How to Change a Sprint ESN Number

by Meaghan EllisUpdated September 28, 2017

Items you will need

  • Sprint phone

  • Sprint mobile account

  • Landline phone

  • New phone

Sprint ESN numbers serve as unique identifiers for each individual cell phone supported by the Sprint cellular network. The cell phone's ESN number determines the cell phone's make and model, and the phone's mobile number is programmed through this number. To change a Sprint ESN number, you must change the phone itself in its entirety, by moving your cell phone number to a different phone, with a new ESN number. The actual process can be completed over the phone in just two to three minutes.

Write down your new phone's ESN number. Remove the battery cover from the back of the phone. Take the battery out of the phone. The ESN number will be a 17-digit numerical code located above third barcode on the back of the phone.

Contact Sprint customer service from a landline phone. Dial (888) 211-4727 from a landline phone. Press 1 for English, and 5 for technical assistance when the automated system second menu is available.

Provide your account holder's personal information so the representative can access your Sprint account. This information usually consists of the mobile number you are calling about, the name on the account and the PIN for the account.

Request an ESN change for your current phone. Simply express to the representative that you would like the ESN number for your phone changed to a different phone.

Follow the Sprint representative's technical instructions to complete the ESN change process. You will be prompted to power the new cell phone on, and enter a numerical programming code, provided by the representative. Listen closely and enter exactly what the representative says in your cell phone's keypad. Once the code is processed, the phone will power off and power back on automatically.


Depending on the type of phone you currently have, you may also need the phone's DEC or MEID number, which is also located on the back of the phone. This number is usually another eight- to 17-digit numerical code on the back of the phone. So it may be beneficial to simply write all of the codes down before contacting customer service.

For more information or technical assistance, see Resources.


Make sure you are only calling customer service from a landline phone. If you plan to change the ESN number, there is no way you can contact customer service from your cell phone. Calling from a different cell phone may not be a good idea either. If the call is dropped from the cell phone, there will be no way of contacting the same representative again. As a result you will have to start the entire process over.

Since the ESN number is a unique identifier for the phone, you cannot just change the numerical code on the back of the phone. The action does require technical assistance.

Make sure you power the old phone off for at least four hours after the programming is complete. This ensures that your calls do not get tied up between the two phones.

About the Author

Meaghan Ellis has been writing short stories, newspaper articles, Web content and product research reports for over 12 years. While double majoring in business management and marketing at Southern University, she runs a home-based graphic design and Web content business.

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