If you have an old iPhone sitting around you want to unlock so it can be used on another carrier’s network you’ll need to its IMEI number. Read on to learn where it’s hiding.
When you buy a smartphone, including Apple’s iPhone, it’s typically locked to a specific carrier. Buy an iPhone for your AT&T account, for example, and the phone can’t switch the phone to T-Mobile without first unlocking it. Check with your carrier to see how long you need to have your phone before they’ll unlock it so it works on other cell networks.
What is IMEI
IMEI, or International Mobile Equipment Identify, is a unique identifying number similar to a serial number. Cell services providers use the number to identify phones on their network and need that when you request to have your old iPhone unlocked.
How to Find iPhone IMEI Number
Here’s how to find your iPhone’s IMEI number:
- Tap the Settings app on your iPhone
- Tap General
- Select About
- Scroll down to your IMEI number
You can copy the IMEI number with a tap-and-hold so you don’t have to worry about mis-typing it in your cell carrier’s unlock request Web form.
More Important Numbers on Your iPhone
Your iPhone’s About section includes some other useful numbers, too. Here’s what you can find:
- Serial Number This is the unique identifying number Apple needs for device support, and it’s also the number police will need if your phone is stolen.
- ICCID This number is your SIM card’s unique identifying code. It’s essentially your SIM’s serial number
- SEID The SEID code identifies the security and NFC chips in your iPhone. It’s yet another serial number-like code in your phone.
Where to Unlock Your iPhone
You need to go to your carrier’s website to request to unlock an iPhone or any other smart phone. Be sure to check the requirements listed on the site before requesting an unlock.
- AT&T You can request an unlock after completing your contract or installment plan.
- T-Mobile The days of always unlocked smart phones on T-Mobile’s network are gone. Now you have to wait 40 days before requesting an unlock.
- Verizon Smart phones on Verizon’s network are already unlocked. Bonus: Verizon iPhones are CDMA and GSM-compatible so you can use them on any carrier’s network.