How to Track a Mobile Phone Using an IMEI Number

mobile phone pda bottom image by Pawel Wodzinski from

Every mobile phone has an individual International Mobile Equipment Identification number that is unique to it, and can be conveniently located with the right software.

With this IMEI number, police can work with your service provider to retrieve a stolen phone while your service provider can block your mobile phone from functioning to ensure that you are not charged for a thief's phone calls.

Turn on your mobile phone and dial "*#06#". This will trigger a pop-up display on your mobile phone showing your International Mobile Equipment Identification number. You can also locate this number on the packaging for your mobile phone or on the compliance plate located under your battery. This number is unique to your phone and no two mobile phones will ever share this number. Store the number somewhere you will not lose it and in a safe place where no one else has access to it. Do not give this number to anyone else. If you save this number on another electronic source, make sure that you also keep a physical copy of it as well.

Call your service provider immediately if someone steals your mobile phone. Tell them that you wish for them to block your IMEI and have your IMEI number available. Once your IMEI number has been blocked, your mobile phone is rendered useless. This is important in the event of your phone theft as this protects you from additional charges from a thief's use or abuse of your mobile phone. Some providers require that you contact your local police as a part of the process to block your IMEI number. If your provider requests this, contact the police immediately. In conjunction with your service provider, police can use your IMEI number to track your mobile phone.

Install a mobile phone tracker software onto your home personal computer or laptop (see Resources for links). The software will ask for your IMEI number in preparation to track your mobile phone. This software is available for each brand of mobile phone and by using it you can access your mobile phone's location. This software acts as a GPS, relaying the location of your phone to your computer or laptop. This software is accurate to within a few feet. Use this method if you lost your mobile phone. If you believe that your mobile phone has been stolen, do not attempt to retrieve your mobile phone yourself. Contact your local police and let them handle your phone's retrieval.