Whether you need to send your iPhone in to Apple for service, prep it for sale, or simply document it for inventory or insurance records, you’ll probably need to locate your iPhone serial number at some point. Here are the six ways to find that iPhone serial number. Note that these steps also apply to the iPad and iPod touch.
On the Device Itself
If your iPhone is in working order, you can quickly find its serial number by navigating to Settings > General > About. Once there, scroll a little over halfway down the list until you see “Serial Number” listed on the left. The string of letters and numbers listed in the right column is your serial number.
Be careful with your serial number, however, as it’s one of the numbers that uniquely identifies your device. If you accidentally publish it or give it to the wrong person, it could be used to submit a false service claim with Apple, or used to fraudulently report the device as stolen, which will cause nothing but headaches for you.
If you need to grab a quick copy of your iPhone serial number without having to write it down, just tap and hold your finger on the serial number until you see a “copy” dialog appear. Then just tap “Copy” and you can now paste the iPhone serial number into the desired location, such as the Apple support page.
You can also check your iPhone serial number via iTunes on your Mac or PC. Simply connect the device to your computer with a Lightning or 30-Pin USB cable, launch iTunes, and select your iPhone from the device list at the top of the window.
Make sure you’re on the “Summary” tab and you’ll see all the basic details of your iPhone, including the serial number. You can quickly grab a copy of your iPhone serial number by right-clicking (or Control-clicking on a Mac) on the serial number and selecting Copy.
Engraved on the Device
There are some limitations here based on device, so make sure you’re following the steps for your specific iDevice.
For the original iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, and iPhone 4S, you can find your device’s serial number engraved on the SIM tray. Using a SIM tray removal tool or a straightened paper clip, carefully remove your iPhone’s SIM tray from the side of the device. Once removed, you’ll find the serial number engraved on the bottom of the tray.
For the original iPhone, and all models of iPad and iPod touch, you can find your serial number engraved directly on the back of the device.
Due to the adoption of the smaller Nano SIM standard starting with the iPhone 5, there’s no room on the SIM tray to engrave the iPhone serial number. Therefore, all current and recent iPhones (as of the date of this article, that includes iPhone 5, iPhone 5C, iPhone 5S, iPhone 6, and iPhone 6 Plus) lack an engraved serial number, and you’ll need to use one of the other methods listed here to find it.
On the Device Packaging
If you need to access your iPhone serial number without opening the box, or if the device is damaged and you can’t use the other methods listed here, you can always find the serial number of all iPhones, iPads, and iPod touch devices directly on their original retail box.
Each iOS device box has a sticker like the one shown above which is specific to the device itself. Listed on this sticker, among other useful bits of information, is the serial number.
For an iPhone in Recovery Mode
If your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch is in recovery mode, you can still find the serial number if you’re using a Mac. In OS X, your iPhone serial number will still show up in iTunes using the method described above, even when the device is in recovery mode.
From an iPhone Backup
If you don’t have access to your iPhone, but you’ve previously backed it up using iTunes, you can see the serial number of the device from the information embedded in the backup. First, access your iOS Device backups by heading to iTunes > Preferences > Devices. If you’ve backed up more than one device to your computer, locate one of the backups from the desired device.
Next, just hover your mouse or trackpad cursor over the backup name in the Device Backups list. After a moment or two, an pop-up will appear listing the device’s phone number (if applicable), IMEI number, and serial number.
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