To know the IMEI of your phone, you just have to enter * # 06 # in the phone dialer, after which you will be able to see your IMEI number on the screen.
- Method 2: In the case that we still have the original phone case, it is a good option to find the IMEI. Generally, you can find this number on the back of it, where the barcodes are. Also, it may be that the IMEI number is behind the battery , for which we will have to remove it.
- Method 3: You can also find the IMEI in the cell phone settings. Click on “Settings” and access the item “About phone.” There you will find the “Status” section. To find the IMEI you must click on “IMEI Information”. It should be noted that the names or the location may vary according to the Android version of your phone.
Get IMEI on iPhone
- Method 1: Also the simplest option. To find the IMEI of an iPhone , enter * # 06 # in the phone dialer. Once this is done, you will be able to see your IMEI number directly on the screen.
- Method 2: If you have kept your iPhone phone case , you will also find the phone’s IMEI there . This is located where the serial number barcodes and more are located.
- Method 3: Another way to find out the IMEI of your iPhone is through iTunes. Although it is not a very intuitive method, the truth is that it can get you out of trouble. To find the IMEI code with iTunes, you need to run iTunes. After that, press and hold the “Control” key and click on the “iTunes / About iTunes” menu . Among the information it offers you, you will find the IMEI of your iPhone.
- Method 4: Obviously the safest and fastest method of finding the IMEI of an iPhone using settings. To do this, click on “Settings> General> Information”. There you will find the IMEI.
It should be noted that the names and location of the settings may vary with the version of iOS used.
Lock and unlock the cell phone by IMEI
The method to lock and unlock a cell phone through IMEI is the same on both Android and iPhone. Once you have found the IMEI of your phone with any of the methods mentioned in this article, you should do the following:
To block the cell phone using the IMEI:
To be able to block a lost or stolen phone , you just have to call the operator and provide the IMEI. In Argentina, the number of this operator is * 910. Check with the relevant authority in your country to find out the number. Once you have finished the process, the phone will be locked.
To unlock a phone using IMEI:
If you are one of the lucky few to get your phone back after it is lost or stolen, you can do the reverse process. That is to say, call the authority of your country, provide them with the IMEI and be patient until your phone is unlocked. This unfortunately is a process that can take up to 8 weeks.
Unlock by IMEI
When talking about repairing or updating a cell phone , many users confuse “Flashing” with “Unlocking”. However, these two are very different actions from each other, and they have very different purposes.
To clarify the panorama a bit, and avoid any type of problems with your network operator, we are going to know the differences that exist between both procedures.
Flashing a cell phone is a procedure that involves reinstalling the operating system of a smartphone for a newer or older version. It can even be done with the same version.
This is in order to solve any problem with startup or data corruption. This procedure is carried out in the main operating systems for smartphones, that is Android and iOS.
Flashing and unlocking a phone are not the same thing
As we mentioned, the procedure of flashing a cell phone is usually used to solve very complicated problems. That is, those that cannot be repaired with the usual software tools.
The flashing procedure applies to smartphones and tablets and could have a similarity to Windows. Especially when we have to perform a format and install the operating system again.
It should be noted that the flashing procedure also applies when the device is no longer supported by the manufacturer. For this, ROMs are reinstalled out of the factory “cooked” by forums and users, which give the device a few more years of use.
Of course, the flashing procedure, although it can be very useful when solving problems, the truth is that it can bring its problems.
One of them is for example to turn your cell phone or tablet into an expensive brick, that is why you have to be careful with this procedure.
Unlocking a cell phone
Now, the procedure of unlocking a cell phone is completely different from flashing it.
Basically releasing a cell phone means opening network connectivity permits to allow its use with a chip from another company, which may or may not be from the same country.
Many users when they buy a cell phone outside the formal market, they find that the phone has been blocked. Generally this happens when the previous user has reported it as stolen, and the IMEI system has come into action.
At this point, the new owner, desperate to have spent his money on the device, looks for a way to unlock the phone .
So you try to install a new chip, but you will receive in response the need to enter a code to unlock it. Without this code, you will not be able to use it to make calls and send messages .
Although the procedure of freeing a cell phone is possible, as you will see further down in this post, the truth is that it cannot be carried out on all cell phones.
At this point, you should not forget that the procedure of releasing a cell phone in most countries constitutes a crime. You can even be considered as part of a criminal organization or enter the figure of the Illicit association.
Therefore, you can face harsh sentences, depending on the criminal code of the country.
Is it possible to change the IMEI?
The shortest and simplest answer to the question is Yes. For this, there are countless tutorials on the Internet that show us how to unlock a cell phone in a simple way .
How to change the IMEI?
In this sense, most cell phones with Android as the operating system allow changing the IMEI code quite easily.
This is done by using a method known as “Engineer Mode”, which in Spanish means “Engineer Mode”.
As we mentioned, this procedure to change the IMEI is quite easy to carry out, however it may vary according to the brand, model and version of Android that the cell phone has installed.
The steps to follow are as detailed below:
The first thing you have to do is enter the code * # * # 3646633 # * # * to enter the so-called “Engineer Mode”.
Once in “Engineer Mode”, look for the “Connectivity” section and then scroll until you find the “CDS Information” section. Finally, look for the option “Radio Information”.
When you are in the last section, you will be able to see all the information related to the communication settings of your cell phone . To change the IMEI, click on the “SEND AT COMMAND” button and enter the following text:
AT + EGMR = 1.7, * imei_of_15_digits *
Finally, restart the cell phone and check that the changes have been made correctly.
As you know, insecurity is a contentious issue in many countries. One of the most worrying aspects is cell phone theft, as it is often accompanied by more violent criminal acts.
This is so because a cell phone is easy to sell and then modify for illegal resale. To try to counteract this type of crime there is something called a “Global IMEI Black List”.
Basically this IMEI blacklist works as follows:
Once the user has made a report for cell phone theft , and has provided the IMEI to the competent authority, this number is reported to a worldwide database.
It is administered by the GSMA, the association that represents all global operators.
With this, it is possible to distribute information about stolen telephones to operators around the world, thereby avoiding reactivating any of the equipment reported as stolen. To this list, they contribute more than 120 operators from all over the world.
Of course, for this IMEI blacklist to work in practice, users must take the time to report their cell phone theft.
If the phone is reported, and it enters the IMEI blacklist, its resale can be blocked, thus decreasing the interest of thieves.
It is also necessary for the user, before buying a stolen cell phone, to verify its IMEI, which can be done on various pages around the world. For example in Argentina, the page is IMEI Consultation.
In other countries, you can go to IMEI24.com, where you can check the IMEI of phones in Ireland, Australia, France, the United States, the UK, Canada and other nations.
As you can see, the importance of the IMEI number of a cell phone or smartphone should not be underestimated.
Since in the case of theft or loss of a mobile device like these, they can help you to immediately block a line, which will at least prevent you from paying extra in the event that they are used.
That is why it is essential to take note of the IMEI and save it to avoid future complications.