Tips & Tricks

14 Digit IMEI


What does it mean when your phone’s IMEI has only 14 digits?

The first thing you need to be sure of is that all Mobile Phones have a 15 digit IMEI.


In order to find out the IMEI number of your handset you have several options:

  • Dial *#06#
  • Check the label underneath your phone’s battery
  • Access the Settings Menu – About Device (may differ depending on the brand of your phone)

If any of these methods return a 14 digit IMEI it usually means that your phone has only CDMA capability or your phone has both CDMA and GSM capabilities.

Phone is only CDMA capable

All the devices that have been bought from a CDMA Network Provider will only show a 14 digit IMEI, that is actually the MEID (Mobile Equipment Identifier) through which the phone is recognized as being used within the CDMA Network and through which the Phone Signal is delivered.

If you find yourself in this situation, you won’t be able to unlock your phone without permission from the network provider that originally sold you the device.

Phone has both CDMA and GSM capabilities

This situation is a bit tricky. I’ll tell you why:

Devices that have both CDMA and GSM capabilities will show a 14 digit IMEI only when a CDMA SIM card is inserted into the phone.

So, if you still have the CDMA SIM card inserted and you dial *#06# you will most certainly get a 14 digit IMEI number.

If you wish to unlock such a device, you may have noticed that all the remote unlocking websites will ask for the first 15 digits of your IMEI number. This may be a little difficult for you to provide since your phone is currently displaying only the 14 digit IMEI but rest assured there is a workaround available:

The 15th digit can be found or generated through two methods

  1. Insert a GSM SIM card (AT&T, T-Mobile, Rogers etc.) into the phone and dial the *#06# sequence once more. The phone will detect that you have a GSM SIM card and will display the 15 digit IMEI that you need for unlocking your phone.
  2. If the above method will not work you can manually calculate the 15th digit of your IMEI number through the algorithm that is described in the following link:

14 digit IMEI Algorithm


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