How to find serial number of Android device?


I need to use a unique ID for an Android app and I thought the serial number for the device would be a good candidate. How do I retrieve the serial number of an Android device in my app ?

9/10/2012 9:10:46 AM

Accepted Answer

TelephonyManager tManager = (TelephonyManager)myActivity.getSystemService(Context.TELEPHONY_SERVICE);
String uid = tManager.getDeviceId();

getSystemService is a method from the Activity class. getDeviceID() will return the MDN or MEID of the device depending on which radio the phone uses (GSM or CDMA).

Each device MUST return a unique value here (assuming it's a phone). This should work for any Android device with a sim slot or CDMA radio. You're on your own with that Android powered microwave ;-)

2/23/2010 11:10:38 PM

As Dave Webb mentions, the Android Developer Blog has an article that covers this.

I spoke with someone at Google to get some additional clarification on a few items. Here's what I discovered that's NOT mentioned in the aforementioned blog post:

  • ANDROID_ID is the preferred solution. ANDROID_ID is perfectly reliable on versions of Android <=2.1 or >=2.3. Only 2.2 has the problems mentioned in the post.
  • Several devices by several manufacturers are affected by the ANDROID_ID bug in 2.2.
  • As far as I've been able to determine, all affected devices have the same ANDROID_ID, which is 9774d56d682e549c. Which is also the same device id reported by the emulator, btw.
  • Google believes that OEMs have patched the issue for many or most of their devices, but I was able to verify that as of the beginning of April 2011, at least, it's still quite easy to find devices that have the broken ANDROID_ID.

Based on Google's recommendations, I implemented a class that will generate a unique UUID for each device, using ANDROID_ID as the seed where appropriate, falling back on TelephonyManager.getDeviceId() as necessary, and if that fails, resorting to a randomly generated unique UUID that is persisted across app restarts (but not app re-installations).

import android.content.Context;
import android.content.SharedPreferences;
import android.provider.Settings.Secure;
import android.telephony.TelephonyManager;

import java.util.UUID;

public class DeviceUuidFactory {

    protected static final String PREFS_FILE = "device_id.xml";
    protected static final String PREFS_DEVICE_ID = "device_id";
    protected static volatile UUID uuid;

    public DeviceUuidFactory(Context context) {
        if (uuid == null) {
            synchronized (DeviceUuidFactory.class) {
                if (uuid == null) {
                    final SharedPreferences prefs = context
                            .getSharedPreferences(PREFS_FILE, 0);
                    final String id = prefs.getString(PREFS_DEVICE_ID, null);
                    if (id != null) {
                        // Use the ids previously computed and stored in the
                        // prefs file
                        uuid = UUID.fromString(id);
                    } else {
                        final String androidId = Secure.getString(
                            context.getContentResolver(), Secure.ANDROID_ID);
                        // Use the Android ID unless it's broken, in which case
                        // fallback on deviceId,
                        // unless it's not available, then fallback on a random
                        // number which we store to a prefs file
                        try {
                            if (!"9774d56d682e549c".equals(androidId)) {
                                uuid = UUID.nameUUIDFromBytes(androidId
                            } else {
                                final String deviceId = ((TelephonyManager) 
                                uuid = deviceId != null ? UUID
                                                .getBytes("utf8")) : UUID
                        } catch (UnsupportedEncodingException e) {
                            throw new RuntimeException(e);
                        // Write the value out to the prefs file
                                .putString(PREFS_DEVICE_ID, uuid.toString())

     * Returns a unique UUID for the current android device. As with all UUIDs,
     * this unique ID is "very highly likely" to be unique across all Android
     * devices. Much more so than ANDROID_ID is.
     * The UUID is generated by using ANDROID_ID as the base key if appropriate,
     * falling back on TelephonyManager.getDeviceID() if ANDROID_ID is known to
     * be incorrect, and finally falling back on a random UUID that's persisted
     * to SharedPreferences if getDeviceID() does not return a usable value.
     * In some rare circumstances, this ID may change. In particular, if the
     * device is factory reset a new device ID may be generated. In addition, if
     * a user upgrades their phone from certain buggy implementations of Android
     * 2.2 to a newer, non-buggy version of Android, the device ID may change.
     * Or, if a user uninstalls your app on a device that has neither a proper
     * Android ID nor a Device ID, this ID may change on reinstallation.
     * Note that if the code falls back on using TelephonyManager.getDeviceId(),
     * the resulting ID will NOT change after a factory reset. Something to be
     * aware of.
     * Works around a bug in Android 2.2 for many devices when using ANDROID_ID
     * directly.
     * @see
     * @return a UUID that may be used to uniquely identify your device for most
     *         purposes.
    public UUID getDeviceUuid() {
        return uuid;

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