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Some Secret Codes to Useful & Unravel Hidden Features on Your Phone

Remember that battle in War Games when the socially broken code monkeys were describing to hopeful hacker Matthew Broderick all about "back doors" (i.e. confidential roadmap developed by programmers)? Well, that's truly a thing.

Developers have a storied tradition of burning in secret passageways (or sometimes, just fun little Easter eggs) that can only be accessed by inputting a special "key." And so that tradition ongoing in the mobile age.



Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) -- sometimes known as "rapid codes" or "feature codes" -- is an extra-UI protocol, which provides people to approach secret features. This protocol was initially made for GSM phones, but can be found on CDMA devices as well (if that's a bunch of acronym gibberish to you, here's a quick primer).

These publicly available backchannels provide users to straight converse with their service provider's computers and/or access back-end features in their device. They are accessed by inserting them into the phone's dialer (the screen you use to start a phone call) and commonly start-ups and end with the * or # keys with a sequence of numbers in between (there's close-to-zero replace that anyone would unexpectedly manage them).

They're not extremely practical. Most people don't actually want to aware how their local cell towers are executing or what their IMEI number is (more on that later). Still, it can be entertainment to play around and show what unaware functionality your phone is pounding beneath the surface.

We would love to offer you with a complete list of the dozens of codes out there, but that would be a movement in futility. These codes seldom task across various carriers, OSes or phone models (or even on generations of the same model).

If you really want to try them out, your best bet may be to Google your phones create and carrier + "USSD" for a tailored, comprehensive list. I attempted a number of codes using an iPhone SE (while trading out various carrier SIM cards) in supplement to a Galaxy S5 and Galaxy S7 Edge running on AT&T. Some of them worked! Test out the list below for crucial codes that I can surely worked on at least one handset. Good luck and have fun!
Type *3001#12345#* into your phone's dialer and then press the green call button to access "Field Mode," which can give you operate to info about local networks and telecom towers.

You'll perhaps never ever have to know about your local cell tower's "Measured RSSi," but it’s fun to look around for a bit.


I could only get this to operate on Android. But this adverts a library of number of phone access, which could be operated with a one push (e.g. Sleep, Front Cam, and Vibration).

Here's a code which I base out does not work with Verizon on an iPhone, but I could create it work after switching to a T-Mobile SIM. It also worked on my Android AT&T device as well. To handle it, kind in the above code, and then the green call button to cause your IMEI number (or your International Mobile Station Equipment Identity number, but you already realize that).

The IMEI is remarkable to your device. Among other things, the number can help "blacklist" stolen devices or help with client support.

This code provides you to test which number your phone is currently forwarding calls to when you're busy or reject a call.

By default, this is probably your carrier's voicemail service, but you can modify it to forward to a various number (a home number, office number or third-party answering service for example).

On an iPhone, you can modify this number by going to Settings > Phone > Call Forwarding. On Android (differ from system to system), tap the Phone app > hamburger icon > Settings > Call > More Settings > Call forwarding

On my Galaxy smartphone, this code produced a pop-up that let me know how long until a call is forwarded to the message center. On the iPhone, anyway of carrier, this code just viewed me the same info as *#67#.

Probably this one only works on postpaid plans. I was not able to get it to work on my test iPhone (regardless of carrier; I tried three), but I did get it to program on my Galaxy phone (which occur to have an unlimited texting plan from AT&T). Alternatively of showing the info on a next screen, it sent my phone a text message.

Once again, I couldn't get this one to operation on the iPhone, but on Android I did get it to advertising a SMS send with my recent stability due.

I could only acquire this to run on Android. But input this code prompted a pop-up beginning that my Caller ID had been disabled. In order to re-instate Caller ID, enter *31#.

Once again, I could only get this to work on Android. It evoke an SMS send with my voucher detail.

10   This code will tell you your SMS message middle number. I have no plan why you'd require that detail, but there have away.

11 This code will start call waiting; you can deactivate it by entering #43#.

12 As far as I can tell, this code only works on Samsung Galaxy series (I tested it on my Galaxy S7 Edge). This is near to the Public Test mode mentioned earlier, in that it performance up a menu with a number of one-tap test generate.

The first test is "Melody," which prompts a jaunty few K-Pop diddy. I don't aware who the artist is (its un-Shazammable!), but a search of the lyrics sharped me to this YouTube clip, with a title that translates to "Samsung any call Galaxy basic level -- Hey Now (Good bye)."

13 Once again, as far as I can tell, this only runs on Galaxy devices. But it will let you know your phone's current firmware. So, have fun with that.



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