If you are an ardent tech enthusiast, chances are you know most of the secret codes for cell phones, you know, the ones that usually start with “* #”. For the uninitiated, mobile phones have long had hidden codes that can be used to access interesting hidden apps and settings.
These codes can be broadly classified into two main categories USSD codes and MMI codes. While mostly not very useful for the average smartphone owner, these hidden codes can be used from time to time just to satiate your curiosity. The purpose of this article, therefore, is to create a complete list of these secret codes for Android devices.
Before starting, it might be a good idea to know what these codes are and what the differences are between the MMI and USSD codes.
What are USSD and MMI codes?
While the average user may not even need to know the difference between these two, it’s always good to know what the differences are. Both USSD and MMI codes usually start with an asterisk or hashtag / hashtag symbol. These codes are updated regularly as new versions of the Android software are released, and some manufacturers have their own additional special codes.
The procedure for entering the code is very simple and only requires opening the dialer keyboard and entering the appropriate numerical sequence. It is important to note that some codes are operator specific, so they will not work on all devices. So, if your phone isn’t responding to a code, don’t dwell on it, go ahead and find another one.
USSD stands for Unstructured Supplementary Service Data and these codes are generally used to communicate between your smartphone and your mobile network operator. This also means that you almost always have to be connected to your carrier for USSD codes to work.
In the past, USSD codes were used to start / stop specific value-added services. They have also been useful for informing you about data usage and prepaid balance, and for accessing a lot of operator-specific information.
Although these are still used by smartphone enthusiasts, USSD codes have largely fallen out of favor among general users because most of the operators have their own app / website where most of this information can be easily accessed. USSD codes are typically carrier specific and will differ from carrier to carrier. You will need to contact your carrier for the ones that interest you.
As for MMI codes, these are part of something known as a schema Man Machine Interface and are generally specific to a smartphone brand or model. MMI codes give you access to several cool things about your smartphone, ranging from IMEI number and SAR values to hidden menus that are generally used by smartphone technicians and repair services.
For example, several smartphones allow users to type in an MMI code and access a “test” menu. This menu allows users to quickly run various tests on their smartphone, from camera and vibration motor tests to speaker and display tests.
Note that there are only a few MMI codes that typically work on all Android smartphones. We have listed the most popular in the generic code list below.
Generic secret codes for Android devices
These codes are mostly universal and should work on all Android devices, regardless of the manufacturer. However, there may still be operator restrictions on certain codes, so it’s not guaranteed that all of them will work.
Manufacturer specific codes
Stay away from these codes!
Think before you use!
USSD codes for US carriers
These aren’t the secret ones, but they aren’t that well known. USSD codes, or unstructured supplemental service data, connect to the phone’s network when dialed to perform certain functions, such as finding out how much credit you have left on your prepaid phone or how much data you have used this month. They change often and the codes vary from carrier to carrier. Here are a few you can try for some of the major U.S. carriers, along with links to more carrier-specific codes:
- Check your data and SMS usage: * 3282 #
- Check your data and SMS usage: # 3282
- Check data usage: # 932 #
- Check minutes, messages and other usage statistics: * 4
There’s a good chance you’ll never need to use most of these codes, but if you do, you now know where to find them.
Are there any secret codes that you find yourself using all the time? Or are there a few we haven’t listed here that are really interesting?