IMEI number: what is it for and how to find it?

The IMEI number, what?

The IMEI code (for International Mobile Equipment Identity), you may have already heard of it. This is a unique identification number associated with each mobile telephone, GSM or UMTS terminal. It can be likened to a kind of identity card for the telephone. Each smartphone has one and it is different from one device to another (useful in case of theft).

The IMEI number to block a stolen smartphone

The IMEI number to block a stolen smartphone

© GettyImage

The IMEI number consists of a series of 15 to 17 digits containing information about the mobile device. The first two digits designate the country of manufacture of the phone, the six digits after are used to certify the IMEI code, the following six digits refer to the serial number, and the last digit is a kind of security key allowing authenticate the IMEI number.

What is the IMEI code used for?

In addition to its role of identifying a telephone, the IMEI number is necessary for blocking or unblocking the device. With this code, you can ask your operator to block your mobile in case of loss or theft. The latter will then end up on a blacklist of lost or stolen phones, making it unusable on the network of all operators.

The IMEI code is also used to unlock your phone. If you bought it from a telephone operator, it is very likely that it is simlocked, that is to say blocked by your operator. That means you can’t insert a competitor’s SIM card inside; it won’t work. If you want to change operator, you will first have to unlock the phone. This operation is to be carried out on your operator’s website and requires the IMEI.

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The IMEI code is usually displayed on the phone’s box or purchase invoice. If you have kept them, just consult them to retrieve the number. Can’t find the box or the receipt? Don’t panic, there are other easy ways to get the IMEI number. The first is to use the code *#06#. Dial it in your phone call application on your smartphone and the screen will immediately display the IMEI. If you have a phone with a removable battery, the number may also be on this component.

The different information obtained with *#06#

The different information obtained with *#06#

© The Digital

Finally, you can try to obtain it from your operator or via the application Google Find My Device (or Find My Device) from Google for Android devices. Note that the IMEI numbers of Apple smartphones (iPhone) and Samsung smartphones can be accessed through the device settings.

In summary

The IMEI is a unique number made up of 15 to 17 digits used to identify, block or unblock a phone. Each device has its own. The code *#06# remains the fastest way to obtain it. But we can also find this number on the box or the invoice of the smartphone. After buying a new phone, it is recommended to write down and save the IMEI number somewhere so that you can easily find it when needed.

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IMEI number: what is it for and how to find it?


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