How to Check IMEI/MEID and ESN’s

Every mobile phone, GSM modem or device with a built-in phone/modem has an IMEI/MEID/ESN number, their own unique ID. These devices can be tracked by this number, and you can look up specific information about the device, brand or model. To check the IMEI/MEID/ESN of a device and find out if it has been reported stolen, visit the following page: Check IMEI/MEID/ESN.

5 Ways to Find iPhone IMEI Number Correctly [Video]

Video uploaded by UnlockBoot on May 20, 2017.

How to Check IMEI/MEID and ESN’s

IMEI stands for International Mobile Equipment Identity, which is a unique number given to every single mobile phone. An ESN is the electronic serial number assigned to your iPhone. A MEID, is a mobile equipment identifier, meaning a unique number identifying a physical piece of CDMA2000 mobile station equipment. In the text below you can find answers to Frequently Asked Questions about these numbers.

What is an ESN?

Answer: ESN is an Electronic Serial Number. It’s used for identification of a CDMA mobile phone and helps identify the person using the phone ( aka- YOU.)

Me? How so?

Answer: When the phone is active, it sends the ESN to the nearest base station and the provider can see it on its grid.

Can it share my personal data with other people?

Answer: No. Only your provider has access to your data. Of course, if the provider’s database is hacked, the data may be leaked but ESN’s won’t give out any information on your end.

Should I know my ESN?

Answer: Yes, that would be useful. The electronic serial number is used to identify the device to its manufacturers and technical support as well. It also helps locate spare parts, if needed. Also the ESN is very helpful when your device gets lost or stolen. Report the number to your provider and they will block the phone immediately.

How can I get another ESN if my device gets stolen?

Answer: You’ll be given another device with another ESN, and the old one will be blacklisted. Don’t forget to back up your contact list and other info while the phone is still on you. Better to be safe than sorry.

Where can I find the ESN?

Answer: It’s easy. The ESN is printed on the box that your phone was packed in, or on the battery. But the easiest way to find it is to go to Settings -> About Phone -> ESN. Make sure you have that number safely recorded somewhere to have on hand.

esn box - How to Check IMEI/MEID and ESN's
ESN on the box

Can a thief somehow unblock the blocked ESN and use it, say, with other carriers?

Answer: No. If the device is reported lost or stolen, the ESN is blacklisted by all the CDMA carriers. All the mobile providers in the U.S. share their blacklist of ESNs. The blocked phone can only be used for Internet browsing, if it features Wi-Fi.

I’m going to buy a second-hand phone. How can I be sure it’s not blacklisted?

Answer: You can plug the phone’s ESN on this website: Сheck-imei. This is the largest online database of ESNs and IMEIs.

Is it possible to wipe the ESN clean and write over a new one?

Answer: No, ESNs are pre-installed at the factory.

Is it possible to use a CDMA phone with a GSM carrier and vice versa?

Answer: No, it’s impossible. A CDMA phone and a GSM phone feature two different radio modules. The modules are soldered to the motherboard and can’t be replaced.

I don’t have an ESN, I have an IMEI. Is my phone a ‘grey-market’ phone?

Answer: No, IMEI stands for International Mobile Equipment Identification and is used on GSM phones. Sometimes a device has a MEID – Mobile Equipment Identifier. It’s pretty much the same as an IMEI.

Does an IMEI work the same as an ESN?

Answer: Not quite. An IMEI number identifies the device, not the owner of the phone. Your number and other information is put into the Subscriber Identity Module card or the SIM-card.

So, a phone provider won’t be able to block the stolen device remotely?

Answer: Incorrect. IMEI devices can be blocked. Your SIM-card will be re-issued and you’ll be able to insert it into your new device. Advice about backups as mentioned above, is of course relevant as well.

Can an IMEI number be located just like an ESN?

Answer: Yes.  In addition, some manufacturers, like Apple, engrave the IMEI number on the SIM-tray. You can also dial *#06# on your phone and it will show you your IMEI number.

imei iphone ios 600x339 - How to Check IMEI/MEID and ESN's
IMEI and MEID in the Settings -> About Menu
imei iphone 600x450 - How to Check IMEI/MEID and ESN's
IMEI and MEID on the system tray
imei meid 600x270 - How to Check IMEI/MEID and ESN's
IMEI and MEID on the box

So I looked, and I found the IMEI number but I also see an IMEI SV. What is that?

Answer: SV stands for Software Version. It consists of 2 digits. IMEI SV identifies the software used for the recording of the IMEI. It should be written down and memorized just like the IMEI number itself.

I have a dual-SIMS phone. How many IMEIs and IMEIs SV can I have?

Answer: In this case you have two IMEIs and two IMEI SVs and have to make sure you safely record all of these numbers.

Are there bad IMEIs?

Answer: Yes, they steal GSM phones just like any other device.

But if someone who steals my phone changes the SIM-card, will the phone be lost forever?

Answer: No, if you report the device stolen to your provider and tell them your IMEI number, your phone will be blocked. That’s why it’s critical to make sure you have your IMEI number on you or to make sure you have it recorded somewhere.

I guess, it pays having a CDMA phone rather than a GSM one. What are the CDMA providers?

Answer: You are in luck because the most common mobile standards in the U.S. are CDMA. Verizon, Sprint, MetroPCS, Cricket and U.S. Cellular are all CDMA providers. AT&T and T-Mobile on the other hand, are GSM ones.

Should I keep the IMEI number a secret as I do with my passwords? They do put it on boxes after all!

Answer: You definitely should. An IMEI number can be easily copied to another phone. A thief or hacker can ‘clone’ your phone and enjoy free calls and texts at your expense. He or she can also get access to your online banking and other sensitive information. So, if you’re going to ditch the phone box, make sure you black the sticker with the IMEI number or shred the box.



This post currently has 11 responses

  • After updating my cricket lg harmony i lost service. I did *#06# and it said esn null null. I have to reconfigure the esn but thers no tutorial on that without using a pc. That would void the warranty and insurance. Only had it for about two weeks. Please help

  • so I checked a imei to a phone and they all had checks except the financial check had a ? does that mean the person still owes to a company?And how can I see if the phone blacklisted?

    • Hi.

      Only the carrier has access to the financial info about the device. For example, if a user is still in debt (didn’t repay the full amount), the carrier will name the amount. As to your question “can can I see if the phone is blacklisted”, after the user fills in the form, the page will show the answer. If your gadget is not blacklisted, it will clearly say so.

      Hope this helps.

    • Dear Bhagwan Jha,

      Thank you for asking, and sorry to hear about your lost mobile. To answer your question, we recommend you visit your local police station and report your phone stolen. Cops have the tools for tracking your mobile. As a private citizen you have no rights to do it yourself.

  • Hi my phone was stolen so I reported it to the carrier boost and was returned two days later. I called boost and told them it was returned and to turn it back on. They did and I’ve had no issues since. Today I found out thru another carrier it was blacklisted/ reported stolen. I just tried using the IMEI and MEID numbers on this site to see if it was still blacklisted cause boost said they removed phone from list, and I’m being told invalid numbers for both. What does that mean?

  • Please identified my iphone my it ,MEID 35539808945304, and sent me it activation lock , apple ID,

  • I checked 2 of my phones through this site and it says invalid imei.

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