If you're a small business owner, entrepreneur, or basically any adult navigating the complexities of the modern world, chances are your cell phone is practically an extension of your hand. From juggling emails and scheduling meetings to fostering connections and keeping clients engaged, our reliance on smartphones has soared to unprecedented levels.

But amid the stream of push notifications, emails, and app updates, there's a single, often overlooked number sequence attached to your phone that could save your bacon if your device goes missing or is stolen – the International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number. Despite its low profile, understanding the significance of this identifier can be paramount in ensuring the security and functionality of your device.

Before helping you identify your IMEI number, let's go through a short IMEI 101.

What is an IMEI Number?

IMEI stands for International Mobile Equipment Identity. The IMEI is a 15-digit code that serves as a digital fingerprint for your device and is a unique identifier assigned to every mobile device globally. Unlike your phone number or SIM card, which can be changed or transferred, the IMEI remains constant throughout the lifespan of the device.

What is an IMEI Number Used For?

The IMEI number serves multiple significant purposes and is a fundamental component in the functionality and security of mobile devices.

  1. The IMEI number enables network providers to authenticate devices, ensuring they're legitimate and compatible with their networks.
  2. The IMEI number aids in tracking lost or stolen devices, acting as a vital tool for device recovery and security. In some cases, it can also be used to blacklist stolen devices, rendering them unusable on networks.
  3. The IMEI number plays a role in warranty validation and device registration.

Why is the IMEI Number Important?

Understanding and keeping track of your IMEI number is important for a few reasons. Because the IMEI number serves as a digital signature unique to your device, it's essential for authenticating your device to network providers, which determines connectivity and compatibility with their networks. Without a valid IMEI, your device may encounter issues such as restricted network access or limited functionality, highlighting the importance of having this number readily available. This is important for a few different reasons.

Lost or Stolen Devices

A lost or stolen phone can be particularly devastating for business owners and entrepreneurs since they conduct much of their business using their phones. Knowing your IMEI number is a proactive measure to safeguard your device and personal data. By reporting your device's IMEI to the authorities or your network provider in the event of theft or loss, you significantly increase the chances of recovery.

Law enforcement agencies can utilize the IMEI to track and locate stolen devices and network carriers can blacklist them, rendering them useless to thieves even if the SIM card is changed.

Carrier Support & Warranty Validation

Knowing your IMEI number can expedite the troubleshooting process if you have technical or connectivity issues with your mobile device. When working with customer service representatives or technical support teams, providing your IMEI number enables them to accurately identify your device model, configuration, warranty status, and registration records. This saves you and the support agent time and usually results in a quicker resolution of issues.

When Will You Need Your IMEI Number?

Whether it's ensuring device security, expediting customer support, or maximizing warranty benefits, having this crucial identifier at hand can be the difference between a seamless resolution and prolonged inconvenience.

Carrier Switching

It's a competitive market out there, and many people switch carriers to take advantage of better plans, coverage, or services. When transitioning to a new network provider, network providers require the IMEI number to verify device compatibility and provision services such as voice, data, and messaging. Without providing the IMEI number, users may encounter difficulties activating their devices on the new network or accessing certain features. Having your IMEI number readily available streamlines the transition process and ensures uninterrupted service.

Warranty Repairs

The IMEI number is a key piece of information for manufacturers and service providers. By associating your device's IMEI with warranty records, manufacturers can verify the device's eligibility for coverage and expedite the repair process. Without the IMEI number, navigating warranty claims becomes cumbersome and may result in delays or denials of service.

Where Should You Record Your IMEI Number?

Consider recording your IMEI number in a few secure locations so you can readily access it whenever necessary. Storing your IMEI number digitally is usually the most convenient and accessible. Use note-taking apps on your smartphone, computer, or other devices. Just make sure that wherever you record the IMEI number, it's backed up in cloud storage. Though it may seem a little old-fashioned, it's also not a bad idea to write down your IMEI number in a physical, hard-copy location like in a notebook or the device manual. This makes it easy to find if you lose access to digital platforms.

Additionally, some device manufacturers provide online platforms or support portals where users can register their devices and access warranty information. Consider registering your device on the manufacturer's website and recording the IMEI number in your account profile for easy reference.

How to Find Your IMEI Number

Following these simple steps, you can easily locate the IMEI number on your Android or iOS device.

Finding Your IMEI on an Android Device

The simplest way to find your IMEI number on an Android device is to dial *#06# on your phone's keypad. This will automatically display your device's IMEI number on the screen.

Alternatively, you can follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to the Settings app on your Android device.
  2. Scroll down and tap "About Phone" or "About Device".
  3. Tap "Status". You may see your IMEI number listed on this screen. On some devices, you may need to go to the next step.
  4. Tap "IMEI Information" to find your IMEI number.

If you don't have the device:

  1. Go to the Google Dashboard (http://www.google.com/settings) and make sure you are logged in using the Google account linked to your Android phone. 
  2. Click the Android logo to see all devices connected to the account and their IMEI number.

Finding Your IMEI on an iOS Device

  1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Tap on "General," then select "About".
  3. Scroll down to find the IMEI listed among other device information such as serial number and model.

Alternative ways to find the IMEI number on an iOS device:

  1. You can find the IMEI engraved on the back of some iPhone models near the regulatory markings.
  2. For iPhone models with a glass back, the IMEI may be engraved on the SIM tray.
  3. If you don't have your device and you don't have the IMEI recorded somewhere, go to appleid.apple.com in a web browser and sign in with your Apple ID. Go to the Devices section and select the device you're looking for to see its IMEI number. 

If you don't have the device:

  1. You can also find your IMEI number for a device that you don't have by using a different device with iOS 10.3 or later that is signed in to your Apple ID. Then go to "Settings," then your name, then scroll down to see a list of devices signed in with your Apple ID. Tap the device to see the IMEI number.
  2. Lastly, if you still have the original packaging for the device, you can find the IMEI number on the barcode.

Keep it Simple with Grasshopper

We keep everything on our phones – personal data, financial information, important contacts, and more, so keeping track of your IMEI phone number is critically important. This unique identifier serves as a digital fingerprint for your device, and knowing it will allow you to address issues like a missing or stolen device, carrier switch, or technical issue quickly and effectively.

While writing down the IMEI number for any device is a good proactive measure, it can be a pain to keep track of multiple IMEI numbers if you have several different mobile devices. With Grasshopper's virtual phone system, you can manage your business communications from your personal mobile phone, eliminating the need for additional hardware and devices. This simplifies your workflow and removes the burden of remembering another separate IMEI number, allowing you to focus on growing your business without unnecessary complications.

Find out how Grasshopper can help you simplify your business communications and transform how you connect with your customers. Visit our overview and feature page to learn more about the benefits of Grasshopper and how it can elevate your business communication strategy.