How to Find a Cell Phone Serial Number

By Techwalla Electronics Editor

When you want to change your cell phone plan or take your business to another service provider, you'll need to have your cell phone's serial number. While you could take the phone to your nearest store, you can find the serial or IMEI number yourself.

Step 1

Check the back of the phone for a SIM card before proceeding. The following steps will not work on phones using a different system.

Step 2

Turn on your cell phone and let it sit for a moment to fully power up.

Step 3

Input star (*), pound (#), zero (0), six (6), pound (#) in that order, using your keypad. Wait a moment to see if anything happens. If it doesn't, press "Send." Certain phones require you to press send after the last pound button.

Step 4

Look for the number that appears on your cell phone screen. This fifteen digit code represents the serial number of your phone.

Step 5

Make a note of the serial number and keep it in a safe place until you need it.

Tips & Warnings

  • Verizon and Sprint are two of the companies who don't use SIM cards, while AT&T phones do use SIM cards.
  • Some people think following these steps will result in your cell phone being turned off in case it's stolen, but this is simply an urban myth.
  • You can also find the serial number printed on the original packaging or box that came with your cell phone. The number is also listed in the paperwork that came with the phone. This is the easiest way to find your serial number if your phone doesn't have a SIM card.
  • If your cell phone is stolen, don't waste time trying to find the serial number. Call your provider as quickly as possible to report that the phone was stolen and let the company shut the phone's service off.