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What are secret codes on iPhones?

An iPhone has long been a must-have item for many UK phone users. Such is their popularity that countless books and articles have been written about how to use these marvellous machines. But did you know there are secret codes contained in your iPhone? That’s right, just when you think you know everything there is to know about your device there are even more mysteries to uncover. Read our guide to secret codes on iPhones and discover something new today.

With market-leading camera technology, a stunning display and an all-singing, all-dancing processor, iPhones are very valuable indeed. So, finding the right iPhone insurance suited to your needs and budget has to be a number one priority for any new owner. It’s no secret that we’re the specialists when it comes to protecting your phone!


Getting the lowdown on secret codes

Secret codes? On an iPhone? Yes, really. iPhones are renowned for being feature-packed. With oodles of incredible and innovative tricks tucked away among all those apps, widgets and Control Centre settings. However, there's also a whole heap of cool treasure hidden away elsewhere inside the iPhone. All just waiting for the right numbers and symbols to be pressed on that touchscreen keypad.

For many years now, devices such as iPhones have made use of Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) codes. USSD is a way of connecting mobile devices with network operators and service providers without the need to connect to the internet.

These so-called secret codes are most often used for prepaid call back services, mobile money transactions, location-based content services, healthcare assessments, and even humanitarian relief. Because USSD doesn’t rely on 3G or 4G connection to work, these codes have been used as a technological solution to overcome many barriers.

Secret codes are a series of numbers mixed in with a smattering of hashtags and asterisks that you enter into your iPhone. In the exact same way as you would a normal phone number. They connect your iPhone directly to your service provider's computers, allowing you access to features that are otherwise unavailable to you.

Many codes are specific to particular service providers and are only available in certain countries. However, a good many of them will work regardless of which mobile network provider you're using.

Fortunately, they seem to work no matter what age of iPhone handset you’re using. So, whether you're still using a trusty iPhone 7 or the latest iPhone 13 or iPhone 13 Pro Max you should be able to gain the benefit of some of them. It's always useful to have these codes nearby, you never know when they might help you do things much more efficiently and with a lot less fuss!

Be aware not all of these will work on every iPhone in every country. So, don’t be surprised if some of these interesting codes fail to work for you. But, if nothing else at least you might get to know the workings of your iPhone that bit better. After all, these codes are followed not only by Apple but also by many other leading mobile phone manufacturers. You never know, knowing a secret code might mean you can help a friend with a spot of self-diagnosis or troubleshooting.

Without further delay, here's how to use secret codes on your iPhone and open up new features just by pressing the right numbers and symbols.

How to hide your Caller ID on iPhone

It makes perfect sense that when calling someone from your iPhone, your number will be displayed on their device. However, there are plenty of times when this is not ideal. Indeed, there are some times when your privacy or safety may even be put at risk by disclosing your number.

But, not to worry, you can quickly hide your Caller ID using a secret code before dialling the person's telephone number. Simply enter #31# on the keypad followed by the person's number including the area code. Hit dial and your number will be hidden for that call only.

If you want to shield your number on all outgoing calls then enter *#31# and tap the dial button.

How to divert incoming calls on iPhone

Modern communication devices are an incredible invention but when a caller can’t get through because you’re busy on another call, things can get infuriating. With this secret code you can have incoming calls diverted to another number when you’re otherwise engaged.

There are also codes to let you divert calls if your iPhone is unreachable or have them diverted if you don't answer or reply immediately. The number you’re diverting to could be a landline or another mobile phone number. Very useful if you have separate work and home phones.

Dial *61* if you want to forward calls when you don't answer.

Dial *62* to forward calls when you’re unreachable.

Dial *67* to forward calls when you’re busy. Then enter the number you want to divert to and hit #. Finally hit the dial button and you should get a confirmation message.

To turn off the forwarding service, just enter #61#, #62# or #67# depending on the original code you used and tap the dial button again.

 If you want to find out the current status of any of these services, dial *#61#, *#62# or *#67#.

If these codes don’t work then there may be a different code for your network. Be aware that call diverting may be chargeable depending on your mobile network provider.

iPhone and iPad

How to enable call waiting on iPhone

It’s always annoying to come off a call and find out that someone was urgently trying to get through to your iPhone. Stop this from ever happening again by enabling the call waiting feature on your device. This secret code will also give you an option to answer the new call.

To enable call waiting, simply dial *43# and hit the dial button. If it’s worked, a confirmation screen should appear that you can then dismiss with a click. To turn off call waiting, simply dial #43# and hit the dial button.

How to prevent outgoing calls on iPhone

iPhones are so useful that we often need to pass them on to friends, family or work colleagues. However, if you’re letting someone borrow your iPhone even for a short while, you might not want to let them use the iPhone to make a call. Particularly if they’re an infamous prankster!

First dial *33* and then enter your iPhone passcode followed by #. Doing this means that someone can’t easily turn the function off without your knowledge. Then hit the dial button. You’ll know it’s worked if you receive a confirmation message – just tap this to dismiss.

Obviously, you’ll want to disable this feature as soon as you get your precious iPhone back. To do so, dial #33* followed by your iPhone passcode and #.

Many iPhone owners lend their tech to close family members. iPhone insurance arranged through Gadget Cover provides protection if you do this. So, if that special someone misplaces or drops your iPhone you’re also covered!

How to launch Field Test mode on iPhone

There are a fair number of secret codes that are really for the techies among us who simply have to know how everything works. One of these is the Field Test Mode which enables you to access technical information about your iPhone's mobile signal and connection.

While this feature was designed for technicians and engineers, it also allows the lay person to make checks on the phone network. Unfortunately, one of its most popular features - the ability to view the strength of your signal as a numerical value and therefore easily find better iPhone signals – seems to have disappeared with the arrival of iOS 15.

Despite that change, it's still worth taking a good look as it gives details of the local network. To feel like a proper tech geek then it’s well worth trying out this secret code to see what happens.

First go into the Control Centre and turn off Wi-Fi. Then dial 3001#12345# and hit the dial button. A secret Field Test screen should then pop up. It’s split across two tabs named Dashboard and All Metrics. Unfortunately, despite the amount of exciting looking information here, much of it is unlikely to be of any interest.

But if you haven’t updated to iOS 15 yet, then hit All Metrics. Scroll down the page and look for the LTE heading. Under here you’ll find Serving Cell Meas, click on this. Now look for rsrp0 and rspr1 that indicate the towers closest to you. Here you’ll see the signal strength which should change as you move around. Apparently the closer you are to 0 the stronger the signal. A signal around the -50 or -40 mark is apparently good. Whereas a signal of -140 means no service at all.

How to find IMEI on iPhone

Something that might be of use if you want to unlock an iPhone or move to another network is finding out your iPhone’s International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number. This is a number unique to your device that can also come in handy if your iPhone is lost or stolen, as it allows the handset to be identified. All you need to do is dial *#06# and the IMEI number will automatically appear on the screen.

iPhone camera

How to keep experimenting with secret codes

Hopefully you’ll have had success with at least some of these codes. If your interest has been piqued then here’s a quick round up of some other secret codes to try. Again, we can’t promise anything, but with a bit of luck, you'll unearth some usable treasures.

  • Check the number of minutes left on your iPhone contract. Just dial *646# and you’ll be able to find out if you’re close to your limit.
  • Dialling *#61# will let you see how many calls you’ve missed.
  • Check the SMS Centre. If you ever find SMS not working on your device, dial *#5005*7672# to check the SMSC (short message service centre).
  • If you ever find it difficult to hear someone on a call then this secret code might provide a solution. Dialling *3370# should enable Enhanced Full Rate mode to improve voice quality. However, while it provides a boost to the voice it will make a dent in your iPhone’s battery life.

Be aware there has been a lot of hype over the years about how certain secret codes boost battery power or phone signal. Be aware, they very rarely do such things!

However, if you are searching for more iPhone and iOS tips then look no further than Gadget Cover’s blog. We’ve got lots of helpful articles from iPhone 13 tricks to a beginner’s guide to the iPhone. Take a look, we’re sure there will be something of interest to read while you’re looking for iPhone insurance.

The secret to finding the right iPhone insurance

Getting to know everything you can about your new iPhone is an important and fun part of being a responsible owner. However, you also need to spend some time thinking of the best way to protect (and safely show off) your iPhone when you’re out and about.

There’s really a lot to think about when you first unbox your new iPhone. So, let our dedicated team of insurance specialists give you a hand. We can quickly and easily set you up with an iPhone insurance policy suitable for your device and budget.

Policies arranged through Gadget Cover include protection for everything from accidental damage and liquid damage to theft, breakdown and unauthorised usage. For an additional premium it can also be covered against loss, too – ideal if you’re constantly misplacing your tech.

Our policies don’t just cover the iPhone itself. If your device is accidentally lost or stolen, we will refund the cost of unauthorised transactions made using your e-Wallet facility up to a maximum of £500.

Get a quick quote for iPhone cover today and get yourself protected.

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