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Key Takeaways

  • The serial number is a unique code that identifies your specific Android device and can be found on the device's retail packaging or in the settings.
  • It is usually a combination of letters and numbers, but the length varies based on the manufacturer. It is not always printed on the outside of the box.
  • The serial number is mainly used by the manufacturer for tracking device inventory, so it is generally recommended to keep it private to avoid any potential issues with warranty claims.

The serial number is a unique code that identifies your specific Android device. No two serial numbers are the same. Should you need to find your phone's serial number, there are a couple of places where you can look.

A serial number is usually a combination of letters and numbers. There’s no set length—the manufacturer determines that. The serial number will usually be denoted by an "S/N:" on the box, as you’ll see below. As with all things Android, the path to your serial number may have different routes, but this guide should give you a general idea of where to look.

Option One: On Your Device’s Retail Packaging

Samsung box label
Joe Fedewa / How-To Geek

Often, the box your device came in will carry the serial number. It’s usually located on the outside of the box on a sticker that also contains several bar codes, your device’s IMEI number, etc. It'll either be on the back or the side of the box, along with some barcodes.

If the serial number is printed on the box label, it'll be shown as "S/N:" or "ESN." However, the serial number is not always printed on the outside of the box. For example, the Samsung box shown in the photo above does not include the serial number. In that case, we'll need to look at the phone itself.

Option Two: In Your Device’s System Settings

The most reliable way to find your Android device's serial number is in the Settings of the device itself. These steps will vary by device, but it should be a similar process no matter what you have.

First, go to Settings > About Phone/About Tablet/About Device.

Go to

Some devices will have the serial number shown right on this screen. For others, you may need to go to "Model" first.

Serial number on Samsung phone.

For others, you may need to go to "Model" first.

Pixel serial number.

If you don't see your device's serial number here, you may need to poke around in the "About Phone" section a bit more—it may be in a slightly different place, depending on the manufacturer.

What is the Serial Number Used For and Should It Stay Private?

Your serial number is generally used by the manufacturer to track device inventory—mainly for things like repairs and warranty claims. Since it’s usually printed on the outside of the box, you can infer it’s not terribly important that it stays completely private. However, there are certain situations where sharing a serial number can cause you grief down the road. For example, if you share your serial number and someone uses it to file a false warranty repair on a device, you may suddenly find yourself with a phone that is out of warranty.

Manufacturers generally recommend against making your device's serial number public—it is unique to your device, after all, and there’s no reason to share it.