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Smartphones & gadgets

Secret text codes you can use with your carrier

Your smartphone is capable of more than you think, and your carrier knows how to unlock all of its secrets by pressing just a few buttons.

These codes, called Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD), can be used to scan networks and activate service right from your phone’s dialer.

USSD codes are similar to the “vertical service codes” used by landline phones, which trigger special effects like call waiting, caller ID block and more. Tap or click here to see these secret codes for your phone.

What can USSD codes do for your phone? As it turns out, you can learn about the strength of your network, your equipment ID number and tons of other useful information. Here are some of the best secret codes you can use with your smartphone.

USSD codes unlock hidden features

USSD codes were created to give carriers and technicians a way to perform diagnostic tests and activations quickly. You don’t have to work for a mobile carrier to use these codes, however. Anyone can try them by punching them into the phone dialer menu and tapping the call button.

Not all carriers use the same codes for the same services. Some carriers may assign special functions to certain codes that are exclusive to their network. Check the lists below for your carrier and see which features their USSD codes can unlock.

USSD short codes for T-Mobile

USSD short codeWhat it does
#BAL# (#225#)Provides account balance and last payment
#BNG# (#264#)Check the status of Binge On™
#BOF# (#263#)Turn off Binge On (T-Mobile’s unlimited streaming data feature)
#BON# (#266#)Turn on Binge On
#FAM# (#326#)Check Family Allowance usage
#MIN# (#646#)Check minute usage
#MSG# (#674#)Check message usage
#WEB# (#932#)Check data used, data plan, and expiration date
#NUM# (#686#)Display your phone number
*PAY (*729)Pay your bill over the phone
#PWD# (#793#)Reset voicemail password
#PWO# (#796#)Turn the voicemail password on or off
#ROF# (#763#)Turn off international data roaming
#RON# (#766#)Turn on international data roaming
*#06#Display device IMEI number
##004#Cancel call forwarding to voicemail (prevents new voicemail messages)
#31#1+PhoneNumberShow name and number on outgoing calls
*31#1+PhoneNumberHide name and number on outgoing calls
*43#Turn on call waiting
#43#Turn off call waiting
*671+PhoneNumberBlocks outgoing Caller ID on a per-call basis. Information still visible to toll-free numbers and 911

USSD short codes for AT&T

USSD short codeWhat it does
*61Block individual unwanted inbound calls
*80Turn off call blocking
*78#Do Not Disturb mode (blocks all incoming calls). Callers will hear a busy signal
*79#Turn off Do Not Disturb mode
*67+Phone number+#Blocks outgoing Caller ID on a per-call basis. Information still visible to toll-free numbers and 911
*370#Disable call waiting
*371#Reactivate call waiting

USSD short codes for Verizon

USSD short codeWhat it does
#BAL (#225)Check your balance
#DATA (#3282)Check your data usage
#MIN (#646)Check your minutes
#PMT (#768)Make a payment
#ROAD (#7623)Request roadside assistance
#UPG (#874)Check your upgrade information
#832Place a test call
*67+Phone numberBlocks outgoing Caller ID on a per-call basis. Information still visible to toll-free numbers and 911
*86Check your voicemail

Universal USSD codes

Regardless of which carrier you have, several USSD codes for all devices can clue you into information like your signal strength. Try the codes out below and see what you can learn.

Field Mode: *3001#12345#*

Type *3001#12345#* into your dialer and then press the call button to access “Field Mode,” which can give you access to info about local networks and cell towers.

Field Mode shows your cell phone signal strength measured in decibels (dBm). If the dBm approaches -120, you’re in a “dead zone.” Anything better than -100 is considered a usable signal. A strong signal is -40 or better. So, the closer that number is to zero, the better the phone’s signal.

Try Field Mode out and see where you catch the best signal.

Display your IMEI: *#06#

To access it, type in the above code, and then tap the call button to prompt your IMEI number. If your device is stolen, you can give this number to your carrier to have them blacklist it.

Check Your Call Forwarding: *#67#

You can use this code to check which number your phone forwards unanswered calls to. This is usually your carrier’s voicemail service, but you can change it to forward to a different number.

On an iPhone, you can change this number by going to Settings > Phone > Call Forwarding. Make sure Call Forwarding is toggled on, then tap Forward To and enter the number you want calls forwarded to.

On Android, the steps will vary from manufacturer and phone model. On most Androids, you can change the settings using the following steps:

Tap the Phone app > three-line icon > Settings > Call > More Settings > Call forwarding.

This code allows you to check which number your phone is currently forwarding calls to when you’re busy or reject a call.

It’s surprising how much you can do with these phone codes. If you ever need a break from incoming calls or want to dial out without sharing your info, using a USSD code makes it easy.

Now, if only there were codes to stop robocalls.

Tap or click here to discover an app that does the next best thing: block and sue robocallers.

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