Remember back in the early days of video games when you had to enter cheat codes onto your controller using certain patterns? Well, there are all sorts of cheat codes for smartphones that you probably didn’t know.
Today, we’re going to blow your mind by telling you about some of the best “cheat codes” you can enter into your smartphone today to perform various actions.
How Do These Codes Work?
These codes might look weird, but they’re legitimate parts of having a phone on a carrier network. They’re called Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) codes, also known as “feature codes” or “quick codes”. Carriers have installed them into devices on their network as a supplementary UI protocol. Today, however, many people are figuring out how to use these codes to access hidden features.
Anyways, without further ado, keep reading to discover some of the cool things you can do with your phone.
Perform a Field Test on your Phone
You can perform a “field test” on your phone by entering a special code, which then gives you information about local networks and nearby cell towers.
To try it out yourself, type the following into your phone’s dialer and then press the call button:
You’ll get detailed technical information about nearby cell towers – which is meaningless to most people (including me), but I still think it’s kind of cool.
Access a Secret Menu on your Phone
PCMag.com reports that this code only works on Android (sorry iPhone users). It’s a secret menu you can use to access your phone’s core features. All you do is enter the following code into the dialer, then press call:
This is called “General Test Mode”, and it opens up a number of options you can activate with a single press.
Check your Call Forwarding Info
Want to see where your calls go after they’re forwarded? You can do that with a special code. Once again, type the following into your dialer and click “Call”:
This code lets you check which number your phone is currently forwarding calls to when you’re busy or reject a call. In most cases, this will be your own voicemail inbox. However, you may want to change it to a different number – like a second phone you have or your home phone. You can do that in Android in Settings > Call > More Settings > Call Forwarding (the specific menu sequence varies between devices).
Check your Bill Balance
How much do you owe your carrier this month? Type in *225# into the dialer then press call to find out. This one reportedly doesn’t work on iPhone. On Android, however, it gives you a quick text with the current balance you owe to your carrier.
Prevent your Phone from Displaying Caller ID
Our final code to share with you is one that is actually pretty useful. Don’t want people to know who’s calling? Want your number to show up as blocked or private? Type the following code into your dialer:
That’s it. You will immediately see a pop-up telling you your caller ID has been disabled. You can re-enable by typing that code in again.
There are dozens of other USSD codes out there, but these are the ones you’ll probably find most useful. You might not think learning about surrounding cell phone towers’ frequencies is fun, but I do.
Shoutout to our friends at PCMag.com for testing these codes.