Thursday, November 15, 2012

HOW TO: Locate the ESN | IMEI | MEID (Unique Serial Number Identifier) On A Device

When activating a new device yourself, you will be asked for the ESN, IMEI, or MEID of the device. This is simply the serial number used by your carrier to uniquely identify your device. If you don't know where to find it, you've come to the right place. There are several places to look. Some of these places will depend on the type of device you're using.

Any Device
Original Packaging
The first place to look, no matter what type of device you have, is on the package it came in. Most boxes feature the serial number prominently, because a lot of retail stores try to scan in the serial number when you purchase the device. Of course, if you threw away the packaging or have a used or refurbished device, this might not be an option.

Under the Battery
If your device is a phone, WiFi Hotspot, or one of the few tablets with an accessible battery, try looking around or under the battery.
- Turn off your device
- Remove the battery cover and look for the label
- If you still don't see it, remove the battery and look underneath

Android Devices
From the Home Screen, go to Settings -> About Phone | Tablet | Device -> Status.

iPhone | iPad
Go to Settings -> General -> About

The iPhone 3, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, and iPhone 4S all call it the IMEI/IMEID. It's printed on the SIM card tray.

The MEID for the iPhone 4 is a 14-digit number.
The MEID for the iPhone 4S is a 14-digit combination of letters and numbers.

The iPhone 5 also calls it the MEID. It will be the first 14 digits of the 15-digit number engraved on the case.

Stay tuned for more info about Windows 8 phones. We're researching this one. So far, all we've found is that there's a label under the battery, like most other devices.

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