Does upgrading iOS change my IMEI? I was told not by AT&T not to remove my SIM card or certain restrictions that they had placed on the iPhone, at my request, would be lifted. I want to know if upgrading my iOS is like removing the SIM card. I think this was because the IMEI number changes when the SIM card is removed from the phone.

Does upgrading iOS change this number?

4 Answers 4


The IMEI is kind of like a MAC address for the cellular network only. It is nearly impossible to change it, you can only spoof it on a software level. So the answer is, No, your IMEI will never change unless you really really want it to. Removing the SIM card shouldn't change the IMEI either...


The IMEI shouldn’t change when you upgrade the phone, at least here in Europe. Mine is still the same.

Update: Upon some reading around, it turns out that if you “hack” your phone, (maybe in the past), an update would change some IMEIs, and AT&T would therefore invalidate the SIM. Be careful with what you do :)

  • I'm in the US. I'm going to go with you on this one. I'll select this answer if and when it proves accurate. I need to perform the upgrade first.
    – Moshe
    Nov 23, 2010 at 14:16
  • @Moshe Good luck! (You might want to clarify the grammar in the first sentence. “I’m asking because I was told not by AT&T not to remove my SIM…” Sounds weird. They told you not to remove the SIM…is that correct? Why do you want to remove the SIM? Nov 23, 2010 at 14:23
  • Edited. better?
    – Moshe
    Nov 23, 2010 at 18:36
  • @Moshe I believe the part that is not clear is if you were told by AT&T not to remove the sim or you were “told not by AT&T”. In essence, did they tell you NOT to remove it or… the DIDN’T tell you to NOT remove it? Ahh… logic. Nov 23, 2010 at 20:07

No, upgrading the OS doesnt change the IMEI by default, there are hacks available to do it, but its illegal and hence, not recommended.


No. Upgrading iOS won't change the IMEI of your iPhone.

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