Find the cell number of a locked iPhone

10 November 2015, 07:00

Some tips we feature here on Mac Kung Fu can be categorised as making use of an iOS feature. Some make use a convenient bug.

This particular tip is probably a bug, and a security concern too. We’re pretty sure Apple doesn’t intend for it to happen.

Here’s how to discover the number of an iPhone that’s locked – without, of course, the need to unlock it first:

  1. On the locked iPhone, swipe right on the lock screen and then tap the Emergency button.
  2. Type the following number:
    *#5005*74663#
  3. Hit the call button. This last step is important, otherwise this won’t work.

You should now see the phone number, but because there are a million cellular providers across the world we can’t guarantee this works everywhere.

Incidentally, if you want to be able to remember that number, the 74663 part is PHONE spelled out on the keypad.

What’s happening here is that you’re using a GSM code to request the number from the network. This should work on just about any phone made from 1996 onwards. However, it arguably SHOULDN’T work is when the phone is locked.

See also our earlier guide explaining how to return a found iPhone to its owner.

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