How to Change a Cell Phone Number for Free

By Adam Tavangaran

Nowadays, everyone has a cell phone. Unfortunately, privacy is often an issue, and many times people find themselves in situations where they need or want to change their cell phone number. Fortunately, the process to change a cell phone number is easy and often free.

Things You'll Need

  • Cell phone
  • Landline

Step 1

Contact your cell phone service provider. Most providers offer an easy contact number that is programmed into all phones they support. Alternatively, you can call information or look online to get your company's customer service number.

Step 2

You will be prompted by an automated system to enter relevant information such as your phone number and area code, perhaps answer a security question and then choose the reason for your call. Select "change phone number."

Step 3

Depending on your service provider, you may be transferred to a live operator. Alternatively, you may be able to complete the number change on the automated system. Some companies offer their customers the choice of live or automated assistance.

Step 4

You will likely be asked to provide a reason for your number change.

Step 5

You may be required to enter or speak your cell phone's identifying numbers to change your cell phone number. These numbers are generally located under the battery and are generally called the MSID, HEX, ESN or DEC. As a result, you may be required to remove the phone battery in order to look underneath it. After you have provided all of the requisite information to make the change, you will place the battery back in the phone and turn it on. Depending on your provider, the phone may power cycle to indicate the change has been made. This may occur immediately or within a predetermined length of time.

Tips & Warnings

  • Make sure that you understand your cell phone service provider's policy regarding phone number changes. Generally, the first one or two number changes per year are free, but it is still best to clarify. The reason that you need to change the number often affects whether your service provider will facilitate the change for free or charge you for it. It is always in your best interest to say that you are changing your number out of necessity rather than on a whim.
  • If you are changing your number because of harassment or other legal reasons, you can request that it show up as 'unknown on other people's caller IDs. This can prevent it from becoming common knowledge in the near future.

References & Resources