How much do you know about the International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI)? For starters, IMEI is a unique 15-digit number which GSM service providers use to identify your device. You can check your IMEI by dialing *#06# on your phone. When you have a null or invalid IMEI on your Android phone, you’ll be unable to make / receive calls or dial USSD codes.
What is Invalid IMEI?
While an IMEI has a specific format (you could use an online IMEI checker to verify), most mentions of invalid IMEI you’ll come across refer to a null IMEI. In some cases, its a strange IMEI in place of the original. In other words, the IMEI has gone missing or replaced by an undesired one.
What are the causes of invalid IMEI?
While you might have encountered tales of invalid IMEI after a factory reset, the root cause boils down to a corrupted or wiped NV partition. This is common after formatting or flashing the phone. You’ll come across talk of NVRAM for Mediatek or Spreadtrum phones. For Qualcomm, it’ll be EFS and QCN.
How to fix invalid IMEI
When faced with null or invalid IMEI, there are two important things to find out:
- The device’s chipset i.e Qualcomm, Mediatek, Spreadtrum etc . Use this app to check
- Whether Baseband is valid. check using this guide
Its important you know the chipset as this will determine the ideal IMEI repair tool to use. You should have a valid baseband before going ahead to try write IMEI else your attempts will keep failing.
If you have an unknown baseband then re-flash the firmware to regain baseband. I should mention that some firmware are region-specific so its possible to have a valid baseband and IMEI with such firmware yet get no network signal.
Now that you know your chipset and baseband is valid, you’re ready to fix null IMEI. There are several techniques you could use for each chipset depending on your skill or situation.
Fixing invalid IMEI on Mediatek (MTK) phones
We already have a collection of MTK invalid IMEI repair methods. Some methods mentioned include SN Writer, Maui Meta, Miracle box, GSM Aladdin, Infinity CM2, NCK box, SP flash tool, Chamelephone, Tool hero, ADB and Engineering mode.
Fixing invalid IMEI on Spreadtrum (SPD) phones
You should check our list of SPD invalid IMEI repair methods. Methods covered include WriteIMEI tool, Infinity CM2, Miracle box, NCK Pro box, Engineer mode and Shortcut master.
Fixing invalid IMEI on Qualcomm (QLM) phones
We’ve also compiled Qualcomm invalid IMEI repair tutorials. For Qualcomm, having an EFS, QCN or Modem (from TWRP) backup makes things a lot easier. Methods covered include QMSL IMEI & SN, QFIL, Miracle box, Infinity CM2, NCK Pro and UMT box.
How do I change IMEI?
You’ve probably been scouting the internet for how to change IMEI number or an IMEI changer. I should tell you that the process for fixing invalid IMEI is the same for changing it, the only difference is what IMEI you write.
Its considered illegal to change your IMEI in some countries given that its an identifier used to blacklist stolen phones. You are entirely responsible for you actions.