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How to Find an IMEI Number on a Mobile Phone

By October 8, 2015April 6th, 2022No Comments

Updated On July 15, 2021

An IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) number is a unique 15- or 17-digit code issued to every GSM mobile device, such as those sold by AT&T and T-Mobile. An IMEI is a form of electronic serial number, one that identifies your device and helps potential purchasers access important information about its history.

To sell a device with The Whiz Cells, you need to know how to find the IMEI number on your cell phone. We use this number to ensure the phone hasn’t been reported lost or stolen and will be usable by its future owner.

Keep reading for more information about how to find an IMEI number on any mobile phone.

What Is an IMEI Number, and Why Do You Need It?

The IMEI essentially functions as a social security number for your phone. However, it should not be confused with or substituted for the device’s serial number. Knowing your IMEI number comes in handy in a few instances:

How to Find an IMEI Number on an iPhone

There are several ways to find an IMEI number on an iPhone:

In your phone’s Settings: Go to Settings > General > About to find your IMEI, serial number and other important information.

On the phone itself: On an iPhone 3G, 3GS, 4, 4s, 6s or 6s Plus, the IMEI is printed on the SIM tray. On all iPhone 5 and 6 devices, you can find it on the back.

In iTunes: Connect your device to your computer, open iTunes and click on the Summary tab.

On the device’s original packaging: Check by the UPC code on the box.

How to Find an IMEI Number on an Android or Another Device

You can find an IMEI number on Android and other phones in many of the places listed above. Android users can also find their IMEI on Google Dashboard or by dialing *#06# to have it texted directly to the phone.

Other places to look for an IMED include under the battery plate, on the bottom of the device or by logging in to your account on your cellular service provider’s website.

Still can’t find your IMEI? Contact The Whiz Cells directly for assistance.

What Is a “Bad” IMEI?

When we receive your phone, we’ll confirm its IMEI and run the number against an international database to ensure there are no known issues with it. An IMEI can be considered “Bad” for a number of reasons, the most common of which is that the owner prematurely canceled their contract with the original carrier.

Why Do IMEI Numbers Get Blacklisted?

A phone gets blacklisted and hence has a “bad” IMEI or ESN attached to it for the following reasons:

  • The phone is reported as lost or stolen.
  • The current or previous owner stopped making payments to finance the phone.

If you recently purchased a used phone, you can check the status of the IMEI number with your carrier, even doing this through their website. This number is then referenced with a national database of blacklisted devices.

Although The Whiz Cells lets you sell a device with a bad IMEI number, you can also:

  • Reach out to your carrier to unblock your IMEI by making up any missed payments. At this stage, especially if you’re looking to get out of a contract, you can sell the phone – which we’ll assist you with – or have it transferred to a different owner.
  • Pay a third-party service a fee based on make and model to unblock the phone. However, especially if you have a history of missed payments with your carrier, they may decide to block your IMEI again.

If you decide to sell a phone with a blacklisted IMEI, you can take the cash you’ve received to pay your outstanding balance with your carrier. This move helps out whoever the phone’s new owner will be. With your phone paid off, you can opt to change carriers or sell it and use the cash to upgrade to a newer, more powerful mobile device.

Does The Whiz Cells Accept Bad IMEI Cell Phones?

In most cases, we do accept bad IMEI cell phones, though we are unable to offer the same prices we do for unlocked or issue-free devices. One case in which we do not accept a bad IMEI cell phone is if it has been reported lost or stolen. If we discover an IMEI has been reported stolen, the phone is turned over to the police and we’ll cancel the transaction.

For more information, contact our office directly before sending us your phone.