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Title says it all ( I think ), if I look under the 'Settings - Status - Phone number' on my Samsung Galaxy S mobile phone, it says 'unknown'.

What does that mean ? Do I have to enter the number some where ? And if so, do I need it, or why should I do that ?

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up vote 18 down vote accepted

This is just showing whether your phone number is saved to the phone number description property on your SIM card. Some networks always program this in for you, many don't. Some phones let you write to this property, some don't, some read it, some don't.

It has nothing to do with what actual phone number is attached to that SIM card by the phone company.

It is possible to put your phone number in there, and is easier than you might think:

Go into Contacts -> [Menu] -> More -> Settings -> Own numbers -> [Menu] -> Create and type your phone number into the Number field, now Save.

Then switch your phone off and on again, and it should show the correct number (or whatever number you entered) in the status now.

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unfortunately, this doesn't appear to work on the galaxy s2 – yincrash May 24 '13 at 16:40
There is no "Own numbers" anywhere in the Contacts app, at least not on a stock Galaxy S4 Mini. – romkyns Oct 5 '13 at 13:42

Some Android phones don't support such advanced features as "setting own phone number". In this case try set it on a different phone, preferable a dumb phone.

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There is also a problem with some 2.2-Froyo code for the Galaxy S that can cause this to happen, even if your number was shown under 2.1. (This is the case for me).

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There was no above suggested path on my phone either. Instead following worked for me:

Go into call settings (call button then settings) Scroll down and find Additional Settings. Then there is set My Phone Number where you can set your number.

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Please note that "above" has no context in answers, since answers can be sorted a number of different ways. – Al E. Apr 23 '14 at 23:19
Can't find Set my phone number in Additional settings on my SGS3 Stock... – ADTC Oct 14 '14 at 1:51

The easiest way to do this is to insert the sim into an iphone, go to Settings>phone>my number ---> Here you can set your phone numb and save it.

Now if you insert the sim in an android phone, you will be able to see your number.

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First off, what phone company are you with because it would help greatly to at least know that much more than just the name of the phone? If it were an integrated phone such network providers Sprint, Verizon etc companies with 3G phones because 3G with such providers worked without SIM cards. If so that would mean the phone isn't programmed and needs to be and I do believe same thing applies towards companies that required SIM cards used in their phones for service such as AT&T, T-Mobile etc.

If the SIM card you are using hasn't been activated it wont display any number or if the SIM card isn't the preferred SIM for the phone the number wont display. There are a few other reasons as to why you are getting this unknown reading for your number but mainly it's due to errors within the SIM and phone compatibility. If I were you I would find some WiFi to connect to via your phone with SIM inserted and then download a SIM manager app so that you can find and resolve this error with your number being displayed.

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Do you have some evidence that this is caused by an error in the SIM or phone compatibility, or that it means the phone isn't programmed and needs to be? Everyone else, including the suggested answer, says it's just a setting in the SIM card and makes no difference. – Dan Hulme Jun 17 '14 at 11:23

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