What is the difference between an IMEI and a Serial Number

I’m often asked by customers: what is the difference between an IMEI number and a serial number? So I thought it would be worth doing a really quick blog on the subject. As in some cases, such as iPhone unlocking the distinction can be quite important.


Your IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) is a 15-17 digit number which is permanently linked to your device, it is used by mobile networks to identify and authenticate your device. It is not linked to your sim card which carries information about your telephone number and account.

When is your IMEI important?

  • If the device is lost or stolen you can provide the IMEI to your network provider so that they can block/blacklist the device. This prevents the device from connecting to the network and therefore it will no longer be able to make or receive calls even with a new sim card.
  • If you wish to unlock your iPhone so that it can be used on any network you need the IMEI. It’s important that you check the IMEI is correct and that you are using the IMEI and not the serial number as the IMEI is the only thing which can be used to unlock an iPhone, the advantage of this system is that if you want to unlock your iPhone all you have to do is submit your IMEI to an unlocking provider such as ourselves.
  • It can also be used by apple to identify the device, check specification, check warranty status and repair history.

Serial Number

Conversely, your iPhones serial number is only used by apple and cannot be used to block or unlock the device. The serial number is both physically printed on the device and stored permanently on the iPhone logic board.

The serial number can be used to identify the device within their database from this they can check your specification, generation, capacity, date and location of manufacture, warranty info, repair history and much more.

If you would like to know how to find your IMEI or Serial number on your iPhone, Apple has created a handy little guide: https://support.apple.com/en-gb/HT204073

Did this article help you? let us know in the comments.

All of our articles are based on common questions we on team illPod are asked on a regular basis, so if you have a question let us know and we will do our best to answer it and maybe write a blog on the subject.



How to restore emails from trash on iPad

Accidentally deleted an email and want to get it back? Using the built-in Mail app on your iPad? Look no further.

  1. open the mail app

    image of home sreen
    Tap the mail icon
  2. use the back buttons in the top right to navigate to your main mailbox

    image of mail app
    Tap the mailboxes button in the top left
  3. click on the trash folder

    image showing home screen of mail app on iPad
    Tap on the trash folder
  4. here you should be able to see the email(s) you accidently deleted
  5. tap edit

    image of something uninteresting.
    Tap edit
  6. tap the circle next to the email(s) you accidently deleted

    Image of mail app for ipad iOS interface
    Select the emails you wish to restore.
  7. tap move

    image of mail app iOS ipad interface
    Select move and then select inbox
  8. select inbox

your emails will now be back in their rightful place.

Pro tip: if you have accidentally deleted a single email, shake your phone straight after and this will undo the action returning you email without having to go through all of the steps outlined above.

Did this article help you? let us know in the comments.

All of our articles are based on common questions we on team illPod are asked on a regular basis, so if you have a question let us know and we will do our best to answer it and maybe write a blog on the subject.

How to check if an iPhone has ‘Find My iPhone’ switched on

Whether you are selling your device, buying a used one our, or just want to restore your current one but cannot remember your credentials, it is a wise idea to check whether the device has Find My iPhone switched on.

If the device does have Find My iPhone switched on. When you carry out a factory reset to the device you will be prompted for the AppleID and password that were last used to activate find my iPhone. This is a useful security feature to prevent lost or stolen phones from being sold on.

Thankfully Apple have released a great tool that allows you to check before you buy/sell/restore a device.

  1. Simply find the IMEI or serial numeber off the back of your device or in Settings > General > About
  2. Enter this into: https://www.icloud.com/activationlock/
  3. You will be presented with a results page that tells you whether find my iPhone is activated

Did this article help you? let us know in the comments.

All of our articles are based on common questions we, on team illPod, are asked on a regular basis, so if you have a question let us know and we will do our best to answer it and maybe write a blog on the subject.


Forgotten passcode, iPhone disabled: Here is how to get back up and running

Forgotten Password, iPhone disabled- help!

Unfortunately, without waiting the stated time displayed on screen, the only way to unlock is to wipe your device by means of a restore. You will need a USB Lead suitable for your device and a computer running the latest version of iTunes.

If you have your device backed up to the iCloud, you should be able to re-download your data once the restore has been carried out. You can check the date of your last iCloud back up by checking out our article here.

Alternatively, if you back up your device to iTunes check our article here to locate your latest backup.

Find my iPhone

Find my iPhone is an app that allows you to locate your device if it has been lost or stolen. If you have ‘find my iPhone’ switched on, it will not let you restore your device without your AppleID and password. So it is important to perform the following checks before performing a restore.

• You can check if you have ‘find my iPhone’ switched on by entering your IMIE here: https://www.icloud.com/activationlock/

• If ‘find my iPhone’ is switched on double check that you know your AppleID and password by logging into your account at iCloud.com

To Restore your iPhone

  1. Hold power and home button for 10-20 seconds
  2. When the screen goes blank the device is restarting. Release the power button and as the apple logo appears, continue to hold the home button. You should then be presented with an iTunes logo like this.

    image of iPhone recovery mode connect to iTunes
    iPhone recovery mode
  3. Connect your device to itunes.
  4. Select the restore button on screen and wait.
  5. Once the restore is complete you can set the device up like new and you are back in business. If you would like to restore from an icloud or itunes backup please see our articles about that here and here.

How to Block Popups on iPhone: using iOS built in popup blocker

If you are being hassled by pop-up ads on the iPhone, you can block them completely by following the instructions below:

  1. Open the Settings app
  2. Select safari
  3. Scroll down to ‘general’ then toggle the ‘block pop-ups’ setting to the on position

Voila! No more nasty pop-ups.

Did you find this info useful? Let us know in the comments.


Further reading on this subject:

How to get rid of annoying popups virus on iPhone

Popup viruses on the iPhone: how to get rid! 

Popups on the iPhone are becoming more and more of a problem. You may have been presented with a popup that suggested you had won a prize, your credit card info was at risk or that your iPhone was infected with virus/malware/adware or hacked. The dialogs often only have an ‘OK’ button in order to trick you into tapping it. If you are unfortunate enough to click ‘ok’ then you may find that you are constantly hassled by further pop-ups, regardless of what webpage you are on, often requesting that you call a number in order to remove them or stating that your device is at risk.

If you have been presented with a popup do not click ‘ok’! Please read this article for advice.

Oops, I pressed ‘ok’: What to do if you have already pressed ok?

Key point: DO NOT CALL THE NUMBER. Often these numbers will be premium rate numbers or they will try to get you to give your card details over the phone.

  1. Turn your device on and off, this should get rid of any dialogs which are currently being displayed.
  2. Go to Settings > Safari > Clear Browsing History.

This should fix the issue, but if for whatever reason it persists then you need to do the following:

  1. Settings > General > Reset > Reset all settings (this will reset your settings, such as background, ringtone, passcode. But will not affect your data)
  2. Read our article on Safari’s built in popup blocker to prevent the same thing happening again in the future.

Let us know if this article helped you. If you have any screenshots of the popups you have encountered, then please send them in as we would like to feature as many different examples on this page as possible.


Further reading on this subject:

How to get rid of an iPhone popup when the only option is ‘ok’

What to do if you get a popup on the iPhone and the only option is to press ok?

If you are presented with a popup on your iPhone claiming that you have won a prize or that your iPhone is at risk with no option but to press ‘ok’: do not press ok!  This could lead to a barrage of further pop-ups. Simply follow the instructions below:

  1. Press the home button twice and swipe up to quit Safari, Facebook or whatever app the popup appeared in.

This should fix the issue, you will be ok to re-open the app and carry on as normal. However if this method does not fix the issue follow the next steps below.

  1. Switch your device off and on again.
  2. Follow the steps in our article on Safari’s popup blocker to avoid further popups.

If you find you are affected by a constant barrage of popups then check out our other article.

Did this article help you? Let us know in the comments, also if you have screen shots of the popup that appeared on your device then please send it in, as we are interested to see how many variations there are out there.


Further reading on this subject:

Missing calls and texts on iPhone.

Are you missing calls and/or texts on your iPhone because it is not ringing or vibrating as normal?

This is a surprisingly common query that we receive. Often the answer is very simple. The cause is accidental activation of an iOS feature known as ‘do not disturb’ mode.

You can check whether you have the setting activated by looking for the crescent moon symbol in the top right corner of your screen, next to the battery percentage.

iPhone iOS Do not disturb
Do not disturb mode.

If this is activated then your phone will not ring or vibrate unless the iPhone is unlocked. This clever little feature is designed to make sure you do not get woken up by calls while you are asleep, at the movies or in a meeting.

Do not disturb activated.
Do not disturb mode – on
Do not disturb mode - off
Do not disturb mode – off

To deactivate the feature slide up from the bottom of your screen to reveal the control centre. Here you can tap the crescent moon symbol to deactivate ‘do not disturb’. Your iPhone will now receive calls and texts as normal.


Did this article help you? Do you have any other questions/advice you’d like us to address on our blog? Let us know in the comments.

Why does night mode not show on my iPhone or iPad?

We have had customers ask for help with Apple’s new night mode setting and made this list to solve some common issues. Night shift is Apple’s new night time feature for iPhone and iPad. When activated it will change the brightness and soften the colours on your screen with an aim to help you sleep better.

Having problems with Night Shift? Here are a few reasons why night mode may not appear in the settings on your device or unexpectedly deactivate itself.

  1. You are not running iOS 9.3 or above

You can check which version of iOS you are using in Settings > general > about. If you are not running iOS 9.3 or higher then you need to tap update in settings > general >software update


  1. night shift is only available for iPhone 5S and above.

Unfortunately the following devices do support iOS 9.3 but do not support night shift: iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, iPod touch 5G, iPad mini, iPad 2, iPad 3, iPad 4.


  1. setting changes cause night mode to deactivate

Activating low power mode or changing accessibility settings can cause night shift to deactive.


Have you had a play with night shift, let us know what you think in the comments.